really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,985 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

May 302013


  • 54,500 miles


Air bag light came

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #28

Oct 152014


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. After starting the vehicle, the air bag warning light illuminated. The failure occurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 14,000.

- Mckees Rocks, PA, USA

problem #27

Feb 192015

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 187,000 miles
We were involved in an accident and none of the airbags properly deployed it only fell out of the seat on the passenger side of the car and it deployed flat no air in it or nothing. My fiancee was injured as well as myself and we are currently being treated for injuries sustained by the accident...

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #26

Dec 012014

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 65,505 miles


Two days after my grandmother purchased a 2003 Hyundai Sonata, she was involved in a minor accident. The car was traveling at 45 mph when it rear ended another vehicle. The airbag never deployed and as a result, she broke her breast bone and as of today, is still hospitalized from the accident.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #25

Jul 152013


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that air bag warning light sporadically illuminated. The dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 52,000.

- Lake Wales, FL, USA

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problem #24

Jan 062005

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 24,718 miles
Air bag warning light has illuminated eight (8) times since January 2005 when vehicle had only 24,718 miles. Dealer has been unable to duplicate the fault and has simply checked the system and connections and reset the warning light other than a one-time under seat harness replacement (>$1000 under warranty) without resolving the problem. Most occurrences happened during the warranty period but the fault still occurs 1-2 times a year. This is a common manufacturer's defect according to internet posts and is a serious safety issue which needs to be resolved by the manufacturer. This manufacturer's defect not only causes a safety of use issue when the light illuminates, it costs the vehicle owner an expensive service charge to have the system checked (to no avail for this complainant) and the light reset.

- Lafayette, CO, USA

problem #23

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

problem #22

Mar 052012


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated constantly. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who inspected the air bags and stated that the vehicle should be taken to the dealer for repairs. The dealer was notified but the contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #21

Feb 012012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
The airbag light is always on. It doesn't depend on whether the passenger seat is empty or occupied by an adult. I did some research on the internet and this seems to be a persistent problems with Hyundai vehicles. I spoke with a Hyundai dealership and Hyundai Consumer Affairs and since the car is out of warranty I would be forced to pay out of pocket expenses. Since the car is almost 10 years old I am not willing to do that. In my opinion the problem is caused by a defect or poor workmanship/design and the vehicle owner should not be responsible for repairs.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #20

Oct 102011

Sonata 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph when he crashed into another vehicle. The driver side air bag failed to deploy and the seat belt failed to restrain the contact. The contact sustained injuries to the chest, rib and neck. The vehicle was towed to the insurance tow-yard. The failure and the current mileage was 107,000. The VIN was not available. Updated 11/16/11

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #19

Apr 222011


  • 111,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the driver was involved in a frontal crash while driving 20 mph. The air bags deployed yet the driver sustained minor chest injuries. A police report was filed and the vehicle was destroyed. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that they would send him a packet to fill out and they would decide what they would do. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileage was approximately 111,000.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #18

Jan 152010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Sonata gls. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked when the air bag warning light illuminated and would not shut off. The vehicle was taken to two authorized dealers and the contact was advised that a diagnosis could be performed but a remedy possibly would not be available. The failure was ongoing for approximately one year. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer advised the contact that the warranty had expired and he would have to pay any repairs. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Pubelo, CO, USA

problem #17

Sep 292010


  • 79,766 miles
2003 Sonata has an airbag light that comes on all the time. I called a Hyundai dealer and they said I would need to pay them $89 to check it. I also was told by a mechanic (not at the dealer) that Hyundai will want to replace the wire harness and components which will likely cost more than $900 and claim it is normal wear. How can this be normal wear on the vehicle" isn't this a safety issue that Hyundai needs to fix? I see multiple complaints on this web site as well as on the web. Do I need to pay to have this fixed" with so many complaints why hasn't this been a recall! I am planning on bringing this to the dealer but want to know if they are responsible for fixing this at no cost to me.

- Hanson, MA, USA

problem #16

Apr 012009


  • 28,000 miles
Air bag indicator light remains on all the time, per Hyundai not covered under extended warranty as it is caused by the cable and harness assembly which wears out. It started as intermittent but now never turns off. When intermittent they said it was not fixed as it never was on when taken to dealer. It started during the new car warranty period, but did not remain on until it went into extended warranty. Then they said it would cost between 700 and 1200 to replace, not covered by warranty, even though it apparently disables the airbag system. They say it is a "maintenance item", subject to normal wear such as wiper blades. Extended warranty contract explicitly states every thing covered by new car warranty is included. Cable and harness is not in the list of excluded or maintenance coverage.

- Watsonville, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 202008


  • 55,000 miles
Air bag light came on took to dealer had replace circuit board 2 weeks later light came back on dealer said needed new wiring harness.

- Parsonsburg, MD, USA

problem #14

Dec 152009

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
For no specific reason my 2003 Hyundai Sonata 4 cylinder base model's airbag light came on. I had to get the passenger airbag replaced at a cost of $900 at the dealer. No explanation was given by the dealer as to why the bag went bad.

- King Of Prussia, PA, USA

problem #13

Nov 202009


  • 70,856 miles
My 2003 Hyundai Sonata's airbag light repeatedly comes on and off for no reason. While driving the light will spontaneously come on and will go back off either during the same driving event or in the next few days. It has never been in any accidents nor has the air bag assembly or seat been damaged.

- King George , VA, USA

problem #12

Mar 092008


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2003 Sonata gls. The airbag light has been on and steady for about a year, now with the new state inspections in Massachusetts my car will not pass and I am an outside sales rep using my own car. I asked Hyundai about the problem and if there has been complaints or a recall and she said no. I am very frustrated with this problem, I owe more money than the car is worth and I cannot afford to fix the problem at this time. I have not been in an accident and I did not receive a car fax from the dealer so I don't know if it was in an accident prior to me buy it.

- Wales, MA, USA

problem #11

Nov 102008


  • 69,500 miles
My 2003 Hyundai Sonata gls has a dash air bag light continually on. The local dealer said they have seen this problem before. The car has never been in an accident and has @ 70,000 miles. He said a diagnostic test would be needed to figure out why the light stays on and I would have to pay for this, I noticed similar complaints on the web site. Has Hyundai done anything about this problem?

- Orland Hills, IL, USA

problem #10

Jan 012009


  • 95,000 miles
Airbag light is always illuminated. On a side note, my wife was using the car in 2008 and the whole car ust shut down on her while she was driving, she could not start it and after a few tries it started again. It seems to be on or after a very wet/rainy day?

- Lakeville, MA, USA

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