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: The 2011 Sonata has a seriously defective engine that seizes without warning. It was awarded the dubious honor of being the first CarTalk / CarComplaints Turd of the Week in late September 2015.

A class action lawsuit was filed in May 2015 against Hyundai that claims the 2.4L Sonata engine is defective. More info here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,934 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.

2011 Hyundai Sonata drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #63

Nov 192014


  • 45,627 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While the vehicle was parked, the contact heard an abnormal noise that was progressing randomly. The fuel gauge also displayed an incorrect reading and the interior lighting did not illuminate when the door was opened. The contact mentioned that there was an internal short within the radio and that it intermittently worked. In addition, while at a stop light, the vehicle had a strong hesitation as if it would stall. The dealer was notified and could not replicate or diagnose the failures. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V568000 (engine) and 14V434000 (power train). The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 45,627.

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

problem #62

Oct 302015


  • 45,000 miles
While driving at 45-50 mph, on highway, experienced catastrophic engine failure and other significant component failures, resulting in a very dangerous situation for driver, passengers, surrounding traffic, noises, smoke caution lights loss of power and control. Immediate evasive action had to be taking to avoid injury or loss of life. Once at rest, vehicle continued to smoke immensely. Low mileage, very disturbing and concerned for others driving these ticking bombs! Hyundai needs to address this issue with more strength and direction.

- Kittanning, PA, USA

problem #61

Sep 042015


  • 84,000 miles
Loss of engine power due to turbo waste gate control rod out of specs which happens every time there is a change in weather every time weather cools down or heats up check engine light comes on and code give is turbo waste gate actuator malfunction and engine losses almost all of its power makes it difficult to move out the way at highway speed and its is a sudden loss of power it happened last year when winter rolled around then it happened again this year when summer rolled around and now fall is here and the problem is back and Hyundai wants to charge not only the adjustment fee but the diagnostic charges as well the first time it happen my car had about 30000 miles second time it has 54000 and now the car has about 84000 miles on it.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #60

Oct 152014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the headlights, brake lights, and tail lights intermittently failed. The contact also stated the vehicle would jerk and the ignition switch was loose. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine) however, the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V113000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #59

Oct 152015


  • 60,000 miles
When the car is going up or down inclines (both slight or steeper inclines), the car stalls and when the accelerator is pushed, nothing happens for several seconds which is obviously problematic when entering or exiting highway on and off ramps, or trying to merge. This has occurred on local streets as well as on a highway. I have brought it to two dealerships and paid their diagnostic fees and they have been unable to tell me what the problem is. This is my family's main car and I have been unable to drive my children in it, because the stalling puts us at a huge risk of being rear ended.

- Allison Park, PA, USA

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problem #58

Aug 302015


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle did not register the gear on the instrument panel when shifted around, making it difficult to know which gear was in use. The contact stated that the failure affected the acceleration. The contact also stated that when the gear was placed in drive, the vehicle jolted. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and stated that the vehicle was excluded from any recalls. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 99,000. The VIN was not provided.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #57

Jul 152015


  • 89,651 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65 mph, the steering wheel became loose and a rattling noise was heard as all the warning lights flickered. In addition, the contact mentioned that a loud bang noise was heard when the gear was shifted from park to drive. The failure recurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 89,651.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #56

Jul 242015


  • 85,500 miles
On a couple of separate incidents, the gear disappear. I was driving on D, the gear was on D, but after several miles the gear disappear. I pulled over to park the car, I put the car on reverse, but the gear was not visible. I turned the car off and turned it back on, I could see the gear then. This has happened a couple of times. A couple of weeks after this happened, the car did not start at all. The car ended up starting after it was towed to the dealership. Apart from this issue I've been at the dealership for several other issues. Starter, axles, the key ignition switch, sensors, etc. It's been very time consuming and expensive.

- Cicero, IL, USA

problem #55

Aug 012015


  • 116,944 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the steering wheel was making an abnormal noise and a strong vibration. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 10V426000 (steering) and 10V457000 (steering). The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V434000 (power train). The contact could not confirm if the recall repair part was available to schedule the appointment. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 116,944.

- Griffin, GA, USA

problem #54

Feb 182015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Car began making a loud noise took it to dealer and they said it was engine failure - would have to replace engine at a cost of $7,000. Towed it to a certified mechanic for second opinion who said - may be able to just repair piston and not entire motor - cost could be up to $3-4000. Vehicle now sitting in our driveway - unusable - can't afford to pay to have it repaired - still paying on loan.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #53

Jul 012014


  • 10,000 miles


Car does not shift from park to reverse or drive properly all the time.

