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:
16 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
16 / 2
Average Mileage:
49,780 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 6 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

Feb 252012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles


While entering a parking spot to a diner, the car unintended accelerated crashing into the side of the diner. Minor damage to the side of the diner as I was no more than 3 feet from the bldg. My foot was on the brake pedal when this acceleration occurred without warning. I was entering the parking spot at no more than 5 mph planning to put the car in park and exit for lunch. My leg hit the hood latch and I obtained a nasty cut on my shin. The consumer stated other components were replaced, such as the tires and transmission. The consumer also stated, when she turned the ignition, there was an odor of smoke and rubber burning. Updated 11/16/15.

- Manchester, NJ, USA

problem #8

Dec 272013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Fatal accident, lost control of vehicle hitting a tree head on. Air bags did not deploy, engine caught on fire. Steering column air bag and passenger air bags intact. Notified Hyundai dealer where vehicle was purchased with 49995 miles, 2nd owner no previous incidents to the vehicle, had approx 80000 miles at time of crash.

- Myrtle, MS, USA

problem #7

May 012012


  • 700 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid. The driver was traveling between 35-40 mph when the vehicle was crashed into another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. Four passengers were injured in the crash. The police were contacted and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired or inspected for the cause of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and the current mileages were 700.

- Springfield , OH, USA

problem #6

Mar 262011


  • 14,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised him that the air bag sensor needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired for the sensor. After leaving the dealer, the light illuminated again. In addition, the vehicle refused to start on one occasion and the contact noticed smoke coming from the engine. The vehicle was later towed to the dealer where they advised him that the ground cable was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the ground cable. The contact also stated that the front driver side window was open and could not be closed. The window failure was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 14,000.

- East Jewett, NY, USA

problem #5

Aug 252011


  • 10,550 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated as he stopped at a red light another vehicle crashed into the rear of his vehicle and he then into a vehicle in front of him. Both the driver and front passenger door opened simultaneously. No one fell out of the vehicle since they both were wearing seat belts. There was extensive damage to the front and back of the vehicle. Three people were transported to the hospital with head, chest and back injuries, they were treated and released. None of the air bags deployed. The warning light illuminated indicating that the air bags malfunctioned. The police was notified and a report was filed. The vehicle was driven to his residence. The insurance company and the dealer were notified. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 10,550. Updated 09/27/11 updated 2/23/12

- Austin, TX, USA

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problem #4

Jul 242011


  • 9,900 miles
Tonight I was rear ended by a woman in an SUV, who's brakes did not work in her durango, she said. There were no skid marks indicating an attempted stop. Her impact on my vehicle was severe. Police officer guessed she was going 40 mph when she hit my car. My car was shoved forward into the car in front of mine, that car then hit the car in front of it. There were 3 cars, mine last in line, sitting at a red light. We were all stopped. Then there was a 4th car that hit mine from behind. The matter im reporting is that the airbags in my Hyundai Sonata SE 2011 car did not deploy when I then hit the car in front of me. The impact was great enough to cause that car to then hit another car and that caused a crack in the radiator of the car in front of mine. Also, after I hit that car in front of me, I then bounced back about 10 feet. More evidence of impact. Why no airbags? I did not see very much damage to the front of my car nor the back of the car that was directly in front of mine, while the back of my car was bad enough that I expect to be told it is not repairable.. im reporting just in case you receive any other reports indicating there is something faulty concerning airbags in the Hyundai. I know airbags are not to deploy in rear end collision but since I then hit another car frontally, I would think the airbags would deploy. My husband was in the passenger, front seat and in order to brace himself, he put his hand up at the windshield. The glass was broken in an area the size of a cantaloupe from the impact against his hand. Im thinking the impact must have been moderate to severe. On the up side, my Sonata took that hit and sustained the damage to the outside and up into the air at the trunk rather than into the cab of the car. My father and son were in the backseat and were not killed, I think because the car is a good, safe vehicle in a crash.

- Merriam, KS, USA

problem #3

Apr 212011


  • miles


While driving my 2001 Sonata, airbag light came on for the third time...going to the dealer to see if they can locate the problem.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 132011


  • 16,000 miles
I was exiting one interstate highway onto another. Exit ramp direction was misjudged and car hit a guard rail. There was a frontal area crash causing in excess of $14,000 damage to the vehicle. Not any of the air bags deployed during the accident.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #1

Dec 142010


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph when he drove over a patch of ice, causing the vehicle to crash into a utility pole. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was available. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified of the air bag failure. The contact was awaiting the results of an investigation by the insurance company. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileage was approximately 14,000.

- Levittown, NY, USA

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