2022 Kia Sorento Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Cracking windshields, bad brakes, engine, and electrical system problems are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Was your vehicle recalled for seat belt pretensioner issues? Read our post on the Hyundai & Kia Seat Belt Pretensioner Recall. Did your windshield crack unexpectedly? Find out if you are eligible for compensation.

The 2022 Kia Sorento is a family-friendly SUV that is meant to enhance the drive. The automaker claims it has “power for every experience.” Yet, customers are faced with serious issues, including problems with defective visibility because of windshields that crack, brakes that malfunction, engines that lose power, and tow hitch harnesses that are a fire hazard.

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Most Common Problems with the 2022 Kia Sorento

There are 28 complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about the 2022 Kia Sorento. These relate to more than a dozen components and systems. But the ones that attract the most complaints are visibility (specifically windshields cracking spontaneously), faulty brakes, engine problems, and electrical issues. There have also been complaints about the powertrain, with owners citing transmission problems.

One complaint listed under the Vehicle Speed Control category describes how a parked Sorento suddenly “rolled away and crashed into a neighbor’s fence.” According to the complaint, the dealer refused “to diagnose the vehicle until the cosmetic repairs were completed.” Now the owner places rocks under the SUV and activates the emergency brakes to prevent another roll away.

Problems Causing Recalls

Additionally, there are 6 recalls that affect the Sorento, 2 of which only affect the Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid models.

  1. An urgent recall relating to the tow hitch harness can cause an electrical short, which can result in a fire. This affects several model years of the Sorento, Sorento Hybrid, Sorento Phev, and the Sportage.
  2. An oil leak caused by a crack in the supply pipe to the turbocharger that can also increase the risk of a fire.
  3. An incorrect tire size can lead to impaired anti-locking or traction control systems, which can increase the risk of a crash.
  4. An engine issue that can result in a complete loss of drive power increasing the risk of a crash.
  5. Seat belt pretensioners may explode risking damage to vehicles and injury to people. The initial recall affects 213 2022 Sorento Hybrids and Phevs (March 2022).
  6. An update on the seat belt pretensioner recall (June 2022) affecting 17,199 2021-2022 Sorento Hybrids and 2022 Sorento Phevs. Any vehicles already repaired need a “new remedy completed.”

A further problem is that owners are complaining that dealerships don’t have the necessary parts required to fix the problem. The recall notice issued on September 19, 2022 advises owners “to park outside and away from structures until the recall repair is complete. The remedy is currently under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 14, 2022.”

Defective Windshields that Crack

Seeing clearly out of any vehicle should be a top priority. However, the defects with the 2022 Sorento’s auto glass are making it difficult for customers to see out of the SUV.

The very first NHTSA complaint about the 2022 Kia Sorento was from an owner in Indiana on January 11, 2022 whose windshield cracked. “My vehicle (2022 Kia Sorento) was purchased (on) 11/08/21. It only has 1,777 miles at this exact time. My windshield started cracking on my driver’s side from the sunroof down. This is ridiculous for a vehicle so new. I’ve read this is a chronic issue with the Tellurides. Kia refuses to do anything about it.”

There are another 5 complaints filed under Visibility and Visibility/Wiper. In fact, all visibility complaints relate to windshield cracks.

An owner from Texas has the same sentiments as the Indiana owner. “We have a new 2022 Kia Sorento. The windshield, without any impacts at all, cracked overnight in our garage – from (the) lower driver corner up across to (the) passenger side, right in line of sight of (the) driver. Kia refuses to answer their phones to remedy this problem.”

An owner from California, assuming the windshield was hit by a small stone, says by the time they got their brand new car home from the dealership, a 2-3 inch crack was 12 inches long. “Googling around it seems like I am not the only one who is facing this issue and there was in fact some recall too in the past with Kia cars.”

Another common complaint is that dealerships refuse to help.

No Problems Acknowledged by Manufacturer

The law mandates that all manufacturer communications, including technical service bulletins (TSBs) sent to dealerships are supplied to the NHTSA.

However, the automaker hasn’t issued any communications about the auto glass, probably because it doesn’t want to be held liable.

Brakes that Malfunction

Any problems with vehicle brakes become an immediate safety issue.

Several owners report serious vibrations when braking at speed. Others state that their Sorentos’ brake rotors are warped, which makes them shake violently when driving. This, says an owner from California who has seen many similar complaints online, seems to be because “the vehicle has an undersized brake system that produces a lot of heat.” Also, when the SUV comes to a stop slowly, “the brake pedal feels like it grinds or makes a crunch noise”

A New York owner reports that the vehicle’s brakes failed to engage while they were driving on a highway, “which almost caused us to have an accident.” Fortunately, “the autonomous emergency braking system engaged and prevented the accident.”

An owner from Washington states that they have had “intermittent brake issues” without error codes or visual indications.

