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 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,680 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 8 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #53

Feb 092012


  • 15,000 miles


I have the same problem with the brake switch car won't start with push button start on my SE. I jumped the car got it started took it to the dealer they could not find out what was wrong with it. It happened again I called the dealership to take it back again and the service advisor I have delt with for 6 years was there she told me they have been replacing these switches and if it happens again just hold down the push button start for 30 seconds and it will over ride the switch and start. Well she was right it happened this morning I put my foot on the brake and held in the push button and it started after about 20 seconds. I take it in tomorrow to have the switch replaced.

- Bethel Park, PA, USA

problem #52

Jan 202012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 15,990 miles
Add on to ODI # 10440320 I was driving and twice when I tried to stop to make a turn the engine kept overriding the brake and the car kept lurching ahead. I applied the brake peddle as hard as I could and the car would not stop. When I released the break peddle, the car started acting normal again. By this time I was way over the center line of the road and if there had been another car at the intersection I would have certainty hit them. This is the second and third time this has happened with this car and I believe it should be taken off the road before someone get killed. If I was pulling up behind another car at a stop sign and this happened I would rear end the car in front. If I was stopping at a pedestrian crossing and this happened I could run someone over and kill them.

- Brodhead, WI, USA

problem #51

Dec 172011


  • 6,300 miles
After having 3 of 5 recall fixes performed, battery charging system warning light and sounds activated. Car lost power at low revs. Required giving full throttle to enable gas engine to kick in and gain enough speed to safely stay with traffic. After pulling over and turning engine off/on, problem seemed to resolve itself. Happened again in highway traffic while entering exit ramp resulting in a dangerous loss of power. Returned vehicle to dealership for repair. Dealership assured me that they knew what the issue was and that it would be repaired. 2 days later issue happened 3 times. Each time on the highway at approx. 65mph with nowhere safe to conveniently pull over.

- Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #50

Dec 222011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles


I have experienced this problem 3 times, my 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited failed to start. I like many others had my foot on the brake and hit the start button as I usually do and nothing happened but the dashboard indicator kept reading "press on brake pedal and push button to start" I repeatedly tried over and over. After 15-20 failed attempts I pulled out my manual, no work around. I then called the dealer, who told me to stomp on the brake hard. I did and after three cycles it started.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #49

Oct 282011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
The "check charging system" light appeared the 1st week that we had this new( Hyundai 2011 Sonata hybrid) car while my wife was driving the car. She lost power to the vehicle and had to stop and restart. I returned it to the dealer that afternoon and they stated that the battery terminal was loose and needed adjustment. The car had about 200+ miles on it. Today, November 6, 2011, I was with my wife and she was driving and the " check charging system' light again came on with an audible alarm. ( about 400+ miles). We lost power at a traffic light and had to stop and the car was difficult to restart. After checking the Hyundai forums, this appears to be a frequent occurrence with numerous drivers around the country. Many registered forum users are concerned that this is a major safety issue and needs to be addressed immediately. I am taking the car back to the dealer on Monday morning and wanted to have this documented. My wife does not feel safe in this vehicle ( and neither do I at this time).

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #48

Oct 242011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 10,800 miles
I have a 2011 Sonata that failed to start on three occasions. The first was about 8000 miles the second was at 10800 miles and the third was the next day from the second occasion. This car is less than 1 year old. As I went to start the car as I normally do the "press the brake pedal to start" would flash even though my foot was on the brake pedal. The first two times I was able to get it to start by repeatedly pressing the brake pedal and pressing the push button start more than 10 times. The third time I had no such luck and called the dealer for service. I noticed that on all 3 occasions that the brake pedal had more than normal pressure and would not depress at all. I assume that there is some sort of switch that tells the car that your foot is on the brake before the push button start will start the car. With the brake pedal not moving at all this switch is probably not being activated so the car does not start.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #47

