2012 Kia Sorento engine NHTSA complaints: Engine And Engine Cooling

NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,089 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

problem #6

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 #5

Feb 062012


  • 2,000 miles
While turning onto busy street, engine stalled in middle of street. Brake and gas pedals were depressed at same time. Must have foot completely off brake when accelerating from stop or vehicle will stall and not advance forward. Happens almost every time both are pressed at same time.

- North Liberty, IN, USA

problem #4

Dec 012011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento V6. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact mentioned that he was able to restart the vehicle almost immediately after the failure. In addition, he mentioned that the failure recurred approximately 20 times since he had purchased the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was not able to diagnose the failure but advised the contact that what the vehicle was exhibiting was normal when the accelerator and brake pedal were depressed simultaneously. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who verified the dealers advisement and did not provide any additional assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 3,200 and the current mileage was 6,000. Updated 04/26/12

- Winter Haven , FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 032011


  • 233 miles


The 2012 Kia Sorento LX AWD was purchased new with 233 miles on it. The vehicle's automatic transmission regularly hesitates to up-shift during smooth acceleration while under normal driving conditions (flat roads, cruising speeds), causing the engine to hang in the 3500+ RPM range. When the car has finished accelerating and has reached cruising speed, my foot backs off the accelerator pedal and it still does not up-shift or even coast. Instead, the vehicle drastically decelerates as the engine rpms drop because the transmission remains in the same gear when my foot leaves the accelerator, rather than up-shifting to the next gear. I have driven countless automatic transmission vehicles over the years and have never experienced this phenomenon prior to owning this vehicle. I don"T normally make use of the "sportmatic shift" feature of the vehicle's automatic transmission. However, sometimes "manually" up-shifting with the sportmatic shift is the only way to get the car to up-shift properly to 5th or 6th gear once acceleration is complete and cruising speed has been reached. It seems as if either the transmission or the power train control module is ill-informed or just poorly programmed. Aside from the sheer annoyance of this defect from a driver's perspective, it also is ruining the fuel economy of the vehicle. For a vehicle with an epa miles-per-gallon rating of 21 city/28 highway/23 combined, I have never once achieved true calculated fuel economy of over 20 mpg since owning this vehicle. My driving patterns are approximately 40% city and 60% highway driving. The car is driven in a fairly rural area with hardly any stop-and-go traffic. The vehicle is not carrying excess weight and all 4 tires are inflated to the manufacturer"S specification. I've seen online that several other 2012 Sorento drivers are complaining about this same issue.

- Plantsville, CT, USA

problem #2

Dec 072011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2012 Kia Sorento. Bought with 114 miles on it. I have the automatic transmission, ex AWD model w/power shifting. I noticed after driving my car shortly after purchasing that the car would not shift when it should. Rpms would reach up to 4000 and the car still would not shift. I have to manual shift the car into the next gear since my automatic transmission has trouble. If I wanted a standard transmission - I would have purchased one.

- Pennsburg, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 012011


  • 100 miles
The problem I am having is intermittent. When I push the start button sometimes the car the lunges backwards while the car is still in park it only does this when I am starting the car. It also makes an audible noise at the same time it is " buck jumping". I have taken it to the dealer several times an on the first visit they heard the noise and figured it was the starter. They put in a new starter and I am still having this problem. The transmission also seems to slip during city driving but it is very subtle. Now after about the fifth time being in the shop every time they say they can't reproduce my description of the problem to make a diagnosis so they can't fix it. However, they have already heard the problem because they put in a new starter and told me if the problem persists to bring it back. On one of the visits they rewired the electrical parts to see if it was an electrical problem and it was not. I am afraid that one of these days the car is actually going to move out of park and hit something. Every time I push the start button I hold my breath and go stiff because when it "acts" up the whole car jumps backwards as if it is trying to shift itself in reverse and the noise was described as the starter is hitting the flywheel or some other terminology I can't recall. I always pick my car up from them without it being repaired because they continue to say they were unable to reproduce the problem, but how is it that as soon as the same day of picking my car up or within the next few days my car starts jumping when I push the start button. The dealership has kept my car a full week on more than one visit and the mechanic has put as many as 85 miles on it starting it frequently and you guessed it - has not been able to reproduce the problem!!!!! somebody is not forthcoming with the truth.

- Memphis, TN, USA

Not what you are looking for?