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:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
20 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,277 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Jun 062015


  • 66,000 miles


The airbag light went on when I started car and will not go off. There has been no accidents.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #19

Apr 062015


  • 91,000 miles
Good afternoon, I have a 2011 Kia Sorento and the airbag light stayed on. When I took it to the dealer it was the clock spring. I paid to have my vehicle fix last fall. However, looking on the internet this seems to happen a lot in Kia cars. Why havent Kia reported this issue? I was rear ended recently and none of my airbags deployed. Im wondering if Kia is hiding this issue. The person at the shop told me a clock spring should not go bad on a fairly new vehicle. Someone needs to look into this situation before someone gets killed. Kia is ripping off car owners because they wont acknowledge the problem publicly. I hope someone will investigate this situation. Please copy and past the above url to see what Kia owners have to say.

- Washington , DC, USA

problem #18

Feb 142015


  • miles
The contact owned a 2011 Kia Sorento. While at a stop, another vehicle crashed into the rear of the contact's vehicle. As a result, the contact crashed into the rear of the preceding vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a whiplash as well as spine and back injuries. The front passenger sustained injuries to the neck and back along with whiplash, the second passenger sustained spinal, neck, and back pains. The third passenger sustained minor back pains from the impact. All required medical attention. The vehicle was destroyed and was not diagnosed to determine why the air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: (air bags). The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Kenansville , NC, USA

problem #17

Dec 192014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


My vehicle was traveling at about 50 miles and hour and a car turned in front of me and I T- boned him. My car went up onto the 2 front wheels and then skidded into a telephone pole at about 30 miles an hour. My car is totaled. My concern is that the air bags never deployed during either impact and I think they should have. I have pictures to show the condition of the car...updated 01/21/15 */bf updated 01/26/15

- Washingtonville, NY, USA

problem #16

Oct 142014


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owned a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, another vehicle stopped abruptly causing the contact lose control of the vehicle and crash into a ditch. The contact sustained head and face lacerations due to an object ejected from the air bag when it deployed. The contact required medical attention and a police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 88,000.

- Vivian , LA, USA

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problem #15

Oct 272014


  • 63,000 miles
The air bag light on the dash does not go off I am not sure if that is a safety think this the airbags are not or will deploy while we are driving.

- Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #14

Sep 152014


  • 106,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the clock spring assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 106,000.

- Easley, SC, USA

problem #13

Aug 272014


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle, the driver side air bag sensor light illuminated indicating that the air bag system was faulty. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but no remedy was offered. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #12

Aug 082014


  • 72,000 miles
Airbag light came on at approximately 70000 miles, reset and remained off for a while. Back on at 72000 miles. Diagnosed by dealer that it is related to faulty passenger side OCS sensor mat, with repair cost of approx. $2000. Contacted Kia and they checked with district manager to see if they would do anything regarding the issue (fix, discount, etc.) and was informed they would not. Unfortunately out of standard warranty due to mileage...which to me a safety sensor becoming faulty would have nothin to do with mileage and is not really that old. Exhuberant cost for most people to repair, which we currently do not have finances to do. In researching, after the fact, appears Kia has had a long line of issues with airbag and OCS sensors. Makes me wonder if issues still exist in this model, but most are still being covered under warranty or if we happened to just get a "lemon". (not only issue we have had with car, but being related to safety wanted to share.)

- Ellendale, MN, USA

problem #11

Jul 152014

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 48,262 miles
When making a left turn at approximately 5-10 mph, I was broadsided on drivers side by another SUV traveling at 35mph. None of my air bags deployed. I would have expected the side head rail bag to deploy, particularly the one right next to the drivers head. It did not. According to the iihs, this air bag should have deployed in this type of side-impact crash. I had to be taken to the local hospital by rescue squad and am suffering with severe back and neck pain as well as severe headaches from this collision...updated 10/08/14 updated 3/24/2015

- Willoughby, OH, USA

problem #10

Mar 272014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles


2011 Kia Sorento. Consumer writes in regards to airbag light illuminated. The dealer recommended replacing the air bag, at a cost of $ 1200.00

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #9

Nov 212013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Significant side impact on front passenger side door, but side air bags did not deploy. Passenger's seat was broken, and passenger received broken ribs, punctured lung, fractured vertebrae. Vehicle was declared a total loss.

