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 1 of 2)

problem #32

Dec 222016


  • miles


While driving, the sunroof busted out. Glass went all unside the vehicle while I was in heavy traffic on the interstate. I almost wrecked the vehicle and the glass scratched up the paint sourrounding the vehicle and the trunk.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #31

Dec 172016


  • 75,450 miles
Car stationary in garage while I was checking oil. Hood support struts abruptly collapsed, causing hood to fall rapidly, hitting me on the arm. (fortunately, only abrasion and bruise). Struts will now no longer support the hood.

- Doathan, AL, USA

problem #30

Aug 012016


  • 50,000 miles
Paint peeling on roof of car right above windshield noticed it a several months ago called dealership said paint not under warranty why is paint peeling off the car thank you

- Palm Bachgardens, FL, USA

problem #29

Apr 132016


  • 111,000 miles


Takata inflators: Had a car fire from fuel line per fire dept information. I was on the 405 West bound fwy when I started to smell gas and the front hood of the car I noticed black smoke coming out. I got out of the fwy and then parked the car, when someone driving of the opposite direction yelled for me to get out of the car. I turned off the car and ran out to the side walk within a few minutes the car when up in smoke and then it exploded twice. People from the surrounding businesses came out to see if I was alright. The owner of the flower nursery came out and called the fire dept. They arrived and turned out the fire.

- Pico Rivera, CA, USA

problem #28

Mar 182016


  • 105,000 miles
Paint suddenly peeling from hood and roof and corners around windows in March/April 2016. Paint test reveals there is no sealant to adhere paint to body of car and will continue to peel from the body. Insurance may not cover the cost to repaint, and Hyundai paint warranty only 3 years, 36,000 miles.

- Temecula, CA, USA

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problem #27

May 282016


  • 95,000 miles
The driver side door latch became stuck in the unlock position after remotely unlocking the vehicle. The latch will not lock manually, by key, or by remote. Therefore, the door remains unlocked while driving the vehicle. The vehicle falls outside of the recall issued for this problem but apparently the same recalled components were used to make this vehicle.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #26

May 012016


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 hyundia Sonata. The contact stated that the pins used to secure the driver and passenger side bumper fender liners to the body of the vehicle had detached and caused the fender liners to separate from the vehicle while driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the cause of the failure was undetermined. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #25

Feb 272016


  • 53,000 miles
Yesterday I was traveling on the interstate going approximately 80mph. In my side mirror I noticed something dangling from the rear of my car, within a millisecond I am watching my tail light fly off my car right into the vehicle behind me. I pulled in to the next rest stop and found that my tail light had blew off my car. The car behind me followed me into the rest stop, thankfully there was no damage or injury to them or their car. Yesterday I had been visiting my dad in the hospital 100 miles away from my home. Before I got in my car I stuck a a huge sheet pan in my trunk-fyi there was no previous damage to the tail light or the rear of my car at all.

- Hastings, NE, USA

problem #24

Aug 012015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at approximately 35 mph, the steering wheel was loose and made an abnormal noise. In addition, the rear driver side light failed and was hanging from the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000. Updated 02/05/16 the dealer informed the consumer there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. Updated 02/16/16

- Birchwood, TN, USA

problem #23

Oct 172015


  • 110,000 miles
Exhibiting exact same issue as described in NHTSA campaign number: 10V-070 Hyundai dealer said my car was built in March and will not make the repair. Also exhibiting issues described in NHTSA campaign number: 10V-457 and dealer refused to make repair. The excessive shaking in the steering wheel has caused my SRS (safety restraint system) to kick a code that says my steering wheel air bag may not deploy in the event of a crash. SRS lite stays on. Hyundai dealer refused to make repair on NHTSA campaign number 13V-113. I currently have a piece of folded cardboard zip tied to my brake switch. Car exhibiting issues relating to NHTSA campaign number 14V-434 even after having the dealer use their (clip) remedy.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #22

Nov 242014


  • 40,689 miles


Side rear quarter panel on the bottom is very loose.

- Hazlet Twp , NJ, USA

problem #21

Jul 312014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 65,626 miles
I noticed a sound as if my fender was rattling as I drove on the hwy, upon reaching home I inspected the vehicle and found the clips attaching the bumper to the fender on the passenger side had failed. I will be bringing it to the attention of Hyundai. I feel if it happens on the other side the complete bumper will come off as I drive.

- South Setauket, NY, USA

problem #20

Jun 272014


  • 59,431 miles
Incident details: On Friday, June 27th, around 7:15 a.M., I was in my car with my 18 month old son getting ready to leave my garage. I put my car in reverse; however, I noticed the gear readout on the dashboard was non-functional. I looked down at the gear shift and the indicator light was also non-functional. I decided I should run into the house and get my husband to have him look at the car. I put the car back into park, took my foot off the brake, and turned to tell my son I would be right back. I opened the door and started step out of the car. I felt the car jerk violently and then it started to roll backwards. I was knocked off my feet and dragged down my driveway until my car hit my neighbor's tree (approx.. 70? from where the car started inside the garage), where it stopped. The event caught the attention of my neighbor who ran over to my house to alert my husband. He ran out to the car, which was rested against the tree. He attempted to put the car in "park", however the gear selector was in its absolute forward position. He then pulled the gear selector back into the drive position (gear indicators still non-functional) and the car made an audible "snap? and lurched forward. My husband drove the car approx. 20" where he parked it. My husband, made a phone call to the gurnee, il Hyundai dealership, they advised him to call the Hyundai customer care number (1-800-633-5151). He was connected with a case manager by the name of merrieta. She took notes of the incident and advised him to have the car sent to the nearest Hyundai dealership for an investigation. The car was picked up by tow truck June 27th around 11am and delivered to the gurnee Hyundai dealership.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #19

