Notes: We're not used to seeing any major problems with Hyundai, which makes the early signs of trouble with the 2013 Elantra very surprising, in a bad way.

Early trends show problems with the steering wandering / pulling to one side along with premature tire wear. Elantra owners have tried sensor adjustments, wheel alignments, even replacing axles, most with no luck. Hyundai has made vehicle buybacks through arbitration, but that rarely works out well financially for owners in the end.

Also there is a pattern of complaints about the 2013 Elantra brakes grinding at very low mileage. It seems there was a bad batch of OEM pads & rotors, but so far Hyundai is not doing a recall. Instead Hyundai issued a TSB & dealers have been replacing pads & rotors on a per-complaint basis.

The final straw is that for several years in a row, Elantra owners report significantly lower gas mileage than the EPA estimates, & there's a small trend of engine problems.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,131 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.

2013 Hyundai Elantra lights problems

lights problem

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2013 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Jan 052017


  • 67,800 miles


Side brake lights went out and overheated melting and cracking the lens. This is a defect that costs $560. Doesn't make sense that a vehicle with this type of light doesn't have a safety mechanism to warn the driver. Needs to be recalled.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #27

Jul 132016


  • miles
Parking lights won't turn off, car won't start within minutes/seconds later, had 7 roadside assistance to jump start me in two months, plus others from security guards, etc. My car is on recall for these problems, just my VIN number isn't, the Hyundai-it dies within happens when I am waiting in my car, no engine on, when I run the radio engine off, always after the engine is off, with or without radio playing or everything is shut off, it happens--my parking lights stay on unless I get out of the car, open the door, and lock it imediately if I take a few steps and come back to lock it, it's already dead, has left me at work, school, in middle of the night, everywhere, anywhere, engine cuts of and on when taking off or making a slow curve, car dies while parked dealership said they could approve my issues to be fixed because no recall on my VIN # but I have no car half the time engine cuts off and on while driving, brakes grind strange noise

- Deer Park, TX, USA

problem #26

Dec 262016


  • miles
I am replacing brake light bulbs a little to often I believe. And when I contact Hyundai they said theirs no recalls so maybe its electrical issue that they haven't discovered yet. Well obviously because it wouldn't be happening to my car so often. But after replacing the brake light bulbs maybe going on 6 times now my first headlight socket burnt out I went to auto zone and bought a replacement one. I am curious am I the only one having these problems "?"

- Hartford, CT, USA

problem #25

Nov 252016


  • 56,112 miles


Rear signal and tail lights frequently become loose in lamp sockets and fail to properly function. Light fixtures must be accessed to reset the lamp, bulb. Vehicle only has about 57,000 miles and this has been occurring from around 34,000 miles. 3 each tail light and 1 license plate light have also burned out and were replaced. Same problem continues with bulbs loosening up at frequent intervals. Occurs at any period, stopped or in motion.

- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA

problem #24

Oct 082016


  • 24,897 miles
Exterior lighting - parking lights turning on while car is turned off and parked. Usually happens overnight when the temperature drops close to or below freezing. Also headlights turning off on their own while car is running and turn signals are used. Hyundai dealership looked at car three times and could not reproduce the problem, and the only parts they replaced were a switch inhibitor (part 42700-26500) and a new car battery. None of this corrected the issue and they don't have a solution for us other than to complain to Hyundai. This leaves us with a car that is unsafe to drive at night and with a constant dead car battery. The Hyundai customer service case number we have is 9687427, and so far they have no solution for us and have not contacted us back for weeks now.

- Gibsonia, PA, USA

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problem #23

Aug 192016


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that both tail lights failed to illuminate. The contact had to tap the tail lights in order for the lights to illuminate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 59,000.

- Calexico, CA, USA

problem #22

Oct 072016


  • 67,000 miles


Engine failure. Zero compression cylinder #1. second time this has happened since purchase on 10/18/2016. Also, tire pressure problem, ESC light comes on, dashboard gauges inoperative. Fuel mileage below what is advertised. Neither hundai nor enterprise will fix the problem after repeated demands. Also, there is a recall regarding "stopper pad" and stop lamp switch. Bought vehicle, cash, from enterprise car sales in montclair, ca. It was a "certified" used car, supposedly. Immediately I noticed that the engine sounded "tinny". sounded like a sewing machine, it was knocking. Also, when I lifted the oil stick, smoke came out of engine. This was within 2 weeks after purchase. The car completely lost compression on interstate 10 in April, 2015. I told both Hyundai and enterprise who ignored my complaints. Finally, after several complaints and threats, enterprise took the car in and sent it to Hyundai dealership who claimed there was no problem. The car began losing power again in September, 2016 and finally stopped in the middle of the street in arcadia, ca. No compression. It had to be towed to my house. I took it to private shop who said "zero compression in cylinder #1, possible burned out valve '. see attached. Called hyindai and enterprise again. Both denied responsibility, and refused to do anything. I have to now pay over $1,000 to get engine rebuilt. This car is a lemon and I am enttied to refund or a new car.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #21

Nov 102015


  • miles
The lights in the inside come on by it self when while driving the dome lights N the other panel light. Suspension under the bottom of the car rattle. Also when stopping the car when it raining it slids

- St. Rose, LA, USA

problem #20

Nov 292013


  • miles
Daytime running lights do not come on at start of vehicle. Also every exterior lights comes on as do internal dashboard lights get dimmer which can affect seeing my mileage, fuel, and radiator.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #19

