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:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,043 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

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 #24

Dec 312016


  • 56,000 miles
Steering gets sticky or stuck. It's not like it gets completely stuck that you can't turn the wheel, but there's a noticeable resistance while driving on the highway at highway speeds. It happens while driving straight and wanting to change lanes. Left or right it does it both ways.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #23

Apr 252012


  • 7,294 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. While driving 15 mph and making a right turn, the contact lost control of the steering. As a result, the contact's vehicle crashed into another vehicle. The contact sustained a fractured shoulder that required medical attention. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was driven to the contact's residence and towed to an independent body shop. The vehicle was repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V871000 (electrical stability control). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 7,294.

- San Juan Batista, CA, USA

problem #22

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 #21

Oct 212015


  • 32,389 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. While driving 45 mph, the steering wheel shook violently when the brake pedal was depressed. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the cause of the failure was not determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V871000 (electronic stability control). The failure was persistent. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 32,389.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #20

Feb 272016


  • 40,000 miles
The steering sticks when driving relatively straight, all speeds, and applying small corrective movement. The dealers claim that this is caused as the electric steering assist "idles" when the sensors say the car is going straight, however, we all know small corrections are required on straight roads. Very scary when you have to momentarily fight your steering to correct for a pothole or uneven pavement.

- Kenmore, NY, USA

problem #19

Jul 202015


  • 70,850 miles


Since we have purchased this vehicle, it continually pulls and drifts to the left. We have to fight to keep it on the road at all times. So far the sway bar (link) has been replaced in the front and new tires put on. All this has been absolutely to no avail. There are several videos on youtube that show this exact problem people have been experiencing with this same make, model, and year Hyundai!! apparently this is a common problem and it is very dangerous when trying to steer the vehicle and the wind is blowing across the interstate. Also, when we had the vehicle looked at with one of our own mechanics, and not the dealership's mechanics, he put it up on the lift and could hardly turn the wheels. He commented that the steering was as tight as if the vehicle was a truck!! there is something very wrong with the steering that could easily lead to an accident.

- Barton, VT, USA

problem #18

Dec 312011


  • 31 miles
After purchasing the car new with all of 31 miles on it I noticed on my 350 mile drive home from anchorage to fairbanks Alaska that the rear end of the car would skip around unpredictably when hitting a bump or when I hit an icy patch of road (and as a result of the skipping around, the rear tires wear/cup ridiculously fast, which may also be dangerous but is mostly annoying and expensive). Despite a few attempts by the dealer at repairing the steering column it still does it, 30K miles later. As far as speed, it happens at any speed above about 35 mph. It is bad enough in the summer to feel like the rear end is leaving the road, but it is extremely dangerous in the winter when traction is already tenuous at best. Sooner or later this is going to kill someone if it hasn't already.

- Fairbanks, AK, USA

problem #17

Apr 172013


  • 9,000 miles
Pothole induced tire failure - torn sidewall. The limited edition of this car is fitted with 17" rims -- stock tire is a 215.45.17. With approximately 22,000 miles of driving, we have destroyed three tires on potholes, fortunately all were at low speed and there was no loss of control. However, hitting a pothole or other break in the pavement at high speed could easily destroy the tire and cause the vehicle to go out of control. The aspect ratio is simply to small for safety. A review of automotive forums indicates this is a common problem for Hyundai Elantras with 17" rims. I was hesitant to let my children drive the car on the highway. At our own expense we have replaced the stock wheels and tires with a 16" wheel and larger aspect tire.

- Kensington, MD, USA

problem #16

Sep 262013


  • 20,638 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the steering wheel became unstable. In addition, the vehicle would exhibit an abnormally loud noise. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic several times, who performed an alignment and replaced the axle. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,638....updated 03/25/14

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #15

Jan 012013


  • miles


I bought the Hyundai Elantra 2012 and has been giving me problems. The car will not start sometime till I start moving the steering wheel and the shifter. It has done it to me several times since I bought it and I took it to the dealer I purchased the car and the mechanic said there is nothing wrong. I argued that there is they expect me to leave it at the dealer for a while till they find the problem but the only thing is that it's my only transportation. The shifter locks on me while I'm holding the brake down, I have to use the manual button to unlock it. I notice that when it doesn't want to start and I manually shift the gear to neutral the car starts. The dealer wants me to replicate the problem and I ask my self how"?" it doesn't do it all the time. I have roadside assistance and I called them but by that time they get to me I got the car to start.

