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:
12 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
42,514 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 39 of 39)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Sep 142010


  • 3,000 miles


I was driving my 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited at about 30 mph (accelerating after stopping at a light). The car was just turning over 3000 miles on the odometer. All at once, the steering wheel began vibrating violently and I could not keep the car in my lane. I tried to steer but it was very difficult. The vibration stopped after about 2 minutes. I was in a bad part of town and was afraid to stop so I drove in the right hand lane with flashers on trying to figure out what to do. The eps light and an another indicator were illuminated. I realized that I could steer but with great difficulty so I drove the car to a Hyundai dealer that was about 3 miles away via back roads. They were closed but I left my car overnight to be checked. I turned the car off to go inside. When I came out to get my odometer reading, I had to turn the car back on. When I did, everything had reset to normal. The dealer checked the car the next day and could find nothing wrong. He told me to bring the car back if it happened again. The incident was extremely frightening and I am concerned what will happen if it occurs driving on a highway at higher speeds.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #18

Jul 212010


  • 150 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that when driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle would abnormally drift from side to side. The contact would turn the steering wheel to adjust the vehicle from drifting but to no avail. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was advised that the failure was caused by the wind or the highway he was driving on. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that he had experienced the failure since purchase. The failure mileage was 150 and the current mileage was 2,500.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #17

Aug 312010


  • 500 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata gls. Power steering problem. Vehicle drifts off to the left or the right and will not stay on line. This can occur at any time but seems to be more frequent at highway speeds over 40mph creating an unsafe condition.

- Huntley, IL, USA

problem #16

Jul 222010


  • 600 miles


2011 Hyundai Sonata SE 1728 miles something in the steering wheel has become loose. It developed a very noticeable rattle which I started to notice about 2 weeks after I bought the car. It has been back to the dealer twice and the issue still has not been resolved. Hyundai engineering is now recommending complete replacement of the steering column. At this point in time, I have not experienced any steering failure. I noticed an ap news clip that you are looking into a problem similar to this.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #15

Jul 232010


  • 800 miles
My complaint appears to be exactly the same as ODI id number : 10335343 I purchase a new 2011 Sonata limited which now has 3300 miles on it. It is a great car except for one major issue. On flat roads at highway speeds the car drifts all over the road! if you do not make a correction for 5 seconds then you will find yourself in either the lane to the left or right of you. It is very dangerous and extremely exhausting trying to keep the car in the middle of the lane. I noticed this issue from the very beginning. The day after we took possession of the car we drove about 4 hours on the highway. The vehicle feels like it's being pushed side to side by the wind, but the wind wasn't blowing. When driving down the highway with no other cars around, the car will drift to one side or the other as if we are being passed by a semi truck who is disrupting the air flow around our car. I took the car to the dealer yesterday. The mechanic drove the car and said he didn't notice anything. He contacted Hyundai tech support (I think that's what they called it) and then followed the steps they told him to check everything with the steering. Everything came back within specs. I however would propose that there is an inherent issue with the electronic steering system which allows too much play in the wheel at highway speeds and/or causes the drive motor to over-correct or over-exaggerate the steering input from the driver at highway speeds.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #14

Aug 172010


  • 1,200 miles
Could not steer vehicle driving on the highway during rain storm at 60 mph. Vehicle does not steer well at highway speed, difficult to keep in the lane -- feels like a go-cart.

- Valrico, FL, USA

problem #13

Aug 242010


  • miles


2011 Hyundai Sonata steering problem.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #12

Aug 282010


  • 100 miles
My car has pulled to the right sine I got it, Hyundai has checked the alignment and "cross rotated" the tires, his seemed to help a little, but the steering is still pulling intermittently.

