really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,785 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.

2008 Hyundai Elantra drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments

problem #14

Dec 132013


  • 89,000 miles


Accident major tried stoping and car stop alittle then gas excelarates forward never notified about recall caused three accents after

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #13

Feb 112015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 109,600 miles
Was driving at regular speed (35mph to 40mph) then my I felt a stall transmission and my car couldn't shift up or down was keeping into 3rd gear and my engine light came on!

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #12

May 052014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 63,980 miles
Entering a crowded parking lot in the city of Chicago, I slowed down to approx. 2 mph (almost idle speed) as I approached the ticket dispenser when all of a sudden the car accelerated over 6000 rpms and took off. As reflex, I slammed the brakes (since the ABS doesn't work without power) but the acceleration kept increasing and the brakes were not inhibiting movement so I then forced the key out of the ignition and pulled the emergency break - all within a second or two. The car stopped within inches of hitting a few other cars and people inside those cars after the forward momentum had been overcompensated by the initial brake push and emergency braking. There was a strong burnt rubber and oil smell but it wasn't from the tires. The check engine light came on after two driving cycles and has remained on. This is a very serious situation that needs attention! I am very experienced driver and knew what to do and how to do it but was still within inches of seriously hurting others and destroying property. I also suffered whiplash on my neck and hit the steering column as a result of the sudden stop. Air bags were not deployed. There are several incidents that have been reported in the past few months (March 2013 - May 2013) by drivers in several states on this same year model. I am urging NHTSA to look into this. I will also contact Hyundai and if Hyundai doesn't respond I will be contacting media outlets because Hyundai owners need to be informed of this very dangerous and potentially fatal situation.

- Bloomingdale, IL, USA

problem #11

Mar 022013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the vehicle would not accelerate but then suddenly accelerated and failed to slow down. The contact stated that he had to apply the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. After the vehicle was stopped and the engine was turned off, the contact noticed that the accelerator pedal was seized. The contact was able to drive the vehicle home. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 05/10/13 updated 05/21/2013

- Swansea, MA, USA

problem #10

Feb 082013


  • 29,755 miles
While driving the car began to accelerate on its own, had to push hard on brakes to avoid, hitting another car.brakes had to be applied hard.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

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problem #9

Jan 032013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
Dear madam/sir, my name is [xxx], and along with my husband [xxx] I own an automatic silver Hyundai Elantra 2008, plate number: [xxx], VIN: [xxx]. we purchased the car new, serviced it in a timely fashion, as required, only at Hyundai representatives. The car meter currently reads close to 40,000 miles. On January 2nd, 2013 arund 4:15 pm I parked my car on the street, in front of my house, facing uphill, like I usually do. Half an hour later a friend arrived, parked her car down the street, facing downhill, 100 feet away from my car, same side of the street. At that time she remembers she saw my car in the same spot I initially parked it. An hour later, as my friend was getting ready to leave, my husband looked over the window and saw my car around 50 feet down the road from my usual parking spot. He initially though that the parking space was occupied when I arrived home, so he handed me the car keys so I can bring the car in front of the house. When I walked with my friend towards her car, we saw that my car has slid down the road around 50 feet, probably pushing my friend's car around 10 feet away from her initial parking location. The front bumper of my car does not have scratches, so it is not likely that my car has been pushed by another car. As a result of the collision the Hyundai Elantra has a completely damaged rear bumper, with considerable damage to the trunk also. My friends car (a Lexus rx, 2012) has the rear bumper damaged. We believe this incident was due to faulty transmission on the Hyundai Elantra. In past, we had several incidents. At this point I am very concerned about the safety of my car. I drive my daughter in that car, and if the car decides to slide down the road on its own, this puts my baby's life in danger. Thanks [xxx] my Hyundai case number is [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #8

Nov 112009


  • 25,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that whenever the vehicle was parked on an incline, the vehicle would roll away and come out of park. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the park pawl failed. The dealer stated that the transmission would have to be replaced in order to repair the problem. The manufacturer advised that the contact should always engage on the emergency brake. The failure mileage was 25,000 and the current mileage was 100,125.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #7

Sep 142012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
2008 Hyundai Elantra would not shift into park. Tried moving the vehicle to another location, adjusting steering wheel and shift lever. Finally, depressed shift lock override before I could go to park and remove the key. The next morning, the vehicle would not shift out of park. Had to depress shift lock override to start the car.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #6

May 012012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
I started to exit the vehicle in park on a very slight incline when it started bucking forward and I almost fell out of the vehicle. I told Hyundai service that it was dangerous and should be repaired and they said to put the emergency brake on before I put it in park and it was not an issue. I have driven hundreds of cars and never had a car start jerking forward in park no matter what incline I was on. This condition is dangerous and Hyundai should fix it. The shifter stays in park while this is occurring.

- Long Valley, NJ, USA

problem #5

Dec 012010


  • 23,000 miles
After pulling into the driveway and putting the car in park the car would skip down the driveway and into the road. This has happened numerous times in various driveways. The driveways are not steep or out of the ordinary. Hyundai confirmed the problem and has replaced the transmission due to the locking pin not engaging. It is dangerous because anyone in the road or in your driveway can be hit by the car as it skips down the driveway.

- Liverpool, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 062010


  • 90,000 miles


I was driving my 2008 Hyundai Elantra on the highway and began driving on the exit ramp when the brake was applied the car accelerated to a speed of 85mph. I had both feet on the brake and the car would not stop. I put the car in neutral and it slowed to 20mph. At that point I put the car in park and turned it off. The car was smoking and I could smell something burning. Car was taken to Hyundai dealership where they told me the throttle cable had debris on it and malfunctioned causing the throttle to accelerate to high speed. The car had accelerated twice before but not to such high speeds and would react to the brakes being applied.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #3

Apr 072010


  • 36,454 miles
My 2008 Hyundai Elantra will automatically accelerate without warning above the speed that I am driving, which almost caused an accident while I had 4 teenagers in my car. I bought my car new and I have been experiencing this problem for at least a year, I'm not sure of the date this problem started. Hyundai dealership experienced the problem and put new transmission in and problem is still not fixed. Hyundai and dealership are refusing to acknowledge the problem still exists. I do not feel safe to drive my family in this vehicle and I won't. I can't seem to get anyone to help me.

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #2

Jan 012009


  • 200 miles
1) poor gas mileage - not meeting epa estimates. Took to dealer 3 times. Had fuel pump replaced after car stalled on roadway and would not result. Stalling stopped but mpg is below epa estimates - dealer says everything ok... 2) auto transmission sputters and doesn''t downshift properly - have to manually downshift to maintain proper torque on motor. I feel like I am driving a stick shift I have to downshift so often to keep car from sputtering and maintain acceleration. Dealer say everything ok. I read that there is an acknowledge torq problem but manufacture has not issued a fix...

- Monsey, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 302008


  • 19,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Elantra. While driving 65 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle began to jump when the cruise control was deactivated. The contact did not apply any pressure to the brake pedal. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road and the contact shut it off. The vehicle was able to be restarted, but when he released the clutch to place the vehicle in first gear, it would stall. After a few attempts to release the clutch to shift into first gear, the contact applied pressure to the brake pedal and the vehicle moved forward. The manufacturer advised him to take the vehicle to a local dealer. The vehicle was driven to the dealer and they stated that the ABS module needed to be reset and indicated low voltage. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was 22,000 and failure mileage was 19,000.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

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