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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,444 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

Oct 112014


  • 38,500 miles


My car was parked outside overnight and I used the key fob to unlock my car. I then tried to start the car but it would not start. I had my foot pressing on the brake and pushed the ignition button and the lights/radio would come on but the car made a click noise and would not crank over to start. I tried this 5 times before it started. It was not that cold so weather was not a factor. I then drove to work and at lunch the same thing happened. It took 5 tries before the car cranked over to start. The brake pedal seems to be locked and then finally it has some give to start the car. I had taken my car to the dealership 6 weeks prior for this same issue but they said they could not find a problem as it started for them every time. It is starting to now get frustrating.

- Brookfield, WI, USA

problem #35

Jul 092014


  • 65,000 miles
A few days before this incident, a warning indicator light appeared on my instrument panel. I made an appointment for that weekend to have it checked at a local dealership. As I was driving home from work, the first unusual thing that happened was the Hyundai logo appeared on the nav screen while the car was in motion.typically the Hyundai logo only appears when the car is first started-never while vehicle is in motion. About 10 miles later, all of the power to the vehicle disappeared as I was driving about 65 mph in heavy traffic. When this happened, it felt as if I had been rear-ended in an accident. After determining that was not the case, I looked at the instrument panel to see all the warning lights illuminated. Now I'm trying to move to the side of the highway when the power was magically restored and the warning indicator light that had appeared a few days prior was now gone. I did not have an opportunity to pull to the side of the road, put the transmission in park and attempt to restart the vehicle. No, it restarted all by itself! I took it to two different dealerships who both assured me the car was fine and that what I described was impossible to occur. Trust me when I tell you that unless you've experienced losing all power to a vehicle while driving at 65 mph, yet here is not another feeling like it. I no longer felt safe in my own vehicle and made arrangements for it to be replaced. I would have felt much more comfortable had the dealership(s) found something that could have been repaired. Given that they could find nothing wrong left me very leery of the vehicle's electrical system. Also, the mpg gauge would reset itself; at idle, it frequently almost stalled; at night, the headlights would flicker at idle; the compass readout on the rear view mirror would also flicker at idle when the vehicle almost stalled---very bizarre behavior from a vehicle.

- Suffield, CT, USA

problem #34

Nov 042014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Car would not start when key turned. Dash lights came on, but engine would not turn over or even crank. The only sound was a slight click in the engine when the key was turned. Jump start would not help. Remedied by turning the key until I could shift out of park to another gear, then returned to park. Did this multiple times and finally the car started normally. Concerned about losing power when driving and having an accident, or getting stranded somewhere. Called dealer and was told that they could check for battery issues (which it is not), but to call them if it happened again (hopefully, not while driving).

- Belvidere, NJ, USA

problem #33

Oct 012014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


When turning on the ignition switch the car interior lights light up. Turning the key to the ignition position, nothing happens. There is no draw on the dash lights or any other lights on the car. It simply has no noticeable effect. I have to turn the key off and on numerous times before it starts. Not starting is, of course, a concern. The expenses from taking it to a mechanic has become a real drain on our finances. However, if it begins to turn off while we are driving, serious injuries may occur. {ref: Chevy cobalt} please investigate this issue. Getting ahead of this could prevent more tragic occurrences.

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #32

Aug 152013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
My 2012 Elantra has failed to start 3 times while it was in park and 2 times while I was on the freeway in a period of 12 months. There was no warning while I was on the freeway. All dashboard lights were on, radio was on and it was until I tried to accelerate when I realized that the car had turned off on me. Luckily, it was in heavy traffic going about 15 miles per hour, nonetheless, it was a pretty nerve wrecking unsafe experience. I was able to turn the car back on after 3-4 attempts. My biggest fear is that the car can potentially turn off on me when I'm going 60+ mph. I drive my kids everywhere in this car and I fear for the safety of my family. I have taken it to the dealer after every incident and their main response is that they cannot duplicate the problem, therefore, they can't fix it. At one point, they claimed that it could be due to carbon build up in the engine so I paid ~$300 for that service which did not help because the car turned off on the freeway several months later. I have even had the Hyundai tow truck from roadside assistance tow my car from my work parking lot to the dealer in hopes that it was proof that the car did not turn on. Tow truck driver confirmed the car did not turn on, then prepped car to place on tow truck bed. He got the car to dealer, then attempted to turn on the car and it did. I tried to get documentation from him but he declined. All I got was a letter that stated that the car was taken from my work parking lot to the dealer with zero details. The dealer is being irresponsible and does not stand behind their product. This is a huge safety issue. I am in the process of pursuing the lemon law and going to BBB for arbitration in hopes that they take the car back. I feel like I don't have an alternative. I cannot, with a clear conscious, sell this car to a dealer or a private party knowing that it is defective.

