hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,852 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments

problem #13

Jun 172010


  • 88,000 miles


I was driving 11 miles to the airport, involving 8 miles of 60 mph freeway driving; the rest was city driving, 25-45 mph with several stops. After I stopped at the security gate and proceeded forward, I heard a loud crunching thud on the front end; the car screeched to a halt; and I thought I collided with a concrete block or a deep pothole. The right front wheel was turned nearly 90 degrees to the right, while the left wheel was straight. The drive shaft and tie rod were holding the wheel on the car, but the main structural component of the right front end was completely broken off. The lower control arm had snapped, apparently because of rust and corrosion. My car was partially obstructing the parking lot entrance and could not be moved. I informed the airport police of the incident and promised to have the car towed off the lot when I completed my 3-hour shift. I met the airport police and the aaa tow driver at 1:45 am. The broken front end made towing very difficult, and some body damage resulted from the wheel well and fender resting on the tire in transit. The car was taken to the aaa shop at 2am. I researched the front end failure on the internet and found many similar complaints and discovered that there was a product recall on the failed part. I called 800-633-5151 and was told that my VIN was not part of the recall. The catastrophic failure of the front end could have killed me, if it happened 5 minutes sooner, so I filed a formal complaint. I was assigned a case number and advised to have the Hyundai dealer inspect the damage. The dealer confirmed that I was not included in the recall, but said it was very likely that Hyundai would repair the car based on "good will." The recall excluded Nebraska cars, although it was purchased in mo and driven to work daily in Iowa. My life was placed in jeopardy because I was not included in the recall. Hopefully, Hyundai will accept responsibility for correcting an obviously dangerous defect found in all 2003 Elantras.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #12

May 182010


  • 57,000 miles
As I was driving my 2003 Hyundai Elantra out of work, the structural metal component that connects to the front, passenger side tire (or referred to as lower arm or A-frame) snapped and the vehicle lost control and stopped moving immediately. The tire was essentially detached from the vehicle and damage to the passenger side door, front bumper and wheel cover. Thank goodness I was not on a main road yet in rush hour traffic driving 40-50 mph or I am certain there would have been an accident when I would have lost control of the vehicle due to this latent structural defect. I had the truck towed to the nearest Hyundai dealer to be examined and took photos of the condition of the rusted metal control arm that had snapped. I did some research on recalls with this vehicle and there was a 4/2009 recall in certain states with heavy winters and use of salt to clear roads, etc. My state (Nebraska) was not listed as an affected stated but all of the surrounding states (I.e. Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Wisconsin) were. Nebraska has just as much snow or more snow than Iowa in my opinion. The vehicle was originally purchased in omaha, ne which is right on the border of Iowa. I believe this will also be a problem in Nebraska and surrounding states possibly. If this control arm snaps while someone is driving on the interstate or other roads at higher speeds, someone will be seriously injured. I am even more upset by the fact that my one year old son very well could have been in the vehicle with me when this happened. Not good. Thankfully, no one was injured and the only damage was to the vehicle itself. The dealer called today and they explained we are not a part of the recall but the evidence is pretty obvious that this is the same identical problem and they are trying to use arbitrary state boundaries to get out of their responsibility. We also carry a full warranty until 2013 on the vehicle so we will see what happens.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #11

Mar 102010


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph and making a left turn, the front passenger wheel detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated that the VIN was included in NHTSA campaign id number 09V125000, suspension, front control arm and the part needed to correct the failure was not available. The dealer also confirmed that the front drivers side wheel was corroded and would also need to be replaced. Two months following the failure, the parts were still not available and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 89,000.

