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 1 of 4)

problem #62

Dec 282016


  • 143,000 miles


I was driving down fm 2410 in harker heights, Texas going about 50 miles an hour the speed limit. Came upon a curve and started to apply my brakes to slow down. As I was applying my brakes I heard a scrapping sound and the brake pedal seemed not to be functioning as required. The brakes locked up (as evidence looking at the skid marks some 15 to 20 feet long) the car seemed to be accelerating instead of slowing down. At the same time, I was trying to take my foot of the break and turn my steering wheel to regain total control of the car. The car turn slightly to the right as shown by the skid marks went off the road thru the ditch on the side of the road thru a field fence with barb wire on top and into a cedar tree as shown in the enclosed pictures.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #61

Nov 142016


  • miles
The contact owned a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While the vehicle was at the dealer for routine maintenance and an oil change, the technician stated that the vehicle needed three recall repairs for NHTSA campaign numbers: 16V190000 (steering), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 15V568000 (engine). Shortly after the dealer's repairs, smoke emitted under the hood near the front passenger side of the vehicle while driving 60 mph. The contact was able to coast the vehicle off the road and the fire department extinguished the flames. The fire department filed an incident report. The vehicle was towed to a yard and then to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed by a dealer and the manufacturer to determine what caused the failure. The contact was waiting on a response from the manufacturer. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was not available.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #60

Oct 292016


  • miles
I brought my car in for this recall and now months later the airbag light indicates a problem. I was told that seat would need to be replaced for $1200. This car has been nothing but problems

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #59

Sep 212016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle began to veer in both directions. As a result, the contact had to steer the vehicle in excess in order to keep it in position. In addition, the brake pedal was depressed and it took a longer amount of time for the vehicle to come to a complete halt. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle needed to be repaired per NHTSA campaign number: 16V190000 (steering). The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #58

Sep 222016


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that an abnormal knocking sound emitted from the vehicle and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V568000 (engine), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 16V190000 (steering) however, the parts for the recall repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repairs. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #57

Sep 122016


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While parking the vehicle, it felt as if the brakes did not hold and, suddenly, the vehicle accelerated and crashed into a building without warning. The air bags did not deploy. The contact and the front passenger were uninjured. A police report was filed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 78,000.

- Dyton, OH, USA

problem #56

Oct 222014


  • 84,703 miles


My car would have trouble starting, I would turn on the car but the engine wouldn't start, the lights and radio would turn on and nothing. After the starter being installed on 10/22/2014 the car was fine but then it happened again this year and had the starter replaced again. Then it happened later again and finally had the neutral safety start inhibitor switch replaced. My airbag light turns on and now I have to replace the clockspring. I have other issues with this car like for example my front drive axels being deformed which causes a rattling nose when I turn while driving. I would hear clicking noses on the steering column and had the steering coupling replaced. So far as of 8/12/2016 I have had 15 recalls and I have one to do next week. I'm driving a death trap.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #55

Oct 012015


  • 73,000 miles
A little over a year ago I went to the dealership for an oil change and my steering wheel started to act weird. It seemed loose like someone removed a component. I stated to the dealership what occured and they wanted to charge me $500+ to get it repaired. They stated it wasn't covered under my warranty.. I told them the issue didnt occur until I brought the vehicle in. I am a mother of two infants who could not afford a repair like that. I bought the Hyundai because of its safety features and gas mileage so far everything has been a lie about this vehicle. I hate driving it. There have been nothing but problems since I got this vehicle and I fear the safety of me and my children. The steering wheel is so bad that my entire car rattles and shakes whenever I get on the highway. Now there's another recall on this vehicle for the same issue I told the dealership. I want out of this vehicle and into something safer for my children. They still haven't mailed me the campaign to get my engine checked. This recall was in November 2015. Hyundai just needs to reimburse everyone and take these vehicles off the road. They are lemons.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #54

Jul 122016


  • 128,000 miles
When I received the recalls to took car in. As recalls come more problems came up. There was a problems with the shift gear which cost me $501 on July 12th. The last thing, last weekend 23rd, was the steering which cost me $365. At this point in time I do not want the car any more.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #53

Jun 242016


  • miles
My brakes has just started making a loud, annoying, and cracking noise every time I press and release my brakes. I do not need brake pads, shoes or rotaries. What!!!!!

