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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
61,150 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (14 reports)
  2. repaint (13 reports)
  3. repaint or new trunk lid (1 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Feb 142011

Sonata SE 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles


Like so many others, the paint on my 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE, 2.0t is peeling. It started where the roof and the windshield meet. Next, on the back edge of the hood. At first I thought it was damage from a rock, or some other object from the road. The peeling has progressed and is particularly at points where there is an edge. Most instances start small, then grow from what looks like a 'nick' to a patch. The primer appears to be intact, but the paint base color and the clear coat come off together leaving the primer exposed. The car has never been in an accident, was purchased new in Las Vegas in December 2010 and gifted to me as a Christmas present from my daughter. I live in California, and service has been provided by Central Valley Hyundai in Modesto.

Other than the paint, I love this car! When I discussed the paint issue, the response was to recommend a body shop which performs the dealership work. Of course, my Sonata will be out of warranty in December, so now the dealer is trying to sell me another one, or extend the warranty at my expense. The Central Valley Hyundai Dealership has been responsive on every issue except this paint issue. What redress can I get on this? I don't know.

- Chuck F., San Andreas, CA, US

problem #27

Jun 232017

Sonata ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

First...engine seized March 2017...Hyundai recall. Waited 3 months for new engine. Second..airbags and seat belts recall May 2018. Car sat at dealership awaiting remedy until Oct 2018. For the past 3 years, I've had random chunks of paint come off the car on all sides. Some areas are as large as 3" x 7". I've been told by multiple car mechanics and car detailing companies that this is due to a bad paint job.

I see that the class action law suit was dismissed in 2017, yet did those plaintiffs amend the suit? I've had so many problems with this vehicle. The paint should not be coming off this badly. Hyundai, you need to finally claim responsibility for this, as you know this was your failure.

- Christina P., Port Jervis, US

problem #26

Jan 132018

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,223 miles

The closer I look at detail, there are a lot of flaws in the paint.

- Tabitha M., Commerce, GA, US

problem #25

Oct 062017

Sonata GLS 2.4L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 138,000 miles


The paint peels off this car so easily. I have rust spots all over it as simply going through a no touch car wash is enough to make quarter size chunks fall off. There is a known issue with the bonding agent used for the white so the only solution is to strip and repaint it which I was quoted $6000 CAD. The car isn't worth it. I really wish I would have bought a 2012. I really like this car except for all the problems! It's going to rust out before it's paid for. The paint will also randomly bubble, pop and then peel away, exposing more metal.

- Charla H., London, ON, canada

problem #24

Aug 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,529 miles

I purchased my Sonata and was so in love with it. The color is white but it sparkles especially in the sun (not sure what the actual name for that would be). Over the past two, almost three years of me having it, there has been some extreme paint peeling going on. Mainly where my windshield meets my roof, and where my hood meets the grill of my car. I keep my car parked under a carport, so I was extremely confused to why this was happening. I of course turned to Google, trying to see if I could find information on why this was happening and I found HUNDREDS of people with the same exact issue with paint peeling in the same locations! I called Hyundai USA (since when they had to repair my motor recall they were very helpful) to tell them about the issue. I explained to them what was going on and that I had read about so many of the same year and model Hyundai's having the same exact issue, and that this was not a normal wear and tear problem, that this was obviously a manufacturing issue, and I was told they could not help me since there was not a recall on this. NO SH*T!!! I then explained to him that this issue extremely decreases the value of my car, who wants to buy a car with paint missing on it?? And it is ridiculous that I purchased this vehicle and now I can't even resale it for what it would be worth because of something Hyundai messed up on. I told him I understand that there isn't a recall on it, but how can I bring this to Hyundai USA's attention that this is an issue on tons of vehicles that they have produced, and he again told me, there was nothing they could do. By then I was so frustrated that I told him to have a good day, and I hung up.

- athennicole, Sardis, US

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problem #23

Jan 012016

Sonata LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,500 miles

Paint is peeling in several areas of the Hood and Roof. The paint simply flakes off like there was no primer or prep of the metal. To fix the roof the windshield needs to be removed so there's a real risk of that part not surviving the remove and replace process.

- Rick C., Mount Laurel, NJ, US

problem #22

May 102017

Sonata 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,627 miles


This a pretty car but somehow I don't like the peeling paint on the back bumper. It looks terrible and my antenna is starting to peel too. This is very awful. This car is in good condition and this should not have happened, the car is still brand new. Is there any help on this issue?

- Kimberly W., Pensacola, US

problem #21

Dec 012016

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The paint on my 2011 Sonata is starting to peel in 6 different places. Much like many other complaints about the Sonata paint, the peeling is happening on the edges of the hood, the roof, the trunk and doors. I'm so pissed about this as I've taken such good care of this car and feel disheartened that Hyundai won't take responsibility for this clear defect.

