My Wonderful new 2011 Kia Sorento SX

The fix: Official KIA electrical tape !

Jan. 2013... update... The dealer in Flemington suddenly sold their Kia and Toyoto dealership to Fred Bean, a large PA dealer.  Only a week before I was viewing ads of the old dealership and a week after the "new owner" I get a flyer in the mail under the old name...
Months later I learn, the father had owned both the Kia and Toyota dealership.  Gave it to the "kids" to run, and they ran it into the ground.  Another guy getting his Kia fixed in Somerville used to go to the Flemington Kia also said he'd never go back there.


As of June 2014 I sold it and bought a 2014 Santa Fe Sport.
As of Jan 2017 I sold the SFS and bought a 2016 Sonata Hybrid.  With 45+ mpg and we still have the wife's SFS AWD for those snowy winter trips or trips needing lots of storage.

One: I have been repairing my own cars since my dad showed my back in the early '60s.  I have done valve jobs, piston rings, water pumps, clutches, brakes and all kinds of other items.  I never had my car repaired by a dealer for a fee.

Two: I'm a computer tech.  I replace parts in computers and get them running again... I have a knack for it and very good at fixing them.

Three: I have added two additions on my house.  Did all the plaster and electrical, and it all passed inspection first time. I know electricity... AC/DC

Short story... purchased a 2011 Sorento SX Sept, 2011.  Drive it for forty days.  I had installed HID headlights as I have in 4 other cars I owned and never had a problem with.  One day in Sept. I stop by a mall to see the wife before stopping off at home.  Get back into the KIA SX, it starts, then stops.   Flatbed trunk a 32 day old car.   Fourteen days later my dealer tells me the problem... me.  Somehow my headlights fried the computer and two other electrical items.  I'm told to cough up $4,300 for a 32 day old car.   Most of the charge is for a rental for 18 days while the "NEW" KIA dealer figures out what is wrong ! After some legal advice.. I pay and go pick up the car writing on the receipt I dispute the problem (18 days since it died).  At the dealer he informs me that he also "fired" a computer because of something, but the the dealer had to eat that.  And as soon as I start the car in the dealer's lot the CHECK ENGINE light comes on.  They try to "fix it", (half hour later) nope.  I'm handed back the rental car keys but told "this part is under warranty".    A week goes by and the dealer "can't seem" to fix it.  After 20 days since it first died I file a Lemon Law against KIA.  Then, 26 days after my car was first brought into the dealer, they find that the "expert" KIA repair person broke a wire on the main harness.  (see photos below of their fix !)  That's what was causing the "check engine lights", they broke a wire and couldn't figure that out for two weeks ! ! !

TWENTY SIX DAYS they had the 32 day old car.  I paid the $4,300 to get the car back.

Then came the accusations from me about the inept repair person.  After phone calls to KIA's local contacts, bringing it up to the East Coast contact I told them nothing about headlight will fry the computer, a cam sensor and an air conditioning sensor.  The computer just went nuts and self shorted.   When I gave up with all the talking and having the Tri State tech see my car and try to tell me a 12V negative wire was shorting to ground (negative is ground).   I said you have nothing that would hold up in court and a Lemon Lawyer is my next option.  Twenty six days to repair a car ?  The judge would side with me that the mechanic is incompetent, mis-diagnosis the initial problem and nothing more.  Besides, I told them that I had paid off the $4,300 (which I did) and I have the time to wait for a court date.  I'm not worried how I'll try to make payments on this unexpected $4,300 bill.

The day I was to call back the Lemon Lawyer someone above the Tri-state tech gave me a call on my cell.  "How can this be fixed."  Easy I said, I didn't do anything wrong.  Your computer shorted and your new dealership tech is incompetent.  After advising him of the 18 day initial repair, the dealer frying a computer, the failure to drive it out of the dealer's lot and two weeks to figure out what they did and get it running again.. I said I want my $4,300 back and for all this nonsense (this was now mid December !) have a hitch installed at a different dealership for free.   He said yes.  Ten minutes on the phone and someone with common sense solved this problem.  A check for $4,300 arrived in a week.. no letter, no legal this or that, just a check.  A few weeks later the Somerville, NJ  Kempler KIA dealer installed a hitch, removed the former dealer's license plate cover and replaced it with the Kempler license plate cover.  I pulled off the former dealers' back sticker.  I have gone to the Kempler dealer for the KIA Care program that I bought which prepaid my oil changes for the next 48K.   I can drop off the car and they will drive me to work !  They are nice, no mess, no problems.

Since the late Nov. 2011 repair I have had no problem with the car.. (now at 14K).  I have never gone back to that Flemington dealer and never plan too.  Hundreds of thousands of cars have "aftermarket" HID headlights including Mercedes, BMW, Fords and other makes all with "sensitive computers" that could be zapped by this dangerous HID systems as told by the tech that took 26 days to repair my car.  Just check any car forum.

That clueless Flemington tech is just that.  Twenty six days.  When I told him the amount of time the KIA "tech manual" put for replacing the items was only 5 or 6 hours, his reply was it takes much longer to figure out what's wrong.  No, the KIA tech manual "time" is all they get paid for.  I believe he used my car as a test car.. spending hours upon hours messing around with the "new car".  If the computer did not put the 5V to the cam sensor, the KIA manual say replace the computer...not spend hours and days trying to figure out why it won't.