Notes: There's an emerging trend of transmission problem with the 2010 Elantra at fairly early mileage.

So far owners report having the transmission replaced under warranty but that won't hold up for much longer. It may be a bit premature but for now we're putting the "CLUNKER" rating on the 2010 Elantra just to be safe.

Speaking of being safe, you might not be unless Hyundai can figure out why their airbags aren't deploying.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 1
Average Mileage:
28,464 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.

2010 Hyundai Elantra engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments

problem #15

Sep 242016


  • 60,000 miles


While my wife, linda, was driving less than 1-2 mph, turning into a parking space, all of a sudden, the engine started racing and leaped forward. Hitting the brakes had no effect on stopping the vehicle. She desperately turned the wheel to miss parked cars, a steel pole was hit and torn out of the ground by the runaway vehicle. Finally the car came to rest after hitting a large concrete light pole, which must have stalled out the engine. My wife was in a state of shock and had to go to the hospital for tests / xrays. Even with the seat belt on, she received major impact from the steering wheel to her chest.

- Madeira Beach, FL, USA

problem #14

Feb 102015


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owned a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. While driving 13 mph, the vehicle accelerated. The brake pedal was depressed and stuck to the floorboard and the steering wheel locked. The vehicle crossed opposite lanes and crashed through a gate and into a house. The air bags deployed long after the crash occurred. The contact was knocked unconscious momentarily and received medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to a tow yard. Three months later, the contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 13V113000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic) and 15V1000 (steering). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and requested information to investigate the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was approximately 63,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #13

Feb 212016


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while driving at 30 mph, the vehicle experienced unintended acceleration. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle could not be stopped even when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was able to be stopped and parked when the emergency brake was applied. The vehicle was restarted and operated as normal. The failure had occurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle failure mileage was approximately 42,000.

- Montgomery, NY, USA

problem #12

Sep 252013


  • miles


Purchased Elantra July 12, 2012. I called my brother for financing information. He came to the dealership. Mazda of orange. When he started reading the contract the became very upset. He called out the salesman for the extra charges, taking advantage of me, by not telling me I didn't have to add these things. The manager, ask me to come to his office to close the deal. I needed a co-signer. A friend of mine said he would co-sign. We signed. The first malfunction was the cruise control. I was in the number one lane the traffic began to slow. So I tapped the brake, again and again, it would not shut off. Even though I was applying the brakes. I was terrified and trembling. The second incident was when, I was pulling into a parking place, with my foot on the break. Even though I was applying the brakes, the car sped up went over two cement stops ultimately hitting another vehicle head on. This vehicle was pushed back approximately 6 ft. The third malfunction, was September 25th, 2013. Upon the request of a friend, I pick up her daughter from school. When we got home, I parked in the driveway on a slant. We removed the packages from the trunk into the house. I sat down in the drivers seat, with my feet outside the car on the pavement. The car lunged very hard and fast backwards. I, subsequently was pulled down and under the car. I was dragged 12 to 15 ft. When it stopped, my car had hit another car. I ended up under my vehicle, in serious condition. The national highwaytraffic safety administration had reported on-line that there were extensive recalls on this very model. I have yet to receive any notice.

- Norco, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 042015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
While making a turn onto a bypass, vehicle lunged forward faster than speed applied and then resumed normal. Has happened intermittenly while driving 30 to 40 miles an hour other times. Does not happen often.

- Holland, PA, USA

problem #10

Apr 012014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
April 1st 2014 at aprox. 9:15am while performing an emergency acceleration in a 2010 Hyundai Elantra SE with aprox.103000 miles car became stuck accelerating and continued to do once foot was lifted from both pedals. Brakes were effective at slowing vehicle but engine continued to accelerate at full throttle. Tapping accelerator was tried and was ineffective. Car was shifted by operator into neutral and red-lined on RPM. Operator slammed accelerator peddle to floor again and unintended acceleration stopped and car returned to normal function. No cruise control was being used, no hazard warning symbols came on. Car was shifted back to drive and no accident or injury occurred. Car accelerated to aprox 70mph under these conditions. Car was brought to a Hyundai dealer for service a few hrs later who noted and showed customer how oem floor mats when properly installed can pop up and trap accelerator peddle down if accelerator peddle is forced to floor rapidly. Dealer was able to duplicate issue and removed floor mat from mounting on floor and left loose in driver's foot area. Customer put floor mat in back seat to avoid issues.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #9

