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:
40,974 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Sep 152014


  • 64,981 miles


Over the five years the car will stall in parking lot.will have it towed to dealer.this happen two times this year. They could not find problem. Could not use battery to start, battery checked it was fine, starter fine, alternator made me feel uneasy if it stalled on road.they checked engine said it was fine.not happy with this.the last at my kroger it stopped.towed to repair shop near home same result, could not find problem.each time when car sat overnight for repair the problem went away and car started ok by dealer.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #29

Sep 042016


  • 85,284 miles
During my last scheduled vehicle maintenance in April 2016, I explicitly communicated my concerns to the Hyundai dealer about my engine and the fact that the oil light kept coming on when I tried to accelerate and would go off as soon as I took my feet off the accelerator. I just found out through local news and information from online blogs that this was a sign of engine manufacturing problems originating from Hyundai's Alabama engine manufacturing plant. The dealer did not inform me that the engine in my vehicle was being recalled. Instead, I was told via the maintenance report that oil level was low and there were no visible leaks. I have receipts to prove that I adhered to all recommended owner maintenance services and have been diligent enough to service my vehicle according to the service schedule prescribed during vehicle purchase. I have strong reasons to believe Hyundai has not been honest with its customer. This being because, rather than elaborate on the cause and solution to the problem (I.e. Hyundai Sonata 2011-2012 engine recall), information was deliberately withheld from me by Hyundai. I never received a recall notice from the dealer despite purchasing the vehicle from an authorized Hyundai pre-owned vehicle dealer. I'm even more frustrated because this recall was announced in September 2015, 4 months after I purchased my vehicle under warranty and paid extra to have extended warranty coverage added on my vehicle. It's now 7 months after the recall announcement and I still have not received notice of the recall from Hyundai. As of today, 3 weeks after my vehicle stalled on the on-401 highway whilst driving at approx. 100km/hr., I have not heard back from Hyundai. I had to coast my vehicle to the outside shoulder of the busiest highway in North America at 9:00pm. 3 weeks on, I have no vehicle, no repair timeline and no response from Hyundai

- London, On Canada, MI, USA

problem #28

Feb 132016


  • 60,000 miles
After the vehicle gets hot (in summer) or is drove for at least 30 mins, the ABS and traction sensor lights come on and make driving very difficult. The low tire light stays on since we purchased it.

- Cherry Valley, AR, USA

problem #27

Dec 012015


  • 80,000 miles


Takata recall brake lamp staying on when turn lights on. Clicking noise under the hood. Car stalling

- Sherman, TX, USA

problem #26

Dec 122015


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata with approximately 65,000 miles. In 2015 the steering wheel locked twice while on but parked. The ESC and power steering indicators were on. After a while the issues spontaneously resolved in these instances and the vehicle able to be driven. In October 2015 the power steering locked up while driving the vehicle on a city street (speed <40mph). I was unable to turn the steering wheel and navigate resulting in several near misses with street parked vehicles before being able to stop the vehicle. Car towed to the dealership where they stated that they drove the vehicle around and "recalibrated it." Two months later while again traveling on city streets (<40mph) the steering wheel began to shake violently and I was unable to steer, again almost resulting in a significant crash. During this incident the same ecs and power steering indicators lit up. Unable to steer I was forced to stop and turn off my vehicle in the middle of a busy road. However, once the vehicle was turned off the steering wheel continued to shake violently until someone who came to assist me shut off the car battery. The car was towed to the dealership where upon showing them video the service manager stated he had never seen this occur in his 20 years of employment. The car is scheduled to be assessed on Monday. Internet searches show other videos of this make/model with the same violently shaking wheel and reports of accident close-calls. My specific car was part of an earlier recall (campaign 097) related to power steering that was reportedly fixed at that time, therefore this car clearly has known problems in this domain. I will never get back in this vehicle and will likely lose money on a trade in. There are clearly significant safety issues with this vehicle that have not been resolved by the earlier recall. Video link: Https://

- Hyde Park, MA, USA

problem #25

Sep 012014


  • 52,000 miles
Shaking in steering... (thought it was ball joints - metal to metal)... told there was no problem with ball joints & no other issues determined (with their test drive). Local Hyundai service manager would not return repeated calls for complaint. Very disappointed now that "factory warranty & recall for steering problem" not worthy of repair at that time. Violently shaking now and Hyundai service department says it is not part of a steering recall (previously patched)... said it is a steering coupling (not the U joint which was part of the recall).

