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 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Jul 012014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


Whenever I try to turn on my car everything turns on except the engine. The lights and everything are fine. The battery tests fine. I have been to the dealer 3 times and they say nothing is wrong with it. It has not started approximately 15-20 times. Based on accounts from others with the same vehicle who have had this problem the engine has also stopped in the middle of driving. Thankfully the issue has only ever occurred when my car is parked, but I'd really rather not risk it happening on the road in rush hour traffic.

- Altoona, IA, USA

problem #15

Jul 262014


  • 45,713 miles
I attempted to start my car last night and it didn't start, lights were on full power and everything but not a sound from the engine... tried many many times didn't start. Then randomly it started. Drove home parked went out this morning and tried again did not start. I have tried many times this morning but again it has not started.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #14

Jul 122014

Elantra 3-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Intermittent problem: Car didn't turn over. I waited a few minutes, tried it again and it started. Dealer couldn't find the problem. Second occurrence: Wouldn't start, then it did when I tried it a third time. That same day, car was idling for about 3 minutes as I was sitting in it. I had put it in park and when I tried to put it in drive, it wouldn't budge out of park. I turned the car off (fearing the worst) and it started and allowed me to put it in drive.

- New Brighton, MN, USA

problem #13

Jun 212014


  • 26,000 miles


One day in June, I tried to start my car and the park sensor above my odometer would not show. Because of this, the car wouldn't start at all. I had to continue to try to start the car, by turning the key multiple times inside the ignition and pressing my foot onto the pedal. It finally started, but not without apprehension on my part. The rest of the time, the car worked ok for the most part, but whenever I reached a traffic light it would act as if it were parked and acted a bit funny. The story above happened 8 more times over the next few weeks. I had the battery checked to see if it was a battery problem, only to realize the battery was fine. I tried other techniques, such as turning the key completely 90 degrees, but that didn't solve it. Finally, I went to the dealer and upon my story being shared, the mechanics immediately told me that the transmission range switch was not working. They had noticed more Hyundai Elantra 2012 cars in the past few days having the same issue. Since I am under the 5 year / 60,000 mile warranty, this issue was fixed at no cost. However, while this issue was fixed at my end. I would hope this story would spur a further investigation into the transmission range switches on all Hyundai Elantra 2012S and see what issues (if any) could result over a faulted transmission range switch.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #12

Jun 162014


  • 29,800 miles
There appears to be an issue with the ignition switch that may be due to the switch overheating. What happens is that I will park my car and when I return a few minutes later and try to start the car nothing happens when I turn the ignition switch. If you go to and type 2012 Hyundai Elantra ignition problem into the search engine you will see other 2012 Elantra owners posting videos of the same problem. I called my dealership which stated there is no recall of the 2012 Elantra. Again since other 2012 Elantra owners are posting this on youtube that tells me this is not an isolated incident.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Oct 282013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles


I purchased this car in June 2011 and there have been three separate times that my car will not start. The first time was a few months after I first purchased my car. I went to start my car in the morning and it would not cut on. After letting it sit for the day I tried it and it turned on with no problems. The second incident happened September 2013. I went to start my car in the morning. It would crank but not turn over. I let is sit for about 3 days and everyday I would try it and it still would not start. I finally had it towed to a Hyundai dealer near me and they ran tests and everything came back fine and was told the car started for them with no problem and I probably didn't push in on the clutch all the way. Even though the tow truck driver also tried it and would not start for him too. The most recent incident the same issue happened. Car would crank and not turn over. I did some research online and saw from another Hyundai owner that they had to pump their gas pedal to get their car to start. Once I tried that the car started after a few minutes. This time I drove it to the Hyundai dealer where I purchased the car and once again all tests came back fine and they cannot find a problem.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Oct 162013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Vehicle will not start once stopped. After an hour or so it will restart. This problem has been ongoing for about a year. It happened again this morning (Oct. 16). This vehicle has been checked by Hyundai dealership where purchased in baytown Texas. Also at ntb store in atascocita, tx. After thoroughly checking all possible causes for this type problem, through vehicle diagnostics then replacing the battery, neither service center has detected a problem. They have given a resolution of no problem found. This problem has been ongoing for a year now. The problem started about six months after purchasing this vehicle.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #8

Feb 072013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
My Elantra limited will not start occasionally for no reason. I have to put it in neutral and back to park, then repeat to get it to start. This happens so often I am used to it doing this, so I just thought it was normal. That pretty much sums it up.

