"If excessive force is applied to the gear-shift lever, the brake-shift interlock mechanism may chip or crack, allowing the transmission to be shifted out of 'Park' without the brakes being depressed," said NHTSA in its recall summary.
NHTSA said this "may result in a crash."
Kia told federal safety regulators there are three alleged injuries, 54 warranty claims and 14 consumer-assistance case center reports linked to the recall.
The affected Sorentos were built from October 19, 2009 to January 31, 2013.
Edmunds says: This is an easy fix for what could be a serious problem. If your Sorento is affected, contact your dealer right away to get the new part.