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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,159 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.

2012 Hyundai Sonata engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Aug 072015


  • 136,564 miles


On August 7, 2015 at approximately 9:30 pm, I was coming back from running an errand with my 16-year old daughter in the car with me. I made a right-hand turn when suddenly, all of the lights on the instrument panel illuminated and the engine stopped. Additionally, I lost all power steering, etc. I was able to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road immediately, but almost got rear-ended by a pickup truck that was following me. I turned off the car, let it sit for a few minutes, and started it up again. The car seemed fine at that point, and I was able to continue my short drive back to my home (approximately 1.25 miles). When I arrived at home and placed the car in park, the oil pressure light was flickering slightly. I turned the car off and went into the house for the night. The next morning (8/8/15), I checked the oil level in the engine, and noted that it was slightly above the fill line. I added some synthetic oil to the engine, checked the level and noted that it was adequate. I started the engine to go run some errands. The car seemed fine at first, but when I was approximately 5 miles from my home, the oil pressure light began to flicker again while the car was idling (at a stop light, etc.) I called my husband right away, who told me to bring the car home. I noted that the engine had somewhat of a ticking noise while driving it. When I was approximately a quarter-mile from home, the engine started knocking/banging very loudly. I immediately shut the car off, called my husband, and called for a tow truck. I had the car towed to my mechanic's shop. On Tuesday, 8/11/15, my mechanic removed the oil pan and informed me that the bearings were failing, which caused metal shards to clog the oil pump filter, and he also noted that the oil pan was full of shards. This car is a safety hazard and needs to be recalled!!!

- Pleasant Prairie, WI, USA

problem #25

Jul 292015


  • 182,000 miles
We were traveling at approximately 65 mph in the 2nd from right lane in heavy rush hour traffic when the engine abruptly stopped and could not be restarted. My wife had difficultly steering and braking to move to the breakdown lane from the loss of engine power. It was very fortunate that we were not hit by oncoming traffic. The car was towed to the dealer who stated that the engine had seized and needed to be replaced at great expense.

- East Greenwich, RI, USA

problem #24

Jul 102015


  • 77,654 miles
While driving at a speed of 70 mph the engine quit. There was no previous noise or indication of a problem. Tow truck driver tried to jump start with no success. Towed to Hyundai dealer. They tested the battery and determined there was a dead cell. New battery was installed still would not start. After further investigation it was determined the engine seized up. Ordered and installed a new remanufactured engine. Took eleven days to complete. Update 9/15/15

- Napa, CA, USA

problem #23

Jul 032015


  • 60,000 miles


I had a minor fender bender ( a person hit me and took off) 1 block later the engine died. It was taken to the shop where I was first told it needed a new battery and a starter. Battery was only 12 months old and starter was not a problem. I had it towed to Hyundai and they told me the engine seized from sludge and water. I I dont even have a sprinkler system for water damage and we are in a drought and the oil was changed a few months ago. I had read about the seized engine issues on this model but Hyundai says that is not true. I pointed out to them that no oil light came on and no check engine light came on.I have had no problems with this car until this happened. They refuse to do any thing about it but are willing to charge me $6700 to replace the engine

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #22

Jun 012015


  • 60,800 miles
Engine rattling sound upon acceleration and oil burning fast.brought into dealership 3X for the same concern. Twice while it was still under warranty. Sent home saying they couldn't figure it out. Even assured us it was nothing serious. On third time (60,800 mi), car burned through oil and oil light came on, rattling sounds came back, stereo stopped working, car died (new starter needed). Dealership inspected it and said they figured it out this time (how convenient that they finally did right after the warranty expired), suggested a brand new engine. Says there was tons of sludge and metal shaving in the oil. They cited 'owner neglect'. we provided them every documentation of maintenance and consistent oil changes. Denied honoring our warranty. Did research and found 2011-2012 Sonatas have a manufacturing engine defect. People all have same issues and outcomes with their cars. Hyundai will not even look at our proof of maintenance and continue to deny there is an issue with their engine.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #21

Apr 192015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 82,300 miles
My engine seized with no warning. I was traveling downhill and the motor just shutoff. Had the vehicle towed to the dealer who notified me that the engine was seized. This is a huge safety concern as it could have happened in the middle of traffic.

