2012 Kia Sorento electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2012 Kia Sorento (Page 2 of 2)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: As long as catastrophic engine failure at under 60,000 miles is the top owner complaint, it'll be pretty hard to recommend the 2012 Sorento.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,997 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.

2012 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Jun 042014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 34,853 miles


I was in traffic and the engine stopped running. I noticed that engine stopped with all the indicators on including the check engine light on but my car was not running anymore and will not drive even when I pressed the gas pedal. I put it on park and turned it off and restarted. It started. This happened twice within 10 minutes of each other.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 032014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
Incident #1: I was driving the vehicle East bound on a St in the downtown san diego area, approaching front street (exact street intersection unknown). I was in the center lane when the car, without any warning of imminent failure (not even an odd noise or electrical glitch beforehand) just completely shut off and stopped abruptly. I had no way to even move the steering wheel to try to move out of the way. I placed the vehicle in park, turned on my warning lights, turned off the ignition and then tried to re-start the vehicle. It restarted without any complication as if nothing happened. Incident #2: on 05/13/2014, after approximately 6 weeks or 550 miles of use (my personal estimate), the same thing happened again. This time, I was driving West bound on cedar street in downtown san diego, at approximately 15-20 mph (decreasing speed to stop at a light) when at the corner of 5th street and cedar St., the car shut off completely again without warning or any prior indication of imminent failure. I was able to veer the car off to the side a bit because of the momentum and angle of the street but could not move the steering wheel much. I placed the car in park, turned on my warning signals, and turned of the ignition. I then shifted the vehicle to neutral then back to park, and then tried to turn on the car again and it did without any problems. The following day, I took the vehicle to the Kia dealership service department. They told me they ran diagnostics and were not able to identify the problem and that they were not able to duplicate the concern. Their only recommendation was to take the car in if it happens again.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #14

Apr 242014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
While driving the vehicle on two separate occasions the vehicle has either stalled with a total loss of steering, brakes and acceleration or with the engine still running a total loss of steering, brakes and acceleration.

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #13

Apr 152014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 44,000 miles


At the time of the incident the vehicle was being driven about 15 mph making a right turn. At the time of turning the vehicle's steering wheel the car shut off unexpectedly shutting the engine off. Loss of control then occurred of the steering wheel (to stiff to turn) along with a difficult breaking process causing the car to veer off the roadway. Fortunately, the vehicle was brought to a stop by placing an extreme and increased force onto the break pedal before a brick pillar was struck head on.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #12

Mar 202014


  • 37,000 miles
At 5:40pm mst on 03/20/2014, I was approaching a 4-way intersection in a residential area at approximately 15 mph intending to stop and then make a right turn. Traffic going my direction had stop signs and cross traffic did not. There was one other car approaching the intersection from my left. Without warning, my 2012 Kia Sorento completely shut off (engine, electrical and electronic).it happened silently and without dashboard warning lights or engine noise. I was not able to fully stop or turn at the intersection as my car had lost power brakes, power steering and any ability to accelerate. When the car came to a rest, it was at a diagonal, partially blocking the intersection and facing the wrong way toward any oncoming traffic to my right (there was none at the time). The car was still in drive and the ignition was still in the fully-forward engaged position, but there were no dashboard lights illuminated and the motor was dead. The other car that had been approaching to my left was able to stop in time to avoid my car, and he drove around me and continued on. I put on my hazard lights. For the first 15 seconds or so, I was unable to get the car to shift into neutral or park. Eventually, I was able to get the gear shift to move to park, but the car would not turn on despite my turning the the ignition off and on multiple times. I was about to get out and call a tow truck when the dashboard lights suddenly came back on. At that point, I was able to restart to car and drive to my destination. The car did not show any signs of a problem in the time immediately before or after this incident. We dropped off the car at the dealership the next morning 3/21/2014. At the time of this writing, the dealer has not been able to recreate the problem, nor have they found any codes on the car's computer. This is potentially an extremely dangerous problem.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #11

Jan 302013


  • 29,044 miles
While driving my car on 4 different occasions my vehicle has shut off while in motion. The car locks out and I have no control of it. I have taken the vehicle 3 different times to the dealer. The dealer is unable to duplicate the reason for the shutdown. This is my family car where 3 small children are transported in and I am scared that this issue could potentially cause bodily injury or death to myself, my family or the public. When the vehicle shuts off there is no advance warning. In one occasion a vehicle had to swerve to prevent from colliding into me. The dealer has simply said that they are unable to fix a problem they have no codes on. Kia made a recommendation to change the battery and alternator to see if that will solve the issue, but are unsure what the source of the problem is.

- Oceanside , CA, USA

problem #10

Dec 252013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 11,600 miles


On 12-25-2013, noticed that the side market lights remained on for several hours after the engine was shut off. Couple of days later, car wouldn't start after pushing on the key-less entry push button start. Car finally started after several push button attempts. Next day the car wouldn't stop after pushing on the key-less entry stop button. Engine finally turned off after several attempts by playing with the gear shift knob and driving around the neighborhood. "unable to stop the engine by pushing on the key-less entry push button stop" problem continued, so it was taken to the dealership. The dealership couldn't duplicate the problem, so the car was returned to us w/O a fix. Tomorrow I will be contacting Kia main offices regarding this problem.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 152013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Kia Sorento stalled when approaching a stop sign at low speeds of 10-15 miles per hr. There was no sound or damage. Dealer not able to recreate situation so no repairs. This has happened couple of times in last two years. Symptoms are yellow engine light turns on and car engine stalls. After putting car in parking and pressing ignition button on would re-start the engine. Please follow up as this is a safety hazard as car can stalls in moving traffic.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 162013


