really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,610 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.

2002 Hyundai Sonata body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

May 112009


  • 120,000 miles


While changing the ball bearing, the mechanic noticed that there was severe rusting on the front right side frame. He warned that the car would just collapse. There were 3-4 inch big holes in the frame. This could have caused fatal injury. The car is less than 7 year old for such severe rusting to occur.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #31

Mar 312009


  • 115,000 miles
2002 Hyundai Sonata sub frame corrosion and front rt wheel collapsed. Local dealer covered cost of sub frame replacement, but charged me for a new sway bar. Front fender was pushed against passenger door, which Hyundai would not fix, and car now has severe wobbling when driven, unlike before the corrosion. Hyundai says it's an alignment problem and my responsibility. I am wondering what recourse I have against Hyundai, as the car was well maintained and drove smoothly before this damaged occurred. Lucky no one was hurt, since the wheel let go at a low speed.

- Levittown, NY, USA

problem #30

Mar 172009


  • 168,000 miles
My frame on my car rusted through leaving my car sitting on my tires literally! while driving through town. I have called the Hyundai manufacturer and they took down information, I am now waiting on the decision if it will cost me anything or not.

- Greenfield, OH, USA

problem #29

Mar 072009


  • 100,981 miles


My 2002 Hyundai Sonata LX has the common problem of the subframe rotting out on the passenger side where the control arm mounts. I noticed the problem during an oil change and have taken the car off the road due to safety issues. The control arm has not let go yet, but I do not dare to drive the car due to the extent of the rust. I am going to be contacting Hyundai to see about a warranty.

- Lisbon Falls, ME, USA

problem #28

Jan 252009


  • 105,000 miles
2002 Hyundai Sonata right passenger side wheel went sideways while driving at full speed. Luckily no one was seriously injured but the car will need to be repaired. I believe Hyundai should be responsible for repairs. From reading information online this seems to be a very common problem.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

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problem #27

Jan 042000


  • 83,000 miles
My 2002 Hyundai Sonata failed stare inspection due to right front rot on subframe. I contacted my local Hyundai dealer and they are going to repair problem. Until then, it will not pass inspection. I have already received a citation for it not being inspected. I am left with an uninspected and rotted car until they can take it in. Hyundai does not give out loaner cars!

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #26

Dec 082008


  • 40,000 miles


Vehicle failed state inspection due to the passenger side front subframe being severely rusted in on specific area. Frame failure at that point is likely to cause a wheel/suspension failure, most likely while being put under the strain of turning/braking. Dealer will not repair without charge. I have photos of the defect if needed.

- Throop, PA, USA

problem #25

Dec 012007

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Sonata. The contact took the vehicle to the repair shop because the steering became difficult to control while driving 20 mph. The mechanic stated that the failure was in the passenger side front subframes. There was a large hole that rusted all the way through the frames, which prevented the vehicle from being driven. After researching the issue, the contact found numerous complaints for the same defect and believes it should be recalled. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 100,000 and current mileage was 106,000. Updated 01/07/09. The sway bar ends links and bushings were worn. Uupdated 01/09/09.

- Acton, MA, USA

problem #24

Nov 112002


  • 123,000 miles
I own a 2002 Hyundai Sonata with the engine cradle frame completely rusting out. Vehicle failed nh state inspection and is considered unsafe to drive at this point. Mileage: 123,000.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #23

Nov 032008


  • 41,404 miles
2002 Hyundai Sonata/4dr sedan/2.4L au - right front sub-frame completely rotted out. Car was being checked for a leak and mechanic found damage. Car was taken off the road until repaired. No injury or damage to person or property.

- Freeport, NY, USA

problem #22

Nov 062008


  • 82,756 miles


Subframe rusted completely through. Luckily this was discovered during a repair of a power steering failure. This is a common complaint regarding the 1999-2004 Sonata in high salt areas and Hyundai is apparently replacing the frame out of warrant (mine was under an extended warranty anyway). I believe this should be a full recall to protect those who are otherwise unaware of this defect which has caused, in some cases, wheel separations. Dealer told me that the part had a large hole completely through the frame.

