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 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
43,469 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 1 of 42)

problem #823

Nov 012016


  • 63,000 miles


I have excessive free play in my steering wheel while the car is stationary and my steering wheel vibrates and shakes while I drive the at high speeds or changing lanes. Also my suspension feels loose when going over bumpy roads.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #822

Nov 142016


  • miles
The contact owned a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While the vehicle was at the dealer for routine maintenance and an oil change, the technician stated that the vehicle needed three recall repairs for NHTSA campaign numbers: 16V190000 (steering), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 15V568000 (engine). Shortly after the dealer's repairs, smoke emitted under the hood near the front passenger side of the vehicle while driving 60 mph. The contact was able to coast the vehicle off the road and the fire department extinguished the flames. The fire department filed an incident report. The vehicle was towed to a yard and then to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed by a dealer and the manufacturer to determine what caused the failure. The contact was waiting on a response from the manufacturer. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was not available.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #821

Nov 122016


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 50 mph, the engine hesitated, the steering wheel seized, and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The contact mentioned that the engine failed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that there was metal deposits in the engine that caused a knocking noise and the engine to fail. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 16V190000 (steering). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 109,000.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #820

Sep 132016


  • 80,732 miles


I purchased a pre-owned 2011 Sonata in Oct 2013. In September of 2016 the steering wheel at times would be hard to steer. Then around October of 2016 my steering wheel started making a clicking sound when turning the wheel and the ESC light remained illuminated even when I depressed the button numerous times. When I went to a local mechanic to find out what the problem was, I was told it was the steering column and that I would need to take it to Hyundai to fix it because the steering would have to be reprogrammed. I called and was surprised to learn that it was not covered under warranty. I had to shell out $1100 just to have it repaired.

- Bangor, PA, USA

problem #819

Nov 112016


  • 41,740 miles
Turning steering wheel a few degrees left or right of center produced a knocking, clicking and some play. Also, steering would rattle loudly when driving over rough surface such as gravel driveway. Dealer repair determined it was the steering coupler allowing both shafts to become loose. Had this repaired and service dept. Manager told me I shoud now have a safe car? 8 months out of warranty, mileage of 41,740. I feel lose of steering control is a safety hazard.

- Hillsboro, OH, USA

problem #818

Nov 102016


  • 18,293 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 25 mph, an abnormal sound emitted from the steering wheel without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that an unknown part located in the steering wheel fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 18,293.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #817

Nov 062016


  • 80,000 miles


Took my 2011 Hyundai Sonata in to the dealer for the engine seizing recall in April 2016 and they recommended I replace my steering coupler. I had not noticed anything wrong with it at that time so I decided to wait. I am taking it in today to have it replaced because the steering wheel is very loose and is making a clicking noise when I turn it. The car is not immediately responsive to turning in the past few days. I have seen numerous people complaining about the same issue with the same model year car on the Hyundai forums. I checked my VIN and there is not a recall for this. There should be if the car can become unresponsive to someone turning the steering wheel.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #816

Nov 012016


  • 70,000 miles
There is a clicking or clucking sound when going over a slight bump in the road and the steering wheel makes a clicking noise when turning along with a slight give in the steering wheel.

- Forney, TX, USA

problem #815

Oct 102016


  • 88,000 miles
The steering wheel clicks when turning, doesn't respond well. While in dealership for another issue, was informed that the steering coupler needed to be replaced, and the technician said "it's just one of the 'perks' of living in Florida. The weather here just eats this part away.". problem with his statement is that we just moved here a few months ago and, until then, the car was garage kept in the northeast, so his reasoning doesn't hold water. According to what I've read, thousands of other 2011 Sonatas are experiencing this same issue. Why hasn't this been covered under a recall? I was told by the technician that this is a very dangerous situation and it should be repaired asap...and Hyundai would only charge me $375 to repair it "and most likely save your life" per the tech.

- Davenport, FL, USA

problem #814

Nov 082016


  • 90,000 miles
Steering wheel knock and vibrations at high speeds. Steering coupler failure.

- New Richmond, OH, USA

problem #813

Oct 182016


  • 91,430 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 30 mph, a grinding metal noise could be heard coming from the steering column. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the flex coupling needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 91,430.

- Saint Peters, MS, USA

problem #812

Aug 032016


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving various speeds, the steering wheel made an abnormal noise and vibrated randomly while driving or making a turn. The contact also stated that the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver without warning. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering coupling caused the failure and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 96,000.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #811

Sep 012016


  • miles
Steering wheel started violently shaking while I was driving

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #810

Oct 032016


  • 177,000 miles
You turn the wheel from side to side. Excessive shaking and shuddering of the steering wheel when driving speeds of 60 mph or higher. Clicking noise when wheel is turned during backing up. Shaking of the steering wheel is not starting at lower speeds.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #809

Oct 202016


  • miles
Loose steering shaft. Steering wheel I S slightly loose and being refused warranty on this part in dealership. As I have exteded warranty

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #808

Aug 302016


  • 40,000 miles
Recently I noticed the steering in my 2011 Hyundai Sonata had developed quite a bit of "play" in it. When taking my Sonata in for an unrelated recall I asked the service advisor about it. He said they would check it out. After doing so he informed me that a plastic coupler in the steering column was worn and would need to be replaced. The car only had 40,000 miles on it at that point. I was surprised that a car with that low mileage would need such an important part that could prove to cause loss of steering if it broke. The service advisor said they were "seeing a lot of these come in for repair and was surprised they haven't issued a recall on them". I agree. I believe a car with 40K miles should not be having such problems, especially with safety related equipment. More importantly, I am fearful for the countless folks out there who may not be aware they have a potential problem with their steering, a problem that could cause a fatal crash. This problem needs to be addressed. Thank you.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #807

Oct 262016


  • 77,600 miles
Steering began to make a clicking noise, then progressed over a few days to a thumping noise, then steering became increasingly less responsive and noisy when driving or going over bumps.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #806

Nov 022016


  • 67,000 miles
The steering column is shaking if you hit a bump. Cruise control and the horn does not work now

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #805

Sep 242016


  • 60,000 miles
Every time I drive over a bump or turn the steering wheel, it makes a clicking/clunking sound. I just went past my warranty-covered mileage of 60,000 miles.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #804

Oct 032016


  • miles
When I went in for an oil change and brake noise complaint (which is another constant problem), I was questioned if I was hearing clicking in the steering wheel when turning. I hadn't. I was told that this was a problem with the 2011 and 2012 Sonatas' steering coupler, and if I didn't hear the noise, I soon would so I should fix it (~$360). I asked if there was a recall, since it seemed to be enough of a problem that it was a known problem at the dealership. They said there was no recall, but I should get it replaced. I hadn't heard any noises, so I declined the repair. Little did I realize, it would begin the very next day. My steering wheel now rattles and clicks every time I go over even a small bump in the road, or turn my steering wheel, and it is getting worse. I even called Hyundai, and they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. If the dealership has seen this in multiple cars, and there are plenty other similar complaints online, why is this not a recall" why are the owners being responsible for this repair"

- Mclean, VA, USA

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