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 / 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 2 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #316

Aug 142016


  • 77,000 miles


I have had this 2011 Sonata for just 4 month it has 77.000 miles and since I bought it I have called the dealer several times because the car has a knocking sound coming from what I think is the engine specially at low speed the sound becomes louder and at times the oil pressure light will flash on and off. Dealer said they inspected and can't find anything I am very scared that this is a mayor issue and was also told by the dealer that there are no recalls for that year but it just doesn't make any sense that a car will do that for no reason. I don't know who else to contact, I did buy and extended warranty when I purchased the car. Someone please help.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #315

Dec 142015


  • miles
I bought my Hyundai Sonata gls 2011, in 2010, and since then there have been several recalls on it. I have done my research, and have found that a manufacturer must repair, replace, or supply a new vehicle to the owner when a recall is mandated. I have taken my vehicle to the dealership for each recall, and what they do is inspect the vehicle, and in most cases, tell me my car doesn't apply to the recall as they find nothing wrong. I am disturbed by this because again, everything I have read, everyone I have talked to, etc... tells me that the dealer must do something in order for the recall to be considered complete. I am driving around in a vehicle with things wrong with it, transporting a toddler, and am stuck with finding resolution on my own. How is this fair to the consumer? the manufacturer has all of its money, as my car is paid off, and my car isn't worth anything for trade or resell due to negligence. If I can make a difference by filing a complaint, and possibly save someone's life, I am willing to try everything and anything in my power to do so.

- York, PA, USA

problem #314

Aug 192016


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle stalled and crashed into a curb. The air bags failed to deploy. There were no injuries. A police report was not filed. After stalling, the contact was unable to restart the vehicle and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V568000 (engine) and 15V759000 (brake system, hydraulic), but the contact was never notified. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 94,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #313

Aug 012016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the engine seized without warning. The manufacturer was notified. The dealer diagnosed that the engine block failed and the engine assembly needed to be replaced. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine). The failure mileage was not available.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #312

Jan 042016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle made abnormal noises. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The part for the repair was on a national back order for over eight months. The contact was not notified of NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine) and was unable to determine when the vehicle would be repaired. The VIN and failure mileage were not available.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #311

Aug 142016


  • 90,000 miles
While I was driving, so the car was in motion, my speed limit was around 35 mph on a city street, the car made a noise then completely stopped without warning almost causing the vehicle behind me to crash into my rear end. I was in the middle of the road, I panicked turned the ignition off and restarted the car to attempt to pull off the road to safety. The vehicle started up and I pulled back onto the road to make a right turn towards the highway, as I was driving the vehicle stopped again without warning. The people in the car behind me got out of their vehicle to check on me. The man stated, "I can push you off the road, but there is something going on with your engine or perhaps spark plugs or wires and it's not staying connected or firing off a charge, I'm not sure." I thanked the kind stranger and immediately called hyndai customer service. The Hyundai customer service rep informed me about the engine recall notice and contacted the towing company to locate and tow my vehicle to the nearest Hyundai dealership. However, after waiting 1 hour and a half, I called the 800 number that was given to me to reference and they did not have any information on having me towed "free of charge." The Hyundai roadside assistance rep did not have a record that hyndai customer service placed a call to them at all and further more the Hyundai customer service center was now closed. Apparently, on Sunday they close at 3pm. My car is still sitting where it stopped because the Hyundai roadside assistance needs the "approval" and reference number to tow the car on Hyundai for free. Hyundai has basically produced a "lemon" due to the fact that this particular make and model has had "several" dangerous recalls since I purchased the vehicle in March of 2011. They should be deemed unsafe and taken off the roads completely and customers should be given their money back.

