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.

3.1

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,509 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #80

Apr 112016

Sonata

  • 55,000 miles

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

When I place my car in park the car is, telling me to shift to park but I'm already in park. My car will turn off but my navigation screen stays on. Also the engine push to start/stop light won't turn off. In addition I am unable to use my favorite to lock the doors because it thinks my keys are still in the vehicle so I have to manually lock it. The car seems to stall occasionally and I have to gas it to pick up speeds and I've only had the car for two months.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #79

Apr 092016

Sonata

  • 136,000 miles
With headlights engaged at night (with headlight switch in auto or manual) the dash lights will flicker and headlights will momentarily go out when the turn signal is engaged. The lights will also flicker occasionally without having turn signal engaged. The parking lights will come on and stay on after ignition is turned off with headlamp switch in automatic mode while car is parked.

- Luxemburg, WI, USA

problem #78

Apr 072016

Sonata

  • 85,849 miles
Brake light assemblies on the car on both sides are deteriorated/melted. And the brake lights do not work all the time. They go on and off. The lamp assemblies are "worn " according to dealership and need replaced at a wopping 600 dollars. The truth of the matter is the vehicle is only 5 years old and their defect in material or workmanship is the result of this problem and they refuse to fix this under warrenty. They vehicle only has 85,000 ish miles on it and there is on way this assembly should have problems.due to them just putting a recall on the brake pedal stopper and having it fixed today I am sure this is all linked together somehow. If I hit a bump the breaklights stop working then I wiggle the bulb and it starts working again. Their are several of these same complaints the internet. This should be placed on the recall list too. This can be very dangerous and the poor quality of cheap parts should be replaced.

- New Bern, NC, USA

problem #77

Feb 272016

Sonata

  • 53,000 miles

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

Yesterday I was traveling on the interstate going approximately 80mph. In my side mirror I noticed something dangling from the rear of my car, within a millisecond I am watching my tail light fly off my car right into the vehicle behind me. I pulled in to the next rest stop and found that my tail light had blew off my car. The car behind me followed me into the rest stop, thankfully there was no damage or injury to them or their car. Yesterday I had been visiting my dad in the hospital 100 miles away from my home. Before I got in my car I stuck a a huge sheet pan in my trunk-fyi there was no previous damage to the tail light or the rear of my car at all.

- Hastings, NE, USA

problem #76

Feb 112016

Sonata

  • 28,500 miles
Came out to the parked vehicle in our driveway to find the entire passenger rear light assembly falling out. The car was never hit or in a accident. Noticed that the studs (fasteners) going into the tail light assembly cracked apart and separated from the studs and the assembly allowing the assembly to fall from the body. A new tail light assembly will be needed to repair. This looks as though there could be a tensile strength problem with the plastic. This seems to be a problem reoccurring with people throughout the social media.

- Bear, DE, USA

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problem #75

Oct 022015

Sonata

  • miles
Cant get light to work, have replace bulbs a few times, and have take it to an advance auto place where they have told me it's a problem with the electric work and engine not the bulb. The bulbs were fine and not burnt out. Have been having issues since last October 1st was only one head light now as of this weekend its both.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #74

Dec 292015

Sonata

  • 73,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the exterior lighting, alarm system, front passenger side headlight, and lower brake lights failed. The alarm system activated randomly. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign number: 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and stated that the vehicle experienced the brake light failures listed in the consequence section of the notice. The vehicle was repaired, but the issue spread to other lighting and electrical components. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 73,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #73

Dec 162015

Sonata

  • miles
"takata recall" I was driving on the interstate the other day and my car was shaking, so scary. I'm not a mechanic, but I know when something is wrong. The lights on my car gets so hot that they keep going out and the car is a drifter. I just happen to enter my VIN# in the system and I was shock. I have been driving this car not knowing my car has 4 recalls on it. I would like to get another car because at this point I do not feel safe driving my family even if they serviced it. Just hearing all the problems that wrong with this car, I do not feel safe. Who do I need to talk to about this matter?

