2011 Kia Sorento lights NHTSA complaints: Exterior Lighting

NHTSA — Exterior Lighting 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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,499 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 lights problems

lights 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 #23

Jan 062017


  • miles


I have had to replace the head lights on my vehicle long before they should have ever been needed to. In fact I literally just got it back from dealer today after they did recalls on the vehicle and the driver side is out, which was replaced by auto zone not even a month ago. The side blinker that is next to the headlight is also out now too. I'm not sure of they knocked something loose, but it was working this morning. However, now reading the other complaints about the headlights burning out too quickly, I'm starting to wonder.

- Fenton, MO, USA

problem #22

Sep 022016


  • 115,000 miles
I have had my 2011 Kia Sorento for 2 years now and at about 115K miles after starting the car the air bag indicator light came on and will not go off. After researching, it appears that this is a common problem. I suggest that Kia looks into this and issues a recall since this is a obvious problem and I like others carry children as passengers and do not feel safe anymore and am looking into other auto manufacturers.

- Rice, TX, USA

problem #21

Oct 012016


  • 89,624 miles
Left low beem light is out in my car it is a new bulb.this is the 2nd time it has happened also the lights go out for no reasion I will be driving and they go out, I have to use the on and off lever flick it multipal times to get themto come back on I have taken it to dealler 4 times they cant find out why it dose it also last night for some resion my right door will not open from out side nor the driver side rear door is doing the same thing as of last night "???????"

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #20

Aug 292016


  • 95,000 miles


Headlight low beam bulbs are burning out at the rate of one (1) to two (2) weeks. The left bulb burned out a couple of years ago. Approximately a month ago both of the low beam bulbs burned out at night when my wife was driving home from church. She almost wrecked before she turned the lights on high beam. Since then the left side bulb had burned out twice. I have replace these bulbs at a cost of approximately $15 each. I am afraid that the lights are going to go out when driving when it is not possible to change to high beam. The last bulb burned out just last night when it was dark.

- Tappahannock, VA, USA

problem #19

Sep 012016


  • 149,000 miles
For the second time in the past 3 years, the passenger side low beam headlight socket has melted, making the low beam headlight non-functional. I do not use my low beams as daytime running lights and, after the first meltdown of the socket, I consciously tried to use the headlights sparingly. The manual references a 55 watt replacement bulb and that is what I am using. The auto parts store clerk also looked up the replacement bulb and guided me to the bulb I am using. I am concerned the melted socket could cause a fire and, therefore, I fear driving the vehicle at night, in the rain, or at any other time low beams are required. My mechanic thought it is a voltage problem. With a 6-year old vehicle and nearly 150,000 miles, I am reluctant to sink a large sum of money into repairs. Given this is the third time the sockets have melted (2X passenger side; 1X driver side), I believe this is a chronic issue that Kia should address. A simple internet search reveals this problem is not an issue solely with my Sorento, but is a more widespread problem.

- Export, PA, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #18

Aug 252016


  • 92,500 miles
4 months ago, both low beam headlights burned out at the exact same time. I replaced both. This morning, the passenger side low beam headlight burned out. I will replace it this evening. 2011 Kia Sorento ex, V6, auto trans, no towing package.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #17

Nov 162015


  • 52,500 miles


My car was out of warranty by 2 weeks. I had a problem with the headlights. I had the driver's side head lamp assembly replaced and then the passenger side went out due to a bulb issue it burnt out. I took the car to dealer and he said it was not a Kia bulb. That is ridiculous. Bulbs are the same wattage. I took the car to my mechanic and he said that was stupid it should burn. He said the funny thing was the head beam light was burnt too and that was a Kia bulb. There are more complaints on-line about this issue. This is a safety issue and needs to be taken care of.

- Niles, IL, USA

problem #16

Dec 192015


  • 88,000 miles
Original owner '11 Sorento 4cyl, AWD w/tow package & approx 88K miles. Problem 1st noticed about 2 mos ago when seat belt light began flashing with audible clicking coming from relay behind dash. It was daytime when this happened 1st few times & I could not duplicate problem. This issue seemed to happen after starting car & would go away after a few moments of driving. Releasing & re-connecting seat belt had no effect. The 1st time it happened @ night I realized that the headlights & dash lights would flash on & off also. Still could not duplicate problem, but being a mechanic I watched for it to happen and tried different things to see if they had any effect on the issue. Always would begin after initially starting car, but not do it most times. Then 3 evenings ago, I found it happening every time I would start the car & would even do it afterwards driving down the road. I was 70 miles from home & tried to get back. It didn't matter whether the headlight switch was on, off or auto, it would still flash all lights & seatbelt light w/clicking from relay. On the way home, while driving a rural road, the lights again started blinking on & off causing me to hit a metal pole a drainage ditch thru farmer's fence into his field. Accident pushed metal bumper (behind bumper cover) back about 12", tore the entire front end &lights from car & bent hood back 1 1/2 feet and buckled it upward - all of this without ever deploying the airbag.these problems are prevalent in this car as I have read, but I now have a vehicle which despite it's damage will now duplicate the lights going on & off every time the car is turned on. Have contacted Kia Corp in hopes that they will want to use my car to get to the cause of this issue & finally correct it. As a mechanic I very well understand the need to be able to duplicate problem to find cause..... Kia now has no excuse.