  • miles
I am beyond disappointed in my 2012 Kia Sorento. It all started when my Sorento began to vibrate when traveling at interstate speed, then it just led to more complex problems. I can be driving down the interstate at normal interstate speed of 70 or going 50 and it will go crazy making unusual sounds and all the lights start going crazy. Then the whole vehicle shuts off. This is very concerning since I have a 2 year old and 1 year old in my back seat and it always seems to happen when I am in a high traffic area. I purchased the Sorento because it is suppose to be considered a family vehicle. That's isn't it. I can be traveling in town or where ever and when at a yield entrance way I can pull into the main road and what do you know. The Sorento stalls out. It doesn't want to increase speed. This same thing also happens while I am speeding up as well. It gets up to 5rpm before changing gears. I can't let off or I will get rear ended. My Sorento also has a horrible pull to the right. I have put new tires, had numerous alignments and all. Nothing helps it. It has never been in any accident whatsoever, but if these problems keep up there seems to be one in the near future. I have also took it to several dealerships to get the other issues checked out but I get the same response. "they never can figure anything out" I have got several other people to drive it as well just to be sure it wasn't the way I drove. I am to the point where I am terrified to drive it and especially allow my children to ride in it. I'm sure all of us with the similar issues are not imaging things. I am so frustrated and to the point I want to consider a lawsuit because I really don't want a fatal wreck resulted from these malfunctions to finally make someone do something about these issues. Not my family, your family, or anyone else's. please help us! our lives and our children's lives are at risk!

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #7

May 162012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
I leased my Kia Sorento 2012 LX V6 AWD new, after about 5 or 6 months I noticed when breaking to slow down the car the engine sometimes stalls completely, once I shift back in N I can restart the engine. This happens completely randomly, there is no rhyme or reason, there is absolutely nothing preceding this incident, it happens on its own, once actually it happened while the car was completely stopped at red light. I have been to the dealership many many times, they even went so far as to calling a Kia field tech to come inspect the car, lastly they installed an electronic device which was apparently recording anything happening to your engine, and sure enough about a week after installation I had the same issue, I pressed the button but upon returning to Kia dealership I was told the device had not recorded anything, apparently no codes are generated when the engine stalls this way. I have no idea how this can be resolved since no one knows how exactly this occurs and the issue cannot even be replicated.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 132012


  • 8,244 miles


When I am slowing down to around 20 mph, the car completely shuts down. No power, at all.

- Monterey Park, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 052013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 18,500 miles
My family and I (wife, 4 year old daughter and 9 month old daughter) had just exited the freeway and entered our housing complex. While driving through the neighborhood our vehicle's engine as well as all electrical components turned off. We were in motion at the time it turned off. We had another vehicle behind us, but luckily they saw our vehicle slowing down and drove around us. My wife was driving and stated everything locked up and, as expected, she had to muscle the steering to pull to the side and out of the way of traffic. The brake pedal was also depressed all the way to the floor, and had no ABS. We had to wait for the vehicle to come to a complete stop then put the vehicle in park and start the engine back up. I initially told my wife to put it in neutral but after trying that, it did not work. After we got the vehicle back on we drove straight home. I contacted citrus Kia that day and told them what had happened. I was told that they have not heard of that issue and would have no way confirming what happened unless it did it while they were inspecting it. My vehicle was being serviced from 4/10/13- 4/13/13. The end result is that they could not locate the problem but did do a number of inspections to "hopefully" prevent the problem from re-occurring. They told me there is nothing more they could do as they have no way of actually verifying why the vehicle shut off while in motion. As of this writing I was advised I could come down and pick up my vehicle, but will refuse until the problem is found and resolved, as this is my wife's vehicle and I do not want this same problem happening and it resulting in a injury or fatal collision. I have read edmunds.com (townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.F13B7ca/40) and see similar complaints with no resolution. Please please help.

- Eastvale, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 182012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 10,321 miles
While attempting to start the vehicle it would not start. The 2012 Sorento has a push button start. The issue started the day we purchased the vehicle and it seems like it is a repeated issue. The Kia dealer in omaha Nebraska replaced the switch twice and the dealer in fairview hts, il has replaced the same part at least three times. I'm thinking lemon. It is currently at the dealer in fairview hts, il for the same issue again.

- Shilloh, IL, USA

problem #3

Mar 192012


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to successfully restart the vehicle after numerous attempts. The vehicle was then taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the failure may be related to the electronic system. The dealer stated that the key might have disconnected from the vehicle and caused the failure. The vehicle was in the process of having the key synchronized with the electrical system. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 6,000.

- Floral Park, NY, USA

problem #2

Mar 122012


  • 38 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the push start feature did not properly function and would not turn the vehicle off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the dealer disconnected the ignition from under the hood, but had not been able to repair the failure. The failure and current mileages were 38. The VIN was not available.

- Shiloh, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 102012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
After parking the car for 72 hours at an airport, upon return the car started normally, but the warning light showing a battery appeared. While driving home, approx 8 miles, the car's dash flashed more warning symbols... antibrakes, airbag, etc and the wipers began to slow. I pulled over as the vehicle lost power and stalled. I used Kia's roadside assistance to get a tow to the dealership. On 2/13/2012 the dealership replaced the alternator at no charge. This repair, necessary on this 2012 Kia Sorento, occurred at 6,607 miles.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

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