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.

CarComplaints.com 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 16
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,478 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 16 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

Aug 232013

Sonata

  • 50,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

In the winter once, car wouldn't start and it took a few minutes to get it started. I brought it in and they said it was fine. In April it started making a terrible noise while idling and accelerating. I took it to the dealer and they changed the oil and the noise went away for a couple months. Noise came back and the engine light came on. Now they are stating there is sludge in the engine and unless I have proof of all my oil changes they are not going to honor my warranty. I have changed the oil every 3500-6,000 miles religiously. I am not sure how the engine fails at 50,000. I purchased this car specifically for the warranty and now they are backing out.

- Hanover Park, IL, USA

problem #35

Aug 052014

Sonata

  • 82,250 miles
Oil changed 1-1.5 months ago. On 8/5/14 while driving home the car started having a ticking noise coming from the motor and the oil light quickly flashed but then went away. Made a right turn and there was a squealing noise followed by a loud boom. Car then began to have a clunk coming from the motor and would stutter like it was trying to stall out. Checked the oil and there was not much in the motor. No oil leaks. Car is parked at the same place all the time while at work and home, no oil marks left where car is parked. 2 quarts of brand new oil put into car (car was not driven after this happened-brought oil to the low oil mark on the dip stick) the next day and car was towed to faulkner Hyundai (paxton St, harrisburg pa). Car was received at dealership by 9:30 am on 8/7/14 but was never looked at until the following day. Received call from dealership stating the noise was from coming from the bottom part of the motor and questioned when my last oil change was stating "there was very little oil in the car and it was very dirty." First red flag considering that was brand new oil. Hyundai is now trying to not cover this under the warranty. This issue seems to be common on this vehicle from all the research I have done and should probably be recalled. Hyundai customer service is a joke as well as their vehicles. And their "America's best warranty" is a gimmick to get people to buy these polished pieces of crap and more than likely will not be honored. Still waiting to hear from Hyundai on a quote for the repairs and if the warranty will cover it.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #34

Jul 282014

Sonata

  • 56,000 miles
My 2011 Sonata just stopped one day, with no warning. No lights came on, I call roadside assistance, key Hyundai in milford, ct took 3 days to get back to me, and told me that my engine seized due to lack of oil. I had oil in my car, they said that sludge is in the engine because I did not keep my regular schedule oil change with them. I check my oil! but why didn't the car alert me" why didn't the oil light come one and tell me something was wrong" factory warranty will not cover the car even though I shown proof of doing oil change else where. I bought this car with 5 miles, how can a new car engine just seize!

- Bridgeport, CT, USA

problem #33

Jul 282014

Sonata

  • 64,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The dealer stated that a bad batch of oil was placed in the vehicle and that a new engine was needed. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 64,000...updated 08-26-14 the consumer stated the issue has been resolved. Updated 09/2/2014

- Sulpher, LA, USA

problem #32

May 012014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
I'm hearing crackling noises from the engine bay, I suspected it was the turbo. But after researching and checking forums many people are hearing the same noise.

- Garden City, GA, USA

problem #31

Jun 152014

Sonata

  • 70,435 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at approximate 40mph, the vehicle started to make a loud knocking sound and immediatelly the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was able to be restart it and the check engine light illuminated on the control panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the oil needed to be changed. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 70,435.

- Nash , TX, USA

problem #30

May 252014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I started the car and it shook some and check engine light came on. I checked oil and it was 2.5 quarts low. Filled the car with oil. Drove it to the shop to have a oil change done on it. The shop changed the oil and I drove the car home. As I was driving it home the car started sputtering and clattering. The car stalled. Towed to shop where mechanic immediately checked oil. It was full of oil. The mechanic changed the sensors. After changing the sensors the check engine light went off but the motor is still knocking. The mechanic confirmed the engine has been seized. The engine needs to be replaced. I have read on the internet that the 2011 engine is known to have major problems.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #29

May 022012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
On 5 occasions my car has temporarily stalled/lost power for an instant, always at freeway speed within 10 miles of my home. The sensation is as if the car had run into something heavy on the pavement. It violently pitched my wife and I forward and I expect that we would have hit the dash had we not been wearing seatbelts. After exiting the freeway in all cases, the car had barely enough acceleration to drive more than 25 mph for the couple of miles to the dealer. The dealer claims that they cannot repair a problem which they cannot duplicate. I understand this but find it difficult to believe that Hyundai has never heard of this issue before. I strongly feel that my vehicle is unsafe and needs to be repaired under the manufacturer's warranty. I am only 30,000 miles into a 100,000 mile warranty.

