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:
27,793 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Feb 182015

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 54,793 miles


The temperature was minus 3 degrees Fahrenheit and the paved road was dry. The vehicle was stopped at a red light. When the light turned green I crossed the intersection and was going about 25 to 30 miles an hour when I completely lost control of the steering. The vehicle veered to the right quickly. I was in the right hand lane of two lanes. I could not hold the steering wheel to keep the vehicle from turning. I used the brake and was able to stop the vehicle before it went over a curb where I would have hit a light pole. The vehicle could not be driven, so it was towed to the Kia dealership. The tires were fine. The serpentine built was fine. The power steering fluid was not low. Kia service technicians reported that the steering rack failed and caused damage to the steering pump.

- Hiawatha, IA, USA

problem #27

Aug 182014


  • 119,000 miles
After sitting overnight or all day, when backing up then going forward the car acts like the ABS is sticking and wont move forward, pulls to the left. You have put car in park, turn it off, then turn back on for it to stop.

- Flemington, WV, USA

problem #26

Dec 282013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 28,788 miles
I was driving to work on a 2 lane road with people behind me. My car made a sound like a rock rolling around in an empty water bottle then all the dashboard lights turned on and the engine died. Luckily I was able to pull over with a great deal of strength applied to the steering wheel. I called Kia immediately and they had it towed to a dealership within the hour. The dealership is now claiming I had a coolant leak which caused the car to overheat but I had no indications prior that the car was overheating. They said this is probably not covered by warranty since its a leak and it should have been discovered earlier.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #25

Jan 252013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 23,683 miles


While braking to slow for a stop sign, my 2011 Sorento turned off. I took it into the dealership the next day and they could find nothing wrong. We moved cross country day after the dealership released the car. In our new state, the Sorento shut off multiple times, in multiple locations. In traffic, in the neighborhood, parking lots, etc. The car is always moving when it shuts off. I took it to the local dealership and they found no issues. I have now, since January 2013, taken the Sorento to the dealership four times. I am taking it in today for the fifth time, after the car has shut off twice this past weekend. This issue has occurred more times than I can count. I have had a case open with Kia, but they closed it after the dealership could find nothing wrong. On three occasions, I came quite close to hitting people while turning in parking lots, because power steering suddenly goes out when the car shuts off. This morning, the car shut off in a school parking lot during drop off, with kids walking through the lot. It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

- Hill Afb, UT, USA

problem #24

Jun 152013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 29,350 miles
While driving my 2011 Kia Sorento it just lost power, it would not go forward but the engine was still running and all the dashboard idiot lights lit up. I was in a parking lot with no one behind me otherwise I would have been rear-ended if this happened driving on the road or highway. The car would not go and there was no steering response. I turned off the key to kill the engine and then restarted the car. The car started and I was able to get to my destination and park. I checked this problem online by searching Kia Sorento stalling and found a dozen or more video's from people experiencing the same issue that I just experienced. Some of the drivers found that if you use the car in the manual shift mode the stalling did not seem to happen. This is a real potential disaster. You loose power and have no way of moving the car to get out of the way when you are in traffic on a riding in a 'death wish car'. the video's also stating that they experienced the stalling many times and once it started it got worse. They also stated that Kia dealerships were of little help since they need to reproduce the stalling and since it's just random that is not easy. The videos were taped when the issue was actually taking place and showed the tach at about 15 RPM's all the engine lights lit but no steering response or power to move the car. I am hoping this can become a recall and Kia will fix this stalling problem and keep the people in these Kia Sorento's safe! if this is a computer problem then there should be an error log to show when the car lost power for no reason. Kia needs to take ownership of this defect and fix this potential deadly problem.

- Port Jefferson Station, NY, USA

problem #23

Apr 122012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 22,531 miles
Bought car on 4-12-12 had 22531 miles on it. From time of purchase it would pull to the right severely. We had Kia dealership check out steering problem. They couldn't find anything wrong. They charged us for an alignment and said car should stir fine. Alignment do nothing to fix steering problem, still pulls severely to the right at any speed.

- Graham, WA, USA

problem #22

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

problem #21

Apr 112011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 412,011 miles
Vehicle has a constant pull to right, even after alignment.ruined a set of Michelin radials in 6K miles. Also, related or not, vehicle has a very hard ride for it's type-have experienced rear wheel hop when exiting highway.

- West Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #20

May 082010


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact was driving approximately 60-70 mph when the steering began to veer from left to right abnormally. The contact had to hold the wheel with both hands in order to maintain control of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised the contact that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 1,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Ray , ND, USA

problem #19

Aug 012011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
2011 Kia Sorento sx steering constantly wanders you the right, no repair. Wanders off road if I don't catch it wandering.

- Dunnellon., FL, USA

problem #18

Mar 212011


  • 550 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. While the contact was driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle began to pull into the right direction without intent. The failure was consistent. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on four separate occasions for the same failure. The technician was unable to locate the problem. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 550.

- Murphysboro, IL, USA

problem #17

Jul 042011


  • 6,000 miles
Vehicle has 5000 miles on it and it is very well cared for and garage kept. The steering wheel coating began to peel, which leads to hands slipping on the wheel and the layers continue to peel. Note: This involves a Kia sportage. The Kia choices do not allow for this model.

- Hockessin, DE, USA

problem #16

May 012011


  • 3,800 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated while driving 30 mph the vehicle would pull to the left. The dealer readjusted the steering wheel; however, the vehicle became very sensitive when the steering wheel was moved. After the vehicle was repaired when the steering wheel was moved slightly it had too much movement in it. The contact stated the vehicle was not stable and it was unsafe to drive. The failure mileage was 3,800.