Jan 302014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 51,300 miles


While pulling into a parking space with my foot on the brake, I suddenly had a unintended and very rapid acceleration. With my foot mashing the brake pedal I was able to slow the car enough to complete the park (it did not completely stop). I immediately shifted the transmission into neutral and the engine really revved up. Once I was sure the car was not going anywhere, I checked to make sure I was stepping on the brake (and not on the gas pedal). I then touched the gas pedal (or shifted in park) and the engine went back to normal. I checked the floor mat and it was in normal position. I had a similar but way less dramatic (much lower rpms) a month previous. The car acted fine after this. I reported this to Hyundai motor America and they assigned a case number to me. I brought it to a Hyundai dealer and they could find nothing wrong. This event was very terrifying and I am not sure I want to drive this car.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #8

Mar 272013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles
The car revving when the cruise control is on and pushing on the breaks then not being able to put the car in reverse or park. I had to use the shift lock release to just be able to get it into park after that.

- Noble, OK, USA

problem #7

Nov 012012


  • miles
2010 Hyundai Elantra (rented). Consumer wanted to know were there any recalls issued related to defects in the steering, accelerator problems, suspension problems or brake problems the consumer stated he was involved in an accident, which caused him to crash. Updated 01/15/13 the consumer stated the vehicle swerved to the left, which caused him to strike a pole. The consumer then crossed the median, and struck another vehicle, killing the other driver. Updated 01/28/13 updated 02/07/13 updated 12/23/13 the consumer stated the cruise control was set at 42 mph. When the vehicle swerved, he hit the brake, but the cruise control did not disengaged, instead the vehicle increased in speed. Updated 07/07/14 updated 09/24/14

- Charleston, MO, USA

problem #6

Jan 282012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
This is not an isolated incident it is an ongoing problem with my vehicle. On my 2010 Elantra automatic transmission, it is as though the gears are not working. When the car is in drive the issue arises. In order to get the car to 40 mph I have to literally hit the gas and get the rpms to 5,000 or almost 6,000 before the car will shift. The car then shifts but when it is settling into 1000-2000 RPM's the power jerks as if it has lost power momentarily, this happens anytime you are trying to accelerate. Going up a small hill this car will go about 10-15 mph for more than 30 seconds. This is unacceptable and could be a safety issue if the transmissions go out completely while these cars are being driven. Loosing the ability to shift should be a concern here.

- Federal Heights, CO, USA

problem #5

May 062012


  • 11,500 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while entering a residential driveway at 5 mph. The brake pedal was depressed yet the vehicle accelerated abnormally and the contact crashed into a ditch. The contact stated that the air bags did not deploy and no one was injured. The vehicle was not destroyed and was neither inspected nor repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 11,500.

- Morristown, PA, USA

problem #4

Feb 132012


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the vehicle abnormally accelerated with the brakes applied. The contact was unable to regain control of the vehicle and crashed into a port-A-potty. The contact was injured and a police report was filed of the incident. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 6,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 212011

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 5,461 miles
While inching into my garage with my foot not on the gas, my 2010 Hyundai Elantra suddenly and unexpectedly accelerated and ran into my garages back wall before I could break.

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #2

Mar 202011


  • 9,700 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. While driving with the cruise control activated at approximately 65 mph, the contact applied pressure to the brake pedal and pressed the off button for the cruise control to deactivate yet the cruise control would not deactivate. The contact stated that the vehicle crashed into a metal guardrail and the vehicle stopped fifty feet from the guard rail. The contact was uninjured and a police report was filed for the incident. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for body damage repairs. The manufacturer was contacted and a complaint was filed. The manufacturer was unable to provide further assistance but informed the contact that the vehicle was not equipped with a crash box. The approximate failure mileage was 9,700.

- Candor, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 112010


  • 4,000 miles
When the cruise control was set between 40 and 50mph instead of being set at that speed/mph the car kept accelerating to 70mph, only when I applied the brakes did it slow down. This happened 5 times in the past week, and I tested it out and it happens maybe 5% of the time but not in any random increment.

- Purcellville, VA, USA

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