- Lusby, MD, USA

problem #52

Jun 232016


  • miles


Key gets hung up stuck in ignition will not shut off at times must work gear shift shoving it back and forth to release key and pull out while doing this car can also roll out of its parking space and cause problems.... the vehicle is and was stationary but this has happened on city streets on a hill as well very dangerous. I have read up and seen this numerous times from other people as well so I know it is not just this car

- Watauga, TN, USA

problem #51

Jun 112016


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 50 mph, the engine stalled and the brakes failed without warning. The vehicle was restarted and the failure recurred. The vehicle was driven to the mechanic. The failure was diagnosed as an engine issue. The VIN was included in an unknown recall. The failure mileage was 112,000.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #50

Mar 202015


  • miles
My car battery started dying on several occasions in March 2015. On March 20th, my car won't start again and the repair shop said the battery and starter had died completely and I had to replace it at a cost of $737.79. After the repairs on April 13th, my car won't start again. I told the repair shop that I noticed the night before that my brakes light was not going off. Firestone towed the car at their expense and did the repair to the brakes light at no cost because I had already paid close to $738 trying to resolve this issue. They found the issue with 'stopper pad'. I then submitted a reimbursement request to Hyundai for campaign #136 but they only reimbursed me for $157 and refuses to refund the balance. My car on numerous occasions did not start. The issues with my car was the brake light staying in and killing my battery and affecting my car in general. When Firestone billed me for the repairs they said should be done, the car continued to have issues until I noticed the brakes light was staying on. Firestone towed my car and repair the issue at their expense. If it was not related why would they repair my vehicle at their expose? I will file a complaint with national safety administration. This is totally unfair.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #49

May 252016


  • miles
I have not received an exact answer as to why while driving on a city street, every time I press the brakes I hear a clicking sound; which you can also feel by placing your hand on the gear shift

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #48

Dec 202015


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owned a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The contact stated that the brake pedal was depressed, but failed. The brakes were repaired three times prior to the crash. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent salvage yard. The contact was not injured. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and 15V568000 (engine). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 88,000. The vehicle was destroyed.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #47

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 #46

Dec 172015


  • 59,000 miles
First, this is my 2nd complaint I've filed. My car has been repaired many times for recalls (one is being done currently for the second time) and other warranty repairs. This is the list so far: Idler pully, tensioner arm and belt, steering column (which broke while driving after I had to get 4 new tires and 4-wheel alignment (24000 miles) that they said I had to get), premature starter failure, short block, leather around gear shifter wore hole in it, and my car has now been in the service dept. Since Dec. 17th because the engine failed again. They ordered a long block for it but Hyundai motors America cannot keep up with getting the engines manufactured and sent to all the dealerships fast enough for the recall.I am now the 12th car down on the list. I still have another outstanding recall for the brake stop pad, and I noticed recently the rearview mirror is faded in spots (dark worn areas). I contacted Hyundai motor America public relations hotline. It took them 2 weeks to get back to me. The man that called me asked for information from me, he called the dealership, and then sent me a letter stating they would only reimburse me a portion of my repairs I had to pay for. In the letter, also was a release of liability for me to sign. That's not going to happen!!!! the release would have made them not liable to past or any future situations, including death. How stupid do they really think we are? they've had well beyond an acceptable amount of time to take care of these recalls. It's time to buy the vehicles back and rebuild their image. If not, there will be more recalls or events that could lead to death. Holding them accountable is the only acceptable way to handle this.people are still out there driving unsafe vehicles!!

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #45

Jan 182016


  • 97,702 miles
As I applied the brakes I could feel the ABS trying to kick in and then the car started excellerating. I was approaching a very busy street so I put the car into a snowbank. I had the car towed to dealership, in fear of driving it, to get ot inspected. Mind you, this make and model car has had several recalls. While in shop they fixed two recalls #'s 132 and 136 and then they diagnosed that the brake sensor malfunctioned and that they had to recode it. I was fortunate to have avoided what could have been a major accident. They, Hyundai, don't really want to stand behind their product once it's past warranty.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #44

Jul 182013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact received notifications of NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V434000 (power train), 15V568000 (engine), and 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The parts to do the recall repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repairs. The manufacturer was not aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #43

Sep 102015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and 15V586000 (engine); however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

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