really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,070 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.

2009 Hyundai Sonata drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

May 162016


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at 10 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and a grinding noise emitted as the ESC warning light illuminated. The failure recurred numerous times. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V113000 (exterior lighting service brakes, hydraulic ). on a separate occasion, the gear lever failed to shift out of park until after several attempts. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 20,000. The VIN was not available.

- Oneida, NY, USA

problem #27

May 142016


  • 83,000 miles
While driving the car at a rate of 30 to 40 mph, I felt a jerk in the engine or transmission speed of my vehicle, and afterwords noticed my ESC off light and engine lights had been illuminated and unable to be shut off with my ESC switch. I also noticed that I was unable to rev my engine past 3000rpm's, consequently affecting my vehicle's usable power band and rendering me(the driver) unable to control the car's overall speed. After turning my vehicle off and then back on, the problem would go away, but only temporarily until I was again driving. I then went to a mechanic to have my car's computer scanned and found that there was a problem with my crankshaft or crankshaft sensor. My computer was then reset, but the problems persisted again shortly after.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #26

Jan 082015


  • 96,000 miles
My car jerks during braking or downshifting around 15-20 mile per hour. It only does this after car has sat for a period of time and stops after engine warms up and has been driven for about 20 minutes. My Sonata is automatic.

- Paducah, KY, USA

problem #25

Jan 092016


  • 78,000 miles


There is a transmission problem with Hyundai Sonata 2009, anytime the car is accelerated the transmission box gets stuck which could lead to safety hazards.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #24

Jan 032013


  • 72,182 miles
In cold weather and when engine is cold, when slowing down, upon reaching 20 mph, the car will jerk very roughly into a lower gear. I took it to pohanka Hyundai in Virginia stating it was the transmission which they cover for up to 100,000 miles and they said they would not cover it even though my car only had 70,000 miles. This a problem with several cars on the Hyundai forums where I initially researched about my problem. Pohanka Hyundai stated it was a safety bulletin only and not a recall, so I would have to pay for the repair to the transmission.

- Spotsylvania, VA, USA

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problem #23

Jun 122014


  • 90,000 miles
The front valve cover gasket leaked oil down to my alternator, causing it to malfunction and making my transmission shift awkwardly.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #22

Mar 012012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles


This is a 2009 hyunda Sonata, bought new in 2009. Under 20,000 miles, when the car speed is slowing down, the engines started to give a sudden jerk at around 21 miles. You can feel a sudden impact and it is more noticeable during winter. Many trips to the dealership went to no where as the dealer simply ignored the problem and mentioned that they did not notice any issue. After many trips to the dealership at around 45,000 miles in 2014, the dealer finally agreed that it was a problem. Updated to a new software based on bulletin from Hyundai, mentioned that it would go away. Now under less than an year, I started to notice this problem again.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #21

Oct 292014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 134,100 miles
1.on this vehicle the serpentine belt install is a nightmare. It is a defect in design. It is a fixed pulley for tension and your having to stretch with tools and wait until it loosens up. 2. the original pan gasket rtv seal was black. It was extremely hard to take off and it caused some damage to the block as far as dents on the mating surfaces. The oil pan was bent to remove. 3. noises from the power train that were looked at by a Hyundai service center and never corrected.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #20

May 012014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
While slowing down the car bucks or jerks the driver forward under 20mph. I brought it into Hyundai to check out in June. They said that they would reset the computer and that should address the problem. After that, it made the problem worse.

- Easton, CT, USA

problem #19

Aug 192014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 42,500 miles
Depressed clutch stayed on the floor. Pried it up with my foot, it then worked. Other times the clutch would not return fully making it impossible to shift gears. Pumping the clutch seemed to help.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #18

Jun 142012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


This is a stick shift car. When pressing the clutch pedal, you can feel that the clutch is not working properly because it is too soft when you press it. You need to pump several times to be able to make it work. Apparently happens more often when the weather is really hot. Brought it to the dealer several times. Could not find anything wrong since the weather at the time of checking was not hot.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #17

May 312009


  • 100 miles
Purchased car brand new first month I had it kept bucking while driving, mainly first thing in morning, while driving felt like brakes are on feels as if something is holding back car from going, won't pass other cars properly no power I complained throughout past years and never showed any problems at Hyundai's service center except last time went there with husband who demanded they fix transmission issues as we were not picking up car until fixed. Received a call transmission censor was bad and was informed there was a recall on them installed a new one and ran fine no problems but it started up again bucking, no power, brakes feel like on.

- Manassas Park, VA, USA

problem #16

Jan 192012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Please be advised that I purchased said vehicle new and at around 35000 miles I started to notice that when I slowed down and came to a stop the transmission would jerk on the down shift, which is not normal. On 01-19-2012 I brought my car to the dealer where I purchased from. I was informed that this problem is common and that once my computer is reset it should go away, and there is a service bulletin on that issue. On 03-19-2012 I was having the same issue so the transmission was replaced with factory reconditioned transmission. Now with 74000 mile the car is back for the 5 th time for the same transmission problem. The dealer has my car and I have not heard from the dealer or Hyundai corporation for two weeks. I believe that Hyundai corporation knew the problem existed and neglected to fix the problem other wise a new car with 35000 miles should not have this problem and the mechanics don't know how to remedy the faulty transmission. I am very disappointed with Hyundai and there handling of this problem. I believe the damage has been done, and new software is not going to fix this problem, the bands in the transmission are worn now, the damage has been done. This is just putting a band aid on a serious problem and a manufacturing defect. One does not anticipate any serious problems with a brand new car with only 35000 miles. What good is a 10 year 100.000 mile warranty when you start having these problem at 35000 miles. I have done some research on-line and there are others who have the same problem with same car, I am not the only one.this is a disgrace Hyundai corporation I purchased said vehicle from atlantic Hyundai Inc. Located at 193-205 sunrise highway, West islip NY 11795. I have also contacted Hyundai corporation several times but to no avail.

