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:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,577 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Jul 252014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 27,070 miles


Hello, well, I am the first owner, and there was not any accident before. Last Thursday, after I started my car, I tried to shift the gear to drive, and the car was suddenly shook. I kept tried to drive it, but whenever the RPM goes up to 2000, the car was bouncing like that I stepped on the brake or so. I was not even able to drive it, and it was even so dangerous to drive. Therefore, I just tried it again at night, and the engine light turned on. I put my car into the fitzgerald Hyundai service center in gaithersburg, md on Friday morning (11/7/14), and I got my car back yesterday. When I picked up my car, I asked them what was the wrong with it, and they told me that the transmission sensor did not lead the temperature. Therefore, I told them that I put my car into the Hyundai service center in fairfax, va three months ago for the exact same problem, and the fairfax representative told me that they could not find any problems with it, so they just reset the software so that it is going to be fine. However, this happened again after few months. A man from fitzgerald told me that this time they update some numbers, so it is going to be fine. I do not know whenever this happens, the engine light turned on, too, and it seems like that it is breaking transmission and the engine together. Since this was not my first time, I reported this to the Hyundai recall service center. They called me yesterday and told me that they do not know the reason, but they fixed it. How come they can fix it even if they do not know the reason" I kept complained about it, and they just told me that they will expand the dates for the warranty so that I can fix it whenever it happens again! they also said that they do not know the next step for it. How irresponsible! now, all I can think of is that this is the defected car. Can you please investigate this" thank you.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #19

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 #18

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

problem #17

Sep 282014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles


My 2012 Hyundai Elantra will not start. I tried several times to get it to start and it finally started. All indicator lights will turn on but when I turned the ignition all the way nothing happens. This has happened to me multiple times a year. I had it towed before to the dealership since it's still under warranty but the dealer couldn't find nothing wrong since it started up for them. The issue has only ever occurred when my car is parked.

- Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #16

Sep 032014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I've had the following issues with the 2012 Elantra: 1.) the vehicle would not start. This only happens intermittently so it is hard to predict when it will occur and where you will be stranded. All indicator lights will turn on but when I turned the ignition all the way nothing happens. I brought the car to the dealer since it still under warranty but the dealer had no idea how to fix the issue. They had my car for 3 weeks now and still trying to figure what is wrong with the car. 2.) there are also instance where the engine starts but the gear gets stuck in park and cannot switch to other gear. I had to turn the engine off and try to restart. 3.) the battery light indicator briefly lights up at 60 mph.

- Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #15

Sep 152014


  • 52,000 miles
Yesterday afternoon I got into my car to go to the store, and it wouldn't start. I continued to turn the key to on position, then back off and wouldn't start. Then tried again in then it finally started barely. Again I got into my car to go to work, and it wouldn't start again. I switched the key back off position and on again and still no start. Tried it again 2 more times to start and finally it started up. I had this issue about a year ago about a month after I purchased my vehicle and got it towed to dealership and they found nothing because it started right up for them. Please let me know what to do to get this issue from occurring.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #14

Sep 092014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 67,770 miles


The vehicle in question periodically fails to start. This has been an ongoing issue with this vehicle for several months. At first the vehicle would not start on occasion but has since began having starting issues more frequently. I contacted my dealer and was told of two possible issues regarding a stop lamp switch and a faulty starter. I brought the vehicle in and they were unable to identify a problem. I contacted Hyundai usa and they were unaware of an issue regarding my specific vehicle as there are no recalls for this specific issue but there are recalls regarding this same issue but with other vehicles. I feel that Hyundai is not standing behind their products with their warranty and I do not know on a daily basis if my vehicle is going to start the next time I attempt it.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #13

Aug 292014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 37,850 miles
Engine would not crank. Lights, windows, radio, etc. All worked. Shifted to neutral and car started. Has happened multiple times.

- Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #12

Aug 082014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 26,091 miles
The car will not start once it is turned off. It could start once and go to the store, and then lock up for a few hours. Eventually it will act normal again ad then start all over again.

- Bryan, TX, USA

problem #11

May 192010

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 20,630 miles
My 2012 Hyundai Elantra would not start this morning and this was the third time this has happened starting in May 2014. I hit my door unlock on my key fab and the doors unlocked from here I proceeded start my car. Everything started but the car. I turned back to the starting position and tried again same results. I waited a few minutes and tried again amazingly it started. What is going on with my car" this has happen before the first time called a tow truck driver and by the time he arrived it started. This was followed by a visit to North county Hyundai in carlsbad, ca. Of course the dealership found nothing wrong. Again what is wrong with my car"

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 052014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles


The car just wouldn't start, it worked fine the previous evening and it locked as well. Today morning nothing works, I had to manually open the car with the key, after I placed the key in the ignition nothing lighted up on the dashboard. Tried multiple times.

- Sandy Springs, GA, USA

problem #9

Jul 012014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Whenever I try to turn on my car everything turns on except the engine. The lights and everything are fine. The battery tests fine. I have been to the dealer 3 times and they say nothing is wrong with it. It has not started approximately 15-20 times. Based on accounts from others with the same vehicle who have had this problem the engine has also stopped in the middle of driving. Thankfully the issue has only ever occurred when my car is parked, but I'd really rather not risk it happening on the road in rush hour traffic.

