Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Be aware that there's a significant trend of owners complaining that the Elantra's fuel economy is significantly less than the EPA estimates.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,067 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Hyundai Elantra electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #51

Aug 282015


  • 85,000 miles


Failure to start. Car does not recognize that the car is in park and the inhibitor switch prevents the car from starting, even though it is in park. Car can not be taken out of park or put back in. Could present a potential safety hazard because someone could get stranded somewhere with no way to start car. I have seen numerous complaints about this issue online and actual youtube videos about the problem. I have real concerns about my daughter driving this relatively new car and then getting stranded somewhere

- Layton, UT, USA

problem #50

Aug 172015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 55,002 miles
Yesterday, August 17, 2015, I parked at my apt complex to get my mail, turned car off completely, I was literally out of my car for 40 seconds. I got back in started it up, and nothing. It would not even turn over, no sounds, no clicks, just dead silence. All of the panel lights were lit, however, and the air vents were blowing air from the fan, the radio turned on, but not the engine. The battery was newly installed on October 2, 2015 when I purchased the vehicle as a certified pre-owned. I used my Hyundai roadside assistance, someone arrived in a normal vehicle to jump start my car. First try, it started up just fine. He was trying to sell me a new battery for $150, indicating that because I live in Arizona now, the heat does strange things to cars. I didn't take the offer. I let the car run while I was parked for about 20 minutes, then drove to the carport where I park my car normally in my apt complex. I shut the engine off, and hesitantly tried to start it again, and to no avail. Nothing again. It wouldn't start. After searching online, I found a few sites where others had the same issue. One person mentioned to turn the ignition to acc and throw the shifter into neutral, which I did, and then magically my car started up perfectly fine. I tried turning it off and on again about 5 more times, and it did just fine, no stalling. Since I've had this vehicle there have been many times (at least 20+) that it won't start up on the first try, but seconds later I'll retry the ignition, and it'll start up, but it sounds as if it's going to conk out. Like it's barely hanging on. I've had no other issues with my car besides this. After reading on multiple forum sites, it seems like it's fairly common, and I think there should be a recall set for this. Thank you.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #49

Jul 012013


  • 30,000 miles
I have a Hyundai Elantra limited, 2012, with the technology package. There are multiple issues with my car, that have occurred since I purchased it brand new off the lot in 2011. Whenever I take the car to the shop to have the issues checked, I am always told that they were unable to replicate the problem, so couldn't find anything to fix. First, there are serious issues with the transmission. When taking the car out of park and into drive or reverse, it often lurches into gear, which then continues as I drive into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th gear. It shifts really hard, as if the car were a manual and I was not shifting very well between gears. A couple of months ago (~June 2015) the check engine light came on for the first time, and the shop said that it was a transmission temperature sensor error. The check engine light came on the 2nd time this week on 7/14, and turned off within 24 hours. I've continued to have this jerking shift issue, though it never seems to happen when it's at the shop. Second, there is some kind of electrical issue/short in the car, because sometimes when I have windows down and I hit the lever to roll the driver's window up the sunroof also starts to open/close! or, the windows don't go up/down as hard/soft as I move the lever. Also, in the past month or so (July 2015) the proximity key seems to not work, and I have to press the button on the door handle multiple (up to 10) times before the car will lock/unlock. This also prevents me from being able to start the car (ignition switch) because it doesn't recognize the key is inside the vehicle. Please help!

