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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
76,300 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace starter (10 reports)
  2. replace arm in starter (4 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #15

Mar 092019

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,762 miles


The car was stalled at a parking lot, and had to be towed by a towing company to a mechanic.

- Junqiang T., Salt Lake City, UT, US

problem #14

Dec 292017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

The car never had a problem starting until the starter burned out. My mechanic said that it happened to another 2011 Sonata, and I learned from Carcomplaints that it's a fairly common problem around 75,000 miles. Called to complain at the Hyundai complain line -- 844-462-5557 and ask for reimbursement for my repair. They offered me a $200 service credit at the dealer. Sounds like I'm going to need it with this car.

- Leonardo V., Maplewood, US

problem #13

Aug 162017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

click to see larger images

need a new starter

Car started fine in the morning, however refused to start in the midday at a parking lot. Called AAA, they helped me to start the car, battery was new, alternator good, so the starter was shortlisted. Without shutting down the car, started calling various services, dealer price - $730, others gave me some random numbers like 500, 600, even 800. Browsed through AAA approved services and chose one from the list with $480 costs, they also gave 10% for all aaa members, the car was fixed in 2 hours. Btw, Amazon price for a new starter is $150.

- Sergey B., Irvine, CA, US

problem #12

Jul 272016

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


My starter went out july 2016....spent $450 to replace it and now a year to the day, it is reoccurring. I have owned cars much older than this one that never needed a starter replaced! i have had paint quality with this vehicle as and hyundai will not do anything about that either..there is absolutely NO service after the sale with this company. they will never get another dime of my money.

- tracie500, Valley, AL, US

problem #11

Nov 222016

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

1st of all a starter should not go out at 47,000 miles, 2nd of all it should be covered under powertran warranty, 3rd $672 is a ridiculous amount to pay for a starter, 4th to charge $150 a hour for labor is ridiculous (I gave them the okay to work on my car at 8pm after the garage was closed they called me at 9:03am the next day telling me my car was ready the garage opens at 7am). 5th I called around and got lower quotes to replace the starter but since Autonation Hyundai was going to charge me $113 for the diagnostic test If I didn't have the work done there so I chose to have them to replace the part there even knowing I could have gotten it done for a $150 dollars cheaper someplace else. I was worried the starter would have totally crapped out on me then I would have had tow fees. 6th and this is the one that really pisses me off Autonation Hyundai told me it was going to be $632 to replace the starter (mind you it only had 47,000 miles on it) I know it doesn't seem like a lot (but when you feel like your getting ripped off anyway) when I get there to pick up my car they tell me it's $670 with fees and taxes I assumed they were like the other places I called to get a quote the taxes and fees were included. There is not a doubt in my mind they are trained not to give final price. I can not remember anytime in my life when dealing with business that I have ever felt more degraded, lied to, cheated, on more than on this instance. I know this is recent but thanks for letting me rant!!

- Jennifer L., Norridge, IL, US

problem #10

Feb 202017

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Woke up and my car would not start. Found out I needed a I got mine rebuilt and put back on. I am happy to say that it started however, when I attempted to drive I noticed that when I hit the gas pedal I my car would not get any throttle or accelerate.

- jasminet, Kansas City, US

problem #9

Jan 092017

Sonata ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,655 miles


Could not get the car started even though all the lights worked, so obviously it wasn't the battery. Had the car towed and the starter was bad; no indication of problems beforehand, it just stopped working! Have 79,655 miles on car and always do dealership maintenance. According to the repair ticket the part cost $8.28 and labor was $200; with the extended warranty (paid over $1,000!!) we paid $100, the deducatible on this warranty; warrant is only good up to 100,000 or 2020 whichever comes first. What happened to the 10 year 100,000 bumper-to-bumper warranty that automatically comes with the car? Was I taken by buying the extended??? Did the starter come under the the 10 year-100,000??

