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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
109,810 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.

2002 Hyundai Sonata steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #19

Aug 312016


  • 130,000 miles


Subframe is rotten and broken

- Stillwater, NY, USA

problem #18

May 302015


  • 81,000 miles
I backed out of the driveway and the subframe on the passenger side collapsed and the tie rod and cv joint came loose. The steering went out. A certified frame mechanic said the sub frame rusted out.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #17

Jul 092014


  • 156,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated while driving at 5 mph, the power steering stop working and as a result, the vehicle crashed into a barrier. There were no injuries. The driver side air bag deployed and the air bag warning lamp illuminated. Also, the contact mentioned that the vehicle was filled with smoke and there was no pressure on the air bag. The vehicle was towed to her resident. The vehicle had not been repaired. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that there was nothing wrong with the air bag. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 156,000.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #16

Jun 262014


  • 64,679 miles


1st week of June 2014, noticed steering was making noises when turning. Checked psf and was low. Added and worked fine for about tree weeks. Then bam !! something busted behind engine. Lots of fluid between engine and firewall. Psf of coarse. Steering became extremely stiff and barely got the vehicle home. Lucky I didn't have an accident. Car wouldn't turn except with excessive force. And I'm 76 yr F. I could have injured or killed myself or others under certain conditions like much higher speeds. How's anyone to know something like will occur at any given totally unexpected moment. I know of a recall about under carriage or sub-frame rust and serious parts breaking off. Something gave and something broke down there and the vehicle is now inoperable.

- San Anontio, TX, USA

problem #15

May 222014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 158,000 miles
Was driving down the when I heard a pop sound that had came from the curbside of the vehicle then the car started pulling to the right side of the road and did not really think to much about because thought needed to just have alignment done to the vehicle then next Friday I had take the car to have the alignment done on the vehicle they called me and said that the sub-frame of the vehicle was rusted in half and that it was unsafe to drive. I looked up the recalls on the vehicle and seen where it had a recall for the sub-frame rusting and set up a apt. To have it taken care of but they are saying that since my car is not registered in one of the salt-belt states that they are not going to honor the recall even though the rust is there and the sub-frame is rusted in half and the lower control arm is rusted off. Ref #[xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Boones Mill, VA, USA

problem #14

Apr 232014

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
My son was operating the vehicle and was making a left turn. During the turn, the right front wheel buckled under and the vehicle became inoperable. Vehicle was towed to a repair facility. They found that there was significant corrosion in the sub-frame which caused it to fail. I have done some research on NHTSA site and it appears that campaign 09V124000 describes the issue. I have contacted Hyundai. They have instructed me to have to vehicle delivered to local dealer for inspection to determine if it is covered under a recall program. Their first response was to tell me that the recall was only covering certain states, Kentucky not being one of them. When I told them I had purchased the car used and had no way of knowing what other states the vehicle had been in, they agreed to examine the vehicle. I believe the vehicle repair should be covered since the damage is as described in the recall notice.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #13

Oct 162013


  • 50,000 miles


We had our vehicle warrantied for the rotten frame on our vehicle last year. At that point you would think Hyundai would have warned us that our brake lines were swiss cheese just like our frame, these cars rot out, the entire vehicle is a death trap. The brake lines broke 3 times in the past 6 months after sections were already replaced. These vehicles need all the brake and fuel lines replaced immediately!!! this is not routine maintenance and should be recalled immediately!! the power steering line rotted out 5 years ago, this car was made out of really crappy metal. Dangerous vehicle. Everything on this vehicle is rotted out beyond what is normal, the wheels, the brake drums, everything on these vehicles rot to the point of swiss cheese. After 10 years these vehicles are very unsafe. Our vehicle only has 50,000 miles on it.

- Watchung, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jan 022013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Our son who was driving our Hyundai 2002 Sonata noticed that the steering wheel was loose and it felt like the car was pulling and needed an alignment. We took it in to have an alignment and the mechanic called us and told us they were unable to do an alignment and that the problem was much more serious than that; they told us that the cradle rusted through and that it was unsafe to drive. Because of this it also did damage to the tires. We now have a vehicle that is unable to be driven because it is not safe. I shutter every time I think what may have happened to him or his friends if he had been on the road or god forbid driving down the interstate. We live in a state where snow is a part of our lives; we always worry about driving on snow and ice but we should not also have to worry that our vehicle's cradle will rust through potentially causing harm or even death.

- Tea, SD, USA

problem #11

Jul 302012

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
My son was driving the vehicle at 45 mph and heard a loud pop in the right front end of the vehicle and immediately afterwards the vehicle veered of to the right and on to the side of the road he was able to maintain control somewhat but if there had been pedestrians in that area I am not sure there would have not been serious consequences, the car was driven slowly to the nearest Hyundai dealer for assessment and after assessment the dealer stated that the sub-frame has rusted out to the point that the right front wheel could become detached thereby possibly causing a potential catastrophic failure or loss of control of the vehicle and unknown consequences, dealer has submitted information to Hyundai Corp, the vehicle has an active recall on this particular safety defect. Recall #089 issued in April 2008. We are awaiting Hyundai response as to the status of our recall request as of 08/01/12.

