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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Oct 222014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 103,106 miles


Have replaced brake lights 5 times due to someome telling me they were out. Was stop by a cop today because both brake lights he said we're out. Why are these lights burning out so fast" automotive guy said put some grease on bulb then place them in. I did and they still went out"

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #21

Sep 112014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Thursday the 11th was going into town for some items. Came to a stop light with a car a head of me when the light turned green we went. The car that was in front of me made a right hand turn I was going about 30 to 35 mph when I went to applied the brakes the would not goo down felt like a brick was under my foot. Friday the 12th was leaving work got stopped by a red light a again when the light turned green I took off I was going about 35 mph when I looked to my right their was a car coming off the off ramp and not stopping when I applied the brakes again they would not go down felt the same way like there was a brick under my foot. Had to slam into the curb to avoid being hit on the side. Took car to the dealer ship they say there's nothing wrong wants me to pay for new rim and tire for 320 dollars. I have read a bunch of the same things happening to other people and nothing has been done needs to be looked into before some one gets killed.

- St.Augustine , FL, USA

problem #20

May 152013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 58,230 miles
The gear shift got stuck and move out of park.brake lights does not work when pressing break peddle, which resently accured, that is to it brake lights.also four months ago I begin to have problems with my brakes.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #19

Feb 062014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 17,800 miles


On Thursday, Feb 6, 2014 approximately at 2pm on a busy street. I was approaching a stoplight and as I was approaching stop light and attempted to put on brakes to stop. Instead of stopping the car the car sped up and didn't stop until I smashed into him. Car did not stop until collision occurred upon impact. I had no brakes!!!!! I smashed his rear bumper and cracked his license plate window. On Saturday, Feb 8th 2014 I took car into Hyundai dealer they insisted nothing was wrong with vehicle. I was asked if by Hyundai dealer if street was icy and the streets were completely dry. I called insurance reported incident, and with this collision there was $1300 damage to his vehicle. Luckily there was no injury this time.

- Harwood Heights, IL, USA

problem #18

Mar 112014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 18,200 miles
On March 11, 2014 approximately at 3:30 pm I went to my car in an underground garage. I entered the car, put my seat belt on, and put the car in reverse. Then when putting car in drive, the steering wouldn't move and without acceleration the car took foot was on the brake when the car took off. At that time, I tried to brake and had no steering or brakes. When that happened with the car accelerating, I had no brakes or steering. I crashed into my husbands car that was parked in spot next to me. I smashed his rear right panel. The car was going at such a speed my husband's car was pushed a couple of feet over. If his car was not there, I would have crashed into the cement wall. As for my car, I smashed the left front fender, head light and lower panel on the front of the car. The car immediately went dead. I immediately called my insurance company and proceeded to call Hyundai. I had vehicle towed to the auto body shop for repairs caused by accident. After the body shop repairs were finished, the car was towed to Hyundai. This auto body shop had the car for 2-3 weeks. Hyundai technicians were called in to check. Hyundai's final outcome/decision was that there were no findings and they feel they are not responsible. I was then called to pick the car up the manager. He claimed to have phoned me numerous amount of times, but this is false. I only received one call from him. The car is unsafe to drive since this is the second incident involving the same problem the car was towed from Hyundai back to my residence and parked in the underground garage. I find this completely appalling and very upsetting that this has happened. This is not the response or service I expected to receive from a so called reputable company. This could have resulted in serious injury or fatalities. I feel Hyundai is totally responsible for this situation. They are not taking responsibility for this.

- Harwood Heights, IL, USA

problem #17

Mar 032014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 75,149 miles
I was driving the car this morning as I approached a red light I applied pressure on the brakes but the car continued moving forward and luckily stopped in the middle of the intersection had there been a car moving I could have crashed into it as the car could not stop - the brake pedal was just vibrating however hard I pushed it - there was also snow on the pavement.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #16

Jan 152014


  • 55,000 miles


TL- the contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated while driving at highway speed of 65 mph the front driver's side caliper locked and caused the vehicle to swerve. The failure was experienced a second time on the front passenger side while driving 40 mph in snowy weather conditions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and a diagnostic test was performed which located the failure in the brake lines when the rubber wore prematurely and prevented the brake fluid to flow to the calipers. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 55,000.

- Overland Park , KS, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Jan 242014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I had begun to accelerate from a red light. The car in front began to stop again. When I pressed on the brake pedal, it would not go down, was not stopping the car at all. The car continued to accelerate on its own and I hit a van. The airbag went off, but the engine revved up, and the car shot forward again, hitting the other vehicle again. I tried putting the car in neutral and park. Nothing stopped it until I turned the vehicle off completely. I have the 'norm' seatbelt bruising, smashed my knee on the dash, and have whiplash as well.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #13

Oct 232013


  • 39,000 miles
Purchased 2011 Sonata gls new N July 2010. With 40,000 miles on the car, now it makes strange banging, metal on metal, something loose sound from front passenger side of the car when braking. This sound is much louder when making hard left turn, like getting out of a shopping center to busy road to take a left turn. Will take it to the dealership and see what they say. I wasn't expecting this kind of issue only after 3 years and around 40,000 miles.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #12

