2013 Kia Sorento electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2013 Kia Sorento (Page 1 of 2)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: There are just too many engine stalls or shuts down while driving reports to feel good about the Sorento. Especially when those things happen, on average, at just over 32,000 miles. Hopefully things will change.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,581 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.

2013 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Oct 102016


  • 40,178 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the ABS warning indicator and two other warning indicators randomly flashed. In addition, there was an abnormally loud knocking noise that occurred randomly. The dealer replaced the two rear wheel hub assemblies, but was unable to replicate and diagnose the engine assembly failure. The dealer kept the vehicle for a day and test drove the vehicle, but provided no solution. The dealer stated that the manufacturer was aware and there were several tsb alerts. The manufacturer had not provided a repair solution. The approximate failure mileage was 40,178.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #29

Jan 232016


  • miles
Vehicle will not start after sitting overnight. Replaced battery & after aprox 1 month issue has occurred again. No one has been able to diagnose the issue, the only answer I get is to replace the battery (which I did). The most recent occurrence was Jan 2016 & I have kept battery on a slow drip charger as I cannot wait on jump/tow daily.

- Utica, OH, USA

problem #28

Dec 192015

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I bought a 2013 Kia Sorento last night Saturday 12/19/2015 and the paperwork did not get complete until after 10:30pm. The salesman stated that all components had been checked and that all was good. I live a hour away from the dealership and when I was on 290 heading East at about 70 mph, when I noticed that my dash and radio panel lights start flickering, my motor felt like it idled down a little but then it was ok, but then it happened again and all the lights in the radio area, steering wheel and speedometer area turned off and it lost a little power but then they all came back on and I made it home, then on 12/20/15 I was driving into town and after about 10 miles at 75 mph my inside lights started flashing again, and then went totally dark. I didn't lose any power this time but I'm starting to feel pretty ripped off. I also noticed today that while driving on hwy that when you come up to a curve to the right, the vehicle jerks to far and I ended up in the other lane. Thank god that no car was there.

- Lincoln, TX, USA

problem #27

Nov 252015


  • 52,307 miles


The contact owned a 2013 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle caught on fire. The contact merged the vehicle to the shoulder of the road and the vehicles occupants were evacuated. A fire report was filed and there were no injuries reported. The fire was extinguished by the fire department. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was deemed totaled. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 52,307.

- Ona, WV, USA

problem #26

Oct 302015


  • 47,600 miles
I took T\he vehicle to a non dealer location to be inspected after having multiple issues with the headlamp assembly being faulty. Upon inspection I was notified by the mechanic on duty that the wiring assembly was actually melting, a manufacturers defect. Because this being a fire hazard he was unable to replace the bulbs for me and said he felt the vehicle was unsafe to drive because it would place myself, my family and others on the highway at risk. He proceeded to show me the problem. This problem has resulted in my having to replace the bulbs five times in the past on the drivers side and at least twice on the passenger side. The dealer had to replace the wiring assembly on the passenger side due to the same problem. Have also provided a picture of the repair note of the problem on the opposite side of the vehicle. Also providing a clip showing that according to their inspection my lights were in working order when in actuality they were not. Lastly noting several electrical issues remain in addition to having to replace the battery as it is being continually drawn from due to these issues.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #25

Aug 222015


  • 44,000 miles
My 2013 Kia sorrento's parking lights were on this afternoon on Saturday August 22, 2015 at approximately 2:30 pm est. I went outside to place something in my vehicle when I noticed the parking lights were on. I had parked my vehicle at 1:00 am when I returned from running an errand. I parked, made sure all the lights were turned off, armed the security system and went inside. Before my wife and I went to bed I went out to make sure that I turned all lights off which they were. This was at 2:00 am. The vehicle had not been touched since that time. This is not the first time that this has happened. I have had it in to the dealership twice already where they claim they cannot replicate the problem. We have had to have our vehicle jumped at least 12 times due to a dead battery caused by this problem. The vehicle falls well within it's warranty so it will be covered however the issue is serious enough that it warrants attention which I believe will be ignored if not brought to light and may result in injuries or cost to others when no cost should be incurred. I believe that this is an electrical issue that needs to be addressed immediately. I feel this could lead to problems with steering, braking system, engine malfunction as well as possible risks of fire due to a faulty electrical system.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #24

