Notes: Be aware that there's a significant trend of owners complaining that the Elantra's fuel economy is significantly less than the EPA estimates.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,055 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.

2012 Hyundai Elantra brakes problems

brakes problem

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2012 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 092017


  • 56,000 miles


I just crashed this car yesterday, 01/09/2017 on rt. 724 between birdsboro, pa and gibraltar, pa. I was driving with a 50-55 mph on a 55 mph road going to work with almost no traffic. I was driving in a straight line when it happened, I was not even turning.the sky was clear and no distractions. Suddenly, the car wheels went left and right and then all the way to the left taking me to opposite side of the road and crashing the car in a ditch then flipping on the driver's side(I attached pictures). My trials to turn it back to the right all failed. Emt came and were able to get me out. I almost got killed. I don't drink or smoke. I heard of several incidents like this about the steering in Elantra. The car has only 56000 miles on it. I believe the problem is with steering. I felt like there was no steering at all. Hyundai motors should be held liable for such faults in their cars and affected owners should be compensated. I don't want to drive Hyundai again. (the picture showing the tire marks was taken a few hours after the crash. It shows that the road was clear and clean)

- Birdsboro, PA, USA

problem #15

Nov 092016


  • 20,000 miles
Both rear calipers were substantially frozen and had to be replaced. Auto has 20,000 miles.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #14

Aug 152016


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. While driving various speeds, the vehicle braked independently and caused the electronic stability control warning indicator to illuminate. After the vehicle was parked, the brakes seized. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic stability control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V871000 (electronic stability control). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #13

Jul 022015


  • 52,380 miles


Problem : ESC light flashes while driving, some time makes rumbling noise, power loss, feel like car in neutral, steering felt lock, sudden break and creates unsafe condition. Not all symptoms come up same time but one of them while light flashing. Details : 1. first time happened in June/July 2015 contacted dealer. Since dealer cannot replicate they did test drive and felt everything normal. I drove 1 year scarred but issue didn't occurred 2. few weeks ago this problem resurfaced dealer repeated same story but wanted to drive with me which is pending. While normal driving it happened and this time it was recorded on my cellphone to show as proof because in test drive it may or may not happen. I feel company and dealer not working closely and someone can cause serious issue of safety. I request to look into this reaching out to company and address this issue. I cannot upload video let me know if you need. Just loading a picture.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #12

May 172014


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. While driving down a hill or making a turn at various speeds, there was an abnormal sound emitting from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on numerous occasions where it was diagnosed that the front driver side sway bar needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the front and rear rotors and pads needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Gloversville, NY, USA

problem #11

May 152015


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle became difficult to steer. The vehicle would sway to the left and the right instead of driving steady. The contact stated that the steering wheel became difficult to turn and the brakes felt spongy. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #10

Mar 072016


  • 101,200 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the brake system failed to engage while driving 50 mph in rainy conditions. The contact crashed into an embankment. The stability control warning light illuminated. The contact suffered injuries to the back and arms that required medical attention. A police report was filed and the vehicle was towed. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number: 15V871000 (electronic stability control), but the parts were not available for repair. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 101,200.

- Timpson, TX, USA

problem #9

Aug 132012


  • miles
The contact owned a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. While driving approximately 30 mph, the brakes failed and the contact crashed the vehicle into a pole. The air bags did not deploy without warning. The contact sustained knee and chest injuries, but medical attention was not required. A police report was filed. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V871000 (electronic stability control). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Monroe Township, NJ, USA

problem #8

May 152014


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and failed to restart. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where they were unable to locate a failure. After experiencing the failure a third time, the technician replaced the brake switch. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #7

May 152015


  • 49,000 miles
Left tail/brake light is malfunctioning. When the headlights are on, the tail light is on; however, that same light is also the brake light, and when the brake is applied, the light will not illuminate.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 092015


  • 59,850 miles


Vehicle accelerated on it's own, and applying break pressure only slowed vehicle but kept accelerating. Hyundai reports no issues, yet this incident is all over the internet doing searches on Hyundai. Hyundai reports no recalls. When car placed in park mode, RPM shot to maximum of 8 and stayed there. When placed car back in drive, car RPM went to 2 and car wants to accelerate fast. Please NHTSA, apply pressure for recall for this very unsafe condition on a vehicle.

- Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #5

Jun 192014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 31,685 miles
During normal vehicle operation at approx. 45 mph, dry pavement, the vehicle brakes suddenly locked up, causing the vehicle to skid left into oncoming traffic with tires screeching. During the skid into oncoming traffic and a frightening attempt to control the vehicle, the ABS light blinked several times then went off. This could have resulted in deadly consequences had I been driving in heavy traffic or on an interstate. ( a few days prior, while traveling at approx. 50 mph the brakes were making a horrific grinding noise with no pressure applied to the brake pedal. This resulted in decrease of speed in the vehicle in which it would not accelerate above 40 mph.) the vehicle was towed to the Hyundai dealer where they questioned if there was any problem. The computer readings were all good and showed no problems with the vehicle. Finally, after a service technician driving it home for the night and experiencing the problem twice himself, they realized there was a serious issue with the brakes. The hecu (hydraulic electronic control unit) had failed at 31,685 miles. This is the answer the service department has given for the problem. The vehicle is still currently in the service department being repaired. I am still in fear of driving this vehicle even though it is being repaired.

- Jackson, NC, USA

problem #4

May 292014


  • 39,466 miles
I was driving in dry weather and on normal road conditions when the ESC light begin to blink for no apparent reason. I could not accelerate when this occurred, and then the vehicle brakes locked up. Luckily, I was entering onto a on ramp and the vehicle skidded to a stop onto the shoulder. If this would have occurred while traveling at a higher rate of speed it could have been very dangerous. I had the vehicle towed to a nearby Hyundai dealership for review of the issue.

- Pataskala, OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 122014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
Driver attempting to brake but the brake system failed and hit another car, also upon impact the airbags did not deployed to protect the driver considering how severely the front area of the car were damaged. 2 days prior to the accident, car was not starting, was jumped- start and vehicle was brought to Hyundai service and they did not see anything wrong.

- Royal Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

Feb 162012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 20 miles
I bought a brand new 2012 Hyundai Elantra on Feb. 10, 2012. Within several weeks I noticed the gas disappearing so quickly so I began filling the tank and taking pictures. I bought this particular vehicle due to the fact it advertised 40 mi. Gal on highway and 29 city. I took it to the dealership, I was told to fill car and reset trip and drive on highway. I did as they said on several occasions before going back. The trip continued to read 18 mph and approximately (as low as 10.9 and as high as 24.8 mpg) one of the mechanics (I guess he was a mechanic) took it for a ride, I waited; he was gone an hour. When he got back he said he drove 47 miles and got it to read 33 mpg in which he said he combined city and highway together. I have never got it to do that and I have been tracking it closely since I bought it. Also, the steering wheel squeals, I told them; they said it is nothing. The brakes (alloyed wheels) squeal after it rains, they said it is nothing. I smelled something coming from cabin filter, they said it is a big job to take apart to see what the smell is and they said they believed it is a dead animal in which I would have to pay for, I told them to forget it. They told me even though I only had about 1000 mi. On car after 3 mo. Went by they needed to change my oil so I had it changed. Everything is documented. I hope someone can help me. Thank you. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Meriden, CT, USA

problem #1

Jun 172012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 4,273 miles
Car lurched, engine shut off. Car became uncontrollable and all the warning lights on the dash lit up. Eventually managed to get to side of road where the transmission locked into place. Electrical system was still functional but car was completely unresponsive. Occurred again 800 miles later after "repair" both incidents nearly caused accidents.

- Queen Creek, AZ, USA

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