- Cerritos , CA, USA

problem #31

Sep 182014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
A few weeks ago, my 2012 Hyundai Elantra would not start. I googled the issue and it seems that this has affected numerous Hyundai drivers. The issue ended up being that the range switch had to be replaced. I don't know if this is something that should be considered as a recall. Thanks.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #30

Sep 282014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles


My 2012 Hyundai Elantra will not start. I tried several times to get it to start and it finally started. All indicator lights will turn on but when I turned the ignition all the way nothing happens. This has happened to me multiple times a year. I had it towed before to the dealership since it's still under warranty but the dealer couldn't find nothing wrong since it started up for them. The issue has only ever occurred when my car is parked.

- Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #29

Sep 032014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I've had the following issues with the 2012 Elantra: 1.) the vehicle would not start. This only happens intermittently so it is hard to predict when it will occur and where you will be stranded. All indicator lights will turn on but when I turned the ignition all the way nothing happens. I brought the car to the dealer since it still under warranty but the dealer had no idea how to fix the issue. They had my car for 3 weeks now and still trying to figure what is wrong with the car. 2.) there are also instance where the engine starts but the gear gets stuck in park and cannot switch to other gear. I had to turn the engine off and try to restart. 3.) the battery light indicator briefly lights up at 60 mph.

- Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #28

Sep 082014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The vehicle would not start, all lights / accessories were in perfect working order, but the engine would do nothing when the key was turned to the start position. The first time this happened we had the vehicle towed to the dealership where we purchased it new. After recommending a fuel system treatment - which we had previously undergone at 40K - we declined. The net result of this visit was that nothing was wrong with the car. After experiencing the same problem a few more times (9/8,9/9,9/21, 9/23 all roadside assistance calls), sometimes being able to start the car after a few minutes - sometimes not. We find ourselves at an impass with the dealership. They are telling us they will no longer be able to run a diagnostic without charging us the fee - even though when I bought the car I paid in excess of $1200 for the 100000 bumper to bumper extended warranty.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #27

Sep 022013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Within the first year of owning my 2012 Elantra, I started having an issue with the car not starting. Dash would light up normally, and radio, etc worked fine, however the engine would not try to turn over at all or make any noise whatsoever. The problem is that the car is not sensing that the car is in park. The dash will normally display P (for park), however in these instances the dash is blank where the transmission position should be displayed. The shifter is also stuck in park so I can not move to any other gear. In order to resolve this issue, I have to use the shift overide and move the car out of park and then back into park. The dash will then display the P, and I can start the car normally. I have taken to the dealer on two occasions, and their computer diagnostics don't detect any problems. They said if they can't repeat the problem then they won't change out any components. This is frustrating because there is no way I can get it to the dealer when the problem is occurring.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #26

Sep 082014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 48,150 miles


The vehicle failed to start on the first attempt. All of the interior electrical components appeared to be working. The engine failed to turn over. After several attempts, the car started. The vehicle started dozens of times over the next few days without issue. However, the failure to start has recurred twice more in the past four days. This does not appear to be a battery issue.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #25

Sep 152014


  • 52,000 miles
Yesterday afternoon I got into my car to go to the store, and it wouldn't start. I continued to turn the key to on position, then back off and wouldn't start. Then tried again in then it finally started barely. Again I got into my car to go to work, and it wouldn't start again. I switched the key back off position and on again and still no start. Tried it again 2 more times to start and finally it started up. I had this issue about a year ago about a month after I purchased my vehicle and got it towed to dealership and they found nothing because it started right up for them. Please let me know what to do to get this issue from occurring.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #24

Sep 052014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 59,100 miles
I left home for a 1,000 mile road trip starting on the date specified above. Mileage indicated above is a close approximation to when the incident first occurred. On the first day, I stopped for gasoline at a station. When I tried to start the car back up, I had power to everything but my car made no attempt to start. After trying several times over the course of about 5-10 minutes, it finally started and ran fine. This happened five times over the course of the trip lasted 8 days. I have made an appointment at the dealership to look it over, again. I say "again" because I took the car in to the dealership less than 500 miles prior for what I believe to be a related issue. The automatic transmission shift lever would not leave the "drive" position when I stopped at one point and needed to get out of the car. I could not because I could not put it in "park", gear shift lever was stuck in "drive". back to the "won't start" issue - wiggling the automatic transmission shift lever seems to have helped me start the car when it previously would not. Dealer said they could not find the cause of the stuck automatic transmission shift lever.

