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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,448 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 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Kia Sorento:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Feb 132013


  • 13,000 miles


I have a 2012 Sorento that has been nothing but a constant headache. Just some minor issues have been a headlight that continuously has to be replaced because of a short that they service department can't get to the bottom of. I medium issue that is becoming a health hazard is that the car is leaking water into the floorboard and causing mold to grow. An even bigger issue is that when with speeding up fast like when entering an interstate or slowing down the vehicle will completely stall and I have to make my way off the road to restart the vehicle. This is extremely dangerous for myself and my kids. I live in a city and I have been lucky to have not have been in a serious accident yet. I have had several close calls. I have contacted Consumer Affairs and been told to go to a dealership. I go to a dealership and they basically tell me I'm crazy and nothing is wrong. I guess it will take someone getting killed by being in a accident before some action is taken. Hate to be so blunt bit being nice about the issue has yet to work!!!!

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #24

Mar 252014


  • 41,500 miles
My 2012 Kia Sorento completely stalled in a parking lot. I had just gotten off the highway(speeds of 55-60) pulled into my jobs parking lot and all the lights electronics stayed on but the brakes locked up, the steering wheel locked up and the car would not drive. Put the car in park after a few minutes and it turned on fine. Now its at the dealer and they can not duplicate the problem and the car is driving fine. They claim no codes on diagnostics and see nothing wrong with the car after test driving it. There were no repairs done on the car because nothing could be found. This is a major issue and a worrisome one. Lets get on Kia about this to solve the issue.

- West New York, NJ, USA

problem #23

Apr 202013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
This has happened four times! while coming to a stop sign, engine dies, power steering out, power brakes out. After shifting into park or neutral, car will immediately restart, and function without this problem for weeks. Kia dealership finds nothing wrong and no "codes" to indicate the car has had problems.

- Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #22

Oct 012013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles


The first time I was driving at 35-45 mph and slowed to turn and my engine spontaneously stalled and steering wheel locked up. Luckily, no one was around me so I braked, and restarted the engine and car seemed to reboot fine. Today, it happened again except I was driving at a much slower speed, 15 mph. I was ready to take a turn and the wheel locked up in the turned position (but not fully turned) and the engine stalled. I braked the car again and restarted the engine in the middle of an intersection. This is completely dangerous for all passengers of the car and everyone who's driving around me!

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #21

Dec 012013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
My 2012 Kia Sorento at low speed, stalled and completely shut off, no power steering. I had to put my car into park and then restart. So glad I was not hit from behind as my car just shut off so suddenly. My car is only two years old and low mileage. It has happened twice since then. Thank god no accidents, yet. But im worried to drive it anticipating for it to happen again. It has been in the Kia service shop twice and they are claiming to fix it. Also two weeks ago the right shock needed to be replaced. I drive to work and the store on a weekly basis, no reason a two year old, bought brand new vehicle in 2012 should already need a shock replacement. I feel like I was sold a lemon.

- Laguna Beach, CA, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Apr 192013


  • 13,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was taken to a dealer but was unable to be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 13,000. Updated 03/12/14

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 062013


  • 44,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway, there was a lot of traffic so we weren't driving very fast, and the car just shut off, the engine light went on and the steering wheel locked. I was able to put on my hazard lights and then I turned the car off and tried restarting it. The car started without any problems and drove normal after that.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #17

Dec 132013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
While driving home from work traffic was heavy and for no reason my car just stalled I managed to coast to the shoulder put it in park and restart it.

- Glendale, NY, USA

problem #16

Apr 152012


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure was recurring when traveling at low speeds. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and the vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the battery would need to be replaced. The battery was replaced however, the failure continued but the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Jun 302013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 19,004 miles
Driving on highway and heard a loud knocking noise like something was loose in engine. No acceleration and luckily had an exit close to pull off side of the road. Car would turn on, but would not drive at all. Car was towed to nearby dealership. We were 8 hours away from home when this happened. Kia was not helpful at all with dealing with this. Customer service was terrible. We had all paperwork for oil changes in car and they made the dealership fax them over before starting any work - which happened to be 4 days later because they still didn't want to authorize Kia to work on the car. Kia made it seem like we had done something wrong even though the car only had 19,000 miles on it. We finally got the car authorized to work on and were authorized to get a rental car (on day 5). We went back home, the car was stuck in town 8 hours away getting worked on. When car was done, Kia wanted my husband to drive 8 hours to pick up the car! they argued and argued with us until they finally agreed to put it on a truck and have it transported. Service paperwork showed that there was a lot of metal debris in bottom of oil pan. They replaced the long block assembly. When they replaced that, they found the oil filter to be damaged and replaced that as well.

- Platte City, MO, USA

problem #13

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 #12

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 #11

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 #10

Jun 202013


  • 11,000 miles
While driving at freeway speeds (55-65 mph) our vehicle spontaneously shut down; all electrical powered off, engine shut down, loss of ABS, loss of power steering. The vehicle would not restart until shifting into 'park' position. This was the third time this has happened, all under the same circumstances.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 192013


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to safely pull over and restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer but was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 24,000.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #8

May 302013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled three times without warning. The dealer inspected the vehicle all three times but was unable to determine the cause of the failure. The manufacturer sent a technician to further inspect the vehicle but to no avail. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 20,000.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #7

Mar 272012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 13,671 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled twice with the illumination of all of the warning lights on the instrument panel. The contact spoke to the dealer and was told that the vehicle had engaged into limp mode. The dealer instructed the contact to wait 15 minutes and the vehicle would restart and resume normal operation. The dealer suggested changing the ect actuator. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 13,671 and the current mileage was 30,000.

- Newberg, OR, USA

problem #6

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 ( and see similar complaints with no resolution. Please please help.

- Eastvale, CA, USA

Read the next 5 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?