In July, 2022, the owner’s wife was driving “ when she noticed the brakes weren’t responding normally and she was able to press the brake pedal all the way to the floor. This happened again the following day and she recognized that something was wrong.” Due to safety concerns, the SUV was towed to the dealership. Two months later, the vehicle still had problems even though the service department replaced the brake master cylinder twice. It “evidently has a leak issue.”

Another very different issue experienced by an owner in Indiana relates to the soy-based wire shielding. The dealership says the wires must be repaired because a rodent has chewed through them. But the Kia warranty doesn’t cover this kind of damage.

Engine Problems

Problems owners are experiencing with Sorento engines include transmission issues, a lack of acceleration, and loss of power.

An owner from North Carolina had a transmission failure warning with a new 2022 Sorento that had only 775 miles on the clock. The warning said: “Check transmission oil immediately!” (The) vehicle became sluggish and I had to turn on hazards to crawl it back home.” Because the dealership couldn’t replicate the problem, they couldn’t help. A few days later, “the error message re-appeared with (the) engine performing sluggishly.”

“After researching online, several Kia Sorrentos are encountering the same error and transmission failures with less than 2,000 miles. Kia is failing to identify and remedy the issue nationally.”

When an owner from Illinois couldn’t accelerate, she turned the SUV off and then on again a few minutes later. But, again, the dealership couldn’t identify the problem. Then it happened again on the highway, when the owner’s 1-year-old child was in the car. The “Dealership again says it sees nothing wrong with the car and is charging me to test the fuel. Sounds like Kia has a problem on their hands that they should address before a terrible accident happens.”

A car that lost power was in Texas while the owner was driving at highway speed. It happened 3 more times, but 3 different dealerships failed to find a problem. “They saw all the codes for past problems but nothing was current so couldn’t be diagnosed. Twice it wouldn’t start in the morning. Once it died while idling. The dealership said the solution was to wait a few hours to see if it would reset. Kia was incapable of fixing the problem or even helping with my expenses. The car was only a few weeks old.”

Problems with the Electrical System

There are 4 complaints listed as electrical system problems. The most serious is from an owner in Texas whose tow hitch appears to have been responsible for the SUV catching on fire. This was little more than a month before Kia issued an urgent recall for 70,887 vehicles with tow hitch harnesses in danger of an electrical short that can result in a fire.

The complaint states that the car alarm went off about 2 hours after the owner had parked in his driveway.  “I looked out (the) window and saw flames engulfing (the) rear of (the) vehicle. Called 911. Firefighters extinguished (the) flames.”

The fire crew said the fire was probably electrical and had started near the tow hitch receptacle. The tow hitch was installed by a Kia dealer a few weeks after he had bought the car.

“I’d never used the hitch until the day of the fire. That afternoon I bought a Kuuat bicycle rack with lights. The bike store installed the rack and plugged it into the hitch receptacle. I did errands for several hours with nothing appearing amiss.” Then, after parking, the fire started. “No injuries and no other damage. Looks like total loss.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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6 COMMENTS
  • Wayne

    Purchased 2021 Kia Sorento X-line, 30,000 km on it now and problems with the transmission, jumps ahead when started or hard jerk when putting it in reverse. Also, my wife said it’s sluggish on takeoff like it’s going stall. I had a 2014 Kia Sorento with lots problems too. I should have stayed away. 😭

  • Bu A

    I bought a kia Sorento 2022 MQ4 model in Dubai and on the second day it self i felt the transmission pattern is irregular unlike other cars as it jerks when reducing and reaccelerating as if am driving a manual gear car and don’t know how to balance between clutch and gas pedal, it feels like depressing the clutch without pressing the gas pedal and the car will jerk/hesitate to move on.

  • aleia

    2022 kia sorrento the dealership has had it more times than me at 4000 miles. engine sluggish super load shifting gears. They said ti was some update they did and i got it back only for it to keep doing it . what are my options

  • Isamar C

    I also have a 22 Sorento with only 3k miles (bought 11/6/21). The car started presenting problems about 2 weeks ago, where it will just not move while in traffic. Today (9/27/22) my car won’t move at all and I’m waiting for the tow truck. I’m so upset as I use this car to go to work and back with my 2 very young daughters, now I
    idk what’s going to happen. I really wish I did not buy this car!! I wonder if I’m protecting under the lemon law.

  • Raul M

    I bought a 2022 Kia sorento in Jan of 2022 and it’s September now and it broke drown I was driving back from work when the car just stop and it gave a code PO302 I had to get it towed back to the dealership and won’t give me a rental had to rent one im verry disappointed with Kia hopefully they fixed it.

  • Jerry

    I purchased a 22 kia soret hybrid s AWD…….3 payments in and boom…stopped running. It’s been in the shop since may 25…. They gave me a POS 21 Sportage as a loaner but damn man….even if they fix it….I’ve lost faith that I can do a cross country trip. I honestly just don’t want it back at this point…I don’t trust it. What should I do?

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