- El Dorado Hills, CA, USA

problem #23

Sep 092014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 67,770 miles
The vehicle in question periodically fails to start. This has been an ongoing issue with this vehicle for several months. At first the vehicle would not start on occasion but has since began having starting issues more frequently. I contacted my dealer and was told of two possible issues regarding a stop lamp switch and a faulty starter. I brought the vehicle in and they were unable to identify a problem. I contacted Hyundai usa and they were unaware of an issue regarding my specific vehicle as there are no recalls for this specific issue but there are recalls regarding this same issue but with other vehicles. I feel that Hyundai is not standing behind their products with their warranty and I do not know on a daily basis if my vehicle is going to start the next time I attempt it.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #22

Aug 292014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 37,850 miles
Engine would not crank. Lights, windows, radio, etc. All worked. Shifted to neutral and car started. Has happened multiple times.

- Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #21

Aug 282014


  • 39,550 miles
Several weeks ago, on a Sunday, I got into my 2012 Hyundai Elantra in the parking lot of the local kroger and tried to start the car. It refused to start or turn over. It didn't make a sound. The lights, radio, etc. Worked fine, but the car would not start after repeated attempts. I called a friend who came over and jumped me off. I thought this could be related to my battery, but for the next two weeks, I had no problems. This past Sunday, August 24, I put the key in the ignition and it gave a little hiccup, as if it wasn't going to start, but then it started anyway. I made a short trip into town, stopped at the store, came back and the car still started fine. But the next morning, Monday, Aug. 25, it would not start after repeated attempts. My neighbor gave me a jump-off - it took a couple of minutes, but finally the car started. I assumed this was definitely the battery, so I headed to autozone and got a new battery installed. Several days passed, and everything was fine. On Thursday morning, August 28, it wouldn't start again. I tried repeatedly, no luck. I called a friend, who came over to jump it off. Still wouldn't start. I called Hyundai roadside assistance and they had it towed to pride Hyundai, a dealership in batesville, miss. I got a ride to work and, later, I got a call from pride Hyundai. They said the car started just fine. They also reported that the tow truck driver said it started for him as well. I explained the situation and they said they'd look at it. Hours later, I called them back (since it was clear they had forgotten to call me) and they said they'd hooked it up to the computer and found no problems. I asked them to keep it overnight and try it again the next morning. The lady on the phone went out to the lot and came back - she said it started fine for her and again she insisted they could find nothing wrong with my car.

- Oxford, MS, USA

problem #20

Aug 052014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 31,500 miles
After sitting overnight, vehicle failed to start following morning. Although all components requiring power (windows, headlights, radio, interior lights, etc.) seemed to be functioning ok, jump started vehicle, and it started immediately. A few days later problem recurred; let vehicle sit for some time, and vehicle then started immediately (no jump start). Today problem occurred yet again (waiting to see if vehicle will eventually start). A quick review of online forums indicates a possible issue with the shift interlock, or perhaps a faulty rain sensor. As an aside, a longer-term sporadic, presumably electrical, issue also exists with the passenger side front window. The window will go down without issue, but it often takes multiple attempts from either the passenger side or driver's side window control to get the window back up.

- Culpeper, VA, USA

problem #19

Aug 082014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 26,091 miles
The car will not start once it is turned off. It could start once and go to the store, and then lock up for a few hours. Eventually it will act normal again ad then start all over again.

- Bryan, TX, USA

problem #18

May 192010

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 20,630 miles
My 2012 Hyundai Elantra would not start this morning and this was the third time this has happened starting in May 2014. I hit my door unlock on my key fab and the doors unlocked from here I proceeded start my car. Everything started but the car. I turned back to the starting position and tried again same results. I waited a few minutes and tried again amazingly it started. What is going on with my car" this has happen before the first time called a tow truck driver and by the time he arrived it started. This was followed by a visit to North county Hyundai in carlsbad, ca. Of course the dealership found nothing wrong. Again what is wrong with my car"

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #17

Jul 312014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 31,652 miles
My 2012 Elantra started fine this morning and every day previously, but when I went to start it after shopping, it wouldn't start. I turned the key in the ignition switch and nothing. However, all of the lights inside worked. I tried several times to get it to start and it finally started. I came home and then after a couple of hours, I went out to go somewhere and once again, it wouldn't start. After 3-4 times of turning the key, it finally started. I currently have it ready to be picked up to go to the dealership as I am assuming it will not start again the next time. I have read numerous complaints with the exact same issue as well as viewing videos of the same exact thing happening. I purchased this car new in June of 2012 so I wouldn't have to have to worry about getting stranded, but I may be regretting my decision.

- Tavares, FL, USA

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