- Suitland, MD, USA

problem #52

Feb 022015


  • miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata was on 2nd recall for transmission. The air bag light came on and would not turn off...updated 02/12/15

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #51

Dec 272011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata. Consumer writes in regards to automatic transaxle shift lever.* ld the consumer stated several months after the vehicle was purchased, he was notified to make an appointment with the dealer to have the vehicle inspected with respect to campaign 928. The consumer was informed the vehicle had a slight erratic pull/drift to the right. The invoice stated the problem was correct. However, the consumer stated the problem was still present. After the second tire rotation at 16, 000 miles, a pulsating sound developed as the vehicle slowly accelerated. The problem was diagnosed by the dealer as choppy inner edges on all four tires. Their solution, was four new tires and a wheel alignment. The consumer stated he believed the campaign was not completely performed by the dealer.

- Middlebury, CT, USA

problem #50

Jan 292013


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the vehicle jerked violently and the gear message board dimmed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer fifteen times where the failures was unable to be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 41,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- West Palm Beach , FL, USA

problem #49

Jan 042015


  • 90,400 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle decelerated and failed to accelerate without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, where it diagnosed that the manifold absolute pressure sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. However, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,400. The VIN was not available.

- Temple, TX, USA

problem #48

Mar 202014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 60,777 miles
I purchased a used 2011 Sonata on 3/19/14. Within a few days, I noticed that when I reached 70 mph, the steering wheel began to vibrate violently. I called the service manager at the dealership who said it sounded like the wheel alignment. Since I work only 6 mi. From home and I hardly ever drove 70 mph, and the dealership is about an hour's drive from home, it was not until 5/19 that I had the alignment done. I paid $58.40 for the work, on the way home I found that it still vibrated at 70 mph. Due to having recently spent so much to buy the car, I couldn't afford to spend any more on it then and decided to keep my speed under 70 until I had more money. On about 9/8, the steering wheel starting making a grinding noise when I turned the wheel when backing out of my parking place. On 9/10 I called the service manager at the dealership again who suggested I take my car somewhere closer to home. I took my car to an automotive repair company, who was recommended by several friends. He removed the driveshaft and said the coupling was "dust" and it was metal against metal. He then said there was a safety notice but not a safety recall on this problem. From that day forward I have had no vibration in the steering wheel. I believe there should be a safety recall before someone gets hurt or killed. I would also like my $421.40 reimbursed.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #47

May 152014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
In May 2014, while driving at about 40 mph, maybe 1200 RPM, my engine suddenly accelerated to 4500-5000 RPM, without a simultaneous rise in speed. A week or two later, the car did the same, under about the same conditions. The dealer could find no faults or codes, and could not duplicate the occurrence; not surprising since it was sporadic. The problem continued, with considerably more frequency; almost daily. Again I took it to the dealer in late July (mccafferty Hyundai, langhorne, pa), and while a technician was driving with me, the engine raced again. They told me that there was a tech bulletin on this problem, and they would repair the car. The problem was in a module and needed recoding. At least that's what I thought they said. That repair seemed to cure the problem, until September, when a single occurrence happened. I though this was maybe a fluke, but the problem happened several more times in the following weeks. Today, 11/4/14, after several days in the dealer's shop, an insurance service tech said he could find no problem. I am now afraid to drive this car. While the car does not accelerate, maybe it's just a matter of time when the racing engine will cause severe acceleration and a subsequent accident.

- Florence, NJ, USA

problem #46

Aug 192014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
I received a facebook message from Hyundai motor America that my 2011 Sonata had been recalled under Hyundai campaign 123/NHTSA campaign number 14V-434 for a safety issue with the cable connecting the transmission range switch to the shift lever pin. I scheduled an appointment with red mccombs Hyundai northwest in san antonio, Texas. When I brought my Sonata in for service, the service adviser, [xxx], informed me that there was no recall on my vehicle. Later, in the mail, I received an important safety recall, NHTSA campaign 14V-434. So now I am unsure whether or not my Hyundai Sonata is under recall. Please advise. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #45

Aug 252014


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds or reversing, the vehicle would jerk and the instrument panel would not display the correct gear position. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission switch needed to be replaced. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V434000 (power train). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 83,000.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #44

May 152013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 58,230 miles
The gear shift got stuck and move out of park.brake lights does not work when pressing break peddle, which resently accured, that is to it brake lights.also four months ago I begin to have problems with my brakes.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

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