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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,655 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Oct 012014


  • miles


The drivers side door is loose. Took it to dealership last year and they stated that my car was not included in door latch recall. Airbag light came on out of nowhere. Called N they stated this is not a recall. As of this past summer, the steering wheel clicks every time I turn it. I'm going to call them tomorrow because I read where there were recalls on that, but I never received notification. I drive 45 minutes to work and back Monday through Friday and do not want to take a chance on being in an accident. I don't understand how my car shows the exact same signs of recalls but every time I call or take it there, my VIN number was not included.

- Washington, GA, USA

problem #26

Jul 202015


  • 89,000 miles
The horn doesn't work at all. I even had the "clock spring" changed and it still doesn't work. There is a stem that connects to the horn which is worn down and it has no contact with the horn; that's why is doesn't work. I think that this is very dangerous to drive around without a horn to alert other drivers or pedestrians from wrong doing. I can't be the only customer that is complaining about this issue.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #25

Sep 182015


  • 58,000 miles
While driving in peak traffic my 2011 Sonata shut down in traffic. Total engine shut down. With congested traffic, I was very much disturbed that someone could have rear ended me. Could not get vehicle to start. After sitting in traffic for a while, vehicle started but would not accelerate to normal speed until after moving a while. My vehicle is in great condition and I am concerned that this may be a problem in the future and I do not feel safe driving it being a female for fear that it may put me down again. I have seen forums which describe similar instances happening to others with the same model and year. Please advise! thanks...

- Moseley, VA, USA

problem #24

Jul 022014


  • miles


My car is making a knocking noise or rattling noise from car throll when am driving like the car is not getting gas to go. My car car go into all the gear onto I stop and put in park it what go into no gears I would have to turn my car off for the gears to start working my engine light come on and off all my light come on in my car a lot of unknown things I cant understand.

- Belle Glade, FL, USA

problem #23

Oct 152015


  • 60,000 miles
When the car is going up or down inclines (both slight or steeper inclines), the car stalls and when the accelerator is pushed, nothing happens for several seconds which is obviously problematic when entering or exiting highway on and off ramps, or trying to merge. This has occurred on local streets as well as on a highway. I have brought it to two dealerships and paid their diagnostic fees and they have been unable to tell me what the problem is. This is my family's main car and I have been unable to drive my children in it, because the stalling puts us at a huge risk of being rear ended.

- Allison Park, PA, USA

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problem #22

Sep 302015


  • 72,000 miles
Light in back window keeps flashing and brake lights keep needing replaced. Also just replaced a rear censor. Our son drives back and forth from college this can be dangerous!

- East Berlin, PA, USA

problem #21

Aug 092015


  • 124,000 miles


While driving on a highway in the middle of traffic my 2011 Sonata completely stopped and the engine totally seized up endangering my entire family. There was no unusual engine sound prior to it stopping and no warning whatsoever. We had to coast to the side of the road, avoiding oncoming traffic. This is totally unacceptable as it endangered 5 lives. Thank goodness we were able to get to the side of the road. We are told that the engine would need to be totally replaced at a min. Engine cost of $5800 not including labor or other parts. In estimating costs, probably $8000 or more. It looks like there is a defect in the rotating assembly that causes sudden and catastrophic engine failure. Hyundai is aware of this problem and has done nothing to prevent it. Now I have no car to drive, and must somehow come up with the above costs or rent a car. The car is out of warranty but was well maintained. This is a serious problem and needs immediate attention.

- Perry, MI, USA

problem #20

Mar 012015


  • 63,000 miles
I have noticed a gradually worsening rattling noise while driving. The noise is coming from the steering column, and the steering wheel vibrates intermittently. It happens on the freeway when driving 75mph and it happens on surface streets driving the posted speed limit. The noise also happens when the car is idle and you move the steering wheel in either direction. The steering wheel acts as if it is catching on something. This seems to be a common issue that is reported on Hyundai sites, but it has not been reported on this site. Please look into this and see if it is a safety issue that merits a recall.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #19

May 192012


  • 7,000 miles
While driving my 2011 Sonata, the windows fog up to a dangerous level where I can not clearly see the road, especially the front windshield. This happens at various times of the day and night in cold, hot, humid or raining, etc. Weather conditions. I am most affected at night while returning from the gym and I have to travel through winding, dark, deer infested wooded roads. No matter what temperature setting I place thermostat, it fogs! I have taken my car in several times with the same complaint and the dealer is aware and says multiple people have complained but they have no solution. Dealer says to match outside temp with inside car temp and leave A/C on. I followed the advice, I turn on the A/C in the winter and the heat in the summer and it is very uncomfortable but still doesn't effectively solve the dangerous problem. Outside temperatures reach 100+ degrees in atlanta and turning on the heat after working out makes a bad situation worse. I feel people can or will die or be seriously injured if the problem isn't corrected by the manufacturer / dealers....updated 10/05/15

- Fairburn, GA, USA

problem #18

Jul 142015


  • 82,200 miles
Headlights go out when brightening or dimming lights or when turning turn signals on or off.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #17

