ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
11 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,737 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 1 of 5)

problem #86

Sep 072018


  • 80,000 miles


My brake lights remained illuminated when I was not pressing the brake. I discovered this after they stayed on even while the car was off and parked, and drained the battery so the car would not start. The mechanic replaced the brake light switch and rubber stopper pad.

- Washingotn, DC, USA

problem #85

Jul 272018


  • 152,000 miles
The brake lights stays on as if pressure is being apply to them. Car be at 60 plus miles per hours and the car comes to a slow stop while IżM applying pressure to the gas; having other drivers almost to hit me in the back.

- Yemassee, SC, USA

problem #84

Jul 022018


  • 83,000 miles
Takata recall - in 2016 there was a recall for the brake light switch to be fixed on my car. They said that they fixed it but now I am having the same issues as my brake light switch is still malfunctioning. My brake light stays on the whole time when I am driving which I have had to replace the bulbs as they were blown and one of them had melted. As far as I can see, if this was properly repaired then none of this would have been happening. I have to constantly lift my brake pedal to turn them off before I get out of the car so that they will not be on. This happens while in motion and stationary

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #83

Apr 202018


  • 140,000 miles


I have several complaints with my Sonata as it relates to brakes and tail lights. I have had to replace the brake stopper as it was making the car randomly slow down in when I was driving on the highway at speeds in excess of 70 mph.. when this was happening the traction control light also remained on in the dashboard. I also had brake calibers that were locked in place on my front brakes causing an issue having metal against metal. At this same time, my tail lights were remaining on even when the car was off. The stopper fixed this issue but I was also advised that I had to replace the whole rear light module because the wires had melted together this time it was the left side. In October I relaxed the whole right side rear lighting module because the wires had melted together in that light too! all of these repairs took place within a years timeframe. I have documentation but not with me right at this moment. All of these scenarios are pretty scary and put me and my son at risk. Not too mention my car is currently under an oil consumption test becaus we have no idea where the engine oil is going. The car has 140,000 miles

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #82

Mar 072018


  • 84,000 miles
Brake lights stay on, after you leave off brake pedal. Could result in serious rear end accident if person following you doesnżT know when you really are applying brakes. This is believed to be the brake light stopper pad. I am a mechanic and the stopper pad is crumbling. Per dealer it was replaced 1/2016 at 70000 mile now 2years later and 14000 mile later it is bad again. This problem could impact all 2011 and other year models. Rick ecker 5617230363

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #81

Mar 252018


  • 99,000 miles
I went to the nearest Hyundai dealership to get some open recalls that I had done and I had like 5 or 6, many of which were very critical. I got a call next day asking me to come and pick up my car, which I was very skeptical about. They asked me to sign a paper indicating that everything is done. I asked if I can speak to someone to explain why this happened so quickly and if there's anything to worry about and they couldn't connect me with anyone neither did they ask for my information to contact me when that expert is available. Now about a month since taking the car to the dealership, I check my VIN online and to my surprise 4 of the most critical open recalls are still not closed or remedied. They involve problems with the engine, transmission, seatbelt, and brake pedal. There are all issues that could result in a fatal accident. I don't really know what to do because this is a matter of honesty. I should not have had to check for them to begin with. This Hyundai dealer is sunbury motors Hyundai.

- Lewisburg, PA, USA

problem #80

May 302017

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles


To my knowledge the recalls listed are for my car. Some I was informed of and some I was not. Reference #'s: 16V190000, 15V759000, 15V62000,15V568000, 14V33000, 13V113000, 13V113000, 10V457000, 10V070000. Once I was fully aware I brought my car to the dealership near me. They said they fixed everything but I am still having the same issues. To date: I have had times when I do not have full control( or it just will not do what I want) of the steering wheel causing me to crash into things which has damaged the passenger side window and the rims ( thankfully so far nothing more serious)/my seatbelt broke while I was driving, just came off. My brake lights are a disaster they either stay on (which has drained my battery to the point I have had to replace it ) or they do not come on at all which has given me a few scary moments because I brake and the person behind me does not realize I am stopping. If I do not put the parking break on every time I park the car will roll even on a flat surface. I sometimes have issues with getting the car to stay locked as it will sometimes unlock itself multiple times in a row. The dealership charged me for some repairs related to these recalls though as I understand it they are to fix them at no charge. I have called the dealership multiple times and I am always told that the person I need to speak with is not there. They then take a message but to date no one has returned a single call. I have had other mechanics ( not working for Hyundai) look at the car as well as have other people drive my car ( they all confirm that they have issues such as above when driving as well) I would really appreciate any help you can give me with these issues. In regards to date below: Multiple issues with multiple dates I listed around when I brought the car to the dealer. If you need to contact me : [xxx]. sincerely, [xxx] żinformation redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).ż

- Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA

problem #79

Nov 122017


  • 75,505 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While stationary, the brake lights malfunctioned. While the vehicle was parked and/or in reverse, the brake lights failed to illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact stated that the failure was intermittent. A dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 75,505.

