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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,684 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.

2009 Hyundai Sonata engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Sep 012016


  • 115,000 miles


Upon accelerating up an entrance ramp to the highway, car accelerated at an unreasonable rate of speed tried using brakes, but they were gone. Car hit speeds of 60/65 mph for more than 3 miles on a turnpike. Parking brake did not work, brake pedal was down to the floor and I could not control the speed of the auto. After traveling more than 3 miles, in the shoulder, I put the gear into neutral and the car began to slow down and finally stop. Towed from turnpike to dealership. Know there have been problems with the 2006 model, but is there anything similar to my experience with the Sonata 2009.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #22

May 042016


  • miles
I was at the gas pump trying to ease up to get closer so the nozzle could reach my tank. In the process of easing up the car took off forward, causing the door to close my leg in the door almost causing me to loose my leg. The accelerator got stuck.

- Flomaton, AL, USA

problem #21

May 042016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. While pulling into a fuel station, the vehicle accelerated independently. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Slomaton, AL, USA

problem #20

Jun 152015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. While parking, the vehicle accelerated in reverse. The contact attempted to apply the brakes, but the vehicle kept accelerating. The contact crashed into the vehicle in its rear. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed and was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 62,000. MA 08/05/2015 updated 9/24/2015

- Staten Island , NY, USA

problem #19

Jul 292014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
The ESC light has been going off intermittently in my vehicle for the past 2 weeks, causing the shifter to downshift instead of keep moving the car when I press the gas, and the gas pedal becomes unresponsive. This happened on the interstate (I-78) today, and I almost got into an accident in the middle lane. I researched the problem, and it seems there was a recall on previous Hyundai models, yet Hyundai has failed to address this issue in the 2009 Sonata. There needs to be a recall regarding this issue. It is very dangerous, and could be related to the crankshaft sensor or a number of things, but bottom line, it causes the car to become unresponsive while in motion, and the driver needs to pull over, shut off the car, and turn it on again for it to maybe work, maybe not. This is a horrible headache that needs to be addressed, and I am sure that I am not the only Sonata owner with this issue. Here is evidence: so please get it done and issue a much needed recall for this major safety issue before someone gets hurt.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #18

Jan 042014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the shifter became stuck in park. The contact was able to shift into drive however, the vehicle then abnormally accelerated and caused the contact to crash into a wall. The contact did not sustain any injuries. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer to have repairs under NHTSA campaign I.D. 13V113000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic) however, the dealer stated that the recall defect could have caused the vehicle to accelerate. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #17

Dec 262013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 41,500 miles


ESC off light comes on a few minutes after starting the vehicle. Resets after vehicle is shut off only to come back on a few minutes later. Additional sometimes cruise cannot be turned on and under no circumstances will engage with ESC off light on.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #16

Sep 102012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Basically it appears that I'm having the same brake switch issue common with many Hyundai. However, currently the '09 Sonata is not covered under any recall. The problem began at least a year ago when the ESC off light would turn on at random times. It would normally clear upon turning the car off. A few days ago the ESC off light would not turn off. Today I could not shift into park from drive. After searching the internet I quickly found the brake switch issue. I confirmed that my brake lights were not functional. This is something occurs with absolutely no warning which is a bit scary since I drive home on a major highway. I'm not sure how long the brake lights had been out. I also noticed that the cruise control stopped functioning when the ESC off light became permanent. However, for some reason it started working again when the shift lock problem occurred. Odd. Not sure why an additional issue would make the speed control functional again.

- Bow, NH, USA

problem #15

Jun 122013

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Some times when starting the car with my foot on the brake the rpms go up to about 1200 and then down to 800 rpms. When my foot is removed from the brake the car wants to accelerate and go on its own often. While stoped at a stop sign or stoped with my foot on the brake the car will lurch forward when released, some times spinning the tires. It is progressively getting worse after returning from a 5000 mile trip in June, 2013. The car purchased new and has a automatic transmission with aprox. 65000 miles total on the car. This is a accident waiting to happen and should have a recall.

- Big Lake, MN, USA

problem #14

Jun 052013


  • 99,827 miles
While driving home, I braked to turn into my neighborhood and was almost rear ended. My friend whom was following me stated that my rear brakes did not come on when I brake. I attempted to park my vehicle and I could not put the car into park but only neutral, nor could I shut off the vehicle. The key would not turn to shut off the vehicle. I had drive the car to a friends garage, place the car into neutral, detach the battery in order to have the vehicle shut off.

