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:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,336 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Jan 052011


  • 950 miles


I was merging onto a busy freeway from an on ramp so had to go slowly till there was an opening. When I stepped on the accelerator when there was a break in the traffic nothing happened. I just rolled into oncoming traffic at ten miles an hour. It took the car 5 to 10 seconds to finally accelerate and then it slowly gained speed. This is the second time this has happened. Very scary. I do not know what component failed. The car was running, it just was not accelerating. Transmission" engine? some computer function"

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 022010

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 1,300 miles
On 12/2/2010, I was driving at highway speed (approximately 60 mph) and the car violently jolted, as if I had run over a large object. If I had not had both hands on the steering wheel, I might have lost control of the vehicle. Subsequently, I was able to drive the vehicle, but it seemed to be over-revving, as if it was stuck in the wrong gear. I returned the vehicle to the dealership that night. After reading the computer error code, the service manager indicated that they would have to replace the transmission. I was provided with a loaner vehicle. On 12/8/10, I received a call from the service manager. He stated that in these circumstance, the transmission is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission with a new housing. He indicated that the dealership was trying to obtain a new transmission for me. They were experiencing difficulty because there was 80 some requests for new transmissions and only 70 some available (county", state?, central Florida") updated 01/20/11

- New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

May 202010


  • 10,000 miles
El Hyundai Sonata 2011 cuando ES K lo van a recojer ?tengo uno con el problema de la direccion, ya lo lleve al dealer supuestamente lo arreglaron Y ahora esta peor Y ellos no me dan informacion de cuando lo sacan de circulacion dicen no estan enterados de nada, por favor ayudenme, condusco con 3 ninas, gracias.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Jul 202010


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated while he stopped on an incline, he shut the vehicle off while it was shifted into drive and removed the key from the ignition. Once he exited the vehicle, it began to roll forward independently. The contact re-entered the vehicle and was able to shift into park to stop the vehicle from rolling away. An authorized dealer was notified and he was informed the vehicle was functioning as normal. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure continued to recur intermittently. The failure mileage was 1,500 and the current mileage was 5,200.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Sep 182010


  • 10,100 miles
Over the past 3 days I have been unable to depress the brake pedal and start my car with the electronic starting system. The problem is intermittent and the time frame varied from 2 minutes to 15 minutes before the car would start.I called my dealer to make a service appointment ant the service department commented they never heard of this before but I see other complaints online. Besides the danger of being stuck somewhere I am concerned that the braked may not work for stopping or a fire if it is electrical.

- South Setauket, NY, USA

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