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:
10 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,909 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Dec 122015


  • 139,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 50 mph or higher, there was an abnormal sound under the hood of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake lining needed to replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure continued. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the technician stated that the vehicle was also serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 139,000.

- Tupelo, MS, USA

problem #41

Jan 192016


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Immediately after the vehicle was repaired for NHTSA campaign number: 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and driving at various speeds, the vehicle began to vibrate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 96,000.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #40

Nov 052015


  • miles
I have complied with Hyundai in regards to the two recalls on the vehicle. Although, my vehicle has sat at the dealership since November 5th 2015. The dealership has yet to receive a new engine from the manufacturer. Furthermore, I still pay payments on the vehicle and have done so before the recall was released as well as even after it was sent to the dealer, as requested by Hyundai. I spoke to Hyundai today as to an update to when this will be completed and they did not have an answer. I sent them a letter requesting that they buy back the vehicle do to the safety concerns as well as the delay in fixing this matter. They declined and this is why I am filing a complaint. They have not or have they ever taken accountability for these issues from my standpoint and the car has lost substantial value due to these ongoing recalls. I am paying on a vehicle that is no longer worth the payments. I have requested a buy back due to the quality of the product Hyundai made. They falsified their commercials and hyped up the quality of their product and no longer are they standing behind it.

- Swartz Creek, MI, USA

problem #39

Sep 102015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V568000 (engine) and 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), however, the parts to do the repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #38

Dec 162015


  • miles
"takata recall" I was driving on the interstate the other day and my car was shaking, so scary. I'm not a mechanic, but I know when something is wrong. The lights on my car gets so hot that they keep going out and the car is a drifter. I just happen to enter my VIN# in the system and I was shock. I have been driving this car not knowing my car has 4 recalls on it. I would like to get another car because at this point I do not feel safe driving my family even if they serviced it. Just hearing all the problems that wrong with this car, I do not feel safe. Who do I need to talk to about this matter?

- High Springs, FL, USA

problem #37

Dec 082015


  • 79,000 miles
There was a recall on the brake switch for 2011 Sonatas. Coincidentally, I am having the issue on my car. Although I have to pay $200 out of pocket for this, I should be reimbursed as this is not coincidental and it should have been recalled on my vehicle. Now the engine is being recalled. This vehicle is terrible and unsafe!

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #36

Nov 032015


  • 153,042 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled when the accelerator pedal was depressed. In addition, the brake light was malfunctioning after being replaced several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 153,042.

- Lavergne, TN, USA

problem #35

Nov 132015


  • 102,000 miles
Tail light assembly is melting around the connector for the brake light bulb. The connector and bulb get so hot that surrounding plastic and connector plastic melt causing the brake light to fail and making replacement impossible. Hyundai replaced two melted brake light assemblies on the passenger side and one brake light assembly on the drivers side in less than 4 years. Now the driver side brake light assembly is melting again. This is a fire hazard and a safety hazard because the brake light stops working when the connector melts. Hyundai replaced two assemblies under warranty. I paid $250 for one brake light assembly and now Hyundai wants to charge me $250 for the fourth brake light assembly. This should be recalled by NHTSA. Googling the Hyundai 2011 brake like assembly list many other people with the same issue. This is a manufacturing defect that is causing a safety hazard for 2011 Hyundai drivers and other drivers that encounter cars with the failing brake light assembly.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #34

Sep 172015


  • 54,250 miles
The front brakes on our Hyundai Sonata failed 9/17/15 forcing my daughter off the road using the emergency brake. This is a result of on-going brake problems dating back to when we purchased this certified pre-owned car 11/25/13. Hyundai refused to cover the repair, so we paid to have brake pads, rotors and calipers replaced. This is the 3rd set of brakes we've paid to replace in less than 12,000 miles. After numerous calls and correspondence with Hyundai Consumer Affairs explaining this is a life threatening problem caused by defective brake system, they did pay for the calipers but refused to pay for the other components. The front brakes had grinding noise since we bought the car and only lasted 2,743 miles (dealer told us this cpo car had brand new brakes), the second set only lasted 9,856 miles. Since the caliper was replaced 9/21/15, there is no more grinding. It seems clear that the defective caliper caused the pad and rotor failure, but Hyundai denies this. When speaking with Hyundai Consumer Affairs, they said 1)they had no record of us owning the car, 2) had no recalls for this problem, and 3) we did not purchase an extended warranty (we did). I subsequently found on the hntsb website that there is a recall for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata brakes (attached) involving the brake calipers. Hyundai has been dishonest and deceitful during this ordeal. I would to file an official nhstb complaint against Hyundai to 1) prevent other catastrophic brake failures and potential fatalities, 2) obtain reimbursement from Hyundai for the cost of repairs ($1,085.68, receipts attached) + inconvenience/time/punitive damages. Attached are copies of correspondence, repair orders, nhtsb recall, etc. Thank you for any help you can provide. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Wexford, PA, USA

problem #33

Feb 012015


  • 100,000 miles
Steering column clicks loudly when the steering wheel moves left or right. It does not matter if the vehicle is moving or in park. The problem occurred about 100,000 miles. The vehicle is no longer under warranty, and I have noticed there are lots of other cars out there with the same problem. Also, when travelling at a high rate of speed and the brakes are applied the steering wheel shakes violently. No, it doesn't need an alignment.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #32

Sep 172015


  • 76,503 miles


There are open factory recalls on this car and I have not received a letter to fix the deficiencies before it gets to become an issue of potential physical harm on the roadway. Driving down the road the front spring just broke a section off about a foot long, now drives dangerously brakes, transmission, engine, head lamps, suspension