- Conway, SC, USA

problem #10

Mar 132012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
My wife was driving home from work on a county road doing approx. 45 mph. The front right tire suddenly tilted 50 degrees inward and she lost control of the auto. After nearly missing a telephone pole, she plowed into a corn field and came to a sudden stop. She suffered a sprained wrist from steering wheel "whip" and bruised her knee in the accident. Upon examination by the mechanic, he found that the a frame on the right side had broke in half. The metal in the frame had rusted from the inside out making it difficult to see by previous under-carriage repairs, such as tire change, oil change etc. The car has had superb maintenance throughout its history and has been bought and sold within the same family since being bought new by the son in 2002. We love the car and have enjoyed the 123,000 miles of driving but are very disappointed with Hyundai because we have no record of ever receiving a recall on this vehicle. Hyundai has decided to repair the vehicle free of charge but has not said whether they will repair the body damage or the transmission if damaged from the incident. We could not get move the shifter after the incident.

- Saint Paul, IN, USA

problem #9

Feb 222012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles


2002 Hyundai Sonata failed at 6 mph turning a city street corner. The axle and ball joint fell off, taking the right front wheel with it. This car was 'repaired' a few years earlier when it was recalled for undercarriage rust. They sprayed a rubberized coating on the undercarriage, and told me I was good to go! we all know, there is no way to stop rust.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #8

Jul 102010

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
The power steering line on the under side of the car that runs by the frame of the car rotted away and caused a power steering failure. About one month after having this repaired I received a recall letter that the frame needed to be inspected due to corrosion. I asked about the power steering line being part of this and was told no. This power steering line runs right along the side of the part of the frame that was inspected and sprayed for the recall, how can this power steering line not be covered by the recall?

- Middlesex, NJ, USA

problem #7

Mar 042011

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 148,423 miles
Corrosion of subframe, causing it to break and then catch fire to the car under the hood, destroying wiring and hoses.

- Worthington, OH, USA

problem #6

Mar 112010


  • 105,225 miles
Steering problem. The car would difficult to turn and then it would steer fine. This went on for a couple of days. I moved the car one morning and there was a bolt on the ground which looked as if it was from the car. Had the car towed to a repair shop. The diagnosis was the bolts on the rack and pinion were loose and one of the bolts was the one I found on the ground. The rack and pinion coming loose is a serious problem.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #5

Jan 182010


  • 91,590 miles
On Monday evening 01/18/2010 my wife and I left our home with our 2002 Hyundai Sonata we drove no more then 3 tenths of a mile when the steering wheel starting pulling very hard to the right we then turned around and drove back toward home but only made it about 2 tenths of a mile before the front right wheel collapsed bringing us to a dead stop in the middle of the road. Thankfully we were only going about 20-25 mph the police were called for traffic and the car was towed to R.J shore automotive branford ct 06405 the next morning the owner of informed me that my front engine sub-frame had failed due to corrosion, and showed me a print-out of a recall from Hyundai dated April 14, 2009 then stated he called the Hyundai dealer in branford ct 06405 but the dealer refused to pick up the car so I had to pay $81.41 to have the car towed to branford Hyundai. The staff at the Hyundai had no answers and continued to state you will have to call the corporate office, so I did. The employee chris stated that there were 200.000 vehicles involved in this recall campaign #089 or #09V124000 and we have not mailed out all of the notices (shame on them because it's been almost a year and if we were on the highway we could have died) the employee then called the branford Hyundai and was told that the car would take 1 or 2 weeks to fix and no loaner or rental vehicle will be provided I said that is unacceptable and demanded a loaner still the answer was no but somehow they managed to fix my car on 01/20/2010 when I picked my vehicle up at 420pm on 01/20/2010 my wife and I were not allowed to view what was repaired and was told that they bent over backwards to fix this car quickly because of my call to Hyundai corporate I stated (bent over backwards, someone could have died, from this accident) the manager bob guevera, and a chris vailette then called the police and told us to never come back again, to have the corporate office fix my car next time.

- Branford, CT, USA

problem #4

Aug 012009


  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle would not drive straight and kept pulling to the left and right. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the frame needed to be replaced. Prior to the failure, the contact noticed that the vehicle had numerous alignment issues. The current and failure mileages were 144,000.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #3

Dec 012008


  • 41,760 miles
On 11/3/08 I filed ODI#10248441 regarding rotted right side sub-frame on my 2002 Hyundai Sonata which was repaired by dealer on 11/11/08 as a 1 time "goodwill" replacement. During replacement of sub-frame dealer damaged and replaced flexpipe and bolts. Car was returned and started leaking fluid which was found to be power steering fluid. We monitored and replaced fluid but steering was difficult and made noise mostly on start-up and turning corners. On 12/1/08 we had to have the car towed - we lost the power steering completely and it would no longer hold fluid. Dealer stated that power steering rack mount was completely cracked and had to be replace at a cost of over $1,000. We are refusing to pay for repair stating that cracked steering mount is related to rot problem and is the dealers responsibility. 12/3/08 we opened a case with Hyundai consumer complaints. Based on information researched on this site and other related sites the cracked power steering mount is common and related to rot problem. Currently waiting for a response from Hyundai. Car only has 41,400 miles and we have already had to replace brakes, tires, heat sensor, and sub-frame in addition to normal maintenance.

- Freeport, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 062008


  • 82,720 miles
Power steering hose ruptured abruptly causing loss of power steering at high speed.

- Ashland, MA, USA

problem #1

Apr 012002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle has problems with front vibration. The vehicle veered left and the consumer lost control of steering. The cause was found to be broken U-bolt. The vehicle began to vibrate from front end while the consumer was driving and the cause was determined to be front left axle failure, which was replaced. Brakes constantly squeak and pulsate, but the dealer could not duplicate the problem.

- Worcester, MA, USA

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