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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,528 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2012 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #10

Jan 072017


  • miles


Sunroof exploded while driving

- Baytown, TX, USA

problem #9

Aug 192016


  • miles
2012 Kia Sorentos are junk!! in Oct I will have owned this car for 2 years, my first new car purchase or at least it was suppose to be, feel totally shafted by the dealership that sold me a more expensive older car with loads of miles but that's not the point. Anyway the the car is junk, after paying $85 a door to change 3 doors I just superglued them things back on and tada no more handles popping off. Driving my car today normal just like any other day, spend a couple hours in the office, come out to go home and notice the red airbag light on. This car is only 4 years old, it must be a defective airbag! so now I get to drive around and worry about my airbag going off because I can't afford to get it fixed or even looked at. How does a 4 year old car have airbag issues"? they should definitely pull a recall, especially after that one company had metal shrapnel shooting out of their airbags and killing an injuring people! I am terrified, I drive with my daughter about an hour a day at the least. This car has airbags everywhere, what if they go off while I'm driving on the freeway? and the door handles!?!" plastic!! what a joke! trying testing them in a constantly sunny state like Florida!!! ridiculous junk!!

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #8

Apr 262016


  • 73,500 miles
While driving at 45mph my car shut off in the middle of the road (city.) no warning whatsoever, no check engine light, no check oil light...nothing. I could not steer it nor restart it. My lights all dimmed. Had it towed to a garage and they said they've had 3 of the same cars with the same issue in their shop. They told me there was no oil in it, but no leak. They put oil in it and jumped it, then took it for a test run and the vehicle stalled. The oil became thick and dirty, with metal in it as well. I was lucky that I was on my way home from work at midnight and there wasn't much traffic. I'm scared to drive it now, especially since I have a 150 mile drive in a few weeks. Called Kia and they told me I need documentation of all oil changes...fine, I can get that. From what I've been reading though I don't feel Kia will provide a solution to this problem that has, from what I've read, plagued many owners. I bought my car new in 2011. It hasn't even hit the 5 year mark yet, this is unacceptable and very dangerous. What if I had been on the highway with a tractor-trailer behind me" too scary. Considering all the people with the same issue...why hasn't there been a recall"

- Turtle Creek, PA, USA

problem #7

Apr 222016


  • 61,000 miles


When driving at low speeds, rough idling between gears the car stalled as I was driving under 30 mph and dashboard lights all came on, steering wheel locked up, couldn't turn onto side street unbeknownst to me so I was driving into oncoming traffic. When idling at a red light, the car stalls and all dashboard lights turn on. Vehicle won't move after stalling. Have to put it in park, shut vehicle off and restart vehicle. Been to dealership twice for this, ran diagnostics, can't find anything wrong

- Lancaster, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 312015


  • 23,900 miles
Camera malfunctioning. Originally took vehicle in with camera problems in 09/2013. Service check could not duplicate problem. Said everything was fine. Have had same issues with camera working and not working off and on. Took in for service again for same issue with camera. Told at first by service tech. Our warranty was expired on item. Mileage on vehicle is 60,550. Informed them we purchased extended warranty. Had to go home and bring in proof of warranty to service dept. Which I did then was told I had to take it to dealer where I purchased it. For replacement part. Matt castrussi in dayton, Ohio (dealership closest to where I live) would not replace part. Had to take it to Kia of dayton, Ohio for replacement part.

- Waynesville, OH, USA

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problem #5

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 #4

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 #3

Jan 042012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 5,550 miles
This vehicle is extremely dangerous in the snow or on wet pavement. You cannot control the vehicle - it just goes where it wants to. This situation is going to cause catastrophic problems and loss of lives. I don't know if the problem is the very light 4 cylinder engine, problematic suspension, steering, or tires, but it is extremely dangerous and will definitely cause accidents. Something has got to be done to make this vehicle much, much safer to drive in wet and/or snowy weather. It is difficult negotiating a hill in either direction, whether going up or down. I literally slide into the street from my driveway, which is by no means a very steep drive and I certainly cannot make it up the drive in the snow without first backing up into my neighbor's drive and getting enough speed up to make it to the top of my drive. We bought and utilize this vehicle to make deliveries and put up to 500 miles per week on the car and our driver now refuses to drive this vehicle because of the imminent danger -- he calls it a death trap!

- Broadview Heights, OH, USA

problem #2

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 #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

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