- Annandale, MN, USA

problem #31

Sep 212015


  • 80,171 miles
11/20/10: Steering column shaft. 5/18/11: Brake switch. Car will not start or shift out of gear. C1513 code. Internal short in brake switch. 3/26/12: Brake switch. Car will not start. C1513 code. Internal short in brake switch. Shift lever knob repl. 8/5/13: Brake switch. Recall. Repl left front axle assembly. 7/7/14: Inhib switch-check engine light on. Car is shifting hard, especially from P-R & then to D. jolting sensation like someone hit from behind. Code P0705-transm range sensor malf. 10/1/14: Brake tube. Shift lever cable. 10/16/14: Code P0106: Map sensor. Flexible coupling-clicking sound & wobbling when turning. Told me I was over 70K. Indicated I was under 70K when I made this appt. Mgr waived cost. 2/26/15: Starter-would not start-towed. 5/15/15: Rear passenger brake light-bulb burned out & melted into socket. Tail lamp also melted. Tech was able to heat & reshape socket. 8/3/15: Brake light switch-car dead after work. Internal malfunction & caused brake lights to stay on. Hesitation during acceleration. Declined accurate auto to look further as car is still under warranty so I will take it to hub. It improved. 8/25/15: Brake light switch. Severe hesitation-almost rear-ended –felt like it would stall (tech noticed). Informed accurate the car was still under warranty so I will take it to hub. Hesitation improved. 8/27/15: Diag testing-hub waived cost of diag testing-no codes found. Unable to duplicate hesitation. Hesitation occurred when leaving. 9/21/15: Brake light switch-brake lights on. Drive side brake light is out. Hesitation worse-felt as if it would stall! driver side brake lamp bulb. Driver side tail lamp overheated & warped. Eventually replace tail lamp assembly. Declined for accurate to do further testing on the hesitation as the car was still under warranty so I will take it back to hub. Hesitation improved. To date, still does not run smooth.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #30

Sep 142015


  • 50,800 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the brake warning light and the ESC warning light randomly illuminated. The contact stated that the vehicle constantly hesitated. While driving 45 mph, there was a drastic reduction in speed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer twice, but the failure could not be duplicated. The contact stated that the condition progressed. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the stop lamp brake switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 13V113000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic) and 14V433000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided no remedy. The approximate failure mileage was 50,800.

- Oldsmar, FL, USA

problem #29

Jul 042015


  • 65,000 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. Potentially result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, (wich is happening) intermittent ability to remove the vehicle's shifter from the park position( also happening), or intermittent operation of the stop lamps.(happening also)" all of these symptoms have been observed in my vehicle, yet the brake light swtich was replaced on a routine service for a recall in 2014. I was not experiencing any trouble at that time. Now at 65000 miles and less then one year later my brakes wont turn off when my car is off resulting in my battery to die. Hyundai has had to come jump my car three times. When I brought it in they said they already replaced it and are no longer liable for it. Now my car is stopping and not allowing me to accelerate intermittenly during driving the vehicle. I also smell burning rubber coming from the inside brake area near the switch. Secondly, my steering coulum and alignment were off. I brought the car in to Hyundai in 2014 because of the steering being very looose and making a knocking noise when you moved it back and forth. They said it was the coupling wich they reaplaced and it did not resolve the malfunction. They then replaced the steering rack and perfomed an alignment and tire rotation with new tires. The noise went away but the alignment is still terribly off. Now when I make right turns it makes a loud clicking noise again and shakes at 65mph or over. My warrenty ended at 60,000 miles and now nothing is covered. I paid for an extended warrenty at purchuse of which they have no record of.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #28

Jul 012015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 49,544 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that when the vehicle was off, the instrument panel illuminated. In addition, the contact stated that the rear brake light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 49,544....updated 09/22/15 the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired. Updated 10/01/15

- Laurinburg, NC, USA

problem #27

May 212015


  • 13,400 miles
Was told the brake switch pad came apart. Also pedal stopper was involved..both incidents occurred as I was stopped at a light wanting to make a left hand turn when the car made a very slow movement to move forward, then stalled until I kept frantically hitting the gas pedal to get out of the way of oncoming traffic and trying to prevent getting hit from the back because my car wasn't expected to stop dead in its tracks. I called aaa who towed my car into dealership on N.E. 6th avenue in delray beach, Florida 33483. The above parts were noted on my invoice. Due to the danger, I would absolutely put out a recall before someone gets hurt or worse. Parts no. 32876-3Q100

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #26

May 132015


  • 109,000 miles
I was on the freeway driving at 65 mph when the engine stalled and shut off. There were no warning lights indicating an issue with the engine. I was informed later by my mechanic that the engine had a catastrophic failure. The brakes failed because the engine was not running. I was lucky and able to coast to the next exit, the stop light was green and I could make it to safe location. Had the engine failed a few minutes earlier I would have been in the fast lane of the freeway trying to make it to the shoulder. Or trying to stop at a light with no brakes.

- Clstskanie, OR, USA

problem #25

Apr 142015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
I parked my car and when I got out I notice my brake lights would not go off. I had to get back in the car pump the brakes a few times and they finally went out. The next day at work I didn't pay attention and when I got in my car for lunch the car would not start I had to get a jump and I drove to the dealership. I advised dealer of what happened they checked my battery and it was fine he says my brake switch light pad was bad and needed to replaced. This was supposedly fix in 2014 after the recall but this continues to be a problem and my dealership charged me for the repairs this time, per Hyundai they only fix this for free one time.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #24

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 #23

Oct 222014


  • miles
TL-the contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the brake pedal was depressed but failed to operate and the contact would have to depress the brake pedal firmly to stop the vehicle. The contact discovered that the brake fluid was almost empty. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V433000 (brakes). However, the failure persisted. The dealer diagnosed that the master cylinder had failed. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Lynn Haven, FL, USA

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