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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,468 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2012 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #12

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 #11

Jan 012016


  • 66,000 miles
Have a 2012 Kia Sorento. Took it in to have a recall repaired. Dealer had it for 3 hours and when we got it back the air bag light on the control panel was on. They claim that they did nothing that would have caused the light to come on. For 67,000 miles no problem. They have it for 3 hours and now there's a problem. They said they would repair it for $700-$800. I asked if there was a possibility of the bag not deploying or deploying for no reason while I'm driving. They said there was no way of knowing until it was repaired. I did some research on the internet and found dozens and dozens of web-sites of others (Sorento as well as other Kia models) that have had the same problem. For a safety device to have so many problems, there has to be something wrong with the device. I think there should be an investigation into the air bag system. Not just on mine but all Kia vehicles.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #10

Jan 302016


  • 70,000 miles
We were told we had a 10 yr, 100000 mile warranty bumper to bumper in Jan 2012 when we bought the vehicle. Last week the airbag light and engine light came on. We took the car to the local Kia dealership and was told the warranty didn't cover check engine or airbag problems, even though the dealership service department said they would be covered if the unit was under 5 years old. They want $1000+ to fix the engine light problem on the intake manifold and $1400 to fix the airbag problem. Both units should be under warranty. We had a spare tire problem a month after getting the car. The spare tire was bad and they wanted us to buy a new tire. Nothing we have is covered under warranty it seems. We were told the entire airbag system on the car would not operate unless we paid the $1400 to repair the airbag system.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #9

Dec 152015


  • miles


Airbag light came on dash at approx. 71,000 miles. Kia dealership service says "passengers seat cushion assembly setting code" estimated cost to fix is $2,306. Car in excellent shape. Car never in any accidents, all maintenance done at Kia dealership.

- Georgetown, SC, USA

problem #8

Nov 032015


  • 13,741 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while coming the a stop, the brakes failed to respond when the brake pedal was depressed. As a result, the vehicle to crashed into a restaurant. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was filed. The contact did not sustain any injuries. The vehicle was still at the location of the crash at the time of the call. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 13,741.

- Grand Saline, TX, USA

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problem #7

Oct 072015


  • 65,270 miles
The red airbag dashboard light came on. I took it in to the Kia dealership and they said the clock spring needed replacing. They wanted to charge me $458 dollars to fix it. I purchased this car less than a year ago. It's a 2012 so this part should not be faulty after this length of time. The car has 65,000 miles on it, and since I purchased it used it's out of warranty as of 60,000. Now I am without airbags because I can't afford this repair. I feel that Kia should take care of this at no charge since this part should not fail after 3 years with no accidents or steering column issues that would escalate the part failing.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

Jul 142015


  • 72,296 miles


Went out from work to start my car and noticed the airbag light would not go out. I shut the car off and restarted to see if it would go out. It would not. The very next day, I went to open the front door on the passenger side to put something in the car. The handle fell off in my hand. The passenger side door is hardly used as I am the only occupant of the car. It had not been hit or damaged, the cover just broke off. I took the vehicle in to the Kia dealer. The advised me that I would have to leave the vehicle, pay $85 for a diagnostic test so they could see why the light would not go out. They said it was not covered under warranty that the warranty for it ran out at 60K miles. Same with the handle. I have to pay over $40 just for them to replace the handle's cover. They said once they found out why the airbag light was on, if I paid to have it repaired that they will waive the diagnostic fee. So I have to rent a vehicle out of pocket for no telling how long, and pay for what ever is wrong with the airbag light. They claim that it will not deploy if I go into an accident. I've read several other complaints about the 2012 Kia sorrento airbag not deploying. Another law suit in the making just like the gas mileage one they just were sued for.

- Byron, GA, USA

problem #5

Oct 132014

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 66,500 miles
Air bag light is permanently on. Have been told its the clock spring, and want $400 to replace. It is just out of warranty. I have noted recalls with Kia other models. Obviously a weak point in this manufacturer.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #4

Aug 222012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
I just turned right on the main street in my subdivision when a motorcycle going at a high rate of speed hit the speed bump an ran right into my door on drivers side. No air bags went off an there is air bags on the door. Both of us transported by ems to hospital.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #3

May 092012


  • 8,426 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 45 mph, another vehicle crashed into the contact's vehicle between the front and rear passenger side doors. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained injuries to the right hip and neck. The passenger sustained injuries to the neck, hip, right arm and right leg. The driver and passenger were both transported to the hospital via ambulance. The vehicle was towed to a collision center. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 8,426.

- Ruskin, FL, USA

problem #2

Dec 172011


  • miles
I purchased a new Kia Sorento on December 14, 2011. After driving it for couple days, I noticed my airbag light. It had continued to stay on so I had notified the dealer I had purchased it from. They told me that it's probably because a passenger was not sitting there and once someone sits there and buckles their seat belt, the light will go off. It was not true at all because I have had passengers sitting there and the light was still on. So after finding some time, I took my car in to a dealership near my house and found out that the airbag cushion was missing in the passenger seat. The worker was very worried and did not want me driving the car around until they had installed the airbag cushion. I also started to have some problems with my fuel system. The first time it ever happened, the tank overfilled and started leaking from the bottom of my car. I did not know that my tank was full because the gas pump never clicked off and kept on going. Then the next few times I went to put gas in, the pump kept stopping as if the tank was full. Several times I had to manually stop the pump, or hold it so the pump would keep going. After finding some time (again), I took my car in. The service did not know what was wrong with the system so I had to take them to a gas station and show them what was happening. After seeing the problem, he was able to figure out what was exactly wrong with it and was able to fix it. Unfortunately, the problem is back and I have to hold the pump when I am putting in gas. I need to take my car in for the third time; not to mention the first couple of times I took my car in, it was not fixed in one day, and I even had to rent a car. I had notified the Kia customer service about my problems, but they were not informative and told me to contact the service at my dealership, and not contact them.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 252011


  • 385 miles
The contact owned a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that hile driving on a mountainous road at approximately 25 mph, the vehicle unexpectedly increased acceleration. The contact applied the brake pedal, but the pedal depressed to the floor. The vehicle continued to accelerate and crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The vehicle eventually stopped after crashing into a cement wall. The airbag located in the steering wheel did not deploy upon impact. A police report was filed and the contact sustained injuries to the head and the entire body. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The insurance declared that the vehicle was destroyed and stated that the air bags and brakes were faulty. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 385. Updated 11/20/15

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

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