- Fitchburg , MA, USA

problem #10

Jan 012010

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles


2003 Hyundai Elantra 4dsd VIN # [xxx]....I have had a recall for several months, since 1/1/10, here in selden, NY 11784 for the "suspension: Front control arms". I had the vehicle inspected for the recall on 4/1/10. The dealership at husted Hyundai at 1752 middle country road centereach 11720 ph# 631-580-0800 informed me it qualified for replacement of said suspension frame, but the "part(s) are not available". they did not offer me a loaner vehicle or any short term replacement plan. Being that it is my only vehicle, I cannot leave the vehicle there while they "wait for the parts", and I had no choice but to sign a disclaimer of "taking the car at my own risk" until the part(s) arrive. I have called today,5/3/10, and the part(s) are not in, and they say the do not know when they will be in. I am concerned about my, and my family's, safety in driving this vehicle while it is deemed "unsafe" by the manufacturer. I do not know what to do about this issue as they have given me no options but to wait for the part to come in, while jeopardizing my safety with the current recall due to back order of parts. Is there any authoritative or governing organization that can help me(and other recall customers) promptly rectify this problem with Hyundai's obligation to recalls? [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Selden, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 142010


  • 91,000 miles
2003 Hyundai Elantra driven under various but primarily moderate conditions, purchased and originally residing in coastal Virginia, traveling occasionally anywhere from New York to Florida, residing in eastern england for four years (owner was active duty us military), and now having been in Oklahoma for two and a half years, recently exceeding 90,000 miles on the odometer. The car has been primarily highway driven since in Oklahoma with some travel on gravel roads. Several feet after entering a parking lot, with wheels turned, the right front lower control arm fractured resulting in the tire contacting the car body and coming to a skidding halt. No significant body damage occurred, though loading onto a tow truck without further damage was difficult. Vehicle is currently at a Hyundai dealership repair facility but they show no recall for the item. At this time I (the owner) am assuming this is because the purchase and registered state are not included in the current recall.

- Mcloud, OK, USA

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problem #8

Jul 272009


  • 62,000 miles
On June 12, 2009 I purchased a used 2003 Hyundai Elantra. On July 27, 2009 the lower control arm on my 2003 Hyundai Elantra broke off while driving and the wheel fell off. I contacted the Hyundai dealer in kalamazoo, mi about repairs and was told there was no warranty or coverage for repairs. I had the parts repaired by my mechanic at my expense for $484.06. On August 27, 2009 I received a recall campaign 091 notice from the previous owner sent by Hyundai motors advising the lower control arm problems and advising to have it fixed at a dealer or seek reimbursement for repairs made before receiving notice. I then filed a claim with Hyundai motors of $484.06 with all paperwork on August 29, 2009 seeking reimbursement. To this date and many calls to Hyundai motors I am told they are still reviewing the claim and it will be another 6-8 weeks. I feel I am getting a run around and will not be properly reimbursed under the recall law.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #7

Aug 112009


  • 80,250 miles


2003 Hyundai Elantra has had issues with Hyundai safety recall notice: 09V125000: Front suspension control arm failure while driving at 21 St and ashland in Chicago, the front lower control arm broke away. The control arm was replaced close to the scene, as the vehicle was rendered inoperable; and had to be towed by allstate motor club to the nearest shop. I have receipts for the tow and the repair.

- Wheeling, IL, USA

problem #6

Nov 102008


  • 69,000 miles
Driving home from work one day I was coasting down a hill by my house to a stop sign. As I pressed on the brake something obviously happened on the front passenger side of my car. I thought that I had blown a tire. When I got out to look the entire wheel was hanging off of my car, pushed up against and crumpling the wheel well. The car was towed to a service station where they told me that the front passenger side control arm had rusted through and snapped under the weight of the car. I was just lucky because I had been on the highway 10 minutes before this happened. After a few months of calls to Hyundai and them conducting an investigation my $300 I paid for the repair was reimbursed. I traded my car in anyway because the mechanic said there was no way to tell if the driver's side control arm was having the same problem because it rusts from the inside out.

