I purchased a 2005 Sorento and it spent 9 months at the dealership in 2007 and 6 months so far in 2008. Efforts to contact principals in Korea via e-mail, letter has been futile. Local dealership in Jamaica (West Indies) have been unresponsive, hence the effort to contact Principals (or anyone who can assist with this untenable problem).
NICHOLASVILLE, KENTUCKY -- Dealership: Car Town Kia; Location: Nicholasville, Kentucky. I am a casual driver who goes VERY easy on the brakes, yet around the 30,000 mile mark, the rotors were bad. Kia resurfaced my rotors under warranty. Now, at 43,000 miles, I have rotor problems again. Kia now refuses to fix the problem because the brake pads are now less than 50% of their "new life" (from ** in the service department).
I am really tired of Kia's bait and switch tactics with the warranty. It all sounds wonderful until you encounter problem after problem, and the dealer won't honor the warranty for any of these items. Here are a few more things the dealer would not cover:
About 14 months into owning the vehicle, I discovered the alignment was "toed-in" (the dealership's words). It ruined my two front tires ($120 each). The problem was not obvious because they were toed in by the factory at exactly the same amount, so that the car's alignment felt perfect. The damage was hidden because the tire wore on the inside and could not be seen from the outside easily. The dealership would not even pay to correctly align the vehicle, saying my alignment warranty was out. THIS WAS A FACTORY PROBLEM that cost me just under $300 to fix. It was not apparent by driving until it was too late.
About a year ago, I complained that the leather on my driver-side seat was wearing prematurely. It had giant cracks going down the leather grain, and you could see underneath the leather. I was advised by the dealership that the wear is "within acceptable parameters set forth by Kia", and that I should use a good leather conditioner (which I had used several times). As a side note, I had a Camaro convertible before this Kia and never had this problem, even though I rarely used conditioner on the seats.
On cold winter days, the heater works for about 2 minutes, then gets cooler and cooler until its pumping out ice cold air. At that point, it never warms up again. I have taken the vehicle in twice with this problem, and the dealership says there's nothing wrong with it ("It works for us.").
Also, this was interesting: the brake lights on my Sorento quit working at the exact same time. I checked the fuses, and all fuses were fine, so I replaced both bulbs. They were still dead. I took it into the dealership, and they said that both my (new) bulbs were bad, and that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. Very weird. They now work, but I know my bulbs were fine because I'd just bought them to replace the ones that seemed to die. This is my last Kia. Never again.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- The Kia Sorrento engine with 67,000 miles, bought new by me, overheated causing damage that has been repaired. The total of the bill is over $3,600.00. Kia personnel first diagnosed the originating problem as failure of the plastic engine coolant reservoir cracking and losing coolant. After having it pointed out that the reservoir does not actually cool the engine, Kia has since changed their reason for the incident to a faulty thermostat.
They refuse to allow warranty on the repair work, saying that since the thermostat warranty expired at 60,000 miles, the 100,000 mile warranty is not valid. Their written warranty information at time of sale said nothing about the warranty after 60,000 miles being dependent on items expiring at 60,000 miles.
After the overheated engine incident, I went to a Kia new car sales department and asked a Kia sales representative, with the hood of a new Kia Sorrento raised, while pointing to the coolant hose, and asked the question "if that hose breaks or any part of the system containing the coolant fails, is the 100,000 mile warranty valid?" He stated, with two witnesses present, that "the 120 month, 100,000 mile warranty would be valid for any failure, including burn out of the engine from failure of the hose or any part of the system." That same salesman also offered me $1,000.00 for the 2003 Kia on trade, prior to the engine repairs.