2011 Kia Sorento engine NHTSA complaints: Vehicle Speed Control

NHTSA — Vehicle Speed Control Problems

2011 Kia Sorento (Page 1 of 2)

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?


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,706 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Kia Sorento:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Nov 192016


  • miles


After our purchase of the vehicle, the cancel button would get stuck at the top of the button. Therefore not being able to turn off the cruise control system completely. Without the brake switch it could cause the cruise control to not disengage.

- Temple, TX, USA

problem #30

Sep 012015


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. While driving various speeds, the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle failed to accelerate when depressing the accelerator pedal. The contact coasted the vehicle over to the side of the road, restarted the vehicle, and resumed driving. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed, but the failure could not be found. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #29

Dec 142014

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 27,502 miles
I was driving on the highway, in the high speed lane going 75mph when my RPM's suddenly went all the way up and then down, past 0. the car made a huge jolt but then kept driving with no tachometer. Approximately 1/2 mile later I had to slow down to get off highway and then merge onto another interstate when my car wouldn't accelerate and totally shut off. I've been having issues w fixing it at Kia. They have replaced the crank shaft sensor 2X as well as the instrument cluster. It continues to violently jerk daily, typically when accelerating around 40 mph and again stalled while in drive last week. The dealership tells me that the car is running as designed but I just have a steady foot and the engine isn't sure what gear it should be I when I'm going 40mph.

- Seekonk, MA, USA

problem #28

Dec 312014


  • 54,000 miles


My son was driving on interstate I-5 near salem, or when his car suddenly stopped and would not accelerate. The car had a 50,000 mile and $1000 service 3 months prior to this incident. I did on line research and saw several instances of Kia Sorentos stopping suddenly on the highway. Kia offered $400 to compensate our inconvenience but I think the us consumer safety is worth much more. I would appreciate your investigation of this incidence. Thank you, [xxx] the Kia representative is [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Albany, OR, USA

problem #27

Nov 272014

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 48,084 miles
While driving on light, new snow my car had suddenly skidded slightly, no over-correcting, I simply got the car back in control when the car suddenly shot forward, steering wheel seized and started racing down the opposite side of the street into the embankment! I had pulled the car to the left and had the brakes pushed all the way down (and both feet including all my weight on them) until my car crashed completely into a tree! the tires were still spinning when the car stopped and my feet were on the brakes! it was also hard to get the car out of drive and into park --- when I was able to push the car into park I quickly took the keys out. The 2011 Kia Sorento and sudden acceleration seems to be a problem and should seriously be looked into. Yes, I was injured and thankfully a tree stopped the vehicle and no one else was hurt!

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #26

Nov 152014


  • 89,000 miles
This is the most recent and serious electric issue; I do not know the exact dates of earlier issues. I believe all these electric issues are related. Issues began in 2010 after the purchase of the car. Was taken to the dealer for electrical issue and they repaired lose cluster array. Other electric issues from 2011-2013: When turning left the downhill brake control indicator would light would come on and prevent the car being put into park, the headlights flicker when car is at a stop, driver side low beam headlight frequently burns out. December 2013-January 2014: All dash indicator lights malfunctioned (no warning lights/gauges, including fuel, speed, turn signals, low fuel indicator, etc.). dealer found the factory cluster array to be faulty. The dealer replaced the cluster with a new one. I am reporting the following: I was traveling 65mph and turned the cruise control off, the ABS warning, downhill brake control, electronic stability control indicator and 4WD auto lock lights all illuminated. The car was operating normally. Today, all of these lights came, stayed on, then went off. Upon driving, the electronic stability control light came on and the car downshifted as I was driving. All other of indicator lights noted came back on. I am taking my car back to the dealer tomorrow. Many other Kia owners are reporting almost identical issues. This most recent incident occurred when I was traveling at a high rate of speed and follows a serious of electrical issues I have had since I owned my car, new from the dealer. Something is wrong at the manufacturing level that needs to be addressed before someone is killed.

- Maplewood, NJ, USA

problem #25

Dec 162013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 68,822 miles


During early morning startup, vehicle accelerated past 3000 RPM for approximately 10 seconds. After deceleration, when the vehicle was shifted to drive, a loud thump was heard and a forward thrust was felt. No forward motion occurred because of brake pedal depression.