- Ashland, MA, USA

problem #21

Oct 242008


  • 100,000 miles
My daughter was driving my 2002 Sonata, when it basically just fell apart. It sounded like she was driving on the tire rim, but all 4 tires were still inflated. The front passenger-side tire did look tilted out. It had to be towed from that site. An insurance adjuster inspected it and stated he was sure that the car had gone off the road at some point because the axle was broken, that tire was bent and the engine cradle was scuffed "shiny". it had not gone off the road, so my mechanic took a closer look and found that the engine cradle was rusted right though and what had happened (to my 16 year-old daughter while driving on a busy road at night) was that the engine cradle was so rusted that it crumbled, causing the engine and transmission to fall and break the axle and bend the wheel! thankfully, she had only just driven onto the road from a driveway, so she wasn't going fast and the lane she entered was clear. I'd hate to think what would have happened had she made it to the highway before this happened! when we discovered on line that so many others had similar problems with their 1999-2002 Sonatas, we contacted our local dealer. He said we needed to have the car towed (15 miles) to his service dept where they would have a Hyundai rep take a look at it. He said his manager had been known to replace the engine cradle free of charge, but he doubted very much that they'd pay for the axle, wheel, and any other damage incurred. After reading all these other similar incidents, I don't know if I want to bother going to the trouble of having my car towed to Hyundai. I definitely feel that the public needs to be made aware of this problem and that a recall should be issued asap before someone is killed. (I bought this car used from the Hyundai dealer in Jan '05 with 50,000 miles on it. I have had it serviced regularly by a reputable mechanic these past 3+ years, and it now has a little over 100,000 miles on it).

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #20

Oct 152008


  • 88,284 miles
Took my 2002 Hyundai Sonata to our local repair shop for state inspection and he told my husband that my subframe was completely rusted out...he could stick his fingers all the way through the frame. He said it was very dangerous and to call our local Hyundai dealer. I did and the service guy there said to bring it in for inspection. That they have identified the rusting out of Sonata subframes as a problem and under "goodwill"....they will fix it for free, unless the car has been wrecked. Told him my car was not wrecked....in for state inspection only. I have just recently noticed when driving my Sonata the steering wheel shaking very bad....especially when breaking on a hill. I thought maybe my brakes were going bad. No!!! it was my rusted out subframe. I believe there should be a class-action lawsuit filed. I have to take my Sonata to the dealership in 5 days so they can order a new subframe. Thankfully, none of my family has been injured because of this. What I want to know is.....why hasn't their been a recall on this for Sonatas"??? is Hyundai going to wait for fatalities before they take action??" our mechanic told us the engine could fall off and/or our tires could break off while driving. And we don't do alot of city driving....mainly highway driving and my 17-year old son has been driving this Sonata. I thank god nothing happened while he was driving the Sonata. Please respond to me asap. There needs to be a recall now!! I am contacting other Sonata owners who've had the same problem and we are getting a class-action lawsuit together.

- Beaver Falls, PA, USA

problem #19

Oct 092008


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 25 mph, the contact heard a noise while turning the vehicle. The passenger's side tire dislodged from the vehicle and the vehicle began smoking. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the failure was due to the subframe being corroded. The manufacturer informed her that nothing could be done until they received a diagnosis from the dealer. The vehicle is currently at the dealer awaiting repairs. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 97,000.

- Ridgefield Park, NJ, USA

problem #18

Aug 152008


  • 90,383 miles
I am the original owner of this vehicle and I purchased this car from the dealer brand new. I always have my vehicles serviced per the manufacturer maintenance schedule. As I was getting my 90,000 mile service work on my vehicle, the service tech noticed / stated the engine cradle was coming apart ( holes ) due to rust; per the service tech, the cradle needs replacing and the vehicle is unsafe to drive. I had the dealership replace the cradle ( cross-member); and perform a wheel alignment which I had to pay the dealership $2,200.

- Lanham, MD, USA

problem #17

Sep 262008


  • 107,380 miles
I had my 2002 Hyundai Sonata in to repair a power steering line that had rusted out and was leaking when the shop discovered that the cradle had a fist sized hole in the right side of the cradle.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #16

Aug 022008


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Sonata. While the vehicle was being inspected by the dealer, the contact was informed that there was a rust hole near the front passenger side subframe. The dealer stated that the hole needed to be repaired in order for the vehicle to pass inspection. The contact did not notice any differences beforehand. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 100,000.

- York, PA, USA

problem #15

Aug 042008


  • 108,749 miles
Went to dealer for check engine light. I was told my subframe was rotting out. The dealer states they would replace the subframe under a " goodwill warranty" when asked if there was a recall or problems with the subframe of these cars I was told no.

- Harwichport, MA, USA

problem #14

Aug 272008


  • 56,000 miles
I own 2,2002 Hyundai Sonatas with 48,000 on one and 56,000 on the other. They are both developing severe rust under both vehicles. The worst one appears to be starting to crack by the pass. Side frame in front. Where the ac leaks onto. This area is part of the welded frame which will be expensive to fix and I do not think it should be this bad on a 6 year old car. I have already had to replace other parts that have rotted away so bad that there was not much left of them. The upper control arms are also starting to develop a flaking rust on them. I will have to replace them also soon. I even had these cars rustproofed when new.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #13

Aug 252008


  • 58,000 miles
2002 Hyundai Sonata, severe rot in the front passenger subframe. 58,000 miles on car. It was not driveable so was towed to dealer. Was not in accident but had severe alignment issues and power steering hose breakage as a result of the rot. Was told by dealer that subframe would be replaced under warranty but all other repairs were my responsibility.

- Shirley, MA, USA

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