- Sellersburg, IN, USA

problem #28

Jan 142014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
While driving on the grand central parkway going 50 mph the car suddenly lost all power and stalled. The engine had seized due to loss of oil. There had been no oil warning light. Car had been serviced regularly since purchase. Car was towed to dealer. Dealer informed us that short block needed to be replaced & work was done. We have tried to find an oil warning light on the a instrument cluster and have had no luck so we are not confident this won't happen again, creating another unsafe situation the car did not feel right while we drove it. At one point, about a month or so later, it stalled out. We called Hyundai for a tow but the car eventually started. A week later the car overheated and we brought it to a service station & checked the coolant. It was low & so we added coolant. We also checked the oil & found it down by one quart. (this was about 2 thousand miles after the short block was replaced). Car continued to overheat in traffic. We took the car to Hyundai for service where they discovered that the fan was not working. We asked if it was normal for the car to stall while on the road if it overheats, & we're told yes it was normal. We consider this to be a serious issue with this car. We have filed a complaint and received an incident number but have not received any response from corporate. We do not feel safe in this car or transporting our grandchildren or anyone else. Please contact us a.S.a.P. thank you for your quick reply to our concerns.

- Manhasset, NY, USA

problem #27

Feb 072014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle failed to restart and was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician informed the contact that the engine seized and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was scheduled to have the engine replaced when it became available. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 46,405. Updated 04/04/14 the consumer stated after driving less than half of a mile the vehicle's engine shut down without warning. The dealer advised that the engine locked up due to excessive heat. The dealer would not offer any assistance. The vehicle was eventually repaired. Updated 04/14/2014

- Clute, TX, USA

problem #26

Jan 242014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving my 2011 Sonata on I-95 North in md near baltimore. I was in stop and go traffic at 8:20am, when with out any warning, my car shut off. I looked down and all the lights on my dash were on. I coasted to the left shoulder and I tried to restart it and it wouldn't. I waited for 30- 40 minutes in rush hour traffic on the left shoulder of 95 for someone to come and jump start my car. It started immediately when it was jumped, with no problems, with no lights on the dashboard indicating any problems. I was about 1/4 mile from work. Once back in traffic, my car turned off a second time. Again, I was able to get it started with a jump with no problem. When it started the second time we heard a clunking noise and drove it 3 blocks to my office. No dash warning lights came on. I contacted my dealer, annapolis Hyundai and they said I would have to have it towed in. I contacted Hyundai's road side service and they towed it at no cost to me. I was asked for receipts and service information immediately before my car was looked at. After 6 days and continual calls, they advised I would need a new engine. As my car is only 3 years old and the engine is under the 100,000 mile warranty( it has approx. 64,000 miles on it), they advised they would have to send documents in to Hyundai and they would have to approve. My car has been there for 16 days and I have been refused a loaner car until Hyundai honors the 100,000 mile warranty. My car had originally been scheduled for service on 1/27 as I was having problems with the car not starting on at least 3 occasions and it needed to be jumped started(with 2 times by geico). During this time, there was never any indication there was a problem as no warning lights came on my car. This car is unsafe and should have a recall on the engine. A car should never stop running while it is in drive especially in traffic.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #25

Mar 192013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 76,364 miles
2011 Sonata turbo purchased brand new by a family member maintained and garage kept. In March of 2013 and with 76,364 miles on the car I experienced what Hyundai categorized as a catastrophic engine failure. There was no indication of any problem, no warning lights, the engine spun a rod bearing and threw a piston rod through the block. The vehicle was towed to a dealership, assessed and determined that the engine would require replacement. During the repairs, a long block engine was put in the vehicle and when cranked at the dealership, vibrated so bad that they determined the replacement engine was not functional. A 3rd engine was placed in the car and at 85,960 miles on July 29, 2013 the 3rd engine did the same thing as the first engine, no warning lights, no indication anything was wrong, spun a rod bearing and threw the same location cylinder piston rod threw the block and in this catastrophic engine failure, the car caught on fire. Fortunately it did put itself out. Vehicle was towed to a different Hyundai dealership, assessed and determined an engine replacement was required. Hyundai is still unable to determine the cause for both catastrophic engine failures. 24 hours after the vehicle was returned w/ replacement motor, my garage floor and driveway were covered in motor oil. I was told by the dealership to fill the oil level and drive the car in for assessment. It was determined that the oil sending unit tube was not properly threaded into the engine block, causing the leak. The dealership said the engine came from the factory that way although they did make the repair. Now the car is out of warranty (surpassing the 100,000 miles) and I am left wondering how long this engine will last and how much a replacement will cost me. After consulting an attorney Hyundai is only willing to settle this for about $1500 (not including legal fees).

