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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,667 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

problem #3

Apr 012011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles


I have a 2011 Sonata limited. Earlier this year I began having a starting issue where the car would say "apply brake pedal to start" even though my foot was firmly planted on the brake. Took the car in and they couldn't duplicate so I just kept on working around it. In June, it got worse so I took it back, spoke to the service manager at the dealership and they ordered a brake switch and new push button ignition on June 20th or thereabouts. The parts finally arrived on August took that long apparently. I dropped the car off that morning and went back that afternoon around 5. I was informed that they had replaced the brake switch and push button but when they went to test drive, they lost steering control and the eps and traction control system had failed. They took a part off a new Sonata in their lot and put it on my car but that did not correct the problem. After 2 days of troubleshooting they managed to correct that issue but as soon as they did, the ABS light came on and it stated the ABS system had failed too. I am now waiting on a part for the ABS as of 8/22. None of these systems had issues prior to the drop off date. This concerns me that there may be a serious problem with the electrical system. We will see when they replace the ABS module if something else goes wrong.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #2

Feb 112011


  • 3,000 miles
Vibration in steering, grinding noise in transaxe, low tire pressure (by dealer), refusal to perform 3,750 mile maintince secdule (dealer refused).

- Mcadoo, PA, USA

problem #1

Jan 052011


  • 7,000 miles
I purchased the 2011 Hyundai Sonata June 2010. I was really enjoying the new sleek look of the Sonata. I have never owned any type of Hyundai vehicle before. Well as I began to drive the vehicle - I noticed that there was a bit too much skidding on water or during rain fall. This was during a simple take off from a stop. January 2011 I was traveling at about 35 miles per hour light snow was falling but the roads were clear. As I was approaching traffic ahead the light turned green and traffic began to move. I noticed the car in front of me not quite taking off with traffic so I began to brake. To my surprise - guess what - the car was not stopping. My nice picture of the skidding car lite up and the vibration under the brake pedal started. So I let off and pressed again and there was still no stopping. I began to blow my horn in a panic to warn the driver ahead I was coming. (well as you all may or may not know - the horn is pretty lousy and according to the other driver - after I hit him - he didn't realize it was my car until it was too late.) I literally had my foot pressed to the floor blowing the horn and trying to stop this car but to no avail it did not until we collided. Thank god there was only cracked bumpers involved but it truly could have been so much worse. I am truly afraid to drive this car in the various elements now because I just don't know what to expect and the next time will I be alive to tell another story. Pretty scary.

- Maple Heights, OH, USA

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