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:
3 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,500 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 3 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #149

Nov 292015


  • 45,100 miles


I have owned this car for 4 1/2 years and it is my everyday vehicle. I entered the vehicle and started it like any other day and proceeded to drive to my destination. As I was traveling, acceleration felt normal. I went through an intersection, making a left hand turn and continuing on. Upon coming to the next intersection, the light turned red so I came to a complete stop. As I did, I looked across the dashboard and noticed suddenly every possible indication signal was lit. As the light turned green I attempted to use the gas pedal to start driving forward only to find that the gas pedal had suddenly gone stiff and it was clear that the engine was off. I was forced to put the car into park, return the key to its starting position and restart the car entirely. I then continued on my way but very cautiously leery after this episode. I continued on for another couple of miles and as I saw traffic ahead of me I began to slowly engage the parking break to start decelerating slowly and all of a sudden the engine stalled and cut off again, this time while the car was still traveling! I desperately used all of my strength to press on the again stiff break pedal while finally thinking to use my other foot to attempt to engage the emergency break as the car was still in motion and cars were coming to a complete stop just ahead of me! Hyundai has stated recently that there is a known recall involving similar malfunctions but tells me that it is not "finalized" and the "vehicle is completely drivable while they work on this" and I was advised I would have to pay out of pocket to even have the inspection done at this time.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #148

Nov 132015


  • 102,000 miles
Tail light assembly is melting around the connector for the brake light bulb. The connector and bulb get so hot that surrounding plastic and connector plastic melt causing the brake light to fail and making replacement impossible. Hyundai replaced two melted brake light assemblies on the passenger side and one brake light assembly on the drivers side in less than 4 years. Now the driver side brake light assembly is melting again. This is a fire hazard and a safety hazard because the brake light stops working when the connector melts. Hyundai replaced two assemblies under warranty. I paid $250 for one brake light assembly and now Hyundai wants to charge me $250 for the fourth brake light assembly. This should be recalled by NHTSA. Googling the Hyundai 2011 brake like assembly list many other people with the same issue. This is a manufacturing defect that is causing a safety hazard for 2011 Hyundai drivers and other drivers that encounter cars with the failing brake light assembly.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #147

Nov 142015


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle independently decelerated. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #146

Oct 012015


  • 63,000 miles


When making left turn signal, it triggered the headlight shut off along with interior lighting for the screens shutting off, all of the lighting went back on after a very short of period of time.

- Lake Zurich, IL, USA

problem #145

Oct 312015


  • miles
Horn has been replaced three times in the last year and a half and has gone out again. Also airbag indicator light on dash board is lit, Hyundai states faulty indicator light and no safety issue. The horn and the airbag are all located in the same place, there has to be an issue.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #144

Jun 232014


  • 51,174 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact mentioned that the push button start failed to work and that the dealer replaced the starter once before the contact owned the vehicle. When the failure was experienced, the contact had the starter replaced by a repair shop but the failure continued. The push button start randomly failed to work. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine), but had not received notification of the recall. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 51,174. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #143

Oct 262015


  • 45,000 miles


Car would not start. Towed. Starter lever failed. This is known issue as stated by tow driver, Hyundai rep, and hundreds of owners complaining of this exact issue on internet. Occurred just out of warranty.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #142

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 #141

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 #140

Oct 222015


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the instrument panel lights flickered. In addition, the steering wheel made an abnormal noise and seized then the vehicle stalled. The contact coasted to the side of the road after three hours the vehicle was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed but the diagnosis was unavailable. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 81,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #139

Oct 152015


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, there was a loud abnormal noise. The failure only occurred when driving at high speeds. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #138

Oct 032015


  • 55,000 miles
Rubber washer broke off brake pedal allowing the brake lights to stay on all the time. It burnt up both tail light lenses and brake lights. There was no way to shut the brake lights off without disconnecting the battery or removing the bulbs, which I did and burnt my fingers.

- Ft. Myers Fl., FL, USA

problem #137

May 092013


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle had various engine and electrical failures more than two years ago that progressed randomly without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer more than three times and they were not able to replicate and diagnose the failure. The vehicle was taken to a second dealer for further inspection and diagnostic testing to determine the failure and they indicated that the recall repair for NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine) did not need to be completed. The second dealer did not complete the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failures and provided no remedy. The approximate failure mileage was 18,000.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #136

Sep 302015


  • 72,000 miles
Light in back window keeps flashing and brake lights keep needing replaced. Also just replaced a rear censor. Our son drives back and forth from college this can be dangerous!