Jul 312015


  • 37,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Sorento. Approximately two weeks after the contact purchased the vehicle, she began smelling tar. The vehicle ws taken to the dealer, but the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The failure recurred and the headlights burned out. The dealer replaced the headlights and stated that there was a recall; however, the contact did not receive any recall notice. Approximately three weeks ago, the failure recurred and the driver seat began to burn, jamming the driver side door. The contact called 911 and the fire department extinguished the fire. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed away by the insurance company. The VIN and NHTSA campaign number were unavailable. The failure mileage was 37,000.

- Cordova, AL, USA

problem #23

May 102015


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owned a 2013 Kia Sorento. While driving at 35 mph, the instrument panel lighting illuminated and the vehicle stalled. While depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle accelerated, crashed into a concrete wall, and flipped over. As a result, the contact sustained lacerations and contusions that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #22

Dec 232014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 78,513 miles
While driving at highway speed my wife with 7 year old daughter in car had all the dash lights and interior lights illuminate and the car became sluggish and was hard to drive. I advised he via mobile phone to immediately pull over and turn the car off. I told he to wait a minute and try to restart it and see what happens. All dash lights lit up again and the car made a click, click, click sound over and over again. She tried this 5 times and she had the car towed to the dealer. The dealer replaced the alternator for $946.14 on 12/23/2014 at dulles Kia in leesburg, va.

- Charles Town, WV, USA

problem #21

Oct 292014


  • 42,000 miles
This "glitch" happened twice in one week. First, driving off from a stop light at about 15-20 mph the car seemed to brake itself for about a second, lunged me forward and 30 seconds later died. No check engine light. Car restarted fine after 3rd try. Then again I had let go of the accelerator and was cruising before braking at a light, the car did the same thing at about 25-30 mph but harder and a loud clunk came from it. Even the tires screeched when it "braked" itself for a second. This second time the car died 2 seconds later when I applied the brakes. Took it straight to the dealer, the car died again in front of them when they switched on the A/C to check if it was working (could be coincidence since I wasn't fooling around with the A/C the first two times). They called me back on second day and asked me to take my car back since they could not replicate the problem and the computer hadn't registered it. I've used it exclusively on highways for 2 days now and no problem. I've done less than 10 miles of city driving since I got my car back. I've heard of other people getting an upgrade for the ECU and solving the issue, but that upgrade was already applied over a year ago to mine and according to the dealer, there is no newer version.

- Doral, FL, USA

problem #20

Oct 012013


  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and the check engine sensor illuminated intermittently. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The technician diagnosed that the computer software needed to be updated. The software was updated, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #19

Oct 022013


  • 11,804 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Sorento. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle decelerated and went into idle mode. The vehicle resumed normal operation once it was turned off and restarted. The dealer cleaned the throttle body and updated the software; however, the failure recurred twice. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 11,804.

- Hamilton , NJ, USA

problem #18

Aug 082014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
On two occasions one month a part, while driving my 2013 Kia Sorento LX3 the engine light went on and the car was unable to shift RPM's and could not accelerate over 15/20 mph. The car went into "limp home" or safety mode when trying to accelerate and merge onto a 40mph and 50 mph highway. The car could not speed up to flow of traffic and was nearly rear ended by rush hour commuter bus with two small children in the back seat in Chicago, il. Kia service said car "fixed" twice. Concerned about repeat problems and potential fatal accidents as result of some malfunction.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #17

May 152014


  • 30,000 miles
Car stalls at low speeds, refuses to go over 60 mpg and check engine light comes on. Lose power at speed (on freeway) and tachometer goes to zero. This has happened many times and is getting to become a safety concern. Have taken it into dealer who cannot find a problem with it, but I have two teenage daughters and I don't feel safe with them driving it. Twice while driving on freeway the vehicle had a braking response when the accelerator was pressed. My daughter once had to hussle over to the shoulder in heavy traffic to turn the car all the way off and back on to reset it. Many times it stalls while sitting at traffic lights.