- Summerdale, AL, USA

problem #24

Jul 072015


  • 74,500 miles


While driving on the highway and attempting to brake the steering wheel shook rapidly. The steering wheel makes a click when in park and I move the steeping wheel slightly off center to the left or the right. When driving at any speed and go over bumps on the road the steering wheel makes a clunk noise. The steering feels loose when driving on the highway at speeds of 60+. this is an issue that needs to be recalled. When I spoke to the dealer they said that my car doesn't have any recalls on the steering! but found right here on this website, shows the tsb#10-01-32. We purchased this car in 2011 with the full waranty intact from crain Kia, which also owns crain Hyundai the vehicle was a dealership demo vehicle. After running a VIN search on this website, it has not been inspected or repaired. This is unsafe and puts the lives of not just the owners/drivers of this vehicle but other drivers on the road as well in severe danger. At this time, if nothing is done, we will pursue legal action against Hyundai North America and crain Hyundai / Kia. For their lack of professionalism, selling "unsafe" cars to the public! please reopen this case immediately and have them repair these darn cars. Sincerely, us soldier and family

- Cabot, AR, USA

problem #23

Feb 172015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 111,781 miles
Went to lakeland automall which is a Hyundai dealership to get some recalls taken care of. Upon arrival I gave them some recall paperwork in which they refused to look at and said that they have it in their database. The recall that has to do with the "stop lamp switch malfunction" was not complete. When I got my car back I checked my brake lights and they did not work properly. I told them that when I drive in cruise control my car releases it and my brake lights stay illuminated and my ESC control light comes on. Also on ocassion one of my tail brake lights work but not the other. They told me that they fixed this problem last April of 2014 but apparantly the same problem is replicating. They then told me it needed a whole tailight assembly.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #22

Oct 032014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 79,800 miles
On October 3, 2014, I had my car serviced for two Sonata recalls, one regarding the shift cable and the other regarding the brakes. That same afternoon, my stability control light illuminated on my dash. I have had this car for 4 years and could not remember it doing that ever before. Pressing the stability control button did nothing to change the light (it would not turn off). The next day, while pressing the gas pedal, I noticed a failure to accelerate. This has happened dozens of times since, at varying speeds, and while the car was both cold and warm. It always lasts several seconds and then I can accelerate again. During one of these episodes, I can press the gas pedal all the way to the floorboard and get no acceleration. This is becoming increasingly dangerous. I've been in to the dealership, and they denied any connection to the recall work, despite this problem presenting immediately upon leaving. They said they replaced the brake switch and that they should have charged me for that, but they did not. I got no paperwork showing that they actually replaced the brake switch. After that visit, the traction light was off for a day before this problem reoccurred. I am terrified driving this car to and from work because I never know when the acceleration will fail. It has happened while changing lanes in heavy traffic, and also on the ramps in my office parking garage.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #21

Oct 242014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 105,477 miles
Driving on a busy street, turned down a residential street and the steering wheel started shaking violently. We have own the car since June, 2013 and this has been an ongoing problem. The will be a beep, then the eps and traction control will show on the dash board and then the steering wheel will start to shake violently. My husband shut off the vehicle and it violently shake for 20 mins. At times when this problem occurred in the past the car would be on but we did not even leave the drive way. The first time it did it me was 4 months after purchasing the vehicle and I had my child in the back seat taking her to school when the steering wheel started shaking violently, I was in the middle of a busy intersection and I couldn't get out because I was not strong enough to handle the steering wheel, and we almost got hit. Each time (more than 5 times now) we were either stopped or going less than 25 miles per hour, the eps and traction will light, and the steering wheel will shake violently anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. There was a time when my husband was driving in our small town when the eps light was on but my husband had no power steering. The steering wheel didn't shake.

- Maize, KS, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Jan 282014


  • 50,800 miles
I bought my car in September 2013, it is certified pre-owned and came with the original 100,000 mile/10 year warranty, I purchased the extra electrical warranty. I was driving at about 40 mph and I noticed my transmission wasn't switching gears when I was accelerating and if I took my foot of off the brake the car wanted to stop, my brakes were locking up. There was smoke coming from the front drivers side tire and from the back passenger side tire and a loud noise. I pulled over, shut off the car and waited about 10-15 minutes until the smoking stopped and I turned the car on and began to drive home. I was only about 3 minutes from my home at that time. The transmission was continuing to demonstrate problems and the brakes to make a low rumbling noise. I called Hyundai roadside assistance right away to take my car to the dealership to be evaluated and fixed. I called at 3pm and they did not pick up my car until 9:30 pm. The next day they called me and told me my car was driving fine and they were going to check several other components of the car to confirm everything was in working order. A few hours later I called to get a status update on my vehicle and I was told that they discovered something wrong, they had conducted a test drive for the second time and discovered all of the problems I was initially reporting about the car. The service manager then told me he was not sure of the cause and that he would have to check several other things and I would need a rental car because he did not know how long the repair would take. I got the rental car at about 2 in the afternoon and was called at 5:30 and told me car was ready for pick-up and that they replaced the brake light switch. I went the next morning to pick up my car and drop off my rental at about 10am. I drove the car home and everything seemed to be fine, but at about 3pm had the same problem again.

- Mashpee, MA, USA

problem #18

Dec 022013


  • 61,000 miles
I have experienced several issues related to the Sonata within the last several months starting in December, 2013. * several of the service indicators have lighted up on the dashboard that have never behaved this way before. * doors will not lock unless I have my key in the ignition and the engine turned on. Remote switch does not function at all. * the front low-beam lights do not function. * the clock on the dashboard does not function. * internal dome lights do not function at all on any switch. * the ESC light is malfunctioning is appears. Comes on for no reason and stays on. * several times it has been hard to get the car into "D" drive and then to get out of "D" and back into park. * engine makes weird noises, roaring, and clinking that it has never made before. * overall I am happy with this vehicle up until these issues happened and they seem to all happen at this particular time. Within the last three months.