- Sparta, NJ, USA

problem #15

Jan 012011


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle would pull to the right abnormally when driving at any speed over 10 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer numerous times for the failure where the intermediate shaft was replaced twice yet failure was not corrected. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and the manufacturer was contacted who advised that there was nothing more they could do in attempting to correct the failure. The VIN was not available. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 12,000.

- Margate , FL, USA

problem #14

Dec 152010


  • 10 miles
The 2011 Kia sportage comes new this year with electric power steering. The car is steered by an electric motor activated by reostates when the wheel is turned. The steering is very jerky, darting from left to right on level roads. In high cross winds and rain covered roadways the car becomes highly unstable. I have contacted the dealer that sold me the car and was informed this is a problem with the car but they have no solution for it. I have spoken with other owners of this car and they experienced the same problems. This is the most unstable car I have ever driven and feel it is a danger to the public. Mark my word, lives will be lost as a result of the poor engineering exhibited in this car. Two major car magazines that reviewed this car noted the steering was terrible. I asked the dealer to give me a number to speak to Kia and was told there was nothing anyone could do.

- Rockport, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 222010


  • 30 miles
Vehicle pulls to the right and has since day one. Dealer states "we cant duplicate your concern", yet when we picked up the vehicle (from the cruise control breaking, the vehicle again pulled to the right. We did not say much after until reading about dozens of other vehicle owner whom experience the same problem. When will the national highway transportation and safety administration do something about it?

- Tennessee Colony, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 152011


  • 14,000 miles
I purchased a 2011 Sorento ex in 2/2010. I was told at the time that the steering, when it pulled to the right, was normal for this type of suspension. I dealt with it for a long time. Then, I noticed one day a loud clanking noise coming from the back of the vehicle. I brought it in right away, and they told me that my rear shock went out on the right side and the back leftside was almost gone as well. So, they ordered the new ones. While they had my vehicle for 5 days, I asked them to do an alignment but told me that I was past 12K miles, and wouldnt be covered uner warranty. I called Kia affairs and they covered the repair under the warranty. However, the pulling (after the alignment) is still the same. I also mentioned a noise coming from the front end especially when braking. It is not normal, but dont know what it is... they told me there was nothing wrong with the brakes. But, any passenger in my vehicle hears it and says something is wrong. I am waiting for either my steering to go out or my brakes to not work on day as I know theres an isssue. There is also a clanking noise when starting the engine. What could be causing that? it sounds like someone needs to investigate and help consumers! please. I will also follow up with Kia affairs, but someone needs to intervene. The same issues aer being experienced by many people. There should be a recall relating to the steering, suspension, clunking engine noise when starting...before something happens. These are just a few people who have spoken up, but all are similar in nature, and there must be many more who have not complained. ! thank you.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #11

Jan 062011


  • 145 miles
When taken to a speed over 35 mph felt a drift to the right in the steering. When taken to higher speeds, it became physically necessary to hold steering wheel tightly in order to keep vehicle from going to the right. Steering seemed extremely tight and somewhat jerky when cornering making it difficult to get a smooth turn. Steering wheel did not sit straight when driving straight. Front wheels not pointing at same angle when parked. Noticed odor after driving 15 miles that can only be explained as a "burning brakes" odor. Took vehicle to dealer repair department where they performed an alignment; however, this did not fix the problem and we were then told that Kia was saying new tires would fix this Kia known issue. The tires were ordered and put on within the next few days, but replacing the tires did not fix the problem. At this time, we were made aware that our loan had not actually funded yet, so we asked for a contract recession due to the fact that the problem with this vehicle was a known, non repairable issue. The dealership refused contract recession. We were told we would be contacted if Kia came up with a solution to this issue. We returned the vehicle to the dealership repair shop 2 days later telling them to call us when it was fixed. Kia customer service called 2 days after we dropped the vehicle off the second time to let us know that new springs were needed, had been ordered, and would be at the shop the next day. That was nearly a week ago and we have yet to hear from anyone about the vehicle. Dealership has now determined that the vehicle is performing as it should be, even though it still drifts to the right. Turning to the right feels normal, while turning to the left feels as if I am fighting to keep the wheel from snapping back towards the right. Kia will not look into the problem any further on this vehicle.

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #10

Dec 062010


  • 3,000 miles
Front strut failure at 3K miles. Car randomly has a loud metallic clunk sound when starting, sometimes the car will surge/jump forward when starting (while the car is in park, parking brake on and foot on brake). The transmission shifter gets stuck in park and does not release, with great effort releasing from park(car made loud metallic clank sound and surged/jumped in reverse). I'm afraid to park too close to another car because starting car can cause collision. When the transmission is stuck the brakes depress to floor of car. Since day one the car has pulled to the right, after strut replacement the problem is worse (the faster the speed the harder it is to steer straight).

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #9

Dec 142010

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 150 miles
I recently purchased a 2011 Kia Sorento 4 cyl. And just after one day of ownership noticed that the car was pulling to the right. I immediately took it back to the dealership with only 150 miles on it. They said it was the alignment and did a test on it and after the test the car pulled to the left. The steering wheel is also off center, like many others have reported. I have taken it back once more and this time they performed a tire rotation, this did not fix the problem. After three weeks of ownership the brakes have started to make substantial noise and the suspension feels and sounds like it is coming apart. The dealer is waiting for Kia technician representative to come by and take a look and report on this vehicle.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

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