really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,979 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Jun 152013


  • 60,000 miles


After recieving letter from Hyundai about defects in cruse control and other technical items, I took my car into dealer in fresno, California and they turned me away refusing to service recall order to fix and relpace recall requirements stating that they did not have time and that they would call when they did. They never called, my contact number has never changed in 15years or more.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #22

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 #21

Jul 062016


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owned a 2008 Hyundai Elantra. While parking, the vehicle independently accelerated when the brake pedal was depressed and crashed into a fence and a tree. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained bruises to the chest that required medical attention. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Peabody, MA, USA

problem #20

Oct 112015


  • 70,000 miles


Leaving the parking lot at walgreen in tonawanda, NY. I was backing out with my foot on the brake. Putting the car in drive.the car leaped into a very high accelerated speed like a jet with the engine racing. The brake did not help. The car hit the barrier between the sidewalk and the store and the engine burst into flames.the distance was only a matter of yards.the airbags and seat belt kept me from going thru the windshield the force of the crash totaled the car. There was no one in this area of the parking lot thank goodness it was 10am Sunday morning. I do not know who called the fire dept and police.. this is a very serious problem. This situation happen so fast you don, T have time to blink. I am now left with no car and a twisted back.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #19

Jun 112015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,460 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Elantra. While parking and attempting to engage the brakes, the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning and crashed into a light pole. It was unknown if there were any injuries or if a police report was filed. The dealer stated that the vehicle was working up to specifications. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,460. MA 08/05/15 the consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 08/11/15

- Summitville, IN, USA

problem #18

Mar 092015


  • 53,000 miles
My vehicle was turning a corner and the power steering assist shut down totally, I was unable to steer my vehicle. The eps light lite up on the dashboard. It took two people, my boyfriend and myself to steer the vehicle to the curb, but only with a great deal of effort on both of our parts.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #17

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 #16

May 102014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
This past Saturday, May 10, 2014 I was driving my four year old daughter home from soccer class and all of a sudden my steering went out. After avoiding an accident with woman behind me, I realize that the steering wasn't out but had become very difficult. The eps light on the dash was on and I learned that the power steering had gone. We took the car to our local mechanic to see if it was a simple thing like a fluid change. He informs us that the steering is computerized, that there is a service bulletin about the power steering in our car and we should take it to our dealer and it shouldn't cost anything to reprogram.

- Baldwin, NY, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Mar 292014


  • 44,500 miles
The gas pedal got "stuck" in the down position while driving, resulting in a problem being able to stop the vehicle. I was going approximately 45-50 mph, passing/merging/accelerating in order to get onto an onramp which curved slightly to go into another main highway. When I pressed on the brakes to slow down a bit for the ramp, nothing happened. My car continued to go at the same speed. I continued to brake, and the car would not slow down. I slid my foot over the gas pedal and could tell it was still completely "down" and making the car accelerate at full capacity. I then glanced down to confirm that the pedal was stuck in the downward position. There was nothing under the pedal, the floor mat was not stuck underneath, nor was it anywhere near where the pedal was pressed down. I clicked my hazards on during the process because since it was an onramp, there was nowhere to pull over. As I continuously pressed on the brakes, the car only slowed down approximately 3-5 mph total, because the gas pedal was stuck all the way down, therefore the brakes were trying to work against the full power of the acceleration. Once the passenger realized what was happening, he helped by putting the car in neutral. This helped slow the car, and I then pulled the emergency brake. The car came to a stop in the middle of a main highway onramp. The cars behind me were able to react quick enough to go around and not hit the car. I tried to replicate the problem in order to help diagnose this issue and have more information to tell Hyundai. Once on a straightaway without other cars nearby, I pressed the gas pedal all the way down, and sure enough I was able to recreate the issue and the pedal got stuck again. Upon trying to recreate it a 3rd time, it did not get stuck and seemed to be working properly. But it did get stuck 2 out of the 3 times. It was terrifying to not be able to stop.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #13

Mar 242014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles


We were driving on the highway when the car began to accelerate on its own as if cruise control was on, which it wasn't. we pulled over and pulled the floor mats off in case they were making the gas pedal stick. When we started back up, the car did it again. We tried to pull over again and the brakes didn't stop the acceleration until we threw the emergency brake on. Even then, the brakes were fighting the increased acceleration. We then made our way off the expressway and were able to brake the car enough to turn the engine off. We called a tow truck to bring it to the shop. We are grateful we didn't get in a car accident and are still pretty freaked out about it.

- Stoughton, WI, USA

problem #12

Jan 052011


  • 28,600 miles
While driving there was unintended acceleration.

- Jacksonville, FL, 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 252013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 23,950 miles
While driving in heavy traffic, inching along at low speed for about 1/2 miles; stopping and starting all the way, suddenly during one of these stops, the motor started to rev and the car accelerated on its own. Had to brake hard to avoid hitting the car in front of me. About 10 minutes later, while parking the car in a parking space, the same thing happened. I had already stopped and was putting the car in park. I took the car to the local Hyundai garage where they did road testing. Computer tests showed no codes; so no repairs were made. When the tech line of the manufacturer was contacted on this matter was told that there were no cases relating to this problem on file. Have had this problem sporadically since 2010. Last reported an acceleration problem to the Hyundai garage early in the month of December 2012. No one at Hyundai wants to help me.

- Chambersburg, PA, USA

problem #9

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

problem #8

Aug 012012


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph with the cruise control engaged, she attempted to engage the brakes but they failed to stop the vehicle. Instead, the vehicle abnormally accelerated to 95 mph. The contact was able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 34,000 and the current mileage was 89,143.

- Harrah, OK, USA

problem #7

Dec 082011

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Recall on 2008 Elantra Hyundai. Connector cover problem after install- cold weather. After starting, unable to shift gear from park to drive until the weather was warm. The consumer also stated the vehicle suddenly accelerated before she was able to put the gear in park. The consumer crashed into a pole.

- Marble Hill, MO, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Aug 082010

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,210 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that when the vehicle was in the cruise control mode and she attempted to apply the brakes, the vehicle would suddenly accelerate up to 70 mph. She had to turn the cruise control off in order to stop the acceleration. She noticed that the failure occurred twice. The contact also stated that she had difficulty shifting into reverse or park gear. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealership where it was awaiting diagnosis. The contact had not spoken with the manufacturer. The current mileage is approximately 26,260. The failure mileage was approximately 26,210. Updated 10/25/10 updated 10/27/10

- Fairmount, IN, USA

problem #4

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

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