- San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #16

May 062014


  • 41,100 miles
As I was driving at about 15-20mph the car shut off completely as I was making a left hand turn without warning. This is the third time at different speeds since we purchased the vehicle in January 2014. We have taken it to Kia dealership for repair, regular oil changes and maintenance. They were unable to find anything wrong, read any codes with computer or duplicate the problem. I am very concerned as this is our family car and it is a driving hazard not knowing when it will shut off with no warning, next time it could be in the middle of the intersection or freeway! we plan on taking back today to dealership.

- Albuquerque , NM, USA

problem #15

Apr 282014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 13,250 miles
I was driving in traffic and all of a sudden, the car dies. The lights on the dashboard illuminate. I had to put the car in park, then tried starting the car again. After 2 times, the car turned back on fine. I brought the car to the dealer and there couldn't replicate the problem and didn't find any computer codes stored. This is quite a safety hazard and now I don't feel safe driving the car, especially with my kids in the car.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 102014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
First incident : after a full stop at red light, as car took off, engine stalled out. Had to try several times to restart engine. After restarted, the car drove fine. Second incident : after slowing down the car to about 3mph and reaccelerating, engine stalled out. After a few tries to restart the engine, it restarted and drove fine.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #13

Apr 212014


  • 31,000 miles
04-21-2014 @ 5:30 am. Car will not start. No electrical present on any system-nothing. Called Kia roadside service and they suggested a jumpstarted which we did and the car started. I ran the car for an hour or so with no problems. I took it to a local garage and had the battery and alternator tested and no problems were found. I called Kia dealership and described the events to them and they stated that it was simply a dead battery. Next morning (yesterday), the car was totally dead once more. Called Kia roadside assistance and they wanted to jumpstarted it again. I refused and told them to send me a tow. They did and the car was taken to the closest Kia dealership, 65 miles away. Several hours later I called the dealership and they stated that it was a dead battery. They charged the battery for 3-4 hours, tested the charging system and pronounced it "fixed". I left it at the dealership and picked it up this morning (today). It started and my wife is now driving it. I do not believe it was the battery and I expect it to happen again but the dealership's shop will do no further investigation. I'll keep you informed.

- Coalinga, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 292014


  • 22,000 miles
I have a 2013 Kia Sorento that I bought brand new with only 8 miles on it. I was at a stop light and my car lunged forward as if someone hit us from behind but there was no one there. So when the light turned green we started to go and noticed we had no power and the check engine light was on. We were able to get to the side of the road and turn off the car and called aaa and the dealership telling them what happened. So once it got there the service tech and it probably was the computer and it needed to be updated. I stayed there for about 1 hour while they did the update and then they test drove it and the check engine light came back on. So then they said it was the throttle body so they replaced it and test drove it again and the check engine light came on again. So they found that it was the PCM. Not totally sure what that is. He says it was 1500$ part in the computer that was malfunctioning. But they had my car for a week doing the repairs and now is running good. They also have me a rental car. So in all the dealership did a good job fixing my car and wouldn't stop until it was fixed right.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #11

Nov 272013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 17,500 miles
I was stopped in the left turn lane waiting for traffic to pass so that I could pull into a shopping center parking lot when suddenly everything shut off. I had first noticed the radio had shut off and then I realized that the entire engine had shut down as I could not move the vehicle. After putting the vehicle in park and turning the ignition off and the restarting it, I was able to resume driving. As this was the day before thanksgiving, I was not able to take the car to the dealership until the Saturday after thanksgiving. Similar to others here who have made complaints, the automotive technicians at the dealership were not able to find anything wrong with the car even after test driving it and having it connected to the computer. The problem has not occurred since taking it to the dealership. I thought that maybe this was just a fluke thing until I read all of the complaints here. Kia really needs to find out what the issue is with these vehicles before someone gets seriously injured or killed.

- Laveen, AZ, USA

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