Aug 262011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 10,174 miles


The constant recurring problem is my car will not start. I have been stranded several times and have each one documented. I also have problems with the steering wheel locking and the brakes are unable to press. I have contacted an attorney regarding the lemon law and she has notified the Hyundai motor America. My car is currently in the repair shop again and this has gone on for the 2 1/2 years I have owned it. There are over 598,000 complaints against this model of car and the problems are very serious and can cause deadly accidents. My car will not click out of the cruise control feature so I cannot use that feature. The brake lights do not always work and I have been stopped by cars behind me to tell me I have no lights and they almost hit me. What does it take to get this model of car recalled before many deaths occur. The internet has this problem documented and a recall was issued to replace that switch. I have taken my car in to have the brake light sensor replaced twice and it still occurs. I have to continue to pay payments on this car while I drive a rental car. I basically do not have a safe car to drive so I can't go anywhere in fear of being stranded. Can you please look into this and safe lives before it is too late?

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 052013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 57,043 miles
I was driving in town @ slow speed, & put on brakes to stop at a stop sign/cross walk. I began to brake a car & half length from the cross walk. The car did not stop & I felt it pull forward, felt a vibration in the brake peddle & hear the motor making a low revving or whining sound. The car went through the cross walk & into the middle of the intersection. At that point I took my foot off the brake & drove on until I found a place to pull over. The brakes were fine when I stopped the car at the parking spot. I left the car running & called my Hyundai dealership. Explained the problem & explained that I was alarmed by this. The guy told me it was probably my ABS brakes kicking in as it was raining. I have driven cars for years with ABS brakes & had them kick in & this did not feel the same. This felt like my car was pulling forward rather than ABS brakes activating. I could not stop the car with my foot on the brake peddle. This is the second time this has happened in the last 5 months. But I don't have the date of that incident. Both times I called the dealership. I was told to keep driving the car today & if it does it again to schedule an appointment as they have had some problems with the ABS brakes. I am going on vacation in a couple of days & the dealership is 50 miles away, so I can't just stop by when this happens. My concern, which I expressed to the dealership, is that if someone had been in the cross walk I would have hit them as I had no way to stop the car and it was pulling forward. Or if I car had been coming through the intersection, I would have been hit and it would have been my fault. I am less than 3000 from my warranty being up and told the dealership to make a note of this as a problem at this point. I see where there are others who have had the exact same problem. I am very concerned that this is a dangerous situation with this car.

- Maysville, KY, USA

problem #10

Jan 222013


  • 13,042 miles
3 times on January 22, my brakes screamed and failed, almost causing me to crash. Since then, once in the rain, as I applied the brakes, the engine revved very noisily and the brakes failed, again nearly causing an accident. Now, every time I take my foot off the gas pedal and/or apply the brakes, the engine revs. This is a very dangerous situation. Hyundai has told me this incident is not covered by them.

- Warminster, PA, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Apr 062013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
Backing out of my drive way into the street, brakes did not work and accelerated. I damaged the back of my car and drivers side door. Hit neighbors mailbox.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #7

Mar 312013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
Brake pedal sensor failure resulted in a car that wouldn't start. The key-less entry depends on the brake pedal being depressed, otherwise the ignition will not turn over. Under normal operation when the driver is trying to start the car, the key must be inside the vehicle, the driver must depress the brake pedal and then press the ignition button. The car normally turns over. In this situation all systems function as if the car does not know the brake peddle is being depressed. The battery has full charge, all accessories function normally, but the ignition will not turn over. Because there is no way to manually start the car, the car is rendered completely useless.

- Salem, MA, USA

problem #6

Mar 082013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
The brake does not release. As you drive the brake smokes and rubs causing you to step harder on the gas to move forward. Eventually you hear the brake release and it drives normally. I had a new caliper, rotor and brake pad put on 2 weeks ago for the same issue.

- Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

problem #5

Jun 192010


  • 20,000 miles
1) within three months of buying this car, starting issues began. Generally on the second start of the day. First start of the day usually involves high engine revving somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,500 RPM. After a short trip, ignition will no click over attempt to restart. Usually second or third try result in a start. Despite dealer replacement of starter, fuel pump and battery, the problem continues periodically. 2) rear brakes needed replacement at 24K miles. Wear was uneven: Left brake was grinding into rotor and right brake was only about 50 percent worn. Had dealership check for possible faulty calipers, but they claimed they found no issues and would not cover under warranty. In contrast, the car still has the original front brakes.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #4

Nov 262012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 33,838 miles
I was approaching an intersection that had a red light and stopped vehicles. I began to apply the brakes and slow down to under 10 mph. The car would not come to a stop. I had the brake pedal pressed as hard as I could and it did not stop. I did a google search on Hyundai Sonata 2011 brake problems and got 598,000 results. In a brief scan through those results I found 7 other reports of the exact same problem. This demands someone look into this now! I copied those web posting if you want them let me know!

- Mcmurray, PA, USA

problem #3

Aug 172011


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving 75 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle as the vehicle functioned normally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the brake switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred sporadically. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Lake Havasu, AZ, USA

Read the next 2 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?