- Altoona, IA, USA

problem #8

May 122014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 56,556 miles
Vehicle brought to lester glenn Hyundai toms river NJ on March 21, 2014 for noise in engine or trans...said there was nothing wrong..they pushed car out and told me it was a clamp for my exhaust..I continued to hear noise..(it did not happen all the time) so the car was returned to the dealer 3 weeks later..they did diagnostics on vehicle and pushed my car out telling me that I had "aggressive tires" on the vehicle.and they charged me $243 for vehicle is under warranty..they told me if I didn't pay I wouldn't get my car back...I have brand new cooper touring tires on and the problem was there before the tires..on 05/12/2014 I drove to New York to visit my daughter and when I left was on 278 West traveling to toms river NJ. I was on 278 for approximately 5 minutes..I tried to accelerate and the car wouldn't move..the RPM's were going crazy, speed of vehicle would not accelerate more than 25mph..white smoke started pouring out of rear and undercarriage of was not pressure fine..I managed to get to side of brooklyn queens expressway and shut vehicle off..3 pedestrians stopped because they thought my vehicle was on fire..a tow was called..arrived in 1.5 hours..only 1 tow company allowed on the bqe..I had no choice but to take the cost me $660 to get my vehicle back to lester glenn Hyundai..toms river NJ...they diagnosed my vehicle saying it was PCV valve..I do not feel like my vehicle was fixed and I feel very unsafe in it..I work in a full service garage and I had at least 15 mechanics look at my vehicle..they all say its in the transmission and now I do not want to drive my car more than 20 miles..can you help me??

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 012013


  • 29,000 miles
The car intermittently will not start. Initially, it would spontaneously start after about 5 minutes of waiting. Later, it would not start until you'd wait about 3 hours. Been in the shop, where I purchased it new, about six times for the same problem. I have to have the car towed in. They say they have no idea how to fix the problem. If this problem happens at night, and I'm stuck in my rural town or at my urban office, my very life is at stake. And I can't get the dealer to fix or replace this lemon.

- Hiram, GA, USA

problem #6

Oct 022012


  • 23,000 miles
The vehicle has the same problems described in the 2011 recall with the brake switch. My cruise control sometimes does not work and 3 times has cut off on its own. It will not cut back on till vehicle is pulled over and stopped. I was told the problem could not be reproduced but its happening more frequently and im not satisfied with either cocoa beach or melbourne dealer. I have a recurring clutch pedal issue as well and do not trust their technicians any longer. I will just drive the car till it leaves me stranded or in a wreck. Westland Hyundai however has never had a repeat repair. Im not sure why their techs are so much more reliable. Wish I still lived in Utah to have my issues resolved.

- Melbourne , FL, USA

problem #5

Oct 012011


  • miles
I have the 2012 Elantra and from the day we bought it I noticed it was hard to drive in a straight line out on the highway thought it was just me because my wife never said anything about it then I started seeing complaints from other people online I agree it is a safety issue and hyundia needs to take care of the problem. Also lately when U try to restart the car after sitting sometimes it will not start unless U press on the gas pedal its been in the dealer shop two times (busted strut and was popping in frontend) and the can not find anything wrong with it as far as the steering I know its not the tires or the alignment just had new tires installed and realigned.

- Piketon, OH, USA

problem #4

Aug 282012


  • 3,010 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled causing all of the warning lights to illuminate. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The dealer replaced the computer's electrical system but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified and a claim was filed. The failure mileage was 3,010 and the current mileage was 6,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #3

Dec 012012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Almost every time I have started the vehicle and placed in drive from reversing out of my driveway, the vehicle jolts and seems that transmission is lagging or changing gears abruptly. The service engine light went on and I had made an appointment. When I took it in for inspection, the dealer said they could not recreate what I was talking describing. In addition, when I drive the power steering has had some issues. It has never drove in a straight line after two alignments. And it can be tough to turn the wheel. When I contacted the dealer about how I hear a clunking sound when driving over bumps, he test drove it and was confirmed that he agrees that there is clunking noise, but said he cant pinpoint it and it will have to get worse before he could tell.

- Midway, GA, USA

problem #2

Aug 212012


  • 10,000 miles
When I accelerate and every time the gear changes, the car would jolt as if I went over a speed bump. It's really uncomfortable when the car jolts while I accelerate, but the real problem is when I'm applying the brakes. The car would jolt and the speed would increase which nearly caused several accidents. I currently have about 13,000 miles and purchased this vehicle about 1.5 years ago. Within that time, the ignition wouldn't start. I would ignite the car and the car would eventually die on me. People said it might be the spark plugs, transmission or even the battery. However, it didn't make sense because the car was purchased only a couple of months before that incident. I never even wasted my battery in any way either. What if the car decides to turn off while I'm on the freeway? I can't afford that to happen.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 172012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 4,273 miles
Car lurched, engine shut off. Car became uncontrollable and all the warning lights on the dash lit up. Eventually managed to get to side of road where the transmission locked into place. Electrical system was still functional but car was completely unresponsive. Occurred again 800 miles later after "repair" both incidents nearly caused accidents.

- Queen Creek, AZ, USA

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