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #11

Aug 162010


  • 270 miles
My 2011 Sonata SE has pulling to the left since the day I bough it. I have above 270 miles on the car and the dealer tried wheel alignment/ tire pressure adjustment but that did not help. I constantly have to counteract the steering to the right to keep the car in straight line direction. At speeds over 60mph, it gets worse. Its really dangerous to drive such car on the road.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 192010


  • 1,800 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 65 mph, the electronic power steering and ESC service lights illuminated. Within seconds, the steering wheel became extremely stiff. The contact shut off the vehicle and when restarting, the vehicle resumed normal operation. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The failure and current mileage was 1,800.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #9

Mar 082010


  • 1,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle would veer hard to the left when driving. The dealer advised the failure was normal for electronic steering and did not provide a remedy. The contact was concerned with the failure because he would have to hold the steering wheel firmly or it would independently veer to the right. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 1,000 and the current mileage was 11,000.

- Arnold, MD, USA

problem #8

Jul 232010


  • 3,800 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at approximately 65 mph, the steering wheel locked and the contact was unable to turn the wheel. The vehicle began to shake excessively and the electronic stability control service warning light illuminated. The contact shut off the engine and upon restarting the vehicle, S he noticed there was smoke coming from the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the dealer advised that the vehicle was unsafe to drive. The cause of the failure was not disclosed to the contact. The dealer provided the contact with a replacement vehicle. The manufacturer advised that they would only release the vehicle if she would sign a confidentiality agreement and a liability waiver. The contact declined. The vehicle was not repaired. The dealer would not release the vehicle to the contact. The failure and current mileages were 3,800.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #7

Jul 282010


  • 5,100 miles
Complete loss of power steering while driving this vehicle at highway speed. The following dashboard lights came on: A red light esp and a amber light anti-slip. The failure will resets it self by restarting the engine. Several reports of similar failures of the power steering have been reported online.

- Anna, TX, USA

problem #6

Apr 282010


  • 2,700 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The power steering failed while driving 65 mph causing the vehicle to pull to the left. The contact has owned the vehicle for three months. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who stated that he needed an alignment and would be responsible for the repair cost. The manufacturer was called and a claim was file and closed immediately since the failure was a non issue. The failure and current mileages were 2,700.

- Corona, NY, USA

problem #5

Jun 152010


  • 0 miles
Traveling at around 5mph after leaving a stop sign, I pressed gas pedal, to my surprise noticed car was not really gaining any speed but instead, steering wheel started moving, violently, with such power, I could not even pull car to the side of the road. I put the car in parking and the violent steering wheel movement continued. I then proceeded to turn the car off, terrified something else was going to happen but nothing changed: Violent movement of steering wheel continue from side to side for a total of 25 minutes. This is a 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE that I leased just a month ago. I was contacted today by Hyundai and was told my car was fixed and ready to be picked up. As I asked what was wrong with it they answered "a defective mechanism was found and they have replaced the steering wheel column". I seriously wish I don't have to get that car back; am still terrified by the horrific experience. Even though Hyundai believe this a isolated issue, I wanted to put it out there in case it happens again.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 042010


  • 35 miles
The car will not hold a straight line on a flat, straight, highway: After centering the car in it's lane, the car continuously and randomly: 1.drifts away from the center line, toward one side or the other; 2.the direction of the drift appears to be random and unpredictable; 3.the amplitude (amount / severity) of the drift is random and unpredictable, but at highway speeds a crash would be guaranteed without driver intervention within 3 to 5 seconds; 4.the timing of the drift pattern is constant: It never follows a straight line for more than a few seconds before starting to wander again. To avoid a collision with oncoming traffic, the driver is forced to constantly attempt to correct for this deviation, but the unpredictable nature of the drift pattern results in a dangerously unstable oscillation as the car wanders back and forth continuously. At highway speeds, even a momentary lapse in the total concentration required to correct for this constant steering drift could easily result in a fatal crash. The dealer has test-driven the car and found that the problem is easily duplicated, but they do not have a fix for it. They say that this kind of steering drift is normal and expected in an electronic steering system. That kind of reasoning would be laughable if it wasn't for the potential fatality inherent in the design.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #3

