really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,918 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.

2003 Hyundai Sonata body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #13

May 092013


  • 95,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the four interior door chrome handles exhibited extremely sharp edges. The contact suffered from a two inch laceration to both fingers on the left hand. The front driver and passenger upper door handles caused the injuries. The contact applied tape to the four door handles to avoid additional injuries. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V171000 (latches/locks/linkages). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Jackson, GA, USA

problem #12

Sep 152014


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the chrome covering on the interior door handle was corroded and cracked, which created sharp edges on the handle. When using the door handle to exit the vehicle, the contact experienced scratches and small lacerations due to the sharp edges. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V317000 (latches/locks/linkages). The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Boynton Beack, FL, USA

problem #11

Feb 012011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
Bought car used from lot...chrome plating on handles peeling and cut you if your not careful. Just found out there was a recall for this before I purchased the car. Is there anything I can do?

- Alexandria, KY, USA

problem #10

Sep 012013

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


The interior door handles of my 2003 Hyundai Sonata went under a recall in July 2009 because the chrome plating was splitting open and cutting people. Three door handles were replaced and one was rewrapped to fix the problem. In September 2013 the same issue arose when my wife and brother-in-law cut their hands on the door handles, whose chrome plating has again begun to split. Hyundai has said that no repairs will be made, since the handles were treated and the 2009 recall has finished.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #9

Apr 232012

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 109,123 miles
Rear ended the vehicle in front at a stop light. The airbags never deployed. Now the airbag light is on in the vehicle. Repairs are $1349 replace the wire harness. I noticed this has happened repeatedly with these vehicles, why has nothing been done. This is a safety hazard, but the chrome wears off the door handle and a recall is issued. Something is rotten here.

- Lexington, SC, USA

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problem #8

Feb 132013


  • 156,000 miles
The chrome on the interior door handle of driver side exhibited a crack and separated. My wife cut her finger on the cracked chrome plating. I contacted Hyundai customer assistance center at 1-800-633-5151 and was told that my vehicle was not included in the door handle recall (I.e., NHTSA campaign id number: 09V171000). I don't understand how one vehicle can be recalled while others of the same year and model are not.

- Eldersburg, MD, USA

problem #7

Apr 272012

Sonata 6-cyl

  • miles


I took my car in to have a faulty door handle replaced which I cut my hand on. It had already been replaced once during a recall. Obviously the same faulty part was put on again. I was advised that I would have to pay $125 for a new handle because they only perform a recall once. I thought that recall parts were replaced with different parts that are not faulty and the parts were guaranteed. I should not have to pay for this service due to another faulty handle that they replaced. I never expect to open my car door and cut my hand nor should I have to wrap my door handle as they suggested. I am so upset over this and will never purchase another Hyundai and even have my car serviced there again. All I am asking is for Hyundai to take responsibility and replace this handle with one that will not chip.

- Capitol Heights, MD, USA

problem #6

Jun 202011

Sonata 6-cyl

  • miles
Chrome on interior - drivers side door handle has erupted in one spot producing a piercing sharp needle-point which can pierce the finger or hand when opening the door. Care is required to avoid skin piercing injury.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #5

Nov 162010

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
I have a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. The chrome plates on interior door handle of driver and passenger side exhibited a crack and began to separate. My wife and I have both cut our fingers on the cracked chrome plate. When I brought my vehicle to the dealer, service manager told me that my vehicle was not included in the door handle recall. Hyundai recall only vehicle produce in 2002- 2003 March, but my vehicle was produce in 2003 April. I don't understand how one vehicle with a problem can be recalled, and the other in same year and model with same problem is not included.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #4

Jun 032010

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 68,807 miles
My wife and I have both cut our hands on the chrome inside door handles of our 2003 Hyundai Sonata. When I questioned the dealer, lafontaine automotive group, in dearborn, mi. I was told that my vehicle was not included in the door handle recall. I don't understand how one vehicle with a problem can be recalled, and another with of the same year and model is not included. Please explain to me. I have pictures that I will try to send to the web site, if I can't I do have them for future reference.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #3

Mar 012007


  • 55,000 miles


Two of the inside door handles have a silver metallic foil that has split and come loose. My son cut his finger opening the door. Now the driver door inside handle also has the silver foil coming loose. We have had to put tape on it to prevent getting another cut finger.

- Orland Hills, IL, USA

problem #2

Jul 052008


  • miles
Within one year of buying my Hyundai 2003 sonnta, I cut my finger on the silver coated inside door handle on the driver side. The silver coating of the door handle somehow splintered and cut my finger like a straight razor blade. The cut was very deep and my finger bled profusely for about 10 or 15 minutes. I contacted the dealer and the handle was replaced. A short time after, my husband sliced his finger on the passenger side inside door handle. Again the cut was very deep; it was like a straight razor cut. His finger bled profusely for 10 - 15 minutes. Again the dealer replaced the handle. Back in November of 2007, someone was getting out of the back seat, and then this person cut her finger on the silver coated inside door handle. This time I contacted Hyundai headquarters and told them about the problem..the rep. I spoke to said she did not hear of any similiar problems. They contacted the car dealer and the handle was replaced. Now a couple of weeks ago, I cut my hand on the passenger door handle (this was a handle that had previously been replaced). I contacted Hyundai again and am awaiting disposition on this. There is something very wrong with these door handles. The cut it causes is like a straight razor cut. It slices deep and it bleeds very badly. I told Hyundai that I am sure I am not the only person to experience this serious problem. In fact, I searched the internet and found there are other people that have the same problem with these door handles. This is a very serious problem that I think the gov. Needs to get involved with. Thank you maria facchin thank you maria facchin

- Hazlet, NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 022006

Sonata 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driver door alarm keeps alarming. I took it in to the dealer once already to be repaired. The service manager at this time told me that on this model the door needs to be tightened/adjusted. Now 2 months later the same thing is happening only worse. Now the door light is coming on and the light on the dash board is coming on. Maybe the door is defective and going to fall off.

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

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