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:
8 / 14
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,226 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 17 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Sep 032012


  • 23,000 miles


I have several complaints regarding this vehicle. I have had this car two years and about two months and have had nothing but problems (purchased brand new) -- I've had to get a new motor (engine caught on fire (electrical/smoking) while driving down the beltway), replaced tire rod, need 4 brand new tires, transmission slipping, and other electrical problems with cooling/heating system (the blower does not work for air pointed in the floor direction), strong smell of gas fumes inside of the vehicle. The gas mileage gauge is inaccurate -- I get no where near the highway nor city miles. The gas meter is not registering. Parts on the electrical system have been randomly replaced. I have had all schedule services on my vehicle as well as extras such as special replacement filters, etc. I have also had problems with the breaking system. I believe I've purchased a complete lemon. The current mileage on the vehicle is 27700 miles. There is no way I should be having this many problems as frequently as I have been having. The car's steering pulls to the left as well. I should not have to replace tires only after two years of driving after putting nitrogen as advised. I've noticed a noise when turning the steering to the left as well as if the left tire rod or axle wants to break -- weird feeling turn the car. The alarm system is failing to lock all of the doors -- only the drivers door. -- dealers solution...purchase a new one "?? really"

- Forestville, MD, USA

problem #7

Jun 132012


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid. The contact stated that while at a complete stop, warning chimes were heard, warning lights illuminated, and the vehicle stalled. The contact was unsure of which lights illuminated. The contact also stated that while driving 30 mph, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 10,000. The VIN was not available.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 022012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
Beginning of October 2012 I kept hearing rattling, clanking noise coming from under the hood. I took the car to a Hyundai dealer where I live October 26, 2012. They checked out the car and told me because the engine light didn't come on, they couldn't find a code to fix the car and to bring the car in when the engine light comes on. I kept driving the car and hearing the same noise. I took it to meineke to get an oil change November 14, 2012. Drove the car approximately 3 weeks and still heard the noise. I took it to another Hyundai dealer. They said the car didn't have any oil and meinke forgot to put the drain plug back in, therefore it messed up the engine, and that's why I heard the noise. I kept telling them, I heard the noise before the oil change. I took it back to meinke and showed them the paper Hyundai gave me, they gave me my money back and apologized. Still hearing the noise, I took it back to the first Hyundai dealer and they said it was engine problems and I had to pay the diagnostic fee because my warranty was voided due to meineke. I refused to pay the fee because my car is under warranty. They wouldn't give me my car back until I paid, we argued back and forth and I called the police and they gave me my car back, but told me not to come back on their property. I then took the car to where I purchased it and same thing. They said to try a gas additive 3 times, if that doesn't work, get an oil consumption test in my area where I live. I need my car fixed and no one will fix it. Hyundai blames meineke and meineke blames Hyundai. They're saying because of no engine light on, they can't see the problems, but one dealer said it was the engine another saying gas problems. Bottom line, if the first Hyundai dealer had kept my car, I wouldn't be going through this. How can I resolve this?

- Center Cross, VA, USA

problem #5

Nov 202012


  • 38,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled and immediately after the failure, all of the warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was able to be restarted after 10 minutes and was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The contact was advised that the air filters were clogged and needed to be replaced. The air filters were replaced however, the failure recurred one week later. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where they advised that the valves from the fuel tank failed and was the cause of the failure. The valves were repaired however, the failure still recurred. The vehicle was not further repaired. In addition, the contact stated that the fuel level gauge would provide an erroneous reading of empty. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the instrument cluster was repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 38,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Hulio, LA, USA

problem #4

Nov 142012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 30,869 miles
I have had my vehicle in for service 5 times for the same issue, it would not start. The first 3 times a sensor switch was replaced. The fourth time I was told my battery was the issue so I got a new battery. Today was the fifth time and the service dept indicated they could not find anything wrong but they went ahead and replaced the sensor switch again. I am not happy, I feel that I cannot depend on my vehicle. I am planning an out of town trip for thanksgiving and have resorted to renting a vehicle because I am paranoid about being stranded on the road with this issue. I paid alot of money for this vehicle and this just is not right. I am considering trading it in for a vehicle that starts the traditional way (with a key).

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #3

Oct 212012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Waste gate actuator fails (replaced multiple times under warranty already) leaving the car with almost no power to accelerate or pass, unfortunately this usually appears when you try and cross a road/intersection and what should take 5 or 6 seconds to make a safe crossing takes much longer and it completely unexpected. This failure has now almost ended up in two accidents first when passing a vehicle and second crossing a 2 way stop and almost being T boned in what should have been an easy, safe crossing.

- Na Canada, MI, USA

problem #2

Aug 202012


  • 33,000 miles
Car is not starting with push button start and depressing the brake. It takes several tries for it to finally start. It is intermittent, sometimes starts up right away, other times it doesn't.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 092012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 28,212 miles
3X the driver window button is inoperable. Would turn off car and then it would again work. The worst issue is this: Started up car this morning 7-9-12 (this is the 3rd occurrence) and the doors do not lock, then I put it in reverse and it goes about 2 feet and it applies the brakes. I noticed each time the gear console does not light up. The car actually does not go into gear. Each time I have turned off the ignition and restarted it and it works fine. It's going to the shop for the 30K check up and this will be brought up. The drivers window has been brought up and the dealer has said there was no problem. Wrong. There is when it doesn't work. I had one of these in 2001 and it too had electrical issues. My neighbor just sold their 05 Sonata due to electrical issues.

- Winchester, KY, USA

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