- Hamilton, TX, USA

problem #24

Nov 282013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 30,350 miles
On thanksgiving evening November 28, 2013 @ 7:30 pm, my 2011 Hyundai Sonata that I purchased new, caught fire on I 95 while driving it. The car has only 30,350 miles and is properly maintained and garage kept. The vehicle had the oil and filter replaced 5 days earlier and there are no signs of any fluids leaking in the garage. There were no warning lights that came on and the temperature gauge read as normal until just before the engine shut off (then all the dash lights came on) and we pulled over onto the shoulder of a busy highway at night. I raised the hood, smoke poured out and I could see small flames under the engine. Minutes later the flames were 20 feet high and the entire car burned until fire trucks and police arrived on the scene. The vehicle is a total loss.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #23

Feb 082012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 33,500 miles
I bought my 2011 Hyundai Sonata back in February 2012 from enterprise car sales and ever since I bought it I been hearing a knocking sound in the front end of my car while im driving from maybe 10mph to 40mph. But on the highway when I reach speeds over 50mph I don't hear anything. I have taken it to the dealer numerous of times I have had certified mechanics check it and they told me it could be one of the motor mounts but the dealer never wanted to change it they kept telling me the car was fine. Now its going to be a year later and my car has that same knocking sound in the front but now its extremely loud. I can feel the knocking through the steering too so now I don't know what to do.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #22

Dec 042013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
I am reporting a third incident that occurred after the date of the earlier two incidents I previously reported in my earlier complaints. After the previous incident, Hyundai burlingame (1025 rollins road, burlingame, ca 94010), installed a new engine and installed a new fuel intake valve. On October 19, 2013, the second repair work was completed and I picked up the car. On December 4, 2013, I was driving the car on us 101, northbound traveling approximately 70 mph when the car began to make loud clanging noises and violently shake and shudder and the engine light came on. I was able to pull off the highway just as the car again experienced a catastrophic engine failure. As the engine failed, the power to the steering went out and this made the car difficult to maneuver. The car was towed to Hyundai burlingam and is awaiting repair.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #21

Nov 242013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
No oil in the engine. No indication of oil leakage. No low oil pressure or low oil light indicating there was a problem with low oil. The Hyundai dealership has told me I need a new engine. The was no indication that there was a problem with the car until the car suddenly stopped functioning. This is a problem with this automobile. I've seen the same type of complaints on the internet. The Hyundai Sonata should be recalled to fix the malfunctioning warning system indicating that there is a problem with low oil pressure or low oil level.

- Pipersville, PA, USA

problem #20

Nov 092013

Sonata

  • 52,400 miles
The car would not start, battery is three weeks old. The car was brought in to the dealership by tow and was repaired and returned to me on 11/11/2013. I was told at the time that it wasn't the starter, it was the starter lever. The evening of 11/11/2013 the car wouldn't start on the first try, but did after the second. On 11/12/13 the car failed to start until the fourth try. I called and the dealer said to bring it back in, I did on the morning of 11/13/13, in preparing to leave for the dealership from my work location the car again failed to start three times and finally started on the fourth try. No car in my family has ever had a starter issue like this in a car that is less then three years old.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #19

Oct 212013

Sonata

  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated the engine would have to be replaced due to oil sludge. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 44,000.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #18

Oct 122011

Sonata

  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while accelerating from a stop, the vehicle stalled. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer replaced the throttle, which did not remedy the stalling failure and the contact took the vehicle back to the dealer. The dealer replaced the fuel system and tightened the oil pan however, the repair also did not remedy the failure. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer a third time however, the dealer could not detect a code regarding the stalling failure and stated that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The contact called the manufacturer, who sent a technician from the regional office but the technician also could not determine a defect after driving the vehicle for 14 miles. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 36,000.

- Berkley Heights, NJ, USA

problem #17

Sep 112013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
The auto on several, sporadic occasions had an acceleration problem, while sitting still in traffic. While sitting still in traffic, the rpms would start to increase, going to 6000 rpms before I geared it back down and shut the engine off. I took it too the dealer on several occasions, they kept it couple of days each time, they told me, they could find nothing wrong, and go ahead and drive it, if it happened again, bring it back, sending me away in a unsafe vehicle. The last time, date mentioned above, a service technician test drove my car, the acceleration problem occurred, and he totaled out my vehicle. I was not notified until 2 days later that my vehicle had been in a accident. I was told, it happened the night before, I was notified on Sept 13, 2013, that would have the accident occurring on Sept.12,2013, when in fact it occurred on Sept. 11, 2013. I have searched and found on several occasions that this vehicle, did indeed, have acceleration problems, which the dealer had informed me, had never happened before. The vehicle, should have been diagnosed and the problem fixed, the first time, instead of the dealership, sending me away each time in a unsafe vehicle. Very unethical of the dealer, for telling lies about the car, and, the correct date the incident occurred, not notifying me for 2 days, that it occurred, and.not fixing the problem, as should have been expected of them, the first time it occurred, and sending me away each time in a unsafe vehicle.

- Alpharetta , GA, USA

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