How do I fix the shift lock release issue in my Kia Sorento?

A few months ago, my 2016 Sorento started having trouble shifting out of park unless I used a pin to press a release. Finally, I took it to the dealer a month ago, and they said it was the shifter assembly. I wasn’t sure that was the problem, but since I have an extended warranty, I decided to let them fix it instead of doing it myself and losing time I could spend making money. It took three weeks for the part to arrive after I had to remind them about it, and then I got the shifter assembly installed after they had my car for the entire day. But they called and said that didn’t solve the problem; it was actually my brake control module.

This confused me because I thought pressing the brake was what unlocked the shifter so you could take it out of park, at least that’s what I understood from my research. Then recently, the dealer called to say my extended warranty won’t cover the shifter assembly but will cover the brake control module. I thought their troubleshooting was off because they should have checked the easiest option first, like I do with my own vehicles.

I’m frustrated because they want me to pay part of the labor cost for the shifter assembly, and that pushed me over the edge. Technicians at dealerships have manuals and forums to refer to for research before they start working. I think it was a mistake to replace the shifter assembly when the issue was with unlocking, not shifting. I’m sharing this here because maybe someone has experienced this and can help me understand or tell me if the dealership made a mistake. And if anyone knows the solution, please tell me so I can shift my vehicle properly again. Thanks.

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I am sorry to hear that the shifter problem in your 2016 Sorento caused you frustration. You seem to have gone through a very difficult troubleshooting and repair procedure at the dealership.

Here are a few things you have to consider:

  • It’s concerning that they replaced the shifter assembly initially without fixing the core problem of it being linked to the brake pedal release.
  • Now suspecting the brake control module aligns more with the symptoms you described. There might be a communication or functionality issue with that module hindering proper shifter release.
  • It’s disappointing that the extended warranty doesn’t cover the initial incorrect repair. The dealership should stand by its diagnosis and work.

Since the dealership’s initial repair failed to resolve the issue, politely suggest that they pay for the expense of diagnosing and fixing the brake control module issue as compensation for their error. To bolster your claim, consult their records and your service history. Consider involving Kia Corporate if they refuse to cooperate. Errors made by the dealership should not cost you money. I hope this can be fixed. Tell me if you have any more queries!


Comprehensive Guide @Natashawilliams Great Tip.

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Check out this:

There is a physical “release” button next to the “P” that the car uses when it doesn’t shift out of the park.
You take off the lid and use a key to push down on a Cadenza.