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:
8 / 16
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,354 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 3 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #304

Jul 232016


  • miles


Car won't start with push button. I took it to dealer who replaced shifter cable, brake switch and some other recalls that was part of the porblem and supposedly it was fixed. Next day I went to gas station with my 4 years old daughter and wife and got stuck. First it won't start, then it started but gear display won't ready. I shifted to drive to leave but car started moving in reverse direction. I almost hit the car and person behind me getting gas for his car. Car transmission was not reading what mode drive, reverse, neutral it was in and with guessing I left the area. I took it to the hyunda dealer who tested and replaced inhibitor switch and said it's fixed but charged me #311.25. I believe all of these issues with shifter cable, brak swtich and inhibitor switch are inter related and should be further looked into to avoid accidents and Hyundai should expand the recall to replace the swtich. I have spokend with Hyundai customer service but they refused to further look I nto this issue and cover the cost of replacing inhibitor swtich.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #303

Jul 122016


  • 128,000 miles
When I received the recalls to took car in. As recalls come more problems came up. There was a problems with the shift gear which cost me $501 on July 12th. The last thing, last weekend 23rd, was the steering which cost me $365. At this point in time I do not want the car any more.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #302

Jul 142016


  • 89,592 miles
I have had this car a little over a year now. It has made the same noise since I've had it. I've been to the huynda dealer many times. They don't understand what's wrong. When your car is between 2000 RPM and 3000 rpms or steadily at 2000 it makes a continuous raddle noise coming from the engine and continues until you take your foot off the accelerator. You want to know my opinion about the damn car? anyone who owns one should be given a new one. Because the car is a piece of crap. Now I also saw a complaint about someone having to replace the coupler. I have documentation that shows I paid the Hyundai to replace my steering coupler. It was over 300 dollars. When your driving down the road the steering is hard to control and the wheel makes a clicking noise. So I took it in and they coupler needed to be replaced. I want reimbursement and you guys should implement another recall about replacing everyone's coupler. You guys should make Hyundai give everyone a new car who has gone through al the mess we have.

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #301

Apr 222016


  • 135,241 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving various speeds, there was an abnormal knocking noise coming from the engine compartment. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously serviced per NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine), but the remedy failed to repair the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the remedy was not effective and there was a metallic knocking noise in the engine after the repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 135,241.

- Destin, FL, USA

problem #300

Jun 302016


  • miles
2 weeks ago I bought a pre-owned 2011 sonota gls with 69,000 miles, from drivetime. I asked for a car fax report which they provided something similar but their report only showed one recall on the vehicle which was recall number 143, regarding the eps problem. So for a week I looked into all the recalls this vehicle has but it was past the 5 day return policy by drivetime. We figured if it was a recall then it would have to be repaired by law, right" so I put my VIN # in to verify that indeed my vehicle was part of numerous recalls, so I scheduled an appointment for recall 132 at vandergriff Hyundai in arlington, tx. Before they even looked at the car they said that campaign was "closed" & said they couldn't assist me any further. I asked them what does closed mean, does that mean the engine block was replaced previously or not? they just said "its been done, " nothing more. We've had this car two weeks & already my girl has got a ticket for the left rear brake light being out which I've replaced 3 times now, the car for no reason pulls to the left which could cause a possible head on collision, & the engine & transmission both sound that they are on their last leg. Finally, I received a notice in regards to the extended warranty 10yr/120,000 miles which I was thinking we can get it looked at that way, but then after a series of questions I was told that our vehicle does not qualify for this warranty due to the vehicle we just purchased 2 weeks ago has issues. I told the rep I thought all of the 470,000 vehicles that were affected by the recall automatically was given that warranty" I want the info on what was done to fix/repair the vehicle on each recall & why are we being told all the problems we are having with the car now have been "closed." There's no way this vehicle has been repaired because we still have all the problems & symptoms explained in the recalls.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #299

Jul 162016


  • 80,335 miles
When vehicle was moving it felt like went into a coast but RPM did not increase speed slowed.. gas peddle was pushed in nothing happened when peddle was released and then pushed all functions resumed

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #298

Dec 012015


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 65 mph, a knocking noise was heard from the hood of the vehicle before it stalled. The vehicle was not able to restart. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V759000 (engine). The vehicle was taken to the dealer prior to the failure, but was not diagnosed or repaired. A representative of Hyundai mentioned that the vehicle was working normally. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #297

Jun 272016


  • miles
Engine stalls upon picking up speed. Dealer claims there is no problem and Hyundai motor will not further investigate this issue for which there was a recall. Dealer only agreed to extend warranty to 120K miles from 100K.

