2011 Kia Sorento engine NHTSA complaints: Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine

NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com 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?


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,519 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #4

Jul 182011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 8,700 miles


While driving down the expressway, without warning, there was a catastrophic engine failure causing one or two of the connecting rods to blow through the oil pan and start a fire from the front of the vehicle to the back underneath the carriage. The flames came up the sides and back of the car. Needless to say it was extremely frightening. Looking at the damage of the car I never expected them to attempt to repair this car yet they did. The car was down for almost two months, the second engine and power steering failed before we even drove the repaired car off the lot. Kia still did not want to do anything but repair the car again. They said, "these things happen thats why you have a warranty". these things have never happened to me or anyone I know in the 30 years I have been driving. You buy a new car to avoid such problems. The car has now been returned to me and it is still not right. I just took it in for them to blow out the vents and filters. There was still remnants of the fire extinguisher coming out when you turned on the air. This car is defective and should have a salvaged title. I was forced to put in a law suit.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Apr 032011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 275 miles
This is not a complaint but a report of defective Kia Sorento. We purchased an LX V6 Sorento on April 3rd. Car was sold as new with 250 miles on it (we were told that mileage was result of test driving which turned out to be untrue). Within 17 hours and within 25 miles and only the 2nd time behind the wheel of the car, we experienced severe transmission problems. After approximately 30 minutes total of driving (actually five minutes after having parked to pick up kids) and after 1 red light, the car stalled and then lurched forward violently, repeatedly. Immediately drove the car home and when I attempted to back up into the garage found that the car would not go into reverse. Immediately contacted dealer and salesperson came to home and observed problem, thereafter taking car to service. According to dealership, service claimed that problem was caused by computer and was fixed. We returned the car within 17 hours of purchase and refused to take it back. After much wrangling (and denial by the dealership that it had ever had this type of problem), car was replaced with another new car. We have not observed problem in new car but from complaints, I am gravely concerned. Problem is an immediate and serious threat to safety hazard. It is my hope that NHTSA will act immediately. I had two children in car at time and on my way to pick up 4 more. Had the incident occurred on a freeway or conditions where there were many on the road, I believe the consequences would have been dire.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 012011


  • miles
2011 Kia Sorento. Consumer writes regarding problems with vehicle within the first 2 months of purchase the consumer stated the stalled while driving on the highway. It would down shift unexpectedly and then jerk and jolt. There were times when the consumer applied the accelerator and the vehicle would not respond for a short period before the vehicle revved up and accelerated. The vehicle also pulled to the right and there was a bad grinding/rubbing sound coming from the front drivers side of the vehicle, along with spongy brakes which was a problem from the start. The consumer stated when she started the vehicle, there was a knocking noise coming from the engine. The interior lights went out, the drivers side window switch was faulty and the back-up camera stopped working.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #1

Sep 072010


  • 5,100 miles
Took delivery of a 2011, Kia Sorento LX, with 2.4L engine, on 4/22/10. During the next 3.5 months and 4,800 miles, this vehicle has experienced the following safety issue seven times, two of which a collision was narrowly avoided. When pressing on the accelerator, from it's default position, the engine remains at idle speed for approximately 1.5 seconds before accelerating rapidly, proportionate to the then throttle position. During this lag, the accelerator pedal was held in the position representing the appropriate amount of acceleration under normal driving conditions. This hesitation occurs unexpectedly, severely impacting normal judgment and driving reactions. This has occurred on flat pavement, slight incline or decline, from a stop, pulling out into traffic, or while traveling 35 to 40 mph attempting to merge into traffic. It went in for service at a Kia dealership the day after this problem occurred twice in one trip, almost resulting in an accident. The vehicle has currently been in the shop for one week. After one day, the dealer could not duplicate the problem and Kia had no resolution, therefore both parties offered to return the vehicle. Others have reported this problem on the internet. Our incident was reported to Kia. The resultant case has been escalated through Kia's system, and we are now waiting for further communication. The safety of this vehicle is in question...our confidence in this vehicle has been shaken. Currently, my wife and I will not drive this vehicle, we consider it too dangerous, and we do not want to put ourselves, or others at risk.

- Imperial, MO, USA

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