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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,167 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.

2003 Hyundai Sonata body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 012012


  • 120,000 miles


Repeated use of the interior door handle may cause wear of the chrome plate. If the top edge of the handle has very thin chrome plating, that portion of the plating may wear away more easily than more thickly plated areas as the door handle is used. The worn chrome plating on the upper edge of the handle may result in a crack or separation between the chrome plating on the inboard and outboard surfaces of the handle, which may form a sharp edge. Consequence: This may inflict laceration injuries to anyone using the door handle. Basically when you go to use the inside door handles the peeling chrome is sharp and cuts your fingers. Hyundai recall #93 ended in March 2003, my car was manufactured in May 2003. The problem is identical to the models in recall #93.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #5

Sep 202015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. When the vehicle was taken to be inspected, the inspector observed that the subframe was severely corroded and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V124000 (suspension). The failure mileage was unknown.

- Levittown, NY, USA

problem #4

Nov 222014


  • 162,000 miles
In 2005, I purchased a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. After purchasing my car, I found out that it had a recall on the fuel valve that the company had to re-install. This recall information was not on my carfax report. Later, the manufacturer had a recall on interior door handles that peeled and cut hands. Their solution was to wrap my handles with electrical tape; after my objection, they installed the same recalled handles. I've had my interior handles replaced three times because the manufacturer didn't make the handles out of a different material and chooses to reinstall the same recalled handle. On November 22nd, I went to capitol Hyundai to have them replace the recalled fuel valve, and interior door handles on my 2003 Hyundai Sonata. A service rep informed me that once the company replaces any recalled items the first time, it is the customer's responsibility to pay for them if they fail again. Surely, this cannot be correct! recalls do not expire and as long as the owner has the vehicle, the manufacturer/dealership should be responsible if their materials are continuously failing to meet safety requirements. What are folks making payments or can't afford another vehicle now supposed to do" drive around in a dangerous vehicle" be it 1 time or 1 million times, I want capitol Hyundai to indefinitely honor their recalls--at their expense.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #3

Oct 232007


  • 55,000 miles


Chrome on interior door handles peels and creates laceration hazard. The manufacturer issued a recall to replace affected handles because of a stated laceration hazard. The dealer replaced handles under the recall. However, the replacement handles are not an improved product and the chrome peels like the originals. The dealer only allows one replacement under the recall, which creates a continuing hazard to the owner and passengers.

- Lafayette, CO, USA

problem #2

Dec 062012


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, he heard a loud, abnormal noise. The contact pulled over and inspected the vehicle when he noticed that the sub frame was fractured. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic where they confirmed that the front sub frame was fractured and also advised that it needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were approximately 160,000.

- Dumfries, VA, USA

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problem #1

Jun 082012

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Vehicle had been recalled in 2009 (PE08071) due to defective chrome on door handles. This vehicle had been taken to dealership, chrome was repaired as it had caused a small laceration. Chrome is again defective, caused laceration on hand again today when attempted to open door. This occurred on the passenger side door which is very rarely used. Chrome is also peeling off of emergency brake handle, risking further laceration. Contacted dealership (go Hyundai - 104th & federal, westminster, co), dealership said this is no longer covered as they do not warranty the work done as part of a recall. In addition, car is too old for it to be covered under warranty. Car does continue to be covered under warranty for powertrain only. I have never experienced this type of problem on any model of car regardless of age. This appears to be unique to Hyundai.

- Denver, CO, USA

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