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #48

May 152015


  • 49,000 miles


Left tail/brake light is malfunctioning. When the headlights are on, the tail light is on; however, that same light is also the brake light, and when the brake is applied, the light will not illuminate.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #47

May 102015


  • 71,000 miles
Periodically my car refuses to start. The battery is good, all lights on the dash are normal, headlights work, radio works, car is in parked position, yet when I turn the key it refuses to start. This is the second set of occurrences of the same issue. I experienced this issue last year (2014), at which time I had to take the car into service on more than three occasions before the figured it out. They eventually sorted out the issue in November of 2014. Now 6 months after, in May 2015, the same issue occurs only to find out that Hyundai will only warranty the part but not the labor costs. Today while at the dealership, there was at least one other Hyundai Elantra owner with the same issue. I'd hate that the car refuse to start in an emergency situation this is obviously something that Hyundai is aware of, yet refuse to take full responsibility and remedy the situation for myself and all other customers. I believe there should be a recall for this. I also have a second issue with this car, from the day of purchase. The car shakes at speeds between 40mph and 55mph. I have taken the car in on multiple occasions to two different Hyundai dealerships, yet they cannot figure out the issue. They have balanced the tires, aligned the wheels, rotated the tires, etc, yet none of their attempts have resulted in a solution. This issue make driving the car feel very unsafe, and very unpredictable in wet conditions

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #46

Apr 272015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 32,986 miles
This is a problem that has been going on with other Elantra drivers. There are videos on you tube with this issue. The vehicle doesn't start at times and it should be a recall on this issue. This is a new car and should have issues like that. It seems to be a problem with the starter or the ignition switch.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #45

Apr 012015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 33,400 miles


The car won't start. This is a push button start. I thought perhaps there was something wrong with the key that has to be in the car at the time of starting the car. This is the third time this is happened in three weeks. Then I went online and found out there are hundreds of other owners with the same problem. I called an online number and found out that the manufacture is aware of this problem. They are not issuing a recall but they call this a campaign and have a number for this problem which is 933. They will not pay for a rental car, but they will pay for the repair. Then I called a dealer and they said they did not know anything about this problem but to bring the car in. I feel this is all hush-hush, to the disadvantage of the owner, who could find themselves in a very dangerous situation if all of a sudden there car will start. Please investigate, including an online search, to determine if a nationwide mandatory recall should be initiated.

- Etiwanda, CA, USA

problem #44

Dec 102012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Periodically my car will not start or turn over to start. The normal wear and tear parts are young and a couple forums I have found on the internet show that other people with similar model years and the same year are having the same problem. There should be a recall on this issue. It was reported it might be the range switch or the shift interlock. Thank you for your concern. When I called into my local Hyundai dealership they sounded perplexed.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #43

Feb 152015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 66,565 miles
The car wont start. The battery and starter are fine. It doesn't happen all the time, just periodically, maybe every other day or twice a week. There doesn't seem to be a pattern. The car starts eventually after numerous turns of the key. It doesn't seem to matter if I turn off the lights, radio etc..

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #42

Feb 052015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 41,400 miles
2012 Hyundai Elantra would not start when in park, even though the battery has a full charge. Shifted to neutral and back to park, and it started on the first try.

- Ambler, PA, USA

problem #41

Jan 172015


  • 67,000 miles


Car would not start. After multiple attempts at turning key, it finally started. Lights and horn functioned properly, but I replaced the battery anyway. Car would still not start on first few attempts. Engine would not turn over at all, then after several attempts at turning key, it would start, as if nothing was wrong. Brought it to dealer, they said they cleaned out some parts of the engine and updated the computer. The next day I had the same problem again. Brought it to the dealer, and they said they changed some fuses. Less than a week later, still the same problem. There are multiple incidents of this happening for other owners of this car which I found online when I was looking to diagnose the problem.

- Mahopac, NY, USA

problem #40

Aug 152013


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, there was a loud grinding noise as the vehicle stalled. In addition, the electronic stability control warning light illuminated. The vehicle could be restarted. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,000. MA 10/8