Dec 232011


  • 23,000 miles
When I put car in drive and start to drive off it comes completely out of gear, I then have to power off car and then restart and it may work or I may have same issue a few times before it goes in gear. This has cause my car to stall, jerk when it does go in gear, steering wheel shakes when driving, and check engine light has come on. Separate issue is the front bumper is poorly made if you barely tap anything when parking the clamps break and bumper starts to come apart.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #18

Jan 272014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 59,017 miles
Found left rear fender tail light assembly no longer mounted. Further inspection found all four mount stud plastic molding broken away, light assembly being supported by single electrical connector. Dealer service department was not surprised and stated they have seen this issue before, most likely over torqued during manufacture. Now, 6/17/2014, at 68111 odometer, the right tail light assembly, P/N 92402-3Q000, had the same physical/mechanical failure. This poses a serious threat not only to other vehicles inability to determine what my vehicle is doing but as a foreign object threat to other vehicles as 5 pound, two foot long projectile.

- Clayton, OH, USA

problem #17

Feb 032014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Steering column makes clunk/rattle noise driving down rough road, bumps, and small potholes at high and low speed, it more noticeable at low speed. While at standing it makes no noise.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #16

Mar 242014


  • 62,804 miles
My vehicle hyndai Sonata 2011, crashed into a parked construction in a parking lot at the speeds of up to 30 mph. The crash damaged basically the whole front side of the driver side and damaged the front two wheels. The front windshield was damaged as well with cracks on the shield and it also knocked out the rearview mirrors. I was in the driver seat when the crash happened and my head crashed up against the steering wheel, which left a little soreness. What I was wondering is with such an impact and such damage, how did the airbags not go off". my head slammed pretty good up against the steering wheel and a little more impact I could've been severely hurt. So I just want to ask why did the airbags not work"

- Breckenridge, TX, USA

problem #15

Nov 282013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 30,350 miles
On thanksgiving evening November 28, 2013 @ 7:30 pm, my 2011 Hyundai Sonata that I purchased new, caught fire on I 95 while driving it. The car has only 30,350 miles and is properly maintained and garage kept. The vehicle had the oil and filter replaced 5 days earlier and there are no signs of any fluids leaking in the garage. There were no warning lights that came on and the temperature gauge read as normal until just before the engine shut off (then all the dash lights came on) and we pulled over onto the shoulder of a busy highway at night. I raised the hood, smoke poured out and I could see small flames under the engine. Minutes later the flames were 20 feet high and the entire car burned until fire trucks and police arrived on the scene. The vehicle is a total loss.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #14

Apr 182011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 700 miles
I purchased the car in March 2011. Inapril,2011 the front bumper came off the clip and I have to replace the bumper at cost of $ 1000. Subsequently, this has happened twice requiring replacement of front bumper. The car is designed with front end very low and the bumper is hold by a single clip which makes it easier for it to come off even when car is being parked and if it hits parking cement marker. Hyundai dealer refuses to fix problem under warranty and so far I have spent $3000.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 152013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 29,715 miles
Complaintant walked out of home to vehicle. Upon approaching vehicle, complaintant noticed that the left rear brake light housing (driver's side) was detached, and sticking out about 1 inch from the vehicle. Complaintant carefully slid the housing back into its cavity, where it stayed. Complaintant then departed. About 3 days later, complaintant noticed that the housing was again detached from the vehicle, and again slid it back into place. Over time, the complaintant repeated returning the housing into the cavity three (3) additional times. When the complaintant was confronted with a 5th event of the housing detaching from the vehicle, complaintant shined a flashlight down into the cavity, and saw that the housing mounting sockets were fractured/shattered, and none of the several mounting studs/bolts were attached. But, the studs/bolts were still attached to the vehicle shell. The only thing holding the housing assembly onto the car, were the wires to the brake light, back-up light, and turn signal light. No surface scratches, nor body damage experienced. After inspecting the defective housing, complaintant surmised that Hyundai tail light housing is made of hard, brittle plastic, which shatters when overly tightened at factory, or due to the vibration of this overly hard riding vehicle. Additionally, complaintant noticed when vehicle was purchased new, that the driver's side tail light was not flush with the rear trunk gate, and was extended outward about 1/4 inch. The light assembly on the right/passenger side was flush with the trunk gate, and has not produced a similar issue, yet. Complaintant secured housing to the vehicle cavity by using duct tape. Complaintant scheduled vehicle repair with Hyundai dealership for tomorrow. Update to follow.

- Garner, NC, USA

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