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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,276 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

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 212012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


After getting to work and putting the vehicle in park, when attempting to shut the vehicle off and retrieve the key, the key would only go to off and would not go to lock or let me pull the key from the ignition.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

problem #4

Dec 122011


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that when the brake pedal was depressed and the push-to-start button was depressed, the vehicle would not start. The failure was sporadic but became worse as time progressed. The vehicle had not been taken to the dealer. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 16,000.

- Fredericksburgh, VA, USA

problem #3

Aug 222011


  • 1,350 miles
At 5:15 pm on 8/22/11, I got into my car to go work and it would not start. It was very hot and I was sweating trying to get the car started. I tried several times but the car would not start. I called the dealership and I got no assistance. The screen on the dash-board read "press the brakes" which I did like I have done in the past. I gave up and contacted a friend to take me to work. Later, that night it did start but would not start again so I assumed it was the battery. I called roadside service and they arrived 5:30 am in the morning to jump start the car (not the battery). It gets better, a lady that lives in my area was walking her dog, who has a black Sonata 2011 told me that her Sonata would not start and she just got her vehicle back. She told me what was wrong with my car. I called the dealership again while I was waiting on a tow truck and explained how this could have been a bad situation if I was stranded with my mother in the car who just had surgery to remove cancer. I explained that I needed my car repaired immediately because I needed to Transport my mother and I was concern the car would stop working again. The Hyundai representative stated he would have it fixed in 15 minutes and he also indicated that there has been a few Sonatas that the "sensor" under the brake pedal has gone bad. The salesperson that sold the vehicle to me stated the same that the "sensor" goes bad. Eight (8) months of ownership and the lady with the black Sonata had her car less. The tow truck driver said he has picked up a couple of Sonatas that would not start.

- Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

problem #2

Jul 142011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
I have owned my 2011 Hyundai Sonata for one year. On July 15, 2011, I went to start the car and I could not depress the brake or start the car. The acc stuff would come on but no ignition to the motor. I tried and tried to start it and ended up calling the dealership. I was told to "kick" the brake pedal "hard" several times; which I did. I finally got it started and drove it to the dealership. I was told "brake light switch" replaced. Left the dealership and drove to my office and when I went to tried to start the car to leave the car would not start, but this time I had to call roadside assistance for the car to be towed back to dealership. Dealership told me they replaced brake light switch again. Now the traction control light comes on and my brake lights are not working. When I did get it to start the car would not go into any gear; it just was locked in park. Well, yesterday, July 20, 2011 the car had to be towed again because of all the same problems. So, the car has been back to the dealership three times within the past five days; two of which the car was towed. I am very concerned about my safety because I believe the brakes have something to do with the air bags not to mention the unknown electrical issues.

- Evans, GA, USA

problem #1

Jul 272010


  • 30 miles
The contact leased a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that after turning the motor off, the key was not able to be extracted from the ignition. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the dealer stated that he had to maneuver the key a certain way. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The contact called the manufacturer and filed a complaint. The current mileage was approximately 740. The failure mileage was approximately 30.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

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