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:
26,904 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #12

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 #11

May 272014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
For the third time in a 2 month span, my 2012 Kia Sorento has completely shut down as we have been driving it. We are at the 60K miles mark. This is very dangerous. Two of the three times we have been doing around 40 mph on very busy streets and thank god, we did not hit another car or get hit. The vehicle with zero warning, will just die and we will lose all power steering, we can't shift gears, and the brakes do not work like they normally do. The first time I thought it was just a battery, so I replaced it. But since then we have had it at the dealership twice and they do not know what is wrong with it. They will get it running again and then a couple of weeks later, it will die again. I have two babies that ride in this vehicle and I am looking at my options to getting rid of it. This vehicle is very dangerous!!

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #10

Apr 182014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
I recently purchased a Kia Sorento with 38K miles. When I test drove the vehicle I noticed a distinct pull in the steering and the vehicle would drift in either direction. Since the vehicle still has 20K left on the Kia warranty I went ahead with the purchase. I then took the vehicle into the Kia dealership to have them troubleshoot the problem to which they informed me that the tires were unevenly worn and that they should be replaced. I replaced the tires and the problem persisted. I took the vehicle back to the dealership again where they performed a tsb to address the drift/pull issue and performed an alignment. The problem was still not resolved. I took the vehicle back to another dealership and they informed me that they noticed the vehicle pulling and recommended that I get another alignment. I stated that I had just had an alignment done. Since it was my third time taking it in I have been in contact with a Kia corporate customer service representative. She has been extremely dismissive about the problem and has not agreed to send out a tech to address the problem. There is a whole forum dedicated to the steering problems with the 2012 V6 Kia Sorento and yet Kia refuses to acknowledge the problem. Hopefully all the complaints that have been registered will prompt a corrective action from Kia.

- Saint Francis, WI, USA

problem #9

Mar 052012


  • 26,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the power steering failed without warning. The steering wheel became very hard to turn. The failure recurred four times over a period of two years. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who could not duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 25,000.

- Parkland, FL, USA

problem #8

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 #7

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 #6

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 #5

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 #4

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 #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

Mar 292012


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the traction control warning light illuminated. The contact stated that the weather was windy and the vehicle was jerking from side to side as the steering wheel remained straight. The wind was pushing the vehicle eight feet into another lane and eight feet back into the contact's lane. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer but the dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 1,500.

- Lakehurst , NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 102011


  • 1,300 miles
The panel assembly under cover is broken off easy and obstructing the wheels movement, can causes over turn or flip over.

- Arcadia, CA, USA

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