- Saraland, AL, USA

problem #20

Apr 282015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


I was driving home from work when all of a sudden my check engine light came on and I started hear noises coming from my engine. I pulled over somewhere safe and eventually had to get it towed to a Hyundai dealer. I'm not the original owner of the call so the dealer tells me I cant used the 100,000 mile warranty. I have another warranty company who wants the dealer ship to come to a final decision as to why my engine stopped working. There was no sludge in my oil pan but there us metal which obliviously means something messed up on the inside. Hyundai is telling me under no circumstance will they further investigate what happened to my vehicle and wynn is telling them they will not pay for my vehicle unless they have the specific reason as to why a engine that only had 86,000 miles stopped working. My husband has a 2007 Honda civic that has 210,000 miles on it and yet my newer car dies out at only 86,000 miles to me this doesn't make any sense and I'm getting the run around on all ends. I don't have 6000 dollars to pay out of pocket expenses that is why I got the warranty in the first place. My engine shouldn't have gone out and with no warning!!!!!! so now I'm stuck without a car, paying a car payment for a car I cant drive, and no way to get back and fourth to work this will cause me to lose my job and not be able to care for my family something has to give.

- Nottingham , MD, USA

problem #19

Mar 022015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 44,493 miles
When attempting to accelerate the vehicle to get onto the freeway the engine lost all power. This incident has happened multiple times on multiple occasions, each time Hyundai and the dealership have failed to identify and fix the problem. Each power failure event has been a near accident. I am concerned for the my passengers and my own safety. The vehicle has received all regular maintenance, oil changes and recalls. A case has been opened with Hyundai customer support.

- Arroyo Grande, CA, USA

problem #18

Feb 092015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 21,348 miles
Earlier that day the wrench was lit up on the dashboard, but it disappeared. I was driving out of my neighborhood at about 15-20 mph and the screen read "warning! do not drive! irreparable damage to ? I can't remember" it started to freeze the driving. Then I parked it and it would not start back up. It was towed to the dealer and they replaced the battery and hpcu. It scares me to think what would have happened if I was on the freeway. I bought this car April 20, 2014 and now can just get 2/3's what I paid for it. Sad, but true. When I get some money I will be trading this in as I am nervous driving this car now.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #17

Dec 292014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 39,250 miles
Without notice/warning, engine started making a metallic knocking/flapping sound with a lot of blue smoke exhaust when rapidly accelerating. Shortly after, engine oil light flickered momentarily. From past experience, I knew to pay attention to this. By the end of the same day, I added almost 5 quarts of oil. I also brought the car to local Hyundai dealer for a late afternoon (4:30pm) appointment just before new year's eve. Service advisor mentioned that "by the time the engine oil light comes on you've got less than a quart of oil left". he suggested we bring the car back when they would have more time to work on it. I planned to have 40000-mile service and expected a somewhat expensive repair, so I needed to wait until Feb 4, when I would have funds available. I brought the car for service on 2/4, and was told later that day that the engine was damaged and needed replacement. After thorough inspection, with several photos provided to factory, Hyundai refused to replace the engine under warranty repair, citing my lack of regular service. I had the car serviced at 15000 miles at the dealership where we bought the vehicle in March, 2012, but did not have any other regular service performed. Dealer (not the purchase dealer) requested Hyundai do a "goodwill repair" that would require me to pay $1900 labor, while Hyundai would pay for the engine and all fluids (~$4800). Again, Hyundai refused. I understand my accountability for overlooking regular service, which is why I agreed to pay the $1900 labor portion of a goodwill repair. However, none of this eliminates the fact that the engine oil warning light did not even flicker until after the engine was totally damaged. By Hyundai service advisor admission, there is less than 1 quart of oil left when the warning light activates. What kind of warning indicator only activates after catastrophic damage?

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #16

Dec 272013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles


Was driving 35 mph making a turn when I heard a knocking noise. Was subtle at first. Checked oil and was low. Added 1 qrt of oil. Drove home about 2 miles and knocking became extremely loud. Took it to len stoler Hyundai dealership and they stated that exhaust manifold, drive belt, pistons, and valves need to be replaced. Basically, $6300 worth of work. Car is up to date on all maintenance. No other issues with car. Warranty does not cover engine damage and no help was given. I have seen many other complaints about the same engine issues. Hyundai should replace!