- Arecibo, PR, USA

problem #24

Sep 112013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Started vehicle 7am. Shifted from P to R. engine revved on its own. Shifted back to P. observed clunk sound from transmission. Shifted back to R and observed clunk sound. Reversed to street. Shifted to D. vehicle accelerated on its own without depression accelerator to 20 mph. Pulled over. Shifted to P. turned off ignition. Restarted vehicle. Clunk sound or sudden acceleration not observed.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #23

May 312013


  • 42,000 miles
I was driving with the cruise control set at 70 and suddenly the car accelerated on its own (sounded as if someone had floored the gas pedal). I tapped the brake and when I looked at the dash multiple indicator lights were lit. After tapping the brake the engine continued to run but the accelerator would not work. I came to a stop on the shoulder- at this point the engine oil pressure light and engine malfunction lights were illuminated. I turned the car off. Tried to restart after few minutes and it would not start. A few minutes later it did start but sounded bad. I contacted Kia and was told to have vehicle towed to dealership and a regional Kia rep would investigate my vehicle (what that means, I don't know quite yet).

- Iowa Park, TX, USA

problem #22

Mar 212012


  • 40,000 miles
While driving (usually steady state speed on highway - with or without cruise control engaged) car experiences a sudden loss of engine power accompanied by a jolt (as if brakes had been abruptly and briefly engaged, or as if fuel supply suddenly shut off), tachometer dips suddenly, car suddenly decelerates for a second or two, and then things return to normal. Sometimes an indicator light - or more than one- flashes momentarily at the time of the incident, these include the engine light, the traction control light, and/or the key immobilizer light - sometimes no indicator light flashes at all. This has also happened while accelerating away from a dead stop - sudden loss of forward momentum w/ a jolt. I am afraid I will get rear-ended as the car suddenly slows but brake lights are not illuminated, and a car following too closely will not be able to react in time. If cruise control is engaged at time of incident it becomes disengaged and has to be reset. This sometimes will not occur in an hour of driving, but sometimes will occur as often as 10 times in a 20 mile drive with no discernible pattern. This has happened many times and grown more frequent over time. The first time it occurred was in a rain storm and I suspected the ESC was sensing slippage and firing the brakes, however it happens regardless of weather or road surface and now happens every time I drive for more than a few miles on freeway. The car has been evaluated by Kia service more than three times and problem is not resolved - battery and ABS module were replaced without success. Concern is of safety of vehicle and other vehicles following behind me.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #21

Nov 052012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while depressing the brakes and reversing from a residential driveway at approximately 5 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated into a busy street without warning. The vehicle abnormally accelerated to approximately 70 mph and came to a stop after crashing into another vehicle. The police were contacted and a report was filed. The driver sustained minor injuries to various parts of her body and later was transported to the hospital. The driver of the second vehicle was transported to the hospital via ambulance for treatment of unknown injuries. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic and was pending an investigation. The manufacturer was contacted and advised the contact that once the vehicle was repaired, they would perform a warranty check. The failure and current mileages were approximately 25,000. Updated 12/21/12 updated 1/9/2013

- Hanover, PA, USA

problem #20

Oct 032012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated while driving 25 mph the vehicle began to accelerate independently. The contact attempted to stop the vehicle by shifting in the park position but she was unsuccessful. The vehicle was finally able to be put into the park position and then became stuck in that position. The dealer was called and informed the contact over the phone that her brake lamp switch was likely the cause of the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a more complete diagnosis and the brake lamp switch was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The failure and current mileage was 15,000. Updated 11/13/12 the consumer stated the attorney general called and stated this falls under the lemon law. The consumer would like information on who to contact next and any attorney information. Updated 11/20/2012

- Leavenworth, KS, USA

problem #19

Sep 252012


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated while driving 60 mph the accelerator failed. The contact steered the vehicle to the side of the road as it slowed to a stop. Once the vehicle was restarted the accelerator responded as designed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the throttle body was replaced. The contact mentioned that it was the second time the throttle body had to be replaced. The failure and current mileage was 24,000.

- Greenlawn, NY, USA

problem #18

Aug 312010

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 75 miles
When acceleration from a stop or slow speed the engine will occasionally bog down or hesitate and almost die. Very dangerous when attempting to pull out in traffic esp onto a highway from a side street.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #17

Jul 222012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
2011 Kia Sorento. Consumer states unintended acceleration the consumer stated as he was driving down his driveway, he began to slow down, as he approached the road. There was a slight shifting motion and the vehicle suddenly accelerated to the max of 8000 RPM's. he depressed the brake, but the vehicle continued to move, so he placed the transmission in neutral and turned off the engine. He then re-started the engine and everything seemed normal. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. However, they were unable to duplicate the incident.

