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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,546 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 1 of 5)

problem #95

Jan 102011


  • 12,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. After turning off the vehicle, the key could not be removed from the ignition switch. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the starter motor was replaced, but the failure continued. In addition, the front driver side seat belt malfunctioned and would not remain locked, and the headlights and brake light would shut off while driving. The cause of the failures was not diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 12,000.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #94

Oct 182010


  • 77,786 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator remained illuminated. The dealer was notified and provided no specific diagnosis. In addition, the contact heard an abnormal noise, the key was difficult to turn in the ignition, the low beams shorted, and the dealer replaced the housing for the brake lights. There were additional repairs due to the multiple failures. The manufacturer was notified of the failures and provided no solution. The VIN was also included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 16V190000 (steering), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 15V568000 (engine). The approximate failure mileage was 77,786.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #93

Mar 142016


  • miles
Over the last 5 years of having this vechicle I have replaces bulbs after bulbs low beam, high beam, brake light, tag light and so on. When having brake light replaced it was brought to my attention that my brake light housing is melting. One of the bulbs was hard to take out because the plastic assembly was melted to the bulb. I find this very dangerous this may can even cause a fire and I have to young children that's with me all the time. I see others have the same problem but there has not been a recall yet.

- Louisville, GA, USA

problem #92

Sep 182016


  • miles


#1today 9/18/2016 while I was driving down the road my airbag light came on. When I made my first stop the light when off. When I began to drive again the light came on and will not go off.#2 I had to pay over three hundred dollars to have my sterling coupler replaced it started with a little clicking noise when I turn to the right and afterwards began to progress and get louder. While driving the car the steering wheel will shake and vibrate until it felt as if the steering wheel will shake a lose.#3 the lights on my car will flicker on and off while driving it's very obvious at night it is a scary situation. One night they flicker and didn't want to come back on right away until I had to pull over on the side of the road until they came back on. I called my Hyundai dealer and was told that it will be an 118 service charged to look at it because my warranty is up. I then contacted Hyundai usa when they finally contacted me back they pretty much told me the same thing the Hyundai dealer said. The problem with my lights began in 2012 but every time it took the car in the problem could not be detected so they would say and this was when I was under my warranty.

- Louisville, GA, USA

problem #91

Sep 182016


  • 93,000 miles
During my annual nys inspection, a bulb in my left driver side taillight was out. Mechanic (who is the only one besides Hyundai that touches my car) was perplexed. Asked if I tried to replace the bulb. Said no. Said it looked like someone tried to pull out the entire taillight assembly (lenses and all.) I park in pretty safe areas and in an underground garage at home. He had to epoxy the assembly so it wouldn't fall out. Knows my car intimately. Today, while having it washed, I saw the workers pointing to the passenger rear taillight assembly. It had popped out just like the other one. I duct taped it best I can. Owned several cars but have never had any taillights threaten to fall off. Mechanic said it could easily fall off if I hit a bump. Very strange!

- Lynbrook, NY, USA

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problem #90

Sep 012016


  • miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle tail light assembly threaded studs embedded into brittle, badly cracked plastic. The consumer stated the tail light assemblies fell ut of the body panels. The consumer believed, it was a result of poor quality plastic or over tightening the nuts on the studs at the factory.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #89

Aug 262016


  • 88,200 miles


Brake lights would not turn on.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #88

Aug 012016

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata. Consumer writes in regards to electronic power steering recall notice issues, brake light switch repairs, tail light assembly problems and steering coupler/column replacements. The consumer stated there were loud noises coming from the vehicle and the steering wheel would shake, when the braking. Also, the brake light began stay on which caused problem during highway driving.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #87

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 #86

Feb 112011


  • miles
"takata recall"I believe that I owned a defected vehicle. Since day 1 there was one electrical problem after the other. My radio comes on and off by itself, Hyundai fairfax found no problem after three visits, until I just gave up. I replace 7 - 8 blubs in my car, a airbag, and now a socket for my brake light because my came on and off, like other items in my car. It's like I have a shortage or electrical problem with my vehicle. After, they replaced the clock sensor in the steering wheel for the airbag, now my passenger door locks and unlock sometimes. Every time I complain to fairfax Hyundai, they deny that anything could be wrong with my vehicle. I understand that Hyundai desire is to meet safety regulation and customer satisfaction by providing good product. Unfortunately, things sometimes happen. It's when a corporation takes the complaints seriously and addresses the customer concerns, is what grows a business. I have yet had anyone contact me of my concerns since I had this vehicle, after making many complaints. I will appreciate someone taking this situation and my concerns seriously by contacting me with a resolution.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #85

Jun 122016


  • miles


While driving at night, the headlights will turn off when using the turn signal or turning on the high beams, I have to wiggle the headlight switch to get them to come back on. I have sent Hyundai an email concerning this problem as it is a very serious safety issue and the problem is getting worse, but of course there has been no response from Hyundai. With all of the complaints on the internet about this problem. Hyundai needs to issue a recall.

- Nixa, MO, USA

problem #84

Jul 032016


  • 73,000 miles
Came out to the parked vehicle in our driveway to find the entire driver side rear light assembly falling out. The car was never hit or in an 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. If it falls off there is no tail light and it could damage another vehicle if on the highway.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #83

May 052016


  • 112,000 miles
Air bag light is on indicating something is wrong, this is a safety issue not an wear and tear problem. I have replace several bulbs in my vehicle each year for five years. Every bulb that I have went out indicating a electrical problem.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #82

Feb 132016


  • 60,000 miles
The headlights have a short in them and when blenker is used the light go completely out. The left headlight has been replaced and will still not work either. Car is very dangerous to drive after dark!

- Cherry Valley, AR, USA

problem #81

Mar 162016


  • miles
Purchased car on 3/8/2016, the car made noises while turning. Both shaft assembly replaced, parts $749.70, labor $150. Our daughter was given the car on 3/12/2016, on 3/16/2016 while driving the eps light illuminated, power steering was loss. Hyundai dealership diagnosed and replaced steering column and column assembly, cost $1701.18. The passenger airbag has come out on two occasions. The dealership in charlottesville, va pushed it back in. On 6/11/2016, passenger airbag came out while driving. (husband pushed it back in, however, I don't feel our daughter and her passengers are safe). On 6/11/2016, while trying to drive the car, put the gear into D and the car moved backwards. Turn the car off and shifted into D(it worked). This according to our daughter, this has occurred on several occasions. Interior lighting has to be manually manipulated to turn them off.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #80

Apr 112016


  • 55,000 miles
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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 53,000 miles
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


  • 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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