May 112013


  • 5 miles
My 2013 Elantra GT came equipped with factory drl's (daytime running lamps). Reading the owners manual completely, I've found the info on the light switch stalk settings misleading & doesn't offer a clear explanation.. the light switch indicates positions for, "drl off, parking lamps & headlamps", but the only way to operate drl's are while parking lamps switched on. That means, drl's along with full nighttime illumination of every exterior light except headlamps, including front & rear parking lights, side marker lamps & license plate lamps. I find the "limited" models have automatic headlamps control & are not included in this issue because their drl's run independent of other exterior lamps. I have contacted the dealer with this concern & was told, it is characteristic of this model (excluding the limited models). It is illegal in some states to run parking lamps, plus in order to have drl's on, the vehicle must provide extra power (reduced mpg's) to run all those other lamps, reduces bulb life, etc. In addition, the dash light illumination does not dim from full-bright when headlamps are switched on. There is a manual dimmer switch, but dimming must be raised/lowered each time before driving in day or night conditions. What other vehicle does this? these things seem to be an oversight on the part of Hyundai. No indication or discernible differences on instrumentation whether drl parking lamps or headlights are on.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #18

Dec 292014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 10 miles


There are no true daytime running lights as advertised since one has to turn on all the other running lights (amber for front, red in rear) in order for the low beam "drls" to function. This is illegal to do in some states and drivers have been stopped, warned, and even ticketed for this. This is both a serious safety issue, as well as gross misadvertising.

- Wingdale, NY, USA

problem #17

Sep 252014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
My wife was driving the car. It was a dark road in the night. Perhaps she didn't see the stop sign and crashed into a vehicle coming from right hand side, going in the same direction my wife was going. My wife crashed the other vehicle from behind. It was serious crash in which the entire front portion of the car is damaged. But the air bags did not come out. My wife had her head hit the steering wheel and had an injury. My complaint is "why did the air bag not inflate in such a serious crash?"..updated 10/06/14. Updated 05/13/2015

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #16

Feb 052014


  • 2,600 miles
This car is equipped with daytime running lights, but there is no way to turn them on without also turning on the parking lights. When the daytime running lights and parking lights are illuminated, the taillights are on and the instrument cluster is dimmed so that it is difficult to read. This creates an unsafe and in some states (California and others) illegal situation if the daytime running lights are turned on.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #15

May 262013


  • miles
Two issues: (1) I purchased the vehicle on May 26, 2013. I found out that the gov. Had issued a recall for the Elantra models built from 11-12-2010 through 3-5-2013. My car was assembled on Feb, 22, 2013. I was never told about this at time of purchase and have never received any notification from Hyundai motor America. The dealers are not responsive. (2) the "auto-dimming rearview mirror with homelink & compass" rarely functions. Real problem is that mirror image and headlights are same intensity/ clarity whether unit is turned on or off--very dangerous at night. The dealer I purchased car from and another dealer refused to investigate.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #14

Nov 092013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 250 miles
The day time running lights on my new 2013 Elantra do not work properly. The lights do not come on automatically. The owner's manual doesn't provide correct information on how this feature works. The only way to have day time running lights is to turn on the parking lights, which also means the tail lights and the dash lights come on. How can a dealer claim the day time running light feature is included when it truly isn't. this is a dangerous situation and no way are these truly day time running lights. Why no recall on this problem??

- North Wales, PA, USA

problem #13

May 012013


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph in a dim area, the low beam head lighting appeared to be dimmer than normal. The contact stated that the failure posed as a safety hazard because he resided in a mountainous area. The vehicle was not been inspected or repaired. The manufacturer was not been notified of the contact's concerns. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 12,000.

- Bryson City, NC, USA

problem #12

Aug 292013


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the daytime running lights were not engaging automatically when starting the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the parking lights needed to be activated in order for the daylight running lights to operate normally. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 1,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #11

Feb 012013

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles
Car is advertised as having daytime running lights (drl's). The drl's do not operate normally on my 2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe as they are not on "automatically" when driving. If the light stalk is in the off position the drl's are off. When I turn the drl's on, the parking lights (amber side lights and the rear tail lights) are turned on as well. In addition to it being illegal in some states to drive with parking lights on this setup makes my brake lights less noticeable during the day (when I do brake) as they are already lit up. Also, when turning the drl's on, the interior gauge lights are automatically dimmed which is a feature for night driving, not daytime driving with drl's.

- Bethalto, IL, USA

problem #10

Apr 062013


  • 350 miles
I just bought the 2013 limited Hyundai Elantra over the easter weekend, on 3/31/13. Two days after buying it, I noticed the light in the dash showing whether the headlights were on or not was no longer working, but I put it up to the fact I was driving at dawn/dusk and they were probably not "on" even though the driving lights were on and showing as "on". however on 4/6/13 when driving at 10pm at night with the headlights most certainly "on" the indicator light still did not come on.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #9

Mar 222013


  • 45 miles
Car claims it has daytime running lights, yet it really doesn't. you have to turn on the parking lights for the drl to actually come on. So then you have the parking lights on front, rear taillights as well as the drl. This is a safety issue, I believe some states have laws against running parking lights on clear days" other cars I have own, the drl comes on automatically when driving. Called Hyundai and dealership, got the brush off as that is just the way it is. Actually after some research I found that a software change made in mid 2012 is what did this issue. Should be a recall! it is also a mis-leading sales, what next, must roll window down for the A/C to come on"

- Tecumseh, KS, USA

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