- Bell, CA, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Oct 012011


  • miles
I have the 2012 Elantra and from the day we bought it I noticed it was hard to drive in a straight line out on the highway thought it was just me because my wife never said anything about it then I started seeing complaints from other people online I agree it is a safety issue and hyundia needs to take care of the problem. Also lately when U try to restart the car after sitting sometimes it will not start unless U press on the gas pedal its been in the dealer shop two times (busted strut and was popping in frontend) and the can not find anything wrong with it as far as the steering I know its not the tires or the alignment just had new tires installed and realigned.

- Piketon, OH, USA

problem #12

Mar 122013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
When driving the car it is very hard to keep the car in a straight line because the car likes to veer to the right and left and you have to try real hard to keep it straight. The steering becomes stiff at times, making it difficult to control the car. I have only owned the car for 2 days and started looking up reviews and noticed about 300 complaints pertaining to the same issue. This is not safe and I almost went off the road while driving. I took the car back in and they changed the computer setting to 15 to match the tires. They said that should help. Well it didn't change a thing. I am taking the car in again tomorrow. Other people said that they as well have taken the car back numerous times and were given the run around.

- Holiday, FL, USA

problem #11

Jan 012012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 12,500 miles
I am the owner of a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. I believe this car has a problem with the steering system! I have taken the car to the selling dealer and was told it needed an alignment at a cost of $90 (not covered by warranty). I had the alignment done and it did not correct the problem! I contacted Hyundai customer assistance and was told to take the car to another dealer for evaluation. The customer service person told me to expect to be charged for repairs not covered by warranty! the second dealer also said the car needed alignment at a cost of $100! I declined this repair; it had not corrected the problem the first time! I contacted Hyundai customer service again and was told this is being moved up regional! I have not had any contact from Hyundai regional as of this date! I believe Hyundai is aware there is a serious problem with the steering systems on 2011, 2012 and 2013 Hyundai Elantra and has no plan to issue a recall until someone dies! I believe Hyundai's public position on this matter it to tell customers there is nothing wrong with their cars; they just need alignment, at the customers expense! I believe Hyundai has adopted the position that if a customer is charged often enough, they will stop complaining, drive the car or trade it for another brand! either way, Hyundai is off the hook! I do not plan to be Hyundai's test subject!!! I will continue to pursue a solution to this problem up to asking Hyundai to buy the car back from me!

- Terrell, TX, USA

problem #10

Dec 012012

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Almost every time I have started the vehicle and placed in drive from reversing out of my driveway, the vehicle jolts and seems that transmission is lagging or changing gears abruptly. The service engine light went on and I had made an appointment. When I took it in for inspection, the dealer said they could not recreate what I was talking describing. In addition, when I drive the power steering has had some issues. It has never drove in a straight line after two alignments. And it can be tough to turn the wheel. When I contacted the dealer about how I hear a clunking sound when driving over bumps, he test drove it and was confirmed that he agrees that there is clunking noise, but said he cant pinpoint it and it will have to get worse before he could tell.

- Midway, GA, USA

problem #9

Jan 312012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the power steering failed and the vehicle failed to drive in a straight line. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times. The technician diagnosed that the steering column was defective and needed to be replaced and that the steering software needed to be upgraded. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that they would contact her back at a later time. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 8,200..... updated 03/08/13 the consumer stated the vehicle would veer off to the right, heading toward other lanes of traffic. The consumer stated her mother would have to pull over and then it would over-steer. The first time, the dealer didn't fix the vehicle, the second time, they stated a computer update was needed, the third time, they stated a steering column was needed and the last time, the dealer claimed the problem was the steering column again. When the consumer went to retrieve the vehicle, the steering wheel was spinning lose on turns. Updated 03/13/12

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #8

Sep 012012


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that his steering wheel started to peel at approximately 5,000 miles. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. After diagnosis, they advised him that it was due to him wearing certain lotions, etc. The vehicle was replaced with a new steering wheel. The failure recurred another 5,000 miles later. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and pictures were taken so that it would be sent to the headquarters. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000. The current mileage was approximately 10,000.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Aug 202011

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the steering wheel would constantly pull to the left abnormally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. After diagnosis, they advised him that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was contacted and they referred him to another dealer. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken for repairs approximately 5 times within a one year period for the same failure. The failure mileage was approximately 5. the current mileage was approximately 11,000. Updated 11/14/12 the consumer stated that on 5/2012 the vehicle pulled hard to the left at 65mph and almost went off the road. Updated 11/19/2012

- Brick, NJ, USA

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