Update from Mar 26, 2017: It was the starter lever in January; now (3/25/17) at 80,450 miles the car won't start again - the battery is new and fully charged; having towed to dealership tomorrow - now what??? One more thing wrong with this baby and she's a gonna - the Honda is looking good to me

- Kathy D., Niceville, FL, US

problem #8

Mar 142016

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,806 miles

This car was purchased on February 2,2016 from the original owner, who was retiring and did not need a second car. It was a cream puff with only 20,682 miles on it. On the weekend of March 12th 2016, when I tried to start the car at a restaurant parking lot at night the starter would not react, and began to smoke and spark. I opened the hood and believe some wires burned. I was able to get a family member to pick me up after we had the car flat bedded to the Hyundai Dealers lot.

The following Monday the dealer said the starter had burned out and had to be replaced. The vehicle had 24,806 miles on it when this happened, but was out of the 5 year warranty by a few months. And the cost to repair it was $554.61. When I complained about Hyundai having a batch of bad starters the dealer said they had replaced many starters on this model and year, but they were all under warranty. Another family member owned the same model and year and told me later that his starter had burned out at about 40 k miles, but it was under warranty.

I wrote to Hyundai in California and got the usual out of warranty brushoff. I was willing to pay for the labor to install a new starter, and thought Hyundai should have paid for a new starter. I'm sure they know that these starters were defective. I'm hoping that there will be a class action suite over this problem, but I'm not holding my breath.

- grandpabillxxx, Warwick, NY, US

problem #7

Oct 122016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,726 miles

Seems like the 2011 Hyundai Sonota car needs to be recalled. Have already had three things replaced under recalls and then today, I found out that they are recommending the starter be replaced due to starter having released off flywheel during starting due to fractured engagement arm at a cost of over $500 (to replace a starter). Are these arms made of plastic?

My car only has 60726 miles on it. I'm also told that the replacement part is the same as the defective part so it will happen again. Cars are too expensive to have to be constantly forking out $300 -600 constantly to have something else repaired that shouldn't be torn up to start with. This is in addition to my current issue with noise from steering wheel and the looseness in it in which the steering coupling has to be replaced at a cost of over $300.

I seen numerous complaints on these issues but apparently Hyundai is not addressing them. Hope it doesn't stall on a major highway due to defective starter part and somebody gets killed or the steering wheel become so loose that you can't steer it and again somebody gets killed.

- Billy S., Clarksville, TN, US

problem #6

Nov 162015

Sonata Limited Turbo 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

it died one night late after work and i thought it was the battery adn the next day they replaced the starter

- Amy M., Carrollton, VA, US

problem #5

Sep 112015

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


After about 72000 miles had a problem with starting my car. I've checked battery and replaced it but it didn't help (battery was replaced under warranty) . I found on internet that it can be starter lever. Dealer wanted almost $400 to fix it. I've bought lever for $14 and replaced myself. It took me few hours to do it but it works like new.

- Marek G., Oldsmar, FL, US

problem #4

Apr 292015

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

Got my 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS in Sept. 2014 @ 53000 miles from Car-max.

My starter went out recently, so I did research on it to see if people are having the same problem... To my surprise, I find a class action lawsuit for engine failure. Is this what I am to look forward to in the future. When will it end!!! Luckily my extended warranty paid for it, but damn can I get a break here.

- James H., San Jacinto, CA, US

problem #3

Jun 302015

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Go out to start my car at lunch, and it won't start. At first acted like battery, wouldn't jump. Called Hyundai and they towed it to dealership. They said it is the starter arm that needs to be replaced and its going to be $250. Of course I am TWO THOUSAND MILES over my warranty. I have seen that there are a lot of issues with this, maybe time for a recall?

- Jennifer S., Stillwater, OK, US

problem #2

Sep 152014

Sonata SE 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

My wifes 2011 Hyundai Sonanta SE was running fine when my wife parked it at a grocery store. When she returned with her groceries, the car wouldn't start, wouldn't even make a noise. Vehicle was towed to the dealer and they said the starter was bad. They said it's a poor design for an arm on the starter that breaks. We replaced it for approx. $350 and have had no issues. The dealership mentioned that Hyundai has had a lot of issues with the starter design. VERY POOR quality

- Keith S., Brunswick, GA, US

problem #1

Jan 202014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Instead of replacing my starter, the Hyundai dealership only replaced ONE part (an arm?)

- Kristin O., Polk City, FL, US

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