- Greenbelt, MD, USA

problem #296

Jun 222016

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Recall - NHTSA 15V-568 - engine recall - engine could seize up at any time while driving. On 6-22-2016 Hyundai dealership inspected engine and stated no issues at this time.I do not feel safe driving this car, especially with two toddlers. Thank you recall - steering - loss of power steering could happen at any time while driving. Hyundai dealer stated no current fix is available yet from Hyundai as of 6-22-2016 when my vehicle as getting checked for the engine recall and the brake pad recall was done at the same time. I do not feel safe driving this car, especially with two toddlers. Thank you

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #295

Jun 272016


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while stationary, the engine made a loud noise as if the vehicle were to independently accelerate. The contact had the engine replaced under a manufacturers recall but the failure recurred. In addition, the steering wheel did not support the movement of the vehicle while driving on numerous occasions. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 74,000. The VIN was not available.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #294

May 262016


  • 160,000 miles


I received a letter stating my entire engine had been recalled, but the Hyundai dealer here in springfield, mo claims there was nothing wrong with it. The car was doing exactly what the letter said

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #293

Jun 222016


  • 105,000 miles
My car stalled in the middle of traffic and was told that it was because of a recall that I never received notification of. I think it was campaign 132 or 136. By the way, campaign 143 is also on the horizon. I could have been seriously injured and they are going to fix the car with no charge but I am out of work with no car because they only rent cars through enterprise. I cannot rent through enterprise and they are in no way trying to help me. I did not ask for this to happen and it is not my fault at all. I simply asked them to assist me in getting into something so that I could get to work. I'm missing days that I am not getting paid for because I am still new on the job. I work for the state highway administration and find this to be extremely wrong. You don't notify of me something and then say that if I can't use enterprise, whom they have struck some deal with, that I'm just left to my own devices. This is not right, I should be accommodated in some way regarding a car and I should be compensated for days missed at work. Ourisman Hyundai in laurel, md has my car and they are telling me that it may up to a month to get the parts necessary for my engine! so not only are they forcing me to rent a car for something that Hyundai is responsible for (I was never notified of) but they are also telling me that I have to pay for a rental for a full month, won't get reimbursed for, and deal with the fact that I am not getting paid while being out of work. Are you kidding me" in what world is this okay"! something needs to be done about this and this whole system or way of doing things is not effective and penalizes the car owner for things they had nothing to do with. It's Hyundai's fault and I should not have to deal with this!

- Clarksville, MD, USA

problem #292

Jun 202016


  • 108,500 miles
Car started making a metallic clicking noise at highway speeds and then stalled when trying to accelerate. I was able to get the car off to the side of the highway. The dealership indicated that the engine was shot. Appears to be related to NHTSA 15V568.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #291

Jun 092016


  • 104,000 miles
Fork in stater motor that moves the pinion gear gear to engage snapped. Hyundai has a tsb and this is a common report on the internet. Believe using plastic for this part was a poor decision guaranteeing failure.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #290

Jan 012016


  • 110,000 miles
Car still idles but does not accelerate while in motion while driving in the dark (only) my traction light comes on. During this time, while I am driving, the car fails to accelerate. It will lose all momentum. The car never shuts off. I have to remove my foot from the gas and reapply it, for the car to correct itself. Very scary. I drive on the highway everyday to and from work. Sometimes it does it repeatedly, giving my car a "hopping" feeling. It does not do it every morning but at least 3-5 times a week. Some days I am worried I will not make it to work or worse get hit from losing speed. My car also makes a clanking noise while I am reversing. I have had it shut off on me once while driving on the highway during rush hour traffic. Sat for about an hour on the shoulder before the car would start again. I received letters in the mail about a recall and took it on February 4, 2016 to the Hyundai dealership. Was there for almost 3 hours. They fixed my brake stopping pad and some handles on the doors but said there was nothing wrong with the engine..... I am not sure if they were honest or not after reading some of the comments on

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #289

Jun 112016


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 50 mph, the engine stalled and the brakes failed without warning. The vehicle was restarted and the failure recurred. The vehicle was driven to the mechanic. The failure was diagnosed as an engine issue. The VIN was included in an unknown recall. The failure mileage was 112,000.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #288

Jun 022016


  • 114,500 miles
There is a recall on this car/engine. The dealer examined the vehicle on February 16, 2016 and states that the recall is closed; however, on June 2, 2016 to present is has been noticed that the vehicle is exhibiting issues as described in the recall. Specifically, cyclical engine knocking, tapping. Confirmed with independent mechanic.

- Canonsburg, PA, USA

problem #287

May 232016


  • 146,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 50 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated, the vehicle decreased speed independently, and stalled. The vehicle failed to restart and was towed to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine); however, the mechanic stated that the vehicle could not be repaired. The diagnosis was that the cylinder head needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 146,000.

- Castleberry, AL, USA

problem #286

May 162016


  • 61,000 miles
I was driving down an off ramp where they had some placed some speed strips to warn vehicles that the road ahead was stripped and under the process of being re-asphalted. I slowed down as I entered the main road and the power turned off and all the dashboard lights lit up. I was lucky no one was behind me and the road was clear to enter. I pulled into the parking lot of a retail store, glided into a parking space and put the vehicle in park. I tried starting the vehicle, which it did, and as soon as I pushed on the accelerator, the vehicle turned off again. I let it sit, called aaa and the dealership where I was having it towed to give them advance warning. While I was waiting for the tow truck, I attempted to restart the vehicle, which it did, and this time when I attempted to drive it, it did not stop but acted like nothing happened. I drove the vehicle around the parking lot and nothing happened again and backed the vehicle into a space to allow the tow driver easier access to the car. The dealership has had it all day and still have not located any problems.

- Middle River, MD, USA

problem #285

Jan 042016


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that there was a progressing failure in which the engine made a loud noise and burned oil excessively. The dealer was notified months before the contact was aware that there was a recall concerning the failure. The dealer was unable to provide a remedy repair solution. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine) and was also included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The approximate failure mileage was 95,000. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Midlothian, IL, USA

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