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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,910 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 - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #10

Feb 012016


  • 66,700 miles


Air bag light came on at 66700 miles. Took to local Hyundai dealer for maintenance and to check air bag light and was told passenger seat bottom and track needed replaced. Would cost approximately 850 dollars. This is a manufacture defect and I have kids and can't even trust driving this car due to safety issue with the airbags likely not deploying!!!!! this needs recalled!!!! I need to be able to trust my cars safety. Especially with my 3 kids. Recall this asap please....... I have read this is a problem with most 2011 Hyundai Sonatas from people's complaints all over the internet. Obviously a defect and a huge safety issue!!!!!

- Southgate, KY, USA

problem #9

Feb 012016


  • 66,800 miles
Airbag light came on at 66800 miles. Took car to Hyundai dealership being told driver seat needs replaced because sensor went bad!!!! says it will be like 800 dollars to get a new seat. So airbags won't work unless I buy a new seat. There should be a safety recall done on these 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited with this problem!!!! I have read that lots of people who own these cars have the same problem!!!!

- Southgate, KY, USA

problem #8

Mar 022015


  • 98,600 miles
Front passenger weight classification sensor failure. Dealership says the only why to fix it is to replace seat for $1800. Dealership cannot tell me if SRS will work when needed. After doing so research online this looks like a big problem with hyundal cars throughout many model years. Hyundai has failed to remit this problem and is selling vehicles to the public with faulty air bag systems.

- Hanford , CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 292014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles


Sensors cause air system light to illuminate. System needs to be reset at dealership to clear. Technician said airbag won't deploy while this fault occurs. I have had this issue 4or 5 times. When I google Hyundai Sonata airbag issues I see many similar experiences with other people. This could be a potential safety hazard. I was told it was caused by a seat sensor. Yet under warranty they did not replace. No car is out of warranty.

- Belford, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jun 082011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the front driver and passenger side headrests could not be adjusted. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the headrest could only be set to the highest position. The contact stated that the headrest setting made it uncomfortable to drive. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 15,000.

- Monroe Township, NJ, USA

problem #5

May 212012


  • 12,000 miles
The passage seat shakes when the car reaches 70mph. Since bringing it to the dealer in may it has been there 2 more times, the second time they actually saw what they call a vibration. Now the passenger seat, drivers seat, steering wheel, and console all shake, not vibrate at 40mph. Hyundai has had my car for 3 days and every time I call for a status check they have some excuse. This is why I did not list the VIN number because the car is not in my possession. Just an fyi: There is no problem mechanically with the wheels, tire rod, etc. Everything has been checked but the car still shakes.

- Sparta, NJ, USA

problem #4

May 102011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 1,506 miles


Purchased car on May 10, 2011 at local dealership. Didn't have new car window sticker in car or at dealership. I was told I wasn't looking hard enough for it. Dealership got me one in July. I have pictures of test drive with no window sticker. Found hail damage on car after the paperwork while still at dealership--finally fixed in July. Found out while doing paperwork the car had 1500 miles on it--didn't know that until then--should have stopped then---in my book not new!!!! car pulled to left real hard on way home from dealership--realigned front end--still pulling left. Dealership service dept. Admits to recall and doesn't have equipment/tools to repair. The car had deep scratches on front passenger side bumper at delivery--finally fixed somewhat--you can still feel and see the scratches if looking for them. Drivers seat fraying apart at material at 2900 miles. Trim damaged by hail repair person--still waiting on that repair. Just left dealer complaining to manager about everything and found paint flaking off of rear drivers wheel. Strong smell of burnt charcoal coming from trunk area---manager in service dept. Said that's a normal smell. I have purchased 5 new from same dealership and none of the others have had that smell. I purchased a 2011 tucsan the same day--no problems. Owner of dealership said that they are allowed to sell new cars without "new car window stickers", I looked it up--it's illegal. Also told there was communication problems about the sale of my car---not telling me everything--like the scratches, hail damage, replacement of parts. The manager today said he did not know anything about the Sonata's pulling to the left---I told him to google it. I have never had so many problems on a new car or even a used one. Current mileage is 3100 miles. Just did a carfax and found no repairs from dealer? I guess they are beyond the law of reporting it.

- Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #3

Jan 312011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
The passenger seat is to low and the shoulder harness of the seat belt will lays across the neck of anyone 62 inches or shorter. The seat belt shoulder harness will not adjust to a person of 62 inches or less forcing them to use a cushion of some type to position them higher in the seat for the harness to be effective.

- Kingman, AZ, USA

problem #2

Aug 272011


  • 492 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While the vehicle was parked the contact noticed the passenger seat was positioned extremely low adding the risk of injury to the passenger if a crash occurred and the air bag would deploy. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that was the design of the seat and they were unable to make changes to the design. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 492.

- Alparetta, GA, USA

problem #1

Jun 272010


  • 0 miles
Windshield is defective in several areas of the windshield. View is distorted through these sections of the windshield, especially the lower 1/3 area and areas near the posts. People have complained of car sickness looking through the glass. The passenger seat is lower than the driver's seat and my wife has looked through the windshield and thought I was going to crash or at least go off the road. The dealer replaced the original but the replacement glass is worse. All the Sonata's on their lot are as bad or worse. It appears Hyundai's supplier of windshields is manufacturing distorted windshields. It appears all Sonata's are being manufactured with this distorted glass in the windshields. There is distortion looking out the rear glass through the rear view mirror but we can live with that.

- Ormond Beach, FL, USA

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