- Centereach, NY, USA

problem #39

Oct 172014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 56,375 miles
We were on vacation in the smoky mountains. We hiked for a couple hours and returned to the car. I turned the ignition key, nothing. Tried several times, nothing. Lights came on bright, power windows worked, dashboard lights bright. I tried taking it in and out of park, tried turning the key different speeds, nothing. The engine did not try to turn over, no clicking, just silence. We tried to get help, no one stopped. After an hour or so, tried it again, started right up. We drove back to our cabin. It started fine the rest of the time we were there. When we got back home, took it to the Hyundai dealer. Explained the problem. He said if it was working fine now, not much they could do. He also advised me that if they diagnosed it for days, found the problem, but it was a loose connection or something that did not require replacing a part, the entire labor cost was mine to pay. That's when I found out that the Hyundai 5 year, 60K warranty does not cover labor after 36K. Ouch! a buyer beware/read the fine print moment. So, I left since it hadn't happened in a couple weeks. This first incident was in mid-October. Three weeks ago, after 2 months, around Dec 20th, 2014, it happened again. Same thing. Just dead. Battery fine. Everything working but the car. Tried a half dozen times, moving the tranny shifter, etc. Went in the house, came back out, started like nothing was wrong. A week ago, same. This morning, Jan 8, 2015, again, same thing. I checked the battery and connections, both fine. After 20 minutes or so, tried again, started. It is happening more now. I researched on the internet and hundreds of folks have had the same problem with this make, model, and year. There also are you tube videos of it. So, this makes me wonder why there hasn't been a recall. My Elantra has almost 59K on it, so I will be at the 60K limit in a month or so. What can I do? [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #38

Nov 282014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
The car wouldn't crank or start when I got to the gas station. After multiple tries with putting the car shifter in park to neutral and switching the gears it finally started. I called the dealership and took it down to get looked at. As I was driving it down to the dealership as I was approaching the traffic light I realized the car wasn't running anymore and by this point I had limited brake assistance and also lost all power steering and had to use the E-brake to help with stopping the vehicle to prevent the accident that was about to happen. This was a great thing that I was driving and not my wife as she would've froze and might not have been able to think how to get the car to stop in which this could have been a accident with bodily injury or even possible death of the person driving the car or the innocent person that was collected up in the accident but no one would know as it didn't happen, thank god for this. I had the car towed the rest of the way to the dealership and they looked at it and the car started for them and they tested the battery, alternator, and starter and all tested good so they gave the car back to me stating it was the ac invert-or that was plugged in to the cigarette lighter. I told them that I plugged the invert-or in after the car died to charge my phone but they still insisted that I was lying I guess. I drove the car off the lot and a few days later the same thing happened again but I was going 35 mph and was able to stop the car with no incident as I was afraid to drive the car normal speed and knew it would happen again as the dealer ship had not found anything faulty. Now it sits in the driveway and is completely dead and will not start. The dealership major Hyundai of stroudsburg, pa 18360 will not allow me to bring my car back to them and Hyundai will only tow it to the closest dealership which happens to be them.

- Effort, PA, USA

problem #37

Dec 012014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Hyundai Elantra. Consumer had to replace battery as an out of pocket expense. The dealer stated the battery was not under warrant, so a reimbursement is being requested. The consumer returned to the dealer for the third time, because the vehicle would not start. The consumer stated there was an obvious problem with the battery.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 112014


  • 38,500 miles
My car was parked outside overnight and I used the key fob to unlock my car. I then tried to start the car but it would not start. I had my foot pressing on the brake and pushed the ignition button and the lights/radio would come on but the car made a click noise and would not crank over to start. I tried this 5 times before it started. It was not that cold so weather was not a factor. I then drove to work and at lunch the same thing happened. It took 5 tries before the car cranked over to start. The brake pedal seems to be locked and then finally it has some give to start the car. I had taken my car to the dealership 6 weeks prior for this same issue but they said they could not find a problem as it started for them every time. It is starting to now get frustrating.

