really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,231 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.

2003 Hyundai Elantra engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 072012


  • 83,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. The contact was driving approximately 25 mph when the accelerator pedal became stuck and she was unable to release the pedal. The contact was able to stop without incident and the vehicle was towed. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer nor repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 83,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Scranton, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 232010


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while driving at very low speeds, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact applied the brakes and shifted into park to stop the vehicle from moving. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer who could not diagnose the problem. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 55,000.

- Holyoak, MA, USA

problem #5

Aug 192010


  • 105,500 miles
After driving my 2003 Hyundai Elantra gls about 60 miles on Aug. 18, 2010 my check engine light came on. I took it to be serviced at a shop and waited until the next day for the purge valve and the control valve (both acquired directly from the manufacturer) to be replaced. 2.5 hrs later, approaching a stop sign, my car began accelerating despite my repeatedly hitting the brake. I put the car into N, pulled up the emergency brake & continued to rev/accelerate until I turned the key off and cruised into an empty intersection. About a minute later, I turned the vehicle back on and waited to see if I could feel or hear anything odd. I attempted to drive the vehicle again and the exact same thing happened after driving about 0.5 mile. I contacted the auto shop that replaced the valve and was told it did not sound like it was associated with what was fixed but to let him know after I had another shop look at it (since I was 1.5 hrs away). I called the tow truck driver and explained the situation. While waiting for the truck, about an hour later, I started the engine so my father could listen to the engine and my engine revved to 7000 RPM just turning it on. It was in park at the time. I immediately turned it off and didn't attempt to start it again. Upon the tow truck driver's arrival, I explained what had happened each time. He started the car, reversed it, put it into drive and it accelerated on its own a third time while in drive. He turned the engine off and loaded it onto the truck. Upon investigating any causes, he told me he cleaned out the throttle and it was running fine. He test drove it several times and said there is no indication of the problem happening again but of course cannot guarantee it will not happen again. This is clearly an indication that the problem may not be fixed and noone can tell me whether its safe to drive or not. I'm scared for my own sake and for the sake of my 3 young children. I refuse to drive it for fear another incident may occur.

- Ridley Park, PA, USA

problem #4

Dec 062005

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 58,800 miles


I started the car in the driveway, put the car in reverse and let the clutch out normally and the car just roared in reverse, down the driveway. I had one foot on the brake and at one point I pushed in the clutch and nothing would slow the car down. I hopped the 8 inch curb across the street and slammed into a 12 ft high bush and then the car finally stopped. The car is really in bad shape. There are skid marks in the driveway and the street.

- Glenside, PA, USA

problem #3

Oct 012005

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Consumer 2003 Hyundai Elantra has a design flaw, in the positioning of the brake pedal and its proximity to the gas pedal. ** answer required*** the vehicle suddenly backed down the driveway into the curbside mailbox. On another occasion the consumer stopped the vehicle, but the vehicle bucked and hit a vehicle in front of them. The consumer noticed how the pedal was considerably higher and not as close to the gas pedal.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #2

Jan 092005


  • 32,500 miles
Sudden acceleration.

- North Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

May 172004

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,820 miles
Car was coming up to speed on the highway when the traffic started to slow down. The brakes were applied with the vehicle speed at approximately 45 mph and then there was a sensation of suddenly being pushed forward. The car speed seemed to increase even though the brakes were being forcefully applied, which resulted in the tires leaving skid marks on the pavement. The car did not come to a stop before rear-ending the vehicle in front of it, which resulted in damage to the front bumper of our car being caused by the other vehicles tow hitch mount. The driver of the other vehicle did not complain of any injuries at the time of the accident investigation by the local police department.

- Goffstown, NH, USA

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