Oct 102011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,500 miles


6,500 miles into vehicle use, vehicle failed to start up while parked. Upon entering vehicle, pressing brake pedal, and pushing start on push-button start, screen would display "push brake pedal to start vehicle." The vehicle failed to acknowledge brake pedal was being pressed. After 5 minutes of continuously pressing brake pedal down and simultaneously pressing start button, vehicle eventually started. Approximately 5 additional failures to start occurred before I brought vehicle in to selling dealer. The dealer diagnosed the problem, which my receipt lists as a faulty brake lamp switch. Technician removed and replaced brake lamp switch. Approximately one week after vehicle was "fixed, " the vehicle failed to start in the same fashion as had previously occurred. I had vehicle towed to dealership. Dealership again diagnosed same problem and replaced same part (brake lamp switch) as previously replaced. I have had vehicle for three days since last (second) repair. I will continue to monitor and report if issue appears again.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #46

Oct 042011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
On the way to work this morning, my Sonata hybrid started beeping and "check charging system" appeared on the dashboard. My car suddenly started losing engine power to the point where my car would not move after the stop light turned green, leaving me stuck in the middle of a huge intersection with people almost hitting me. After restarting my car, it finally started to move, but repeated the same instance at the next stop light. This is a serious safety issue. I had to have my car towed to the dealership because I was not going to risk my safety and life. People need to be aware of this issue because if other vehicles are experiencing the same problem, someone could get into a serious car wreck which could be potentially fatal, if happened on a freeway.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #45

Oct 012011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,400 miles
Hyundai Sonata hybrid. First problem occurred at approximately 6400 miles. I was driving between 60-65 mph on the freeway. Vehicle lost power and alarm sounded. "check chargin system" light illuminated and the car lost all power to drive, gas engine and hybrid engine shut-off in middle of freeway. Was able to make it off freeway. Let car come to rest and restarted car. Everything seemed normal, drove in parking lot and was close to home. Taking to dealership who has not heard of issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #44

Sep 222011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 9,802 miles
I drive the Hyundai Sonata hybrid. The first time the problem occurred at approx 9800 miles, I was driving 60 mph on a highway when the vehicle lost battery power and an alarm sounded, and then a signal indicating to "check charging system." I immediately took the vehicle to my Hyundai dealership where they were aware of the issue, but did not know how to fix it and suggested I just simply turn off and then restart my car. It happened two additional times, one while approaching a stop light, and another time while I was stopped at a stop light. The last time it happened, I could not get my vehicle to reset by restarting once. I had to shut the vehicle off, then attempted several times to restart. The 4th time I tried to start it, I was able to do so sucessfully. I did notice the last time it happened, the engine light remained on even after battery power was restored. I am taking it back to the dealership tomorrow and demanding a solution. This is just too dangerous to lose power in high-speed traffic, and the problem seems to be occuring at all speeds.

- Canyon Lake, TX, USA

problem #43

Sep 252011


  • miles


While driving, a warning alert suddenly sounded with a display advising "check charging system." The power system in the car failed. The air conditioning cut off. The acceleration system failed completely and the car cut off all propulsion. I pulled over and had to turn off the ignition. I pushed the start button again and the car appeared to work. I have read online that this is happening to all Sonata hybrids.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #42

Sep 222011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid stops loses power comes to complete stop - for the third time in two months when I started my car the service indicator light came on and stayed on. I noticed this time that the car would not go faster than 40 mph and the engine is not running the car appears to be running just off the electric motor and the battery. The car went for about 2 miles and the car lost power and came to complete stop. I had to completely shut off the car and restart it before it would move again - this is a re-occurring and very dangerous situation.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #41

Sep 132011


  • 30,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited. Within the last 2 weeks my car has not started on 4 different occasions. The message screen within the car says "press brake to start". it will not allow me to depress the brake peddle. Everything in the car as far as lights, radio, and dashboard work fine. I have got stuck at the local mall, the grocery star and at work. I was able to start the car one time by slamming my foot down on the brake really hard. (which I shouldn't have to) the electrical system or brakes definitely have an issue. Hundreds off other Sonata owners are having the same exact issue. Nothing has been done to correct this problem. I drive over 100 miles a day and have to have a reliable car. Hyundai needs to correct this issue asap.