Jul 082015


  • 79,500 miles


I was on my way home from work and accelerating from a stop at a traffic light when the car seized and initially appeared to lose power. No indicator lights came on prior to the incident occurring and there were no other indicators of any problems such as smoke, a smell, or any leaks on the ground when driving or parked. After pulling the car over and opening the hood everything appeared to be fine. We were unable to diagnose the problem and had it towed to a local repair shop. The next day the repair shop called and stated there appeared to be some sort of unknown damage to the engine which caused it to completely drain of oil. Oil covered the entire area of the engine compartment underneath the casing. The mechanics at the shop were unable to get the engine to turn at all. The vehicle just had a full service at the dealership on 4/24/2015 including: Oil & filter change, fuel induction service, replace engine air filter, replace cabin air filter, rotate tires, check brakes, check exhaust, suspension, belts, and hoses, top off all fluids, and multi-point inspection. At that time the car was noted in perfect working condition and no issues were annotated. The estimated cost to repair the engine is between $9,000 and $10,000, but the repair shop hasn't fully assessed the damage to the rest of the vehicle. From what I understand this should be under the extended powertrain warranty, but I'm currently going through the claims process to try and resolve this. A quick search brings up a multitude of similar cases for Hyundai Sonatas referring to catastrophic engine failure with near identical circumstances to what I experienced.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #16

May 212015


  • 13,400 miles
Was told the brake switch pad came apart. Also pedal stopper was involved..both incidents occurred as I was stopped at a light wanting to make a left hand turn when the car made a very slow movement to move forward, then stalled until I kept frantically hitting the gas pedal to get out of the way of oncoming traffic and trying to prevent getting hit from the back because my car wasn't expected to stop dead in its tracks. I called aaa who towed my car into dealership on N.E. 6th avenue in delray beach, Florida 33483. The above parts were noted on my invoice. Due to the danger, I would absolutely put out a recall before someone gets hurt or worse. Parts no. 32876-3Q100

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #15

May 262011


  • 1,025 miles
Unintentional automatic down shift from drive to first gear when shift lever is firmly in drive position. 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited turbo 2.0T - vehicle will automatically (on its own) shift gears from "drive" while shift lever is in the "drive" position down to 1st gear typically when driving between 5-10 mph, occasionally sometimes at slightly higher speeds. The only remedy I have found is to tap the shift lever to the left and use the shiftronic shifting to manually shift from first gear back up to drive. Have explained to two separate car dealerships who have merely dismissed it as a possible software glitch, not even allowing me to attempt to reproduce this problem, nor even attempting to test drive it to see if they can observe the unintentional unintended automatic down shift problem from "D" drive to "1st" first gear themselves.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #14

Aug 292013


  • 80,000 miles
I got into vehicle to go to work & it failed to start. Illumination light kept blinking telling me to push in brakes, but I was pushing in brake peddle. I just bought this car used, 35 days ago, have not had any issues until today. Contacted Hyundai dealer to find out that I am not covered under warranty, because I am not he original owner. Which I was told vehicle was covered until 100,000 miles from used dealer. Have an appointment to get vehicle inspected & keeping fingers crossed that the issue has something to do with one of the many recent recalls.

- Stratford, WI, USA

problem #13

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 #12

Jun 212012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
After getting to work and putting the vehicle in park, when attempting to shut the vehicle off and retrieve the key, the key would only go to off and would not go to lock or let me pull the key from the ignition.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

problem #11

Apr 152012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 17,900 miles
While driving my car a "check charging system" display appeared on the dashboard. The car turned off as I exited the highway and I had to pull over on the right shoulder. It later started again but shut down after slowing down for traffic on the highway. When attempting to restart the car it would jerk until reaching speeds above 30-40 mph.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #10

Sep 212011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,997 miles
I was driving on a busy los angeles freeway when the "check charging system" light came on and a chime began to sound. My car totally shut down and lost all power. I was stranded in the middle of a busy freeway in what was a life threatening situation. The battery indicator was at the half way mark, which is the norm for the car. I was towed to a dealer who told me that they could not find anything wrong with the car. I had to call Hyundai corporate to get Hyundai technicians to look at the car. They said that a team of technicians repaired the car and that it was fixed. Except that it happened to me again last week on a busy parkway. This is an extremely unsafe car that puts occupants in very dangerous circumstances. It is in for repairs again, but I will not trust that it is fixed. I am afraid to drive it.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 012011

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
The Sonata pulls to the left. I took it in and told dealer I thought it was car, not the road -- but told me it was fine. Took it in again because it pulls hard to left going straigt to ditch if you let go of steering wheel, they said they adjusted it 2 points and it was not pulling anymore. Left dealership and it still pulls hard to left.

- Chelsea, OK, USA

problem #8

Sep 222011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 9,802 miles
I drive the Hyundai Sonata hybrid. The first time the problem occurred at approx 9800 miles, I was driving 60 mph on a highway when the vehicle lost battery power and an alarm sounded, and then a signal indicating to "check charging system." I immediately took the vehicle to my Hyundai dealership where they were aware of the issue, but did not know how to fix it and suggested I just simply turn off and then restart my car. It happened two additional times, one while approaching a stop light, and another time while I was stopped at a stop light. The last time it happened, I could not get my vehicle to reset by restarting once. I had to shut the vehicle off, then attempted several times to restart. The 4th time I tried to start it, I was able to do so sucessfully. I did notice the last time it happened, the engine light remained on even after battery power was restored. I am taking it back to the dealership tomorrow and demanding a solution. This is just too dangerous to lose power in high-speed traffic, and the problem seems to be occuring at all speeds.

- Canyon Lake, TX, USA

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