Notes: Kia really changed the design of the Sorento in the 2011 model year. Instead of a truck-like body-on-frame more capable of offroad adventures, the newest Sorento is a unibody construction and is much more crossover than sport utility. The changes brought a whole slew of problems, including a frustrating problem where the door that won’t open. Is it too late to go back?


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,192 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Dec 102012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


I was driving 30 miles an hour when my car stalled out. I managed to pull over to the side of the road but was unable to get the car to start. The car was towed to the Kia dealership where they replaced the main fuse panel and the fuel pump. The service manager said one shorted the other out and that it was a fluke. On 4/7/2013, the car would not start. Again, car towed to dealership where the same problem has occurred. Nobody, can tell me why this is happening and I am really nervous to drive the car again.. if the car stalls out while I'm driving on the highway, it could be disastrous. Kia is saying they haven't heard this happening with other vehicles, however, after coming to this site, it seems to be happening with regularity. Help. What are my rights??

- Grafton, MA, USA

problem #26

Dec 012010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 900 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia sorrento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the engine stalled without warning. Upon restarting, the vehicle resumed normal operation. The failure occurred numerous times. In addition, the push start ignition failed to operate on four separate occasions. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer three times for both defects. The dealer was unable to locate the problem. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 900. Updated 04/02/13 the consumer stated the vehicle would stall when approaching a stop sing, turning to slow down, or driving slowly through a parking lot.

- Long Beach , CA, USA

problem #25

Nov 122012


  • 23,000 miles
Put key in ignition, all lights on dash came on as normal, radio came on as normal, engine did nothing, made no sound whatsoever. After several attempts to crank vehicle eventually started. After the 3rd time this happening I took it to all star Kia of baton rouge (the only Kia dealership in the baton rouge area, which is approximately 45 minutes on a good day from my home). Vehicle was there only 30 minutes when I was told it was my battery, which I knew was incorrect because everyone knows a dead battery would not have allowed my radio and all the electrical components to come on, but I allowed the to give me a new battery without question. One week later the same exact problem. This time I had it towed to the dealership because I could not get it started and quite frankly am tired of wasting my time and gas money on the same issue. This time they said it was the fuse block, said all kinds of other garbage that did not make sense to the average intelligent person. Did not have the car back 2 days and the same thing, wont start. I have called the dealership and will have it towed Monday again. Do not expect it to be fixed, the mechanics at this dealership do not seem to know anything about vehicles or what makes them crank, run, and go.

- Greenwell Springs, LA, USA

problem #24

Jun 012012


  • 33,500 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that all of the lights on the dashboard failed to illuminate, causing the entire dashboard to go black with the exception of the glow plug. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure. An engineer was requested to further inspect the vehicle however, he was also unable to determine the cause of the failure. After inspection, the vehicle began to operate as designed. The contact also stated that the brake pedal had a spongy feel to it. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 10V599000 (service brakes, hydraulic:foundation components:disc:caliper) and the vehicle was taken to the dealer who informed him that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 33,500 and the current mileage was 42,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #23

Aug 142011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
This is my wife's vehicle, but given the issue she is afraid to drive it..... driving up hill with my foot on the gas pedal at 50 mph. My vehicle lost power ( as if I slammed on the brake ) my body went forward and was stopped by the seatbelt. My head whipped downward. Then the vehicle surged forward. My head and body slapped back into the seat. It was so abrupt and violently. It will scare you to death. This has happened to many times over the last year to count. I have tried to document the events in a journal because the dealer has been able to duplicate it only once. Some days it can happen up to 3 times a day for weeks on end. Some times I can duplicate it driving up hill and sometimes nothing. The worst times are when merging into traffic or when someone is following to close behind me. My fear is that I will hurt another motorist or a passenger in my vehicle. A term called " limp mode " has been said to me. Where the transmission shifts to a hi gear to protect it from damage. My vehicle still does this at least once every other day. I have been to the dealer 14 times. The tranny was replaced a year ago and a backfire code was found recently. A computer software update that didn't help was the last thing done in over a year, unless you count paying for rental vehicles doing something. There is also a suspension/steering issue. A hard pulling left/right and bump steer. The vehicle will pull the steering wheel out of your hand in turns and veers as it hits bumps.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #22

Nov 152011


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle could not be started. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 24,000.

- Philadelphia , PA, USA

problem #21

Jul 222012


  • 19,600 miles


This car sometimes after the key is insert in the ignition and turn with the intention of of starting the car it does not start. The lights on the dash board come on but it does not start. After several trays by steping in the brake pedal turn the wheel and move the speed shift it starts.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #20

May 012012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
Stability control and downhill assist lights illuminate while driving. Then when stopped, car will not go past neutral when trying to shift into park. Also, when driving, the brake lights do not work immediately when pedal is depressed. Car will not shift out of park after started and stability control and downhill assist lights are illuminated. Located switch at the upper part of the brake pedal and while car was in neutral, with parking brake on, was able to bump the switch box and then shift car into park.

- Sugar Hill, GA, USA

problem #19

Jul 262012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 13,650 miles
Vehicle unable to start, even with key in 'holster' in glove box. Vehicle brake appeared to be pressed down already and no reaction when start button was pushed. This happened multiple times over a 3 day period. After multiple attempts over two days, the vehicle started. Taken to dealership who detected nothing and were unable to duplicate the situation.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 192011


  • 12,500 miles
Car will not start with key or remotely control. After car sits for a time, several hours or days, it may start. Car has shut off by itself and will not start... had to be towed several times. Seems to have a computer system malfunction that dealer cannot repair.