- Yucaipa, CA, USA

problem #40

Sep 162011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 2,146 miles
Was pulling on to a road and the engine did not engage, the hybrid system",green ready" light began blinking and the yellow service " with the wrench " engine light also came on. I could only get it up to 3 to 5 mphs and the echo gage was up to red pegged out, , we pulled out on a county road that has a speed limit of 45, a van had to stop, because we pulled out in front of him, I had no doubt the vehicle would go, but it did not. We had just drove up a hill that always requires engine, grade steep, stopped and pulled out. Nearly causing an accident. We pulled off road and tried again driving in electrical only mode light blinking we pulled back over and restarted car and everything was fine. It's a dangerous problem that needs to be addressed, when I push the peddle it should go!!!

- Benton, AR, USA

problem #39

Sep 122011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 12,290 miles
I am the owner of a 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited. Within the last 2 days it has not started 4 times. The message screen within the car says "press brake to start". it will not allow me to depress the brake peddle at all, to have the engine start. Many dash system lights go on, but the car will not start. The electrical system definitely has an issue. I looked on the internet to see if others have experienced the same problem.. I am still in shock!!!! hundreds from all over the usa have had the same problem and from what I read nothing has been done to correct this problem. I drive 100 miles to work and I must have a reliable car. Here is a beautiful looking car sitting in our garage not able to start!!! this is really a problem. Please register this complaint and hopefully Hyundai is doing something to help us poor folks that bought these cars.

- Philomath, OR, USA

problem #38

Sep 062011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
Upon pulling out from a stop sign the engine stalled, after coasting to a stop and placing in park I tried to restart engine. All lights went off and motor did not turn. Attempted again, same thing then passenger compartment filled with smoke. Fire dept arrived and determined somewhere in dash a component had fried.they then disconnected battery. Vehicle was towed to dealer, per dealer engine locked up and they have to disassemble dash to determine what had fried.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #37

Sep 062011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 2,440 miles
When pulling out of a parking lot from a stop the service light came on and the car's ready light started flashing. The car lost almost all power while I was in the center of the road. Other cars were able to avoid me, but they could have easily ran into me. Shutting the car off and restarting it restored normal operations.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #36

Sep 022011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 23,500 miles
Have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited and yesterday when attempting to start the car the push button start failed. I had my foot on the brake and hit the button as I always do and nothing. The dashboard kept reading "press on brake pedal and push button to start" I repeatedly tried over and over. After 15-20 failed attempts I waited a few minutes as I looked up the roadside assistance number. After finding the number I tried "one last time" and the luckily the car started. I drove home parked it and this morning went out and the car starts. I have scheduled an appointment at the dealership later in the week and hope they get this fixed. From what I read online a lot of people are having the same problem and the "attempted dealer fixes" have not completely solved the problem. Hyundai needs to figure it out and make this right. How can anyone feel comfortable driving this car with the thought they can be stranded at anytime.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #35

Sep 012011


  • 7,093 miles
Sonata hybrid. Driving on the freeway at 60 mph on cruise control. Exit ramp with cruise control off and car gliding to stop light in ev mode. Stopped at red light for 3-5 seconds. Then pushed the accelerator... the car lost power, would not move, instrument panel lights flashed, audible ding warning sounded. Display screen showed "check charging system" then screen showed to put car in park. I then placed car in park and pushed the ignition button and car had power to drive off the street and out of the flow of traffic. I then looked over the car, no warning lights or sounds. I test drove it in a parking lot to make sure it would not stop again. Conditions at time of event: Blue driving mode, gas tank level at 1/2, hybrid battery charge at 1/2 radio on, headlights on, air conditioner off, and the outside temp. About 77F. I'm not sure which component failed. Electrical, engine or the hybrid power control unit.

- Morrow, OH, USA

problem #34

Jul 072011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 1,600 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata limited with push button start. Purchased the car in May 2011. At 1600 miles, the car would not start. Brake will not depress in order to start car. Dealership replaced brake light sensor part #93810-3S000. At 3200 miles, the same problem occurred. Dealership will not acknowledge that there is a problem, since they can not replicate the problem.. this is an obvious recurring issue which Hyundai needs to recognize and find a definite repair. Most consumers do not have the free time to wait numerous hours for service help while attempting to start a new car that should start without flaw. Do not purchase a new Hyundai Sonata. It may look like a luxury car - remember, looks are deceiving.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

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