- Merriville, IN, USA

problem #78

Aug 012017


  • 96,000 miles
Brake issue, - when I press on brake pad the rear light seems to either get stuck making cars behind me think I am in the stop mode or will be stopping soon, it comes on and off time to time or either stays illuminated. I did youtube something about inserting a penny on the spot under break pedel. Electrical issue - me key gets stuck in the ignition when the car is in park postion, however the only way to dislodge the key is disconnecting my battery to shut down the car then I can turn the key to remove it from ignition, could it be my anti-theft system malfunctioning? steering wheel issue - hear a click in the steering column as if something had loose inside. Door handle/ panel issue- on handle and steering wheel is chipping off

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #77

May 092017


  • miles
Brake lights do not work when I cut on my lights.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #76

Sep 132017


  • 85,000 miles


Vehicle would shut off unexpectally while driving on a busy mail road without any warning signs. This iincident occurred mntiple times. I am very concern for my safety for my family

- Margate, FL, USA

problem #75

Aug 252017


  • 61,000 miles
Recall campaign #14V434000 was repaired in 2014. The identical problem is occurring now in 2017. I have no idea it the vehicle is actually in park because the indicator lights do not light up, so I always have to use the emergency brake. When I am in drive, I now have to ensure the doors are locked manually because the vehicle does not realize I am in drive and keeps the doors unlocked. On 8/28/17 I requested a service appointment and was told I have to drive this unsafe vehicle until 09/19/17 before I can bring it in to see if they can fix the problem. Also, on 8/15/17 I had a one-time incident where my brakes slipped. Luckily, the brakes have not slipped again.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #74

Jul 312017


  • 49,000 miles
Defective brake switch stuck in on position caused the car slow down of its own Accord in traffic. Car drove as if you had foot on brake and accelerator simultaneously. Brake lights stayed on after taking foot off brake pedal.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #73

Aug 202017


  • miles
I just purchased the car May 2017. I have had no issues with the car. However on Sunday August 20, 2017 my break lights would not go off. After about 2 hrs of trying to get them to go off. Nothing. I then did some research and verified that there was a recall on the issue that I was having. So I took it to the Hyundai dealership. I honestly dont believe that recalls should have "close" dates. Not every purchases that car the yr it was made. None the less even with a recall I am having to come out of pocket originally $101, until I explained my issues with them and then it went to $81. Im still a little annoyed that a recall can expire and leave the new owner with paying for the issue.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #72

Aug 022017


  • miles
Had my 2 front tires changed, after they were charged the brake paddle locked up and the push button starter will not start the car and I have no brake lights. The only way to start the car is to press down on the brakes while pushing and holding the starter at the same time for about 60 seconds, the car will not move out of gear unless the shift release lock is pushed. I have no brake lights

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #71

Jul 172017


  • 80,000 miles
When parking, the vehicle did not always go in park when shift lever was moved to "park". shift lever position indicator on dashboard shows blank. When returning to vehicle, car would not start. Took vehicle to dealer, there was previous recall on Hyundai Sonata for shift lever problem but was told my vehicle has different problem. Dealer replaced "inhibitor switch" to try and correct problem. Looks like original recall did not correctly address the problem.

- Huntersville, NC, USA

problem #70

Jul 012017


  • 105,000 miles
Was getting onto the highway when my power steering gave out, was able to pull onto the side of the road away from traffic. My engine started knocking and I was unable to keep my car running. I had it towed to Hyundai in clarksville Maryland, where they stated I had engine failure and that it needed to be replaced. They are now telling me they can't replace it although it is under a recall and under the cut off mileage. They are not communicating with me about the repair of my car and have yet made any attempts to get me into a new car. At this point I don't want my car repaired, I would rather them buy my car back or put me in a new car. The car has 5 recalls that I an aware about including the engine, power steering, front seat belt latches, my brakes pedal, and front coil springs.

- Eldersburg, MD, USA

problem #69

Jul 032017


  • 119,000 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata is very unsafe. I have had to have brake light recall fixed at least 3 times and the brake lights are still going out. The horn has completely gone out. The engine shuts off at random times leaving me stranded in unsafe situations. The takata airbags still have not been replaced. Car is very unsafe to drive; Hyundai needs to buy back all these vehicles.

- Alabaster, AL, USA

problem #68

Jun 232017


  • 105 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact heard an abnormal noise progressing from the area of the engine. The dealer (gurley leep Hyundai, 5302 grape rd, mishawaka, in 46545, (574) 258-7700) was notified of the failure and diagnosed that the engine assembly needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact experienced the failure related to the unknown manufacturer's engine recall, but the dealer refused to provide a solution because the vehicle was excluded. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 16V340000 (air bags), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 16V190000 (steering). The approximate failure mileage was 105. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #67

Jun 222017


  • 133,411 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the brake lights were constantly illuminated, even with the vehicle turned off. The vehicle was taken to volume Hyundai located at: 2520 N. columbia street, milledgeville, ga 31061 to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the brake actuator located under the brake pedal failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 133,411.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?