- Dolton, IL, USA

problem #310

Mar 242015


  • 88,000 miles


Upon purchasing the car from conicelli Hyundai in conshohocken, pa the very next day I had to take it back to the dealership because the battery died. Two days later I had to take it back again for a grinding sound under the hood. They told me it had an axel issue and that they would replace it. They gave it bck to me about 3 days later I drove it off the lot and right back on for the same sound. They took it again and a few days later called me and assured me that nothing was wrong with the car and that there was nothing more they could do. A few months later my wife was driving the car in mention and it stalled on her in the middle of a busy road. Firemen passing by stopped traffic and helped to get the car to safety until the tow came. Furious aight this I called conicelli Hyundai where I purchased the car and they told me that it was not their problem and that the car was out of warranty. I took it to my mechanic who told me it was a starter issue and replaced the starter for me. Once that was done the car still would not start. After a few days my mechanic called me back to tell me the engine had seized and it would cost me $3,500 to get it fixed. I relayed this back to the dealership and once again they brushed me off. So I went to news stations, filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania attorney general and spoke with several other consumer complaint agencies to have something done. Nothing but a mediation between myself and the dealership was reached and the dealership once again said they were going to do nothing. My wife's safety was at stake in a car that was later recalled for engine problem that was sold to me by this dealership. After fighting with all these people and no solution being reached I decided to let the loan company take the vehicle which in term ended up as a negative on my credit.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #309

Oct 112015


  • miles
I have a recall on my vehicle and have yet to receive any assistance.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #308

Jul 292016


  • 50,000 miles
Recall 15-01-048, recall campaign 132, states on page one 'dealers must perform this recall campaign whenever an affected vehicle is in the shop for any maintenance or repair. ' they key word is 'whenever'. the dealer did the check once only. Whenever means every time that the car is being serviced. And the car has been to the same dealer that I bought the car from several times with no additional checks for the recall. Novchecksvmean that there is not the slightest of preemptive actions that could protect me from serious injury. My car is 6 years old. To be effective 'whenever' must be implemented.

- Reading, MA, USA

problem #307

Aug 042016


  • 53,429 miles
The starter motor contains a plastic lever that engages the starter motor with the engine. This plastic part failed at 53,429 miles. The dealership new immediately what part had failed based upon my description of the problem (can hear starter motor running but it was not engaging with the engine). They knew the cost of the repair off the top of their heads and the parts department had a supply of the part in a drawer at the register. Not sure how often this occurs but it must be quite frequent based upon the dealers familairity with the problem

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #306

Dec 252015


  • 24,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 45 mph, the air bag and check engine warning lights illuminated. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was operated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the air bag module failed. The cause of the check engine warning light illuminating was not found. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Seaford, NY, USA

problem #305

Oct 012015


  • 73,000 miles
A little over a year ago I went to the dealership for an oil change and my steering wheel started to act weird. It seemed loose like someone removed a component. I stated to the dealership what occured and they wanted to charge me $500+ to get it repaired. They stated it wasn't covered under my warranty.. I told them the issue didnt occur until I brought the vehicle in. I am a mother of two infants who could not afford a repair like that. I bought the Hyundai because of its safety features and gas mileage so far everything has been a lie about this vehicle. I hate driving it. There have been nothing but problems since I got this vehicle and I fear the safety of me and my children. The steering wheel is so bad that my entire car rattles and shakes whenever I get on the highway. Now there's another recall on this vehicle for the same issue I told the dealership. I want out of this vehicle and into something safer for my children. They still haven't mailed me the campaign to get my engine checked. This recall was in November 2015. Hyundai just needs to reimburse everyone and take these vehicles off the road. They are lemons.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #304

Jul 232016


  • miles
Car won't start with push button. I took it to dealer who replaced shifter cable, brake switch and some other recalls that was part of the porblem and supposedly it was fixed. Next day I went to gas station with my 4 years old daughter and wife and got stuck. First it won't start, then it started but gear display won't ready. I shifted to drive to leave but car started moving in reverse direction. I almost hit the car and person behind me getting gas for his car. Car transmission was not reading what mode drive, reverse, neutral it was in and with guessing I left the area. I took it to the hyunda dealer who tested and replaced inhibitor switch and said it's fixed but charged me #311.25. I believe all of these issues with shifter cable, brak swtich and inhibitor switch are inter related and should be further looked into to avoid accidents and Hyundai should expand the recall to replace the swtich. I have spokend with Hyundai customer service but they refused to further look I nto this issue and cover the cost of replacing inhibitor swtich.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #303