- Harrison, AR, USA

problem #15

Nov 012015


  • miles
The bulbs for the low beam headlights have been "burning out" at the rate of once a month. Last month, the entire assembly plugin to the bulb was melted due to "a poor contact" or short in the wiring". unfortunately they said I need an entire headlight assembly (about a $400 part and $250 labor) as they won┐T just sell the connection plug. Frustrated I found a great mechanic who cut and spliced a new connection plug and it seems to be working. However the concern is that there is still a "short" in the wiring and will eventually do the same thing to the new plug. I have now had the same issue with the other side and am hoping that someone else has found the source of the problem. The other complaint is that this is not covered by the any warranty. There have been numerous complaints about this isse and I stillhave not seen a recall from Kia. This is my 2nd Kia and I am rethinking about buying another unless this issue is resolved.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #14

Aug 052014


  • 75,100 miles
Low beam headlights keep burning out.it in started Aug of 2014. Frist one headlight than a month later the other side would go out. Changing the bulb seamed to fix the problem. Then the left headlight would turn off and than back on while driving. Then left light quit working all together six months ago. Right side bulb burns out every two month. Today no lights and when I went to change the bulb on the right side, the pigtail/ light socket was half melted. This seams to be a on going problem with this car. There is five other complaints on the safercar.gov site about this. This needs to be recalled and fixed before someone loses thier light at night and are hurt.

- Bealeton, VA, USA

problem #13

Oct 072014


  • 105,000 miles


This issue is ongoing and looking at the reports on this site, needs immediate recall considering the dealerships wants to charge over $500 to replace the headlight assembly. I have had my passenger low beam bulb replaced several times by the dealership. The wire connection is over heating. Now the passenger side is out. I can not afford these $1000 issue that apparently is wide spread. Kia needs to do the right thing and recall this asap. I am only driving during the day. Immediate attention is needed.

- New Castle , DE, USA

problem #12

Jul 282015


  • 65,750 miles
While driving at night the headlights will go off then come back on after being off for approx 2 seconds. It also occurs sometimes when changing lanes and using the turn signals. I feel that it may be a defect in the turn signal headlight assembly switch on the steering column.

- Orange, TX, USA

problem #11

Mar 152015


  • 54,000 miles
Low beam headlight on passenger side went out. Repaired. One month later driver side low beam headlight went out. Repaired. Two weeks later passenger side low beam light went out. This time I examined the light, reinstalled same light, and it worked. Shortly after these incidents I stopped driving the vehicle for the summer, but it is clear that a problem exists. I doubt that the first two bulbs were actually burned out.

- Escanaba, MI, USA

problem #10

Jan 132015


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the low beam head lights failed to illuminate and the wires around both head lights melted. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The headlights were replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Patton , PA, USA

problem #9

Sep 172014


  • 61,000 miles
The interior dome light quit working took to a mechanic, he looked into the wiring harness and said that all the wires had melted together. This problem could affect all the electrical parts of the truck. Also of note is that the truck indicator light showing that the truck is open, even when its not. So far no fire has started. Cost to fix per the mechanic is over $1000, or more.

- Lochbuie, CO, USA

problem #8

Jan 012013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Vehicle has had repeated head light issues since purchase. Last visit to the dealer they are recommending changing out headlight assembly at an excessive cost. In researching this issue it seems that many consumers are having the same issue and needs to be recalled to fix.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #7

Jun 302014


  • 65,000 miles
Passenger headlight works sometimes only. When I went to replace the headlight, the bulb started working again. Took the car to the dealer where it was purchased and was informed that the connector for the bulb had disintegrated. The entire headlight assembly was replaced. Less than 6 months later the connector and the wiring in the new part had too disintegrated. Leading up to the disintegration on the replacement, I would smell an electrical burning smell. Took it back to the dealership. I was told it was grounding out, but they could not tell from where. My concerns are 1. the area where wiring is failing may cause a fire. 2. while driving at night, the headlight/S may go out making it impossible for oncoming drivers to see my vehicle. Some of the areas where I drive are not well lit and/or reflectors are used as guidance along the road.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #6

Dec 212012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
From about a couple of months after I purchased the vehicle, I have had continuous headlight issues. It started with my driver's side headlight, so I replaced the bulb. Within 2 weeks my passenger light went out, so I replace that bulb as well. Since then the headlights have gone out 5 times on the driver's side and 4 times on the passenger side. I have replaced bulbs, wiring harnesses, and complete headlight assemblies. As of right now, I am without dim lights. I am forced to drive around with my bright lights on. I have received multiple warning citations for driving around with my bright lights on. After speaking with my mechanic today he warned me that the headlight wiring harnesses are completely burned through. With small children, I am constantly worried and afraid of a fire. I have spoken with Kia multiple times and they aren't willing to do anything to help alleviate the problem.

- Florence , SC, USA

problem #5

Aug 282014


  • miles
The vehicle would not start finally it started in the drive position, have been complaining to the dealer that the vehicle shifts on its own from drive to another position. In addition all the lights remain on in the dash board. Vehicle was taken out the repair shop on 8/25/14 and this problem was rectified. The airbag light is on now since 8/25/14.

- St. Thomas, VI, USA

problem #4

Jun 052013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • miles
I purchased my 2011 Kia Sorento approximately 1 yr ago and my interior light in front over driver and passenger comes on and off during driving. This did it in the beginning then stopped, now it does it all the time with the illuminating door open sign on dash. They stay on much longer and happens more frequently. I'm afraid to drive with my grand children in car, not sure if safe anymore. Dealer never expressed at time of purchase that there where any recalls for this vehicle. Front makes noise everytime I place foot on brakes, people look over when I hit brakes. Not sure if this is a problem as well(recall). I am unemployed now for 15 months no money to fix these problems. Please let me know if these are part of any recalls. I purchased vehicle from sansone jr., route 66, neptune, NJ. Thank you for your assistance.

- Brick, NJ, USA

Read the next 3 complaints »

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?