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:
3 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,032 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 electrical problems

electrical 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 4 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #138

Oct 032015


  • 55,000 miles


Rubber washer broke off brake pedal allowing the brake lights to stay on all the time. It burnt up both tail light lenses and brake lights. There was no way to shut the brake lights off without disconnecting the battery or removing the bulbs, which I did and burnt my fingers.

- Ft. Myers Fl., FL, USA

problem #137

May 092013


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle had various engine and electrical failures more than two years ago that progressed randomly without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer more than three times and they were not able to replicate and diagnose the failure. The vehicle was taken to a second dealer for further inspection and diagnostic testing to determine the failure and they indicated that the recall repair for NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine) did not need to be completed. The second dealer did not complete the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failures and provided no remedy. The approximate failure mileage was 18,000.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #136

Sep 302015


  • 72,000 miles
Light in back window keeps flashing and brake lights keep needing replaced. Also just replaced a rear censor. Our son drives back and forth from college this can be dangerous!

- East Berlin, PA, USA

problem #135

Sep 212015


  • 80,171 miles


11/20/10: Steering column shaft. 5/18/11: Brake switch. Car will not start or shift out of gear. C1513 code. Internal short in brake switch. 3/26/12: Brake switch. Car will not start. C1513 code. Internal short in brake switch. Shift lever knob repl. 8/5/13: Brake switch. Recall. Repl left front axle assembly. 7/7/14: Inhib switch-check engine light on. Car is shifting hard, especially from P-R & then to D. jolting sensation like someone hit from behind. Code P0705-transm range sensor malf. 10/1/14: Brake tube. Shift lever cable. 10/16/14: Code P0106: Map sensor. Flexible coupling-clicking sound & wobbling when turning. Told me I was over 70K. Indicated I was under 70K when I made this appt. Mgr waived cost. 2/26/15: Starter-would not start-towed. 5/15/15: Rear passenger brake light-bulb burned out & melted into socket. Tail lamp also melted. Tech was able to heat & reshape socket. 8/3/15: Brake light switch-car dead after work. Internal malfunction & caused brake lights to stay on. Hesitation during acceleration. Declined accurate auto to look further as car is still under warranty so I will take it to hub. It improved. 8/25/15: Brake light switch. Severe hesitation-almost rear-ended –felt like it would stall (tech noticed). Informed accurate the car was still under warranty so I will take it to hub. Hesitation improved. 8/27/15: Diag testing-hub waived cost of diag testing-no codes found. Unable to duplicate hesitation. Hesitation occurred when leaving. 9/21/15: Brake light switch-brake lights on. Drive side brake light is out. Hesitation worse-felt as if it would stall! driver side brake lamp bulb. Driver side tail lamp overheated & warped. Eventually replace tail lamp assembly. Declined for accurate to do further testing on the hesitation as the car was still under warranty so I will take it back to hub. Hesitation improved. To date, still does not run smooth.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #134

Sep 012015


  • 70,000 miles
Rear break light was was flashing, car acted like it did not want to go until it was warmed up. Just had it inspected and again it needed another bulb in break light. Garage this time replaced another bulb and rear O2 sensor, steering angle sensor. Now today there is a recall with the motor. Is this car safe for our son to be driving back and forth to college?

- East Berlin, PA, USA

problem #133

Apr 212015


  • 77,213 miles
Experienced issue with my Hyundai Sonata 2011 not starting and heard a clicking noise. Towed vehicle to local Hyundai dealership (where purchased). Service report on April 21,2015 indicated starter fork had failed. Cost of labor was $112.50 and plastic fork $8.13. Plus towing cost this is needs to be investigated for root cause and corrective actions. Per service department this was not covered under drivetrain warranty. This part should not be failing after only 77,213 miles. The long term reliability of this vehicle is a concern with rising and mounting labor cost. How long will this fork last" how did this part pass the Hyundai development and product validation automotive testing? or is this a manufacturing defect issue after release " this is another known issue that is being reported by Sonata 2011 owners and not being addressed it is poor when the towing service person knew what the issue was. As he has towed several Sonatas with same issue.