- High Springs, FL, USA

problem #72

Nov 252015

Sonata

  • 66,000 miles
I had the same problem recently, my tail light assembly melted around the connector for the brake light bulb on the driver and passenger side. The connector and bulb got so hot that surrounding plastic and connector plastic melted, causing the brake light to fail and making replacement cost around $650. The problem also caused a fuse to short out and the brake sensor under the paddle failed (which is already an ongoing issue currently being recalled for Sonata's ) and the car would not start. Hyundai dealer claim replacement bulbs were put in wrong when changed out which caused the problem, but I find that hard to believe. I decided to do a little research and found hundreds of complaints for the same exact problem. I agree this should be recalled by NHTSA. This is definitely 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.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #71

Dec 042015

Sonata

  • 134,000 miles
I have replaced all my external lights bulbs two times since I've had the car, with the last time about 6 months ago. I keep on having intermittent external lights go out, then come back on. In general, when they temporarily go off its just the beginning of the end. They tend to permanently burn out. I always have replaced all light bulbs when the first one goes out, because the rest usually start going out. I have twice replaced all the bulbs at the same time, but keeping having issues. Also, my rear drivers side light assembly was hanging off the car by the wire harness. Somehow the plastic part broke that keeps it attached to the frame of the car.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #70

Nov 132015

Sonata

  • 102,000 miles

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

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 #69

Aug 012015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at approximately 35 mph, the steering wheel was loose and made an abnormal noise. In addition, the rear driver side light failed and was hanging from the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000. Updated 02/05/16 the dealer informed the consumer there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. Updated 02/16/16

- Birchwood, TN, USA

problem #68

Oct 032015

Sonata

  • 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 #67

Oct 152014

Sonata

  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the headlights, brake lights, and tail lights intermittently failed. The contact also stated the vehicle would jerk and the ignition switch was loose. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine) however, the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V113000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #66

Sep 172015

Sonata

  • 76,503 miles
There are open factory recalls on this car and I have not received a letter to fix the deficiencies before it gets to become an issue of potential physical harm on the roadway. Driving down the road the front spring just broke a section off about a foot long, now drives dangerously brakes, transmission, engine, head lamps, suspension

- Annandale, MN, USA

problem #65

Sep 012015

Sonata

  • 84,000 miles
The engine on my car seized and was towed to the dealership. While being repaired, the dealership found that my tail light assemblies had melted including the wires and I had no brake lights. I believe this is a safety issue. My warranty will not cover it and is saying it's a cosmetic issue, not safety.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #64

Aug 242015

Sonata

  • 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 #63

Jun 292015

Sonata

  • 80,000 miles
My Hyundai Sonata tail lights, brake lights are melting the paneling and destroying the sockets where the bulbs go. The dealer service department charged me $250 to replace the brake lamp switch which was a recall on 2011 Hyundai Sonatas but claimed my car was not one on the service recall. The service department said the bulbs had melted the paneling and that they had to shave down the panel to get the bulb to work. Now the left tail light is not working and they said I need to replace it for another $250 this is not caused by me the consumer and with the melting of this I am afraid it will cause an elecrtrical fire in my rear. Hyundai needs to fix this issue and refund me money I already paid out.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #62

Jul 212015

Sonata

  • 135,000 miles
I walked out of my home and around the back of the vehicle. I noticed that the right rear brake light housing (passenger's side) was sticking out about 1 inch from the vehicle. I opened the trunk and removed the interior access panel cover to look at the light assembly from the inside and found that all the mounting holes were fractured/shattered, and none of the studs like bolts were attached to the tail light assembly. The only thing holding the housing assembly onto the car was the taillight wire assembly. There was no damage to the vehicle in any way. No surface scratches. No body damage. It appears that the plastic shattered from cracks incurred at installation when overly tightened at factory and/or normal vibration of the vehicle.

- Toney, AL, USA

problem #61

Jun 122015

Sonata

  • 86,000 miles
My Hyundai Sonata tail lights, brake lights are melting the paneling and destroying the sockets where the bulbs go. The dealer service department charged me $250 to replace the brake lamp switch which was a recall on 2011 Hyundai Sonatas but claimed my car was not one on the service recall. The service department said the bulbs had melted the paneling and that they had to shave down the panel to get the bulb to work. Now the left tail light is not working and they said I need to replace it for another $250 this is not caused by me the consumer and with the melting of this I am afraid it will cause an elecrtrical fire in my rear. Hyundai needs to fix this issue and refund me money I already paid out.

- Colonial Beach , VA, USA

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