- Maria C., Greensboro, NC, US

problem #20

Nov 022016

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,400 miles

Called the company was told not enough complaints have been called in on this issue for a recall. I believe that this model has had 11 recalls. I bought this car off the show room floor with 2 miles on it. Every time there was a re call, the wait time, well we will not get into that. I am so disappointed that the paint is bubbling then with a strong wind, need I say more my paint flies away. I am displease with the local dealership. Not helpful in the least.

- Deborah B., River Ridge, US

problem #19

Mar 072017

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,400 miles

3RD SPOT!!!!! Paint peeling on the top of my roof right in the middle before the sunroof. This was a beautiful car now when I drive around, it makes me fell awful. When I am asked what happened to that beautiful car. I have to say a defect in the paint and , no one wants to listen. Yes I could get it painted but this is definitely a recall issue.

- Deborah B., River Ridge, US

problem #18

Mar 022016

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles


This is another complaint on peeling paint. This one is on the trim above the windshield, which is about 3 inches long. I am so annoyed, that the company will not own up to this defect.

- Deborah B., River Ridge, US

problem #17

Apr 032017

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

4th place for the peeling paint.....NOW the lower part of my trunk!!!! This is getting worse and no one cares.

I do have pictures of all the areas. 11 Recalls on the car and they cannot recall, for this issue.

- Deborah B., River Ridge, US

problem #16

Sep 012016

Sonata ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

I am very disappointed in the Hyundai Sonata and the way my vehicles paint has started to peel off.

- Terri J., Decatur, GA, US

problem #15

Aug 002014

Sonata Limited 2.4L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,368 miles

For no reason the car bumper's paint bubbled up and started peeling off. Now in Sept 2016, the spot has rusted and more paint has come off. It would be acceptable if I had some sort of accident to have this happen to begin with, but this is not the case. Just another thing I hate about this car!

- duket, Eldersburg, MD, US

problem #14

Nov 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,125 miles

I noticed the paint on the hood of my 2011 Hyundai Sonata started peeling a couple of years ago. At first, because it was a very small area, I thought it was just due to age. But over the last couple of years the area has gotten much larger and paint is now peeling in other areas on my car. This to me is not an age problem but a paint manufacturers defect. I did go on another website and apparently there is a class action lawsuit for this issue. Why is Hyundai ignoring this? There are so many other people having the same issues. Hyundai needs to step up and address this. Auto body shops must be having a field day with all the Sonata's, and other Hyundai models, coming in for paint jobs! We should be reimbursed for it. A 5 year old car should not have to have a paint job done to the hood or any area unless its been in an accident.

- marjp52, Orlando, FL, US

problem #13

Jul 132016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

The paint where the windshield meets the roofline started chipping away on my 2011 Hyundai Sonata.. I looked elsewhere and sure enough there was more chipping on the driver door frame. This sucks! My previous car I owned for 150,000 miles never had a paint issue.

- nickmarksthespot, Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #12

May 082015

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

click to see larger images

paint peeling paint peeling

I emailed Hyundai last year about this and they say it is outside the 3 yr warranty...I tweeted at them last month...they called me and again explained about the warranty...this is not a warranty issue, it is a quality control issue. They refuse to take any responsibility for this crap paint job on a $30,000 car! I took it to the dealer and they said they could do the paint but would have to break my windshield at my cost, to do it right!! I am beyond livid and plan to consult an attorney for a civil suit against the company.

Update from Mar 24, 2017: the paint bubbling and peeling is now on my back drivers side door!! This is ridiculous

- tracie500, Valley, AL, US

problem #11

Apr 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Paint peeled on roof, hoof, side and Hyundai would not cover repairs.

- Darcy R., Rensselaer, NY, US

problem #10

Mar 012016

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,639 miles

click to see larger images

paint peeling paint peeling paint peeling

I love my 2011 Hyundai Sonata first of all. It has been a really good car for me and has not given me any real problems. I had the engine checked under the recall and it was given a clean bill of health along with a 120K engine warranty.

HOWEVER, this paint peeling is a bunch of BxLLSxxT!!!!!!!! From all of the other comments and major engine woes, and I'm sure there are many more on other sites, Hyundai needs to address their quality problems NOW.

I like many other owners take care of my car and I have done everything I can to protect the paint only to have it flake off. I have pictures into my local Hyundai dealer to see if there is anything that can be done but I suspect Hyundai Corporate is going to tell me it's not their problem anymore. Even just assisting with the cost of repainting would be better than nothing.

Awaiting the news.

- Robert M., Hobbsville, NC, US

problem #9

Sep 012015

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

The paint on my 2011 Sonata SL started to peel off around 2014-2015 from the area where the windshield meets the roof and the hood. The gray primer is showing from all these locations. It looked very ugly. I filed a complaint at the Pensacola FL dealership on 3/10/16 and waiting for response what the will do about this.

- Avi B., Milton, FL, US

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