- Kernersville, NC, USA

problem #132

Aug 242015


  • 64,635 miles


In mid--August 2015, my car began to have odd things happen such as the car alarm randomly going off. I replaced the battery thinking it may be the cause. That did not help. The alarm still randomly went off. I did not think this was a serious problem until my daughter was driving at highway speeds. On Aug 14th she reported to me that her steering became erratic regardless of what she did. After she pulled over, she noticed the fuel gauge went to zero and the low fuel light began blinking despite having recently filled the tank. When she got back on the road, the cruise control suddenly stopped working. Finally, within the next couple of days, the brake lights came on and would not go off. This caused the left tail light assembly to completely melt! then, on Aug 24th, she drove the car to O'brien Hyundai in ft myers, fl. They replaced the steering angle sensor, sending unit, brake switch, brake switch stopper, and tail light assembly. They could not tell her or me what the root cause was for this electrical issue that nearly caused a accident.

- Belleair Beach, FL, USA

problem #131

Aug 092015


  • 124,000 miles
While driving on a highway in the middle of traffic my 2011 Sonata completely stopped and the engine totally seized up endangering my entire family. There was no unusual engine sound prior to it stopping and no warning whatsoever. We had to coast to the side of the road, avoiding oncoming traffic. This is totally unacceptable as it endangered 5 lives. Thank goodness we were able to get to the side of the road. We are told that the engine would need to be totally replaced at a min. Engine cost of $5800 not including labor or other parts. In estimating costs, probably $8000 or more. It looks like there is a defect in the rotating assembly that causes sudden and catastrophic engine failure. Hyundai is aware of this problem and has done nothing to prevent it. Now I have no car to drive, and must somehow come up with the above costs or rent a car. The car is out of warranty but was well maintained. This is a serious problem and needs immediate attention.

- Perry, MI, USA

problem #130

Jul 152015


  • 89,651 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65 mph, the steering wheel became loose and a rattling noise was heard as all the warning lights flickered. In addition, the contact mentioned that a loud bang noise was heard when the gear was shifted from park to drive. The failure recurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 89,651.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #129

Jun 092015


  • 43,875 miles
Intermittent flashing and blinking dashboard and exterior light while turn signal or wipers are engaged after this incident happens the battery is drained of power. Battery test full load and alternator test good. The battery is wearing down because of this malfunctioning electrical problem. Last night (8/21) something new happened. When I went to start the car I found it dead again; yet the " lights on" indicator light was visible on the dash buy the light switch was in the off position. I have others witness this crazy malfunction over the past 4 months and yet the Hyundai dealership cannot replicate the problem and therefore will not replace the combo switch (as diagnosed by my corner mechanic)

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #128

Jul 242015


  • 85,500 miles


On a couple of separate incidents, the gear disappear. I was driving on D, the gear was on D, but after several miles the gear disappear. I pulled over to park the car, I put the car on reverse, but the gear was not visible. I turned the car off and turned it back on, I could see the gear then. This has happened a couple of times. A couple of weeks after this happened, the car did not start at all. The car ended up starting after it was towed to the dealership. Apart from this issue I've been at the dealership for several other issues. Starter, axles, the key ignition switch, sensors, etc. It's been very time consuming and expensive.

- Cicero, IL, USA

problem #127

May 192012


  • 7,000 miles
While driving my 2011 Sonata, the windows fog up to a dangerous level where I can not clearly see the road, especially the front windshield. This happens at various times of the day and night in cold, hot, humid or raining, etc. Weather conditions. I am most affected at night while returning from the gym and I have to travel through winding, dark, deer infested wooded roads. No matter what temperature setting I place thermostat, it fogs! I have taken my car in several times with the same complaint and the dealer is aware and says multiple people have complained but they have no solution. Dealer says to match outside temp with inside car temp and leave A/C on. I followed the advice, I turn on the A/C in the winter and the heat in the summer and it is very uncomfortable but still doesn't effectively solve the dangerous problem. Outside temperatures reach 100+ degrees in atlanta and turning on the heat after working out makes a bad situation worse. I feel people can or will die or be seriously injured if the problem isn't corrected by the manufacturer / dealers....updated 10/05/15