- United, PA, USA

problem #17

Jun 152011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 1,200 miles


My 2011 Kia Sorento downshifts while at a high rate of speed. It also gets stuck and while the rpms are racing, it will not shift up. The bluetooth does not work properly and am only able to make a call 30% of the time. Backup cameras and sensors are intermittent. Window will not work. Back drivers side door fell off hinges while I was driving with my child in the backseat. My passenger side seat overheated and would not turn off. Causing my car to fill with smoke on the expressway. Many issues with this lemon! shifter will not go from drive into park leaving me stranded in my car. Vehicle has no power....poor engine. Paint and chrome of handles are coming off. Pulls to the left and ESC light comes on all the time.

- Burlington, KY, USA

problem #16

Feb 102011


  • 10 miles
1st problem: I bought the car, drove it off the lot, dealership did not get it inspected so I had to take it at 10 miles to get an inspection sticker on it! 2nd problem: Immediately after buying the car, I noticed all the windows and doors rattled. Took it to Kia in kingwood 5 times and they could never hear the sound and/or fixed other things on the car that did not need to be fixed. Problem still exists. 3rd problem: Engine light kept coming on, 3 visits later, I needed a new transmission, at 13,000 miles..something wrong with sensor that measures fluids?? 4th problem: Taking back at 14,500 miles on Monday(3/18/12) to get doors checked out now electronics are messed up and loud noise everytime I lock or roll down windows. Also, cant get key to turn in ignition alot!! what a piece of crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- New Caney, TX, USA

problem #15

Feb 232011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 11,815 miles
02/23/2011 vehicle would not start; dealer replaced brake switch. 10/14/2011 vehicle would not start; dealer replaced battery. 11/14/2011 vehicle would not start; dealer replaced transmission shifter. 01/05/2012 vehicle would not start; dealer could not find problem, started after battery jump. 01/29/2012 vehicle would not start; called for tow; vehicle started after 40 minutes of numerous attempts. 02/07/2012 vehicle would not start; vehicle started after 30 minutes of numerous attempts. 02/09/2012 vehicle would not start; towed to dealer. Something is obviously wrong with these push-button starters! 5 tows within one year plus other non-start times?! Kia needs to recognize they have a problem!

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 092012


  • 10,900 miles
I was driving to work on Monday Jan. 9th going approximately 60 mph, when all of a sudden the car jerked violently. Then the car lost power I had to pull over it would not drive, I was pushing the accelerator but it would not respond. Also the tach quit working, check engine light came on. I called my husband who called and scheduled service with our local Kia dealership. On my way home it done the same exact thing I had to pull over again, luckily both times there was not a car following too closely. My husband drove the car to the dealership and they kept it for 4 days and said they could not duplicate the problem. We picked it up on Sunday thinking everything was fine, we made it home and went to the store. On the way back coming across the pomeroy mason bridge it jerked again very hard and we had to come to a stop in traffic! we called to schedule another appointment for Thursday Jan. 19. on my way to work today Jan. 16 it done the same exact thing! I don't feel safe driving this with my 2 kids in the back seat.

- Middleport , OH, USA

problem #13

Jan 052012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • miles
Keyless ignition switch which is attached to break has defect. Unable to start car, called aaa who could not start. Called hot line and they said have been having a number of problems with this. Called local dealer who verified havin a number of failures on this and need to replace. Agreed probably need to send a bulletin to owners and recall. The switch sticks and will not allow you to start the car.

- Ormond Beach, FL, USA

problem #12

Dec 232011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 16,130 miles
While driving through a shopping plaza, going about 15mph, the vehicle suddenly shut off, causing the loss of all power assist functions and electrical operation. The electrical came back on-line right away, but the car had to be restarted. The second time it happened was in rush hour traffic, 4 days later. The car was coasting at about 25 mph when it shut down again.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #11

Apr 232011


  • 8,990 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving 5 mph. The vehicle was jump started the following day and taken to an authorized dealer. The throttle was replaced. The failure had since recurred on an intermittent basis while driving at various speeds. The contact also stated that the alarm system would inadvertently sound. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle would experience difficulty starting. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and they were unable to diagnose a failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 8,990.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #10

Dec 142011


  • 23,000 miles
I have had problems with the "push to start" failing in Oct. '10, that was fixed. Dec. 12, 2011 am I could not start my car. The push to start did nothing. After trying various options for 15 min I tried again and the car started with the push button and brake applied. I called Kia to report it and had the dealership check it out that morning, they found no error codes. I started many more time with no incident until the next problem. Dec. 14, 2011am, again I tried to start the car and nothing happened. I could here a small "tic" as I pressed the start button. I removed my phone and ez pass from the area as suggested by the dealer, nothing. I got a different fob from inside the house, nothing. I stepped out of the car, standing next to it and the car started by itself, no one pressing the button. This is suppose to be impossible as you must press the brake and button for the car to start. No one was in the seat and the key was in my pocket by the open car door.

- High Bridge, NJ, USA

problem #9

Nov 012011


  • 20,754 miles
The driver side window malfunctioned in the down position. It will not roll up or down. The fuse was checked and appears to be ok. All other windows function properly.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #8

Jul 152011


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the fuse box panel under the driver seat detached completely, exposing the wires. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer three different times for the same failure and the fuse box panel was replaced each time. The technician advised that the front driver seat would need to be replaced because the defect was a manufacturing flaw. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 1,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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