- Owings Mills, MD, USA

problem #15

Aug 102013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 15,042 miles
First time noticed that the oil pan is leaking at 15,042 miles. Took the car to the dealership and they resealed it under warranty. Started leaking again at 22,566 miles and took it to the dealership. This time they replaced the oil pan and resealed it again under the warranty. I just noticed it that it's leaking again at 30,660 miles. I am really concerned that this brand new car is leaking oil like this. Also, I strongly feel that the fix is not addressing the underlying issue which may be something else. I think Hyundai needs to look at this issue closely and must come up with a permanent solid fix. I have been reading on the Hyundai Sonata forum that many are facing the same problem. I am surprise that there is no recall for this yet. This is my first and last Hyundai.

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #14

Sep 032012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
The car hesitates during start up! I have had it into the shop approx 9 times since we have had the car. This last time (approx 30K miles) they told me it was normal. I am afraid this car is an accident waiting to happen!

- Rotonda West, FL, USA

problem #13

Oct 232014


  • 32,000 miles
Smell of gas, this car have had 2 motor replaced one in June 2014/ 2nd in August 2014 and now a third in Oct 23, filled the car up with gas, got on the interstate and the car started cutting back, big clouds of smoke came from the rear end, black sutt on the exhaust pipes.the car putter on the interstate, had to get off the road car shut down while try to steer to safety, once car shut down it became hard to control, went other the side of rode, hit a water pipe line, car never crank after that. Had to be towed to Hyundai dealer ship. This is the 2nd time I have reported this car. Now it is in the shop awaiting engineering to review it. For the 3rd motor.

- Lugoff, SC, USA

problem #12

Oct 022014


  • 72,581 miles
While driving uphill at roughly 50 mph the rod bearing in my 2.4 liter Hyundai Sonata failed. The engine was running approximately 5000 rpms at the time of failure. The motors was ruined. The vehicle has been maintained according to the normal use maintenance schedule, having oil changes every 5,000 miles.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #11

Sep 012014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Car accelerated suddenly and could not be stopped. I was in a parking lot and backed up to leave, accidentally hitting a storage container with my rear bumper. I put car in drive to move forward and the car accelerated out of control by itself traveling fast about 30 feet. I tried to brake but could not stop the car. We hit a fence, moving the fence about 5 feet and hit the car parked on the opposite side of the fence, smashing in the passenger side of the car. We had our seat belts on and were not injured but without seat belts we would have been thrown through the windshield. I do not feel safe driving this car anymore.

- Garden City, NY, USA

problem #10

Aug 282014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 26,400 miles
An engine rod blew a hole in the engine block. This was done at a speed of around 48 mph. This is based on the dealership technician inspection. Luckily I was not next to another car when this occurred or it very likely would have caused an accident.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #9

May 152014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
While attempting to accelerate from a stop the vehicle got to 30 to 35 mph and would not go any faster despite pressing gas pedal and rpms went up to 7 and 8. after pushing gas pedal several times the car will finally increase in speed which is very concerning given I drive on an interstate. This has happened 3 times in past 4 months and same exact thing at 10 mph and RPM went to 4 and 5 and car would not increase speed. I stopped vehicle and accelerated and then it operated normally. Dealership has been in unable to duplicate it and has questioned me several times about driving with two feet which I do not do and laying purse on console against shifter which I also do not do. 3 of the 4 times it happened it was at the beginning of my drive within first mile or so. 1 time was near end after about 20 miles. Purchased car used with 18000 miles on it and did not drive on interstate from July 2013 until March 2014 on regular basis.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #8

Jun 222014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that after parking and turning off the vehicle in her residential garage, the vehicle started rolling backwards. In an attempt to stop the vehicle the contact fell which caused her to scrape her chin needing 10 stitches. The contact was taken to the emergency room. The failure mileage was 39,000. The consumer stated she and the police attempted to piece together the scenario, that the vehicle was not in park, when she turned it off. The consumer stated the vehicle could be put into any gear, and it could roll, whether it was on a flat of hilly surface. Updated 08/20/14 updated 8/27/14

- West Caldwell, NJ, USA

problem #7

Apr 162014


  • miles
When I applied break my RPM idle goes up. I don't know if that is safe I show in other car RPM goes down. I took to dealer got oil change. And I asked why this happens. He told me to chack eco system. I chack eco system it was on off postion. I ask him when I bought car I never show RPM go up when I hate break. There no engine sing comesup on dashboard either. This really safety concern for my family. RPM should not go up when U hate breaks. It's should bring RPM down. RPM should go up when U hate gas padel. I get this. But when I go to any speed. And tried to applied break it should drop RPM should not go up.

- Tinleypark, IL, USA

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