- East Berlin, PA, USA

problem #135

Sep 212015


  • 80,171 miles
11/20/10: Steering column shaft. 5/18/11: Brake switch. Car will not start or shift out of gear. C1513 code. Internal short in brake switch. 3/26/12: Brake switch. Car will not start. C1513 code. Internal short in brake switch. Shift lever knob repl. 8/5/13: Brake switch. Recall. Repl left front axle assembly. 7/7/14: Inhib switch-check engine light on. Car is shifting hard, especially from P-R & then to D. jolting sensation like someone hit from behind. Code P0705-transm range sensor malf. 10/1/14: Brake tube. Shift lever cable. 10/16/14: Code P0106: Map sensor. Flexible coupling-clicking sound & wobbling when turning. Told me I was over 70K. Indicated I was under 70K when I made this appt. Mgr waived cost. 2/26/15: Starter-would not start-towed. 5/15/15: Rear passenger brake light-bulb burned out & melted into socket. Tail lamp also melted. Tech was able to heat & reshape socket. 8/3/15: Brake light switch-car dead after work. Internal malfunction & caused brake lights to stay on. Hesitation during acceleration. Declined accurate auto to look further as car is still under warranty so I will take it to hub. It improved. 8/25/15: Brake light switch. Severe hesitation-almost rear-ended –felt like it would stall (tech noticed). Informed accurate the car was still under warranty so I will take it to hub. Hesitation improved. 8/27/15: Diag testing-hub waived cost of diag testing-no codes found. Unable to duplicate hesitation. Hesitation occurred when leaving. 9/21/15: Brake light switch-brake lights on. Drive side brake light is out. Hesitation worse-felt as if it would stall! driver side brake lamp bulb. Driver side tail lamp overheated & warped. Eventually replace tail lamp assembly. Declined for accurate to do further testing on the hesitation as the car was still under warranty so I will take it back to hub. Hesitation improved. To date, still does not run smooth.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #134

Sep 012015


  • 70,000 miles
Rear break light was was flashing, car acted like it did not want to go until it was warmed up. Just had it inspected and again it needed another bulb in break light. Garage this time replaced another bulb and rear O2 sensor, steering angle sensor. Now today there is a recall with the motor. Is this car safe for our son to be driving back and forth to college?

- East Berlin, PA, USA

problem #133

Apr 212015


  • 77,213 miles
Experienced issue with my Hyundai Sonata 2011 not starting and heard a clicking noise. Towed vehicle to local Hyundai dealership (where purchased). Service report on April 21,2015 indicated starter fork had failed. Cost of labor was $112.50 and plastic fork $8.13. Plus towing cost this is needs to be investigated for root cause and corrective actions. Per service department this was not covered under drivetrain warranty. This part should not be failing after only 77,213 miles. The long term reliability of this vehicle is a concern with rising and mounting labor cost. How long will this fork last" how did this part pass the Hyundai development and product validation automotive testing? or is this a manufacturing defect issue after release " this is another known issue that is being reported by Sonata 2011 owners and not being addressed it is poor when the towing service person knew what the issue was. As he has towed several Sonatas with same issue.

- Kernersville, NC, USA

problem #132

Aug 242015


  • 64,635 miles
In mid--August 2015, my car began to have odd things happen such as the car alarm randomly going off. I replaced the battery thinking it may be the cause. That did not help. The alarm still randomly went off. I did not think this was a serious problem until my daughter was driving at highway speeds. On Aug 14th she reported to me that her steering became erratic regardless of what she did. After she pulled over, she noticed the fuel gauge went to zero and the low fuel light began blinking despite having recently filled the tank. When she got back on the road, the cruise control suddenly stopped working. Finally, within the next couple of days, the brake lights came on and would not go off. This caused the left tail light assembly to completely melt! then, on Aug 24th, she drove the car to O'brien Hyundai in ft myers, fl. They replaced the steering angle sensor, sending unit, brake switch, brake switch stopper, and tail light assembly. They could not tell her or me what the root cause was for this electrical issue that nearly caused a accident.

- Belleair Beach, FL, USA

problem #131

Aug 092015


  • 124,000 miles
While driving on a highway in the middle of traffic my 2011 Sonata completely stopped and the engine totally seized up endangering my entire family. There was no unusual engine sound prior to it stopping and no warning whatsoever. We had to coast to the side of the road, avoiding oncoming traffic. This is totally unacceptable as it endangered 5 lives. Thank goodness we were able to get to the side of the road. We are told that the engine would need to be totally replaced at a min. Engine cost of $5800 not including labor or other parts. In estimating costs, probably $8000 or more. It looks like there is a defect in the rotating assembly that causes sudden and catastrophic engine failure. Hyundai is aware of this problem and has done nothing to prevent it. Now I have no car to drive, and must somehow come up with the above costs or rent a car. The car is out of warranty but was well maintained. This is a serious problem and needs immediate attention.

- Perry, MI, USA

problem #130

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

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