- Lyman, WY, USA

problem #8

Nov 212011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Frontal collision at 55 mph, front air bags deployed, but instantaneous side impact from other vehicle resulted in significant impact to the passenger side, broken seat, right side injuries (ribs, back, punctured lung), and the side air bags did not open (failed to deploy) with this side impact. Vehicle was traveling North at 55 mph, and was struck by a westbound truck traveling 35 mpg...updated 10/08/14 updated 3/24/2015

- Lyman, WY, USA

problem #7

Feb 262014

Sorento 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the air bag warning indicator remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer however, the vehicle was diagnosed but, not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000...updated 12/29/14 the consumer stated the dealer advised the manufacturer would not assist with repairs due to the vehicle's mileage. The consumer believes the mileage should not be a factor with this particular failure. Updated 9/28/2015

- Dorado, PR, USA

problem #6

Feb 022014


  • 49,447 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving 75 mph, the driver and passenger's side front, curtain and seat cushing air bag deployed inadvertently, causing the contact to become startled and crashed into a median. The manufacturer investigated the air bag failure and concluded that the contact had shifted into two-wheel drive and caused the air bags to deploy. The contact sustained a neck injury and the passenger suffered a chipped tooth as a result of the erroneous air bag deployment. The dealer performed a diagnostic and reviewed the event data recorder, which indicated a low battery but did not specifically indicate an air bag failure. The failure and current mileage was 49,447.

- Lincolnton, GA, USA

problem #5

Dec 052013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 27,900 miles
Driver on side-street tried to cut across main road directly in front of me causing me to swerve to avoid her. My Kia Sorento then hit a brick wall and a 2,000+ pound cast iron entrance gate. None of my airbags deployed! that is why I bought the car, for safety for my new family. By the looks of the damage and where the impact was, the officers and I were all surprised that airbags did not deploy. Had I had a passenger or was not wearing my seatbelt, there could have been some serious injury as a result of the impact. Pictures can be furnished to document the impact and damage to the 2011 Kia Sorento LX AWD.

- Auburn, MA, USA

problem #4

Dec 182012


  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph downhill in icy weather, the vehicle began to slide uncontrollably until crashing into a tree. The vehicle was destroyed. The air bags did not deploy nor did the headrest prevent whiplash, as designed. The contact suffered whiplash and required physical therapy. The dealer was notified of the incident and statedt that the safety features in the vehicle would only operate if the vehicle was involved in a severe crash. The failure and current mileage was 8,000.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #3

Jun 152012


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while parked the air bag warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the osc mat sensor in the front passenger seat was damaged by water and needed to be replace. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Mt Carmel, IL, USA

problem #2

Aug 302011


  • miles
I was in a three car accident in which I rear ended a stopped vehicle at 40mph. Upon looking at Kia's own website and the owner's manual for the 2011 Kia Sorento, I can see that the impact took place on the airbag sensor on the drivers side of the vehicle. The airbags failed to deploy & the front drivers side seat belt & front passenger side seat belt failed to 'lock'. this resulted in my 92 year old grandmother hitting the dash with her face, and I as the driver, hit my head on the steering wheel sustaining a concussion & whiplash. I am still suffering severe pain that I have to be medicated for with narcotics, and short term memory loss. My grandmother, luckily only sustained facial bruising.

- Gardner, KS, USA

problem #1

Jan 032011


  • miles
Airbag off indicator is on when front passenger (160 lb) is seated on a cushion. Airbag off indicator is off when front passenger (160 lb) is seated without a cushion.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

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