Jul 122016


  • 128,000 miles
When I received the recalls to took car in. As recalls come more problems came up. There was a problems with the shift gear which cost me $501 on July 12th. The last thing, last weekend 23rd, was the steering which cost me $365. At this point in time I do not want the car any more.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #302

Jul 142016


  • 89,592 miles
I have had this car a little over a year now. It has made the same noise since I've had it. I've been to the huynda dealer many times. They don't understand what's wrong. When your car is between 2000 RPM and 3000 rpms or steadily at 2000 it makes a continuous raddle noise coming from the engine and continues until you take your foot off the accelerator. You want to know my opinion about the damn car? anyone who owns one should be given a new one. Because the car is a piece of crap. Now I also saw a complaint about someone having to replace the coupler. I have documentation that shows I paid the Hyundai to replace my steering coupler. It was over 300 dollars. When your driving down the road the steering is hard to control and the wheel makes a clicking noise. So I took it in and they coupler needed to be replaced. I want reimbursement and you guys should implement another recall about replacing everyone's coupler. You guys should make Hyundai give everyone a new car who has gone through al the mess we have.

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #301

Apr 222016


  • 135,241 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving various speeds, there was an abnormal knocking noise coming from the engine compartment. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously serviced per NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine), but the remedy failed to repair the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the remedy was not effective and there was a metallic knocking noise in the engine after the repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 135,241.

- Destin, FL, USA

problem #300

Jun 302016


  • miles
2 weeks ago I bought a pre-owned 2011 sonota gls with 69,000 miles, from drivetime. I asked for a car fax report which they provided something similar but their report only showed one recall on the vehicle which was recall number 143, regarding the eps problem. So for a week I looked into all the recalls this vehicle has but it was past the 5 day return policy by drivetime. We figured if it was a recall then it would have to be repaired by law, right" so I put my VIN # in to verify that indeed my vehicle was part of numerous recalls, so I scheduled an appointment for recall 132 at vandergriff Hyundai in arlington, tx. Before they even looked at the car they said that campaign was "closed" & said they couldn't assist me any further. I asked them what does closed mean, does that mean the engine block was replaced previously or not? they just said "its been done, " nothing more. We've had this car two weeks & already my girl has got a ticket for the left rear brake light being out which I've replaced 3 times now, the car for no reason pulls to the left which could cause a possible head on collision, & the engine & transmission both sound that they are on their last leg. Finally, I received a notice in regards to the extended warranty 10yr/120,000 miles which I was thinking we can get it looked at that way, but then after a series of questions I was told that our vehicle does not qualify for this warranty due to the vehicle we just purchased 2 weeks ago has issues. I told the rep I thought all of the 470,000 vehicles that were affected by the recall automatically was given that warranty" I want the info on what was done to fix/repair the vehicle on each recall & why are we being told all the problems we are having with the car now have been "closed." There's no way this vehicle has been repaired because we still have all the problems & symptoms explained in the recalls.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #299

Jul 162016


  • 80,335 miles
When vehicle was moving it felt like went into a coast but RPM did not increase speed slowed.. gas peddle was pushed in nothing happened when peddle was released and then pushed all functions resumed

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #298

Dec 012015


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 65 mph, a knocking noise was heard from the hood of the vehicle before it stalled. The vehicle was not able to restart. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V759000 (engine). The vehicle was taken to the dealer prior to the failure, but was not diagnosed or repaired. A representative of Hyundai mentioned that the vehicle was working normally. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #297

Jun 272016


  • miles
Engine stalls upon picking up speed. Dealer claims there is no problem and Hyundai motor will not further investigate this issue for which there was a recall. Dealer only agreed to extend warranty to 120K miles from 100K.

- Greenbelt, MD, USA

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