- Mansfield, TX, USA

problem #7

May 172013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 18,800 miles
Car will periodically not start - all warning lights come on and there is a humming sound. Often occurs when wheel is on an angle. Car will typically not start 4-5 times in a row. Overhead lights work at the time of the failure. A few minutes later, after much jiggling of the steering wheel while turning on ignition, it starts fine. One time it started after emergency brake was released and the car rolled a bit. Brought to dealer who could not replicate problem but acknowledged this problem had occurred with other Elantras. Dealer was about to release car when driver demonstrated that gear shift would not move out of park. Dealer found code C1513 brake switch shorted. Brake switch was replaced. Dealer kept car a few days with no replications. 7 days later, starting problem recurred at driver's home and again after a day at work. In both cases, wheel was not in "12 O"clock" position. In conversation with dealer, we discussed that when the steering wheel is locked (not sure of definition), car should not start. He recommended jiggling the wheel while turning ignition. He also explained that the gear shift will only move out of park if 1) ignition is in on position and 2) foot is on the brake. Why is steering wheel locking so often?

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 022012


  • 23,000 miles


The vehicle has the same problems described in the 2011 recall with the brake switch. My cruise control sometimes does not work and 3 times has cut off on its own. It will not cut back on till vehicle is pulled over and stopped. I was told the problem could not be reproduced but its happening more frequently and im not satisfied with either cocoa beach or melbourne dealer. I have a recurring clutch pedal issue as well and do not trust their technicians any longer. I will just drive the car till it leaves me stranded or in a wreck. Westland Hyundai however has never had a repeat repair. Im not sure why their techs are so much more reliable. Wish I still lived in Utah to have my issues resolved.

- Melbourne , FL, USA

problem #5

Sep 102012

Elantra 4-cyl Diesel

  • 18,750 miles
Several times a day when going to crank the car it would crank. Also you could not shift the car from park to drive. (throttle plate stuck).

- Callahan, FL, USA

problem #4

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

problem #3

Jun 012012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
While driving the vehicle cut of completely. Electrical, engine, power steering, windows, everything was completely unresponsive and shutdown. I was forced to manually force the vehicle on the side of the road away from traffic/into safety. This is the second time this has happened in 2 weeks! the dealership stated that they had replaced the PCM/ECM. Once on the side of the road the vehicle was completely unresponsive and it was towed to the dealership again. This is completely inexcusable.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 292012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 3,412 miles
Traveling on interstate, vehicle suddenly jerked (as if I hit something on the road) complete electrical failure. Dash, radio, navigation, power steering went dead. A few seconds later power came back while vehicle was still rolling and was able to restart by depressing brake and "start/stop" button. A few minutes later while traveling at lower speed, the event repeated. This time power would not return. Car was in motion and was able to roll to emergency shoulder. Car was stuck in neutral so emergency brake engaged to prevent roll back. Power gone, unable to roll down windows, activate sunroof, radio or anything requiring power. While call was being made to roadside assistance and after 10 minute wait on hold, dash illuminated power and car was able to be started with start/stop button. Decision was made to leave interstate and take back roads to avoid fatality in event of repeat. Failure experience 3 additional times. Was able to video tape failure:

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #1

Jan 132012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 1 miles
The Hyundai Elantra 2012 is equipped with front and rear seat warmers. The switch for the front seats resets to off when the car is turned off. The switch for the rear seats, however, remains in the on position. The next time the car is turned on, the rear seat warmers will be activated again until they are manually deactivated. A caveat in the Hyundai manual states: "with the seat warmer switch in the on position, the heating system in the seat turns off and on automatically depending on the seat temperature." This safety feature is to prevent injury to someone using the seat. My concern is the potential hazard the rear seat warmers pose when they are not being used by a passenger and the driver is unaware they are activated. On cold winter days the rear seat warmers could be heating at maximum wattage every time the car is turned on, unbeknownst to the driver. With this being a seating area often used by children, I believe there is a high likelihood that these switches could be left in the on position frequently and for lengthy periods of time. This poses both a health risk, as well as, undue wear on the electrical system and rear seat components.

- West Chester, PA, USA

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