- Columbia, KY, USA

problem #16

Jan 232012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 13,951 miles
Engine stalls while driving, last time was almost in accident 1/23/12 @40 mph, 3/06/12 @ 50 mph, 5/24/12 @35 mph, 9/4/12 @55 mph. Have dealership service records for first three incidents. New throttle body installed 3/06/1 in Florida at sunset Kia in venice. Per matt jarvis bald hill Kia in warwick ri, the replacement throttle body was defective (Kia got a bad lot of throttle bodies for a while.] replaced again 9/6/12. Dealership had knowledge of possible defective part before last stalling. I was driving at 55 mph on rt 24 in middletown ri in the passing lane when the car stalled, gas peddle unresponsive. I was almost rear ended and had to weave though traffic to get through the driving lane then on to the grass. It was a miracle that I made it to safety. Why did dealership not recall defective throttle bodies.

- Tiverton, RI, USA

problem #15

Aug 192012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
On 9/19/2012 at 12:17 pm I took a frantic call from my wife. She had just stopped to fill up with gas, got back on the interstate and set the cruise control at around 75 mph. Shortly afterwards the front end started shaking and the vehicle started to lose speed. She shut off the cruise and was looking for a place to pull over when the vehicle started to accelerate on its own. It was already going over 80 mph when she called. I told her to stand on the brakes-no effect. I told her to put her foot on the brake and to push and hold the start button for 10 seconds-nothing (that is the override to get the car started when the brake switch malfunctions-we had just had it replaced at the dealership 2 weeks prior). I told her to shift it into neutral-the shifter is locked in drive. I told her to shift to a lower gear-it won't move. After 4 minutes the car was going over 85 mph-I told her to hang up & call 911 as she could tell them where she was much better than I could. A few minutes later I received a call from the highway patrol-they had 2 cruisers on the interstate with her trying to clear traffic ahead of her. I asked if they could get a cruiser ahead of her and let her nose up behind it and then use the cruiser to stop her. Evidently they didn't like that idea or it is against policy because they never did try that. The dispatcher had to hang up to concentrate on the situation at hand. I now had the dispatcher's number so I could call her back. At one point I called back and suggested that she engage the cruise control and try to slow the car with it. My wife does not remember ever trying this. This went on for about 45 minutes at speeds up to 119 mph. At the end one of the officers told her to put her left foot on the brake and pull up on the accelerator with her right foot at the same time. She went from over 100 mph to under 50 mph instantly, let go of the pedals.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #14

Aug 012012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
My husband was on private property. He got in the car, put the car in reverse and backed up. He heard a loud pop. He put the car in drive, and his foot was still on the brake. The car began to accelerate on its own with his foot on the brake until the vehicle got up to 60 miles per hour. Trying not to hit the house, or the person outside of the property he maneuvered the car into the back yard. The car was steadily picking up speed and his foot was on the brake the entire time. He could not get the gear to shift or the brakes to work. The vehicle struck a tree and that impeded the movement of the vehicle. He turned the car off and got out of it.

- Crockett, TX, USA

problem #13

Jul 012011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
The date above is the first date there was a indication of a problem. The actual speed of travel has varied. The issue is random and has affected most systems at one time or the other. It has normally been a headache more than safety always going away after shutting the car down and restarting. To me it became a safety issue when about two months ago I heard a loud bang like I hit something and then my rpms increased and the transmission would not shift out of the lower gears. I pulled into a safe parking area, shut the car down and called the dealer. After restarting the car the problem went away, just as it has every time no matter what system has been affected. The issues have ranged from a cruise control refusing to activate, the cruise control having erratic behavior (often kicking in the passing gear when not required), total electronic panel shutdown (including radio), to doors locking on their own when open, to headlights not being turned off when they should have been after 2-30 seconds. The transmission issue has been the most serious. The car should have already been serviced under a similar recall. I have noted similar complaints including a similar transmission compliant on Kia forums. Kia itself refused to give the go ahead for a computer reset/upgrade. My dealer did this on his own for me after I made it clear this has gone too far. A personal conversation with Kia was negative and was nothing short of talking in circles. I understand the issue of trying to traced random problems, but not the failure to start an investigation into, for instance, possible computer shielding issues making outside interference a possibility. It remains to be seen if the computer update works, but it is a issue when a transmission shuts totally or partly down. The dealer has never been able to verify my complaints.

- Grandview, MO, USA

problem #12

Apr 252012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 24,300 miles
My wife was driving my our 2011 Kia Sorento at around 55 mph entering the highway when she suddenly lost power. She tried to use both the brakes and accelerator and found that neither of them worked. The car slowed to about 5-10mph before eventually stopping in the middle of the road, as she had been unable to pull the car to the side of the road. After several minutes of trying, she was eventually able to get the car restarted and drive the rest of the way home. She does recall that the driver side window appeared to be working. The car was brought to the dealership immediately the day after this happened. However, they were unable to reproduce what happened to the car. They did update the electronic control module software. Will continue to monitor situation closely.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

Read the next 11 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?