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?


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,625 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

problem #4

Sep 112014

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 66,500 miles


I buckled in my seat belt as usual only to find when shifting to drive the seat belt indicator light continued to flash. I checked the children's seat belt to make sure they were buckled in and they were. I disconnected my seat belt and tried to reconnect and it would not reconnect. I visited the dealership as the vehicle was purchased roughly 3 months ago and was informed by the general sales manager this was not their problem and a loaner could not be provided until the part comes in. I asked if I would be safe and he reiterated again this was not their problem. I asked for the general manager and was denied the opportunity to speak with him. I buckled into the passenger buckle and was later informed this was unsafe, if I were to have an accident, I would not be protected. I have received no assistance. This has yet to be fixed.

- Jacksonville, AR, USA

problem #3

Nov 202013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
While driving at night on a county road, loud clicking noise came from dashboard, seat belt warning light flashed on and off, and headlights flashed off all at the same time. Headlights remained off for 1-2 seconds, came back on, and went off again, and on again. This has happened at least a dozen times since then while driving at night, and also a few times during the daytime (I hear the clicking and see the seat belt indicator light). Mechanics at Kia dealership said they "could not duplicate" and made no attempt to correct the problem. This happens more often when driving at highway speed (60-70 mph). It has also happened twice after stopping the car and shutting off the ignition. It is a serious safety concern and makes me afraid to drive at night!

- Miles, TX, USA

problem #2

Apr 182011


  • miles
From point of purchase (November 2010) the vehicle always had a hard start, the seat belt was incorrectly installed and the gas lid fails to open without manual prodding. In April 2012 the engine failed to start, and then this continued to happen multiple times thereafter. The dealership changed the battery and service the vehicle. In the following months a series of issues continued, windshield washer pump stopped working, failure start, loud knocking sound in the engine while idle and driving, and then the car started to stall and thrust hard forward. The car was serviced again, oil changed, the changed the pump and filters, all reported problems persisted through 2013. For three months the car remained in the dealership service shop where the engine was serviced, and some "tappets" were replaced. The dealership cracked the engine cover, replaced it, without informing me. All engine, fail start, and windshield pump issues continues to persist to date (September 2013) despite multiple services.

- St Thomas, VI, USA

problem #1

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

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