- Carnegie, PA, USA

problem #5

Mar 132009

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. While driving approximately 45-50 mph, the contact attempted to brake for a traffic light and had to apply more pressure to the brake pedal than normal. She pulled over to the side of the road and noticed that the front passenger side tire was out of place. She drove the vehicle to the repair shop and the mechanic stated that the front passenger side control arm failed. The dealer replaced the control arm at the cost of $396.95. The failure mileage was 74,000 and current mileage was 75,000. Updated 06/12/09 updated 06/16/09.

- Ridgecrest , CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 292009


  • 66,953 miles
I had just exited the highway and was on the off ramp when the car came to a sudden stop. The right front tire was at a different angle than the car. I was unable to move the car. I was sitting on a very busy off ramp from the highway and couldn't move the car. I had it towed to a Hyundai dealer and found out that I had a right front broken axle and control arm. The car only had 66,953 miles. It was determined that it was caused by corrosion and Hyundai agreed to pay for the repairs. Lucky for myself and Hyundai no one was hurt. There is still a problem with the exhaust that is a direct result of the failure. It was not a problem before. I have an appointment for repairs, but no guarantee that Hyundai will pay for that. I believe this damage may have occurred when trying to get the car onto the tow truck. Since the wheel wouldn't move it caused some other damage. The police were called because the traffic was heavy at the time, but when they saw the tow truck was there by the time they arrived they didn't even stop, so no report was made.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #3

Aug 072008


  • 113,000 miles


Traveling on interstate about 50-60 mph and applied brakes. During braking (not skidding) the right front control arm failed and right front tire turned out skidding the car to a stop. Managed to skid the car into the middle median and had it towed back to repair shop near home. Replaced broken control arm. Wheel hitting inside of fender also bent fender. This was on a 2003 Hyundai Elantra with 113,000 miles. Control arm was rusting out where it broke.

- Norton, OH, USA

problem #2

May 222008

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 78,234 miles
I was driving downhill to a stop sign (from about 20mph), and pressed the brake pedal, at which point I heard an awful crunch noise, and the front right corner of my car jolted, shook, and sounded like something was grinding together. I got out of the car to look at the front right wheel, and saw that it was turned in towards the center of the car, and bent under the front of the car, about 1/4" away from the back of the wheel well, while my other front wheel was aimed straight ahead. I drove the car 100 feet to a safe place off the street, during which trip the steering wheel tried to spin wildly in various directions, and the crunching, jolting noises and motions continued. The car was not drivable, so I called a flatbed tow truck, who towed it to my mechanic.. when the mechanic was able to look at the vehicle, he determined that the control arm had completely snapped in half, as a result of rust corrosion from the inside out. Visual inspection of the control arm confirmed that the metal it is constructed out of was corroded down to a thickness of approximately 5 or 6 sheets of paper. Water kicked up from wet roads by the tires had gotten inside the control arm (through a faulty seal) and, as there are no drainage holes in the control arm, it remained inside, eating away at the metal until finally the weight of the car snapped the arm in half. This failure of the control arm also wrecked the suspension of the car, as well as the cv shaft, the right front axle, and the sway bar links. The control arm, the cv shaft, and the sway bar links had to be completely replaced, and the car needed a realignment.

- Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #1

Apr 222003

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 641 miles
I have a 2003 Hyundai elananta GT. There is a whining noise from both sides of the front of the vehicle when driving on the highway at high speeds, sometimes at 55 mph or at 75 mph. The dealer replaced the left front wheel bearing on 4/22/03. The noise on the left went away. The same noise surfaced on the on the right side of the car. On 5/22/03 the dealer replaced the right front engine mount, they said it was coming apart. Once I drove the car on the highway again on 5/29/03 the noise was there. I also still heard the whinning noise from the left side of the car again, but for just a couple of seconds. The right side will make noise continuously. Now I have to go back to the dealer again, wasting more of my time, money, and extra miles on my car. I live 130 miles from the nearest Hyundai dealer. I have owned this car from 4/08/03 and the car has 2400 miles on it and will now be on my third attempt to have this car repaired.

- Ruidoso, NM, USA

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