- Clinton, MD, USA

problem #13

Feb 082013


  • 63,214 miles


I was driving the Sonata when all of a sudden the car lost its force and wouldn't move. While stuck in the middle of the street I was pushing the gas peddle but the car would not go. The ESC off light came on, and the check engine light as well. I powered the car off and turned it back on but the car still did not have a lot of force, but enough to get to a nearby parking lot. I left the car off in a parking lot for about 5 min and turned it back on. The ESC light turned off, but not the check engine. There have been similar problems where its a switch in the brake peddle but that should not make the entire car shut off. I took it to my dealership since I just bought the car 2 weeks ago and now I'm waiting for diagnostics to come back.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #12

Dec 312012


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while sitting at a traffic light with the brakes engaged, the vehicle lunged forward in acceleration. The contact stated that in order to stop the vehicle, she shifted into neutral and turned off the vehicle. Once the vehicle was restarted it resumed normal function. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 33,000 and the current mileage was 33,200.

- Niskayuna, NY, USA

problem #11

Sep 232012


  • 21,956 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, he attempted to brake but the vehicle continued to increase speed up to 50 mph. The contact mentioned that the engine revved, but did not brake. The contact stated that he stopped and put vehicle in neutral, then to drive gear. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 21,956.

- Howard Beach , NY, USA

problem #10

Jun 292012


  • 94,782 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that as he started his vehicle with the brakes engaged, he shifted to reverse and the vehicle accelerated suddenly without warning. The contact crashed into a telephone pole. He then shifted into drive with the brakes still depressed when the vehicle rapidly accelerated again and crashed into a concrete wall. The contact sustained whiplash to the neck. The police were notified and a police report was filed. There were extensive damages to the rear and front bumper of the vehicle but the vehicle was not destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the acceleration issue and a representative was sent to further inspect the failure. After the inspection, the representative advised that the vehicle was operating as normal and no failures were found. The failure mileage was 94,782.

- Lowville, NY, USA

problem #9

Jun 262011


  • 50,500 miles
My 2009 Hyundai Sonata will speed up when I remove my foot off the gas pedal. It will increase the RPM's by 1000 which increases the speed of the car. This has happened many times now to the point of returning my car to the dealer for repair while under warranty. But, with 52,000 miles this should not be happening at all.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #8

Apr 102011


  • 5,100 miles
I have had 2 instances of sudden acceleration. 1st incident I was backing out of my garage and the car shot backward narrowly missing my house. 2nd incident about a month later I was pulling into a parking spot when the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The car shot forward & I had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a fence. Both incidents the vehicle was going less than 5 mph. I have also noticed the vehicle jerking occasionally in traffic when you ease up on the gas pedal.

- Olean, NY, USA

problem #7

Nov 102010


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata gls (na). While driving approximately 60mph, the contact stated that the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. The dealer was notified who performed several test and was unable to duplicate the failure. One month later, the contact experienced sudden acceleration again. The manufacturer was contacted who was aware of her visit to the dealer and deemed the vehicle safe to drive. The vehicle had not been repaired. The current mileage was 16,000. The failure mileage was 18,000. Updated 03/11/11 updated 12/19/11

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #6

Jun 032009


  • 16,155 miles
June 3, 2009 car accelerated on its own up to approx 65 mph when driver was pressing accelerator at 30 mph, and the car would not stop - driver stood on brakes, shifted to neutral, pulled up parking brake, got off road and turned off engine. Dealer made no repair-said their computer showed nothing wrong. August 12, 2009 car lost all power and engine lights came on - steered car off road. No repair made - dealer tightened gas cap- said computer showed nothing else wrong. August 17, 2009 car lost power again - steered off road. Dealer replaced the throttle assembly. June 24, 2010 car accelerated on its own up to 65 mph when driver pressed accelerator while going 40 mph, and the car would not stop - driver stood on brakes, shifted to neutral, pulled up parking brake, got off road and turned off engine. Driver called 911 and spoke to state highway patrol. Car was towed to dealer - no repair made, their computer showed nothing wrong. Dealer delivered car to my house, I have kept it off the road. Can't drive it, trade it, or sell it because it is dangerous.

- Middle River, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 032010


  • 17,300 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. While the contact was driving approximately 35 mph entering onto a highway into the left lane, unexpectedly the vehicle increased acceleration and the brakes would not function when engaged. The brake pedal was applied repeatedly, followed by no power response. After placing the gear selector into the neutral position the vehicle began to reduce speed. The vehicle was driven into a parking lot and the gear was shifted into the park position and the vehicle came to a stop. The contact was waiting on the roadside assistance for the vehicle to be towed to an authorized dealer at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 17,300.

- South Holland, IL, USA

problem #4

Mar 132010


  • 33,000 miles
2009 Hyundai Sonata limited 4 cyl. While cruise control was on, when resuming speed after slowing down for traffic, car continued on thru set resume speed (70) to 80+. control reestablished by shutting off cruise control. This did not happen every times but it did happen multiple times, Mar. 12 - 14, 2010. It had not occurred before. We have not used cruise control since. Dealer could not replicate. Unresolved.

- Clarence, NY, USA

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