Notes: The 2011 Sonata has a seriously defective engine that seizes without warning. It was awarded the dubious honor of being the first CarTalk / CarComplaints Turd of the Week in late September 2015.

A class action lawsuit was filed in May 2015 against Hyundai that claims the 2.4L Sonata engine is defective. More info here.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,187 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.

2011 Hyundai Sonata accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 281997


  • 67,701 miles


Regarding recall campaign IS096 Hyundai/Sonata passenger front door lock switch is out. Door won't open with door lock actuator. Door swung open when car was turning. Door would not close all the way. Hyundi motor America confirms recall of 2011 hyundi Sonata's but only for cars produced through 2/15/2010. My husband's car was produced 4/20/2011 outside production date they say problem was corrected. The problem was not corrected. After numerous calls team superstores as a one time goodwill adjustment to pay for part only. They acknowledge his car was doing same thing as recall. We had to pay $240 for labor, hyundi should reimburse for this fee as it is the exact problem and the same year. I was in the passenger side of the car and I could have been seriously hurt.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 092012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 28,212 miles
3X the driver window button is inoperable. Would turn off car and then it would again work. The worst issue is this: Started up car this morning 7-9-12 (this is the 3rd occurrence) and the doors do not lock, then I put it in reverse and it goes about 2 feet and it applies the brakes. I noticed each time the gear console does not light up. The car actually does not go into gear. Each time I have turned off the ignition and restarted it and it works fine. It's going to the shop for the 30K check up and this will be brought up. The drivers window has been brought up and the dealer has said there was no problem. Wrong. There is when it doesn't work. I had one of these in 2001 and it too had electrical issues. My neighbor just sold their 05 Sonata due to electrical issues.

- Winchester, KY, USA

problem #3

Jun 252010


  • miles
6/28/2010 2011 Hyundai Sonata: Front door locks on page 4/19 of the 2011 owner's manual Sonata it states: "if the inner door handle of the front door is pulled when the door lock button is in lock position, the button is unlocked and door opens." I assume this is while the vehicle is parked. I am concerned that I am able to open the front doors when locked and in motion. Furthermore, on page 4/20 it states: "warning - doors * the doors should always be fully closed and locked while the vehicle is in motion to prevent accidental opening of the door. Locked doors also discourage potential intruders when the vehicle stops or slows." What good is the front door locks if you are able to open the doors while moving? my vehicle is not included in the following recall. Hyundaisonata2011hyundai-Kia has notified NHTSA about a defect in certain model year 2011 Sonata vehicles manufactured from December 11, 2009 through February 15, 2010. The front inside door lock switch can remain in the unlatched position. The door may not be in the locked position and may open while the vehicle is in motion, possibly resulting in injury to the driver or passenger. Hyundai-Kia will notify owners and dealers will repair the vehicles by replacing latches affected by this recall campaign free of charge. The safety recall began on March 12, 2010. Owners may contact Hyundai customer assistance center at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai's recall campaign number is 096.owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (tty 1-800-424-9153), or go to

- Nevada, MO, USA

problem #2

May 182010


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata gls automatic transmission. Problem with ignition key. The key will not go past acc to the lock position to allow the key to be removed. Followed directions in manual to push the key in at acc position, but the lock mechanism does not move. Happens every other day. Have restart the car and move it and try the process again to get key to move into its proper position (lock) to remove key. This has happened to both myself and my wife. Taking car to dealership. Impossible security situation as cannot leave key in vehicle.

- Singer Island, FL, USA

problem #1

Mar 202010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 23 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata gls automatic transmission. Insert key to start engine. When I want to turn off engine, the key will not go past acc. I push in the key and try to turn key into the lock position, it will not go into the lock position. I have to fiddle around with the release switch, and shifter on the shifter arm. Eventually I can get the key out. The engine does shut off, but can't leave car, because it can be started again. I can't leave the car because the car can be started without me being there. This failure happens almost every time I try to turn off the car. I brought the car back to king Hyundai fl, twice, without them fixing the problem. I am now waiting for them to replace some parts to the shifter arm. If that does not work, I will invoke the lemon law.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

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