May 242010


  • 40 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) I recently purchased 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE. Very great looking car but only after couple of days owning it it became obvious that is has safety problems. Steering system is significantly pulling the car to the left. I took it to Hyundai service twice already. The problem is still not fixed. Over the last weekend I was driving with my wife and our 4 months old baby. Tasks as simple as changing ac temperature became dangerous on interstate. Due to this steering problem driver cannot afford even split second to look at the mid panel where all the controls are. I really have to fight with the steering wheel to keep the car going straight. After 45 minutes of driving on interstate my arms were sore from fighting the steering wheel. Is this normal" according to the Hyundai rep it is common to 2011 Sonata. I am suppose to just get used to it. This one mechanic confirmed that every other Sonata owners come complain about this problem. Yet supposedly it is not a problem. It is simply the nature of the car. I driven many different makes and models. I never experienced such a strong pull. And if there was any pull then it was simple alignment issue that can be fixed promptly. Not with Sonata!!! 2011 Sonata could have been a great car. But it has a dramatic flaw in the steering system that noone knows how to fix so they blame it on "nature of the car". it is interesting that both my complaint and another complaint on this site, states the same phrase from 2 different mechanics "nature of the beast/car". could it be that Hyundai already advised its mechanics how to cover for the brand" bottom line, this car is not safe! I almost ran into a passing car on the interstate because of this steering issue. Please investigate and do something about it. [xxx]

- Irmo, SC, USA

problem #2

Apr 222010


  • 1,297 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata SE - constant steering problem I had my vehicle serviced for an identified continuous drift or pull of the steering system. The dealership had my vehicle in for service on two separate occasions for two weeks, and completely exhausted all their known and recommended service fixes per Hyundai technical support. Hyundai technical support recommend that the dealership to submit for a Hyundai engineer to look at the vehicle. The dealership submitted for a Hyundai engineer to service the vehicle. Upon receiving an approved service number for this to occur the Hyundai engineer confirmed and identified the drift/pull of the vehicle. The Hyundai engineer attempted several adjustments to the alignment, sub frame and computer system. Nothing fixed the identified drift/pull issue. The Hyundai engineer, dealership service manager and dealership technician all drove another vehicle off the lot from the unsold dealership inventory and identified the same drift/pull of the steering system in that vehicle too. They noted that my vehicle drifted/pulled less than the other vehicle they drove from dealership inventory. Unable to fix the constant drifting/pulling of the vehicle steering system the Hyundai engineer certified the constant drift/pull as a "natural" design effect of the vehicle. It should be noted that this problem isn't a slight drift/pull of the vehicle, but a constant drift/pull pitting the driver against the steering system. Take your hand off the steering wheel for a slight moment and the vehicle veers off center to the left. This in my opinion should not be a "natural" occurrence of any vehicle. Actually, noted this exact occurrence in two separate inside lane reviews of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. This is not a one vehicle incident, but a manufacturer design flaw of the new electronic powered steering system. The are no service bulletins at this time to address this constant drift/pull of the vehicle. Thus, leaving me no recourse.

- Millersville, MD, USA

problem #1

Mar 282010


  • 326 miles
I owned the car for a week. There was no warning. I was driving around 40 mph. The steering wheel whipped to the left and pulled me into the other lane. The wheel was shaking and didn't want to turn to the right. I had to fight to bring it back over, and had to use all of my strength to keep it over. Thank god there weren't any oncoming vehicles. Then the power steering was gone. After pulling to the side of the road, I used my cell phone to video the steering wheel vibrating and jerking to the left while in park. It was Sunday, so the dealer told me to call roadside assistance. I had to call my son to pick us up. The car was towed to the dealership. I told them that I am scared to death of the car and don't want it. They said that they are looking at it and they will fix the problem and everything will be fine. I don't want to kill anyone with this car, and I don't want the car to kill me and my family either. I don't want the car back! update 8/24/2010 video

- Sweet Valley, PA, USA

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