- Fairburn, GA, USA

problem #126

Jul 232014


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at 25 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. In addition, the contact stated that the horn functioned intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #125

Jun 232015


  • 109,500 miles
In the evening of the 22nd the traction control light came on and would not go away when I pressed the button also the car would have a long lag between pressing or releasing the accelerator and the car responding. The next morning when I began driving again the traction control light did not come up but when I began to accelerate and got to 20mph the car suddenly stopped accerating and the engine went idle until I released my foot from the pedle and reapplied it when it would go again with no additional issues. This pattern repeated itself each time the car dropped below 20 mph.

- Clemmons , NC, USA

problem #124

May 302015


  • 80,020 miles
Riding down the interstate look through my side mirror and noticed my tail light hanging off and it fell off before I could stop to check it, and when I did stop I noticed the one one the opposite side was about to do the same.

- Cusseta, AL, USA

problem #123

May 082015


  • 57,000 miles
Vehicle stopped functioning at 60 mph on an interstate on a Friday night. Had to coast to side of road dodging other cars. Tried to restart vehicle with no luck. Electrical started going haywire. Interior lights started flashing as well as dashboard lights. Smoke was coming from hood of car. Within 20 minutes a road Ranger checked the status of the car and said all fluids looked good. Battery tested good. But was unable to get vehicle to start. Two hours later it was towed to a Hyundai dealership. Was told it appears to be the engine but was told they replaced the starter first because they thought it was that. Finally, told it was the engine and it would need to be replaced. Thankfully it is still under warranty. It's last service was the middle of April. They told me that the steering is possibly going on it. They reported a knocking noise. Nothing has been done to steering as of yet but now that they will have car for up to 3 weeks will probably have them check that too especially after reading many of the complaints on this and other websites.

- Zolfo Spring, FL, USA

problem #122

Jan 012015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I am using the same key that I have used since the car was first purchased new. Several times per week, when I stop the car and shift it into park, I am unable to remove the key from the ignition. The steering wheel is not locked, the car will start fine, and the car will run fine---I am just unable to remove the key from the ignition when the vehicle is turned off an in park.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #121

Jan 012014


  • 55,000 miles
This car is equipped with a smartkey. Recently it has developed a starting problem that is directly related to the outdoor temp. It has been serviced several times by the local Hyundai dealer. They have replaced the shift interlock switch and the brake light switch. It is below zero this morning (2/21/2015) just one day after the brake light switch was replaced, and again the car refuses to start. When the start button is depressed everything lights up on the dash board but the engine will not even turn over, it is completely dead. The engine imobilizer light also comes on after attempting to move the shifter and the brake pedal becomes nearly impossible to depress! the car will be out of warranty soon. This needs to be resolved. The car has refused to start dozens of times with the very same issues. The car has left me stranded (at home to date) numerous times. When it warms up outdoors later in the day and the temp goes up to 25 - 30 degrees the car starts virtually every time and will start without a problem for the rest of the day. I have researched this problem on this website and other websites and push button ignition problems are very common on this car. Hyundai needs to come up with a proper fix for this problem. Numerous people report having the same switches replaced as on my car their problems were not solved either. It appears that Hyundai has never been able to come up with a proper fix for this issue or it is just to costly to implement. They have continually swept it under the rug.

- Colchester, CT, USA

problem #120

Oct 122014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Go to unlock car with key fob or push button entry switch, it does no work, unlock car manually with key and then try to start the car and dash indicates key not detected. The car is not detecting my key fob, whether in or out of the vehicle. I have to manually start the car by inserting fob inside the middle console.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #119

Dec 202014


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the doors locked independently and without warning. The contact stated that when the driver side door was opened, the alarm would sound, the vehicle failed to start, and the anti-theft mode activated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 21,000.

- Fresno, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?