- Deer Park, NY, USA

problem #15

Dec 052012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 90,250 miles
I noticed a shuddering at 90,250 miles, while traveling during the winter at around 30-45 mph, but was very intermittent, and would go away. Then on 10/9/2013 at 102,515 miles, from park, the transmission would not engage into reverse or drive. I could hear the transmission shift, but it was not disengaging from park. Per Hyundai service technician, the transmission was "junk" and would need to be replaced. I contacted Hyundai corporate, during which time I was informed they didn't have my information in their system and that in fact there were 2 recalls that they failed to notify me of, and was told that if I allowed the Hyundai service to do the repair right then, that I would be eligible for their policy reimbursement. One of the recalls was an ECM and tcm software update in which symptoms were improper clutching and de-clutching of gears when accelerating and decelerating. That shift quality over time caused undo stress on the gearing causing my failure. The repair was made, I then had to pay upfront, and a week later they've denied my policy reimbursement claim due to fluid being the cause of failure. I then provided them with further documentation showing that their own technician re-used 5 quarts of my original fluid on the repair order, and that I followed the maintenance record that was suggested by their own technicians advice when I purchased the vehicle. Drain and fill every 30,000 miles. The last drain and fill was on June 14, 2013. Hyundai did not provide me with any fluid analysis or specs to support their denial of my policy reimbursement. I saved the agents voicemail of the denial in which she stated due to "color" and that alone, was the reason why the claim was denied.

- Kansasville, WI, USA

problem #14

Apr 182013


  • 37,778 miles
I had to replace the rear brake pads and rotors. The rotors were warped from the pads constantly rubbing on them. Clearly there is a problem here with the number of complaints I see. My mechanic could not believe the damage done to the rotors and told me the front brakes usually wear first. I have also had the vehicle in twice for the rough done shifting that occurs when the vehicle is cold. The dealership reprogrammed the transmission both times but that did not solve the problem. I also had a problem with the ESC light staying on but the dealership replaced the rear wheel speed sensor.

- Ashtabula, OH, USA

problem #13

Jul 062009

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
Erratic shifting. Sometimes lurches forward into a higher gear when coming to a stop, nearly causing me to hit car ahead of me. Also front brake rotors are warped causing rumble. I am an exceptionally conservative driver, mildly accelerates and brakes gradually well ahead of stopping. I had the computer upgrade that was supposed to correct the transmission problem shortly after purchasing car at suresky in goshen, NY. This failed to correct problem and I don't have the time nor want to continually spend my saturdays sitting for hours in the service area waiting room. I have read many similar complaints online and it seems that Hyundai chooses not to address this problem. This is my third and will be the last Hyundai purchase.

- Greenwood Lake, NY, USA

problem #12

Mar 142012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
I had an issue with my car jerking rather hard with the auto-tranny downshifted from 2nd to 1st gear whenever I slowed down. This somewhat stopped when the car got warmed up, guessing more specifically when the tranny heated up. I see I'm not the only one. I'm in a warmer climate since and haven't seen it but will see how it behaves this winter in austin, tx versus las cruces, nm. I think it may have stopped about the same time a) it got a little warmer out and B) I simultaneously stopped putting in it neutral at stoplights (trying to save my clutch from wear at the time.) perhaps it used this "neutral" info in its computation for the tranny computer and that was this issue. Or maybe it was the cold and I still will find I have the problem. Or both. Not sure but wanted to put this out there since I'm not the only one but am probably the only with the problem who was putting the car in neutral at lights.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #11

Jun 302013

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
The vehicle was aqua planning, the driver lost a complete control over the vehicle. The car was bouncing between road sides, left and right - 3 times. The car hit the gate rails 3 times. None of the air bags came out and the seat belts appeared not to be locked at the moment of accident. As a result the passenger's body moved freely in the car and hit the left rib and internal organs, and hit the right side of the face, including cheek bone and nose. The passenger's face was severely bruised and swollen. Besides, both driver and passenger had a whiplash.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #10

Jul 162013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
Heard squealing and howling from the rear driver side. Took to dealership and was told that the brakes hung up and I needed to replace brakes and rotor ($189). I was told that this is a maintenance issue and nothing was covered under warranty. I purchased the items and when they were going to be replaced we discovered the dust boot was pulled out of the caliper (which would have been covered under warranty) I contacted the dealer and was told that every 7000 miles the calipers would need rebuilt. I've been driving and grew up around garages and never heard of such a thing!

- Shippensburg, PA, USA

problem #9

Sep 252010


  • 30,000 miles
While slowing at around 25-30 mph the car would "jerk" forcefully like a sudden stop. This happened every day. It would improve as it warmed up. I took it to the dealership and was given excuses (they told me that the transmission needed flushed-at my expense, my driving habits, etc). Finally after several trips to the service department, they admitted the issue. The transmission was eventually replaced after they "reset" and flushed the original transmission. It seemed to get better. I still feel the "jerk" in the downshift, but it is not as bad as it was. I mentioned this to the dealership and they told me that it was going to cost $100 just for them to "look at it" even though it is still under warranty.

- Grand Bay, AL, USA

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