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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,175 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Oct 162013


  • 44,000 miles


Scrapped a curb pulling into a parking spot. Bumper clips broke. Electrical tape inside the wheel well is holding it together just as good as the clip...really tape. Read so many online reviews about people not hitting anything or traffic cones and they break. Imagine if you actually needed the bumper to protect you. I purchased this car thinking it was safe.....really concerned if it is now. As the governing body you need to get involved. Hyundai knows its a problem, but they are not recalling it. This is a concern and with so many of the road there are a lot of lives at risk.

- Kenhorst, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 232013


  • 45,000 miles
While driving my 2011 Hyundai Sonata (approx 45,000 miles) down the highway the right rear tail light popped off and was hanging. After looking in the trunk at the inside tail light area, I saw plastic pieces around the screws that were cracked and broken off; thus causing the tail light to pop off and hang. I was very lucky that the tail light did not fall off the car completely and cause an accident. I then dicovered that the left rear tail light studs were beginning to break off too and do the same thing. When I took it to the dealership they claimed the clips broke but it looked forced and would not be covered under warranty. Understand this car was not involved in an accident and I am a stay at home mom who has a garage for the car. I was simplying driving down the road and the tail light popped off. This is a huge safety concern for me and others.

- Feeding Hills, MA, USA

problem #10

Feb 092013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 52,203 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that he found extensive rust along the firewall of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and was dismissed by the dealer and assured the rust was normal. A regional director was sent from the manufacturer who inspected the vehicle. The rust was cleaned and the spots were lubed. The corrosion continued to plague the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 52,203. Updated 10/29/13

- Ankeny, IA, USA

problem #9

Aug 152012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


I was driving at the freeway speed limit, I did not feel anything when it happened but I know that it happened on the freeway. I pulled over to get some gas, looked back near the gas cap and saw that my driver's side tailight assembly was hanging by the wires onto my bumper. When it fell out, it bounced and placed several dings and chips in the plastic bumper. I noticed that the wheels(cogs) inside the tailight assembly were completely broken off. I had to take the light out and place it in my trunk and drive the rest of the two hundred miles with no left tail light or turn signal. If it had fallen into the middle of the freeway, I am sure there would have been much more to write about and none of it good!

- San Andreas, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 082012


  • 51,000 miles
When parking the front end rubbed up against a curb and didn't even notice, when pulling out it almost pulled off the front bumper completely off the car. The front clips that hold the front bumper on had broken and would require replacing the entire front bumper and after reading more reviews several complaints about this clip breaking are being made. This bumper is way to expensive for something as simple as a cheap clip that holds the bumper on. This is a very poor design and I warn anyone buying this car do not pull up on the curb I cannot stress this enough the clips on the bumper cannot handle it. I love my car other then this and so far unfortunately the dealership will not honor under warranty but going to contact Hyundai directly, but not holding my breath.

- Chapin, SC, USA

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problem #7

Feb 142012


  • 54,000 miles
When I arrived at work today I noticed the drivers side rear tail light assembly was loose. Upon further inspection I noticed that the plastic clips that hold the assembly in place were broken. I've contacted the dealer and have gotten the run around about what caused the issue. I haven't been involved in any type of accident and there is no visible damage to the exterior of the car. Currently, still trying to get it fixed but the dealer doesn't seem to be any help.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #6

Nov 272011


  • miles


While walking up to my wife's 2011 Hyundai Sonata in a parking lot, we noticed that the passenger side tail light was dislodged from the body of the car. The electrical wires were still attached to the tail light, but there was no damage to the back of the car or the tail light itself. However, we did see the four bolt holders that attach the tail light to the body of the car had ruptured and broke apart. Within an hour we took the car to our local Hyundai dealer and they said they had never seen a defect like this. They insisted that this must have been due to an impact, even though there was no evidence of damage to the tail light, the back of the car or any signs of vandalism. Since they felt it was due to an impact (not covered by the warranty), we had to pay nearly $300 for the tail light to be replaced. Later that day, I noticed the driver side tail light was becoming loose to the touch as well. The next day my wife called the corporate line for Hyundai to report this tail light defect and report the dealership we went to as well. Within 2 days the dealership called us back and said this is definitely some kind of defect and it should have been covered by our warranty. They refunded our money and also replaced the driver side tail light at no charge. Every Sonata should have their tail lights checked and recalled (at no charge) if these defective bolt holders continue to be found as brittle and flimsy as ours were. Thankfully the tail light did not fall off our car while we were driving or it would have become a serious road hazard. Please bring this to the attention of all Sonata owners immediately.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 292011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
The car has been noisy since day 1. dealer said it was not abnormal. Tire dealer said they saw no problem, except it appeared that the tires were feathering. On certain type roads, the car is just darned too noisy. I believe it to be the kumho, 17" tires that the limited model comes equipped with. I have almost 8,000 miles on it, now, since bought new in April, and it is not getting any better, only worse. Unendurable, actually.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #4

Jun 012011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the headliner in the vehicle was leaking water. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they advised him that they were unable to diagnose the failure. In addition, while driving at various speeds the steering wheel would pull to the left very hard. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they advised him that they were unable to diagnose the failuer after test driving the vehicle. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 7,000. The VIN was unavailable. The roof seam is leaking which has stained the headliner. Also having problems with the steering, gearshift, and subwoofers. Updated 11/09/2011

- Peebles, OH, USA

problem #3

Aug 252011


  • 10,550 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated as he stopped at a red light another vehicle crashed into the rear of his vehicle and he then into a vehicle in front of him. Both the driver and front passenger door opened simultaneously. No one fell out of the vehicle since they both were wearing seat belts. There was extensive damage to the front and back of the vehicle. Three people were transported to the hospital with head, chest and back injuries, they were treated and released. None of the air bags deployed. The warning light illuminated indicating that the air bags malfunctioned. The police was notified and a report was filed. The vehicle was driven to his residence. The insurance company and the dealer were notified. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 10,550. Updated 09/27/11 updated 2/23/12

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #2

Aug 222011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
Twice the front bumper has separated from body on my daughters 2011 Hyundai Sonata, the first time the dealer stated she must have hit something but this was not the case even though the dealer insisted on putting the car up on a lift to inspect for damage, the car was only on the road for 3 days or less. The car was repaired by the dealer no charge. Now the car is 3 months old and the exact same problem has happened again. The bumper is not attached to the body properly in the design process, and whatever clips they use release the bumper when the car is driven. Sooner or later the bumper will fly off this car and either blind the driver when it damages the windshield or cause an accident when a driver behind the bumperless car avoids the debris of the bumper. This car should be investigated for an immediate recall. Defective attachment of bumper to body. Please look into this before someone is killed.

- Hicksville, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 062010


  • 7,000 miles
Front bumper clips break under normal driving conditions. Hyundai claims it's from scrubbing concrete curbs. The repair costs are around $800 - $1000. The bumper clips break while driving at normal speed the wind force pushes the bumper and wheel well onto the tires. Causing the wheel well to be ground away.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

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