- Brookfield, WI, USA

problem #35

Jul 092014


  • 65,000 miles
A few days before this incident, a warning indicator light appeared on my instrument panel. I made an appointment for that weekend to have it checked at a local dealership. As I was driving home from work, the first unusual thing that happened was the Hyundai logo appeared on the nav screen while the car was in motion.typically the Hyundai logo only appears when the car is first started-never while vehicle is in motion. About 10 miles later, all of the power to the vehicle disappeared as I was driving about 65 mph in heavy traffic. When this happened, it felt as if I had been rear-ended in an accident. After determining that was not the case, I looked at the instrument panel to see all the warning lights illuminated. Now I'm trying to move to the side of the highway when the power was magically restored and the warning indicator light that had appeared a few days prior was now gone. I did not have an opportunity to pull to the side of the road, put the transmission in park and attempt to restart the vehicle. No, it restarted all by itself! I took it to two different dealerships who both assured me the car was fine and that what I described was impossible to occur. Trust me when I tell you that unless you've experienced losing all power to a vehicle while driving at 65 mph, yet here is not another feeling like it. I no longer felt safe in my own vehicle and made arrangements for it to be replaced. I would have felt much more comfortable had the dealership(s) found something that could have been repaired. Given that they could find nothing wrong left me very leery of the vehicle's electrical system. Also, the mpg gauge would reset itself; at idle, it frequently almost stalled; at night, the headlights would flicker at idle; the compass readout on the rear view mirror would also flicker at idle when the vehicle almost stalled---very bizarre behavior from a vehicle.

- Suffield, CT, USA

problem #34

Nov 042014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Car would not start when key turned. Dash lights came on, but engine would not turn over or even crank. The only sound was a slight click in the engine when the key was turned. Jump start would not help. Remedied by turning the key until I could shift out of park to another gear, then returned to park. Did this multiple times and finally the car started normally. Concerned about losing power when driving and having an accident, or getting stranded somewhere. Called dealer and was told that they could check for battery issues (which it is not), but to call them if it happened again (hopefully, not while driving).

- Belvidere, NJ, USA

problem #33

Oct 012014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
When turning on the ignition switch the car interior lights light up. Turning the key to the ignition position, nothing happens. There is no draw on the dash lights or any other lights on the car. It simply has no noticeable effect. I have to turn the key off and on numerous times before it starts. Not starting is, of course, a concern. The expenses from taking it to a mechanic has become a real drain on our finances. However, if it begins to turn off while we are driving, serious injuries may occur. {ref: Chevy cobalt} please investigate this issue. Getting ahead of this could prevent more tragic occurrences.

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #32

Aug 152013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
My 2012 Elantra has failed to start 3 times while it was in park and 2 times while I was on the freeway in a period of 12 months. There was no warning while I was on the freeway. All dashboard lights were on, radio was on and it was until I tried to accelerate when I realized that the car had turned off on me. Luckily, it was in heavy traffic going about 15 miles per hour, nonetheless, it was a pretty nerve wrecking unsafe experience. I was able to turn the car back on after 3-4 attempts. My biggest fear is that the car can potentially turn off on me when I'm going 60+ mph. I drive my kids everywhere in this car and I fear for the safety of my family. I have taken it to the dealer after every incident and their main response is that they cannot duplicate the problem, therefore, they can't fix it. At one point, they claimed that it could be due to carbon build up in the engine so I paid ~$300 for that service which did not help because the car turned off on the freeway several months later. I have even had the Hyundai tow truck from roadside assistance tow my car from my work parking lot to the dealer in hopes that it was proof that the car did not turn on. Tow truck driver confirmed the car did not turn on, then prepped car to place on tow truck bed. He got the car to dealer, then attempted to turn on the car and it did. I tried to get documentation from him but he declined. All I got was a letter that stated that the car was taken from my work parking lot to the dealer with zero details. The dealer is being irresponsible and does not stand behind their product. This is a huge safety issue. I am in the process of pursuing the lemon law and going to BBB for arbitration in hopes that they take the car back. I feel like I don't have an alternative. I cannot, with a clear conscious, sell this car to a dealer or a private party knowing that it is defective.

- Cerritos , CA, USA

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