- Swansboro, NC, USA

problem #17

Jan 102014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 40,275 miles
The car would not start and all the electrical component lights came on (emergency lights blinking, turn indicators, electronic stability control, battery light indicator, etc.). the horn was blaring also and the key was in my pocket. I thought I hit the emergency button by accident so I pulled out the key and hit the button off. It would not stop. I tried starting the car, but it would not. It went off finally. So, I tried starting the car and all the stuff started again. So, I came home while I could. This is totally unacceptable and dangerous.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #16

Dec 102013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
On December 10, 2013 I was getting into my car and when I put the keys into ignition and turned the car on the eps light came on, so I then went into the glove compartment to get the Sonata book out to see what that means the steering wheel started shaking violently. I was so scared that the car was going to blow, I turned the car off, and took the keys out to see if it would stop, but it didn't, it was still shaking. I then had to get the car towed to porter Hyundai. They then recalibrated the steering angle sensor and cleared the code. Then on Sunday December 29, 2013 my son was driving the car and while he was driving the eps light came on and the steering wheel started shaking violently again while he was driving, it was very hard for him to get control of the vehicle. He tried turning the car off but the wheel was still shaking. So after I had to take it back down to porter Hyundai today, they have yet to get back with me about the matter.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #15

Jan 012013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
An existing recall (NHTSA campaign number: 13V113000) indicates that for 2011 Hyundai Sonata the stop lamp switch may not function correctly. The recall notice states that: "during the affected models' production periods, some vehicles were equipped with stop lamp switch assemblies that may experience intermittent switch point contact. This condition could potentially result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, intermittent ability to remove the vehicle's shifter from the park position, illumination of the ┐ESC┐Ł (electronic stability control) indicator lamp in the instrument cluster, intermittent interference with operation of the cruise control feature, or intermittent operation of the stop lamps." All of these symptoms have been observed in my vehicle, yet this VIN is not covered in the recall notice.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #14

Oct 012012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 31,500 miles
Elec stability control lite on after starting car. Failed to start one time. Dealer investigated. Found part # 93810-3S000 (switch assm stop lamp) defective. Replaced switch. I checked the internet for this part number and found a significant number of failures of this switch. This switch can fail at anytime, causing loss of power and other symptoms. I sent this same message to Hyundai consumers affairs. This switch must be marginally functional for it's purpose due the number of failures noted on the internet. Hopefully, Hyundai will take action on this switch. Thanks in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

- Goodyear, AE, USA

problem #13

Aug 292012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. I had my brake pedal stoplight switch replaced a few days ago by a Hyundai dealer, which was covered under the manufacturer's warranty. However, in doing research on this replacement, I have found that this is a common problem of Hyundai Sonata owners and it would seem that Hyundai has not corrected this issue other then to replace the oem switch when it fails. Based upon what I have read, I therefore expect that this replacement will fail again sometime in the future and probably at an inopportune time. Since it takes only a few moments to replace the switch, some Hyundai owners that have had multiple failures have gone as far as carrying a spare switch in their glove compartment in case the switch fails again and they are either out of warranty or not near a dealer. The safety issue revolves around the failure of this switch which results in the brake lights not being operable and the possibility of other safety systems being affected too, I.e. traction control and ABS. If this switch failure occurs with the vehicle in park, the gearshift lever cannot be moved. If this failure was a "once in a lifetime" failure, it would not be that much of an issue. But again, that does not seem to be the case and research of Hyundai's repair records or statements made by owners of these cars should bare that out. The original oem switch part is #93810-3S000. An alleged update may be part # 93810-3K000 but this part can not be installed in the vehicles having the original part and Hyundai has not made a retro installation possible if this "K" switch is indeed an updated replacement. I feel that Hyundai should address this issue and produce a retro fit for this safety related brake switch since it seems to be a constant issue that needs attention due to the failure of the switch which then causes, at the very least, inoperable brake lights.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #12

May 052012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
I noticed that the ESC light was on. I pulled over and put the car in park. When reading what ESC light was I knew I could proceed withouth danger. I then tried to shift and I couldn't. I had to keep turning the car on and off until I could. This happened multiples times. Took to dealer and they fixed in. Supposedly was a brake sensor issue.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 012012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 28,003 miles
In the last month of March 2012, when driving in town or on the highway, my ESC light will come on for no reason in perfect weather conditions and then when I stop somewhere e.g. to let my child out in the school line, I will put my car in park, if this is an occasion that my ESC light has come on it will not let me take my car out of park, unless I turn the car on and off several times, also when the ESC light comes on there is a pretty big delay in my brakes and accelerations. I am worried about my children's safety while in my car because I am not sure if one day it may cause a serious accident but I have searched every where and can not find a recall on this.

- Alba, TX, USA

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