2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems: engine stalled/cut-off while driving

Engine Stalled/Cut-Off While Driving

2011 Hyundai Sonata (Page 1 of 3)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Hyundai dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com 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:
98,650 miles
Total Complaints:
44 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (22 reports)
  2. replace engine (20 reports)
  3. replace computer (1 reports)
  4. replaced defective brake switch (1 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Feb 112020

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,000 miles


Engine cut off completely while driving. Knew instantly it had to do with the engine recall from a couple years back. The heavy oil consumption was another clue. Had the oil changed a month ago and less than 1000 miles driven but somehow the oil level was low. Called the Hyundai Consumer Affairs number to open up a case. They said I needed to get it to the dealership. The dealership confirmed the diagnosis of bad engine and had it replaced in a few days.

- Dom C., Wendell, US

problem #43

Jun 252020

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I was driving on the highway and car just shut off

- Michael B., Lawton, US

problem #42

Oct 122018

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

The car started with not showing fuel gauge and the engine cut off while driving.

- fuzi , Bloemfontein, South Africa

problem #41

Jun 232018

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,326 miles


Car stalled, couldn't be duplicated for mechanic so there was no resolution.

- Kristal A., Temple Terrace, US

problem #40

Dec 022017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

Well, very simply I was merging onto a parkway and pushing down on the accelerator, car was speeding up then I noticed that it seemed like I wasn't getting any acceleration. Looked at the dashboard and saw that it seemed all the lights were on and realized that the engine had shut itself down. Pulled off to the shoulder and tried to restart it (head kind of a whirring noise), but it wouldn't start. Had towed back to my house and then to my mechanic who said the engine was fried. On that same day received in the mail a Safety Recall from Hyundai about the engine. I good with keeping up with my oil/filter maintenance, just hoping Hyundai doesn't try and blame this on me and not them. Wish me luck.

- traininvain, Huntington, US

problem #39

Feb 282017

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Extremely frustrated!! Never have I had a vehicle with so many recalls!!! I was driving down the road and the vehicle just shut off! NO WARNING!!!! It never started up again. The value of the vehicle was not worth what it was going to cost to fix it especially with all the issues I have had and numerous recalls. I ended up having to surrender the vehicle as no dealer would take the veh with out it running. Now I'm thousands in debt due to this failure to correct the engine issue with these vehicles!!!

More and more people I talk to that have had these vehicles ALL have the same complaints!!! Hyundai's are junk!!!!!

- tlb1206, Dublin, US

problem #38

Aug 302017

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


Oil light came on. Oil checked and there was excessive oil consumption, as oil level was very low. Car stalled, but restarted. Had oil changed. Drove car and complete engine failure without warning in the middle of the road. Oil and engine light illuminated, but did not stay on. Attempted to restart and it would not start, began smoking and had electrical burning smell. Car was towed to nearest shop. Researched recalls online. Found that car problems fit exactly to a recall on this car dealing with the motor. Autoservice.hyundaiusa.com confirmed my vin number was part of this recall. Called Hyundai service and was told it was not part of the recall. When advised what I had discovered online the service manager agreed to check vehicle and ensured me he would contact Hyundai to have added to recall. Got car running and went directly to Hyundai to drop off and it broke down again without warning in middle of highway. Now a knocking noise is present which brings this car to exhibit all of the issues mentioned in the recall/lawsuit. It was left at Hyundai service and am awaiting a call.

- Misty C., Hagerstown, US

problem #37

Jul 262016

Sonata GLS 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Car intermittently will act like it wants to stall when I press accelerator. Began in July 2016. Has become increasingly frequent since then. Taken to dealer but they can't replicate it. My wife needs car to bring grand kids home from school. Current condition is not safe. Also this occurs when driving between 30-45 mph current mileage about 49000

Update from Aug 28, 2017: The mechanic found out it was a problem with a brake switch that was stuck in the "on" position and it was making the whole car act crazy. The brake lights would come on while the car was parked and nobody was pressing the brake pedal. The Cruise Control wouldn't engage. It was like you were simultaneously pressing the accelerator and the brake. The dealer replaced the defective brake switch and now the car works normally. Unfortunately the car was just out of warranty and I had to pay out of pocket.but it was worth it so my family would be safe. :-)

- Glenn L., Rockford, IL, US

problem #36

Jun 192017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I own 2011 Hyundai sonata. car just shut off while driving. come to find out they extended my warranty for engine recall but was never notified. Waiting for corporate to approve new engine was advised that Hyundai will cover all rental expenses, AGAIN IF APPROVED!!!!!! THEY CALLED AND INFORMED ME OF OTHER RECALLS BUT NEVER MENTIONED MAJOR RECALL WILL CAUSE ENGINE TO SHUT OFF this all could have been prevented .

- Angela G., Deer Park, US

problem #35

Aug 112017

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

started to make a left hand turn. all dashboard lights came on and car stalled. Put in park and turned it back on, but when I put it in drive and hit the gas, it stalled again. Turned off the air conditioner and tried again and it started and did not stall. Took it to Hyundai and they said the ran all diagnostic tests and tested the air conditioner and they cannot find anything wrong.

- Corey C., Schwenksville, US

problem #34

Jul 052017

Sonata GLS 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,400 miles


We were 130 miles from home when the engine suddenly stalled on the New Jersey turnpike. The vehicle would not start and had to be towed back to Harrisburg PA, meanwhile we remained stranded in New Jersey until a friend form PA came to take us home. Very hot and uncomfortable conditions made the experience very aggravating. We did not get home until 1AM that evening.

- John T., Harrisburg, US

problem #33

Nov 112016

Sonata GL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,460 miles

My Sonata stalled while passing someone on the highway and would not start so i had it towed to the dealer. At the time they could not find the issue so they replaced the MAP sensor and battery, preformed the engine recall test which it passed and I went on my way. The next day the car stalled again while accelerating onto the highway however this time I pulled over and the car started again.

I reported it to the dealer and kept driving the car daily but it did it again 2 more times over the next week. A few weeks later I was on the highway again and could hear a loud pinging noise from the engine which was getting louder by the second and was losing power, I got off the highway just in time for the engine to stall out. I again had it towed to the dealer where they reported to me the engine had catastrophically failed.

The dealer contacted Hyundai and Hyundai agreed to pay for a new engine if I could produce oil change receipts and there was no sludge. Please keep in mind I had 269,000 KM (167,000 miles) on the car. I maintained the car very well and did oil changes every 5000-7000 km, and produced all the receipts I had for oil changes. When the dealer removed the oil pan and valve cover there was no sludge at all. I took pictures as well just in case, and the engine was very clean and the metal was bare. The dealer dissembled the engine and found the connecting rod bearing had broken. At that point the dealer contacted Hyundai again and I got a new engine a day later at no cost.

Overall I am very happy with the dealer and Hyundai for doing the right thing and replacing the defective engine. I am also happy that my wife is so organized and kept so many oil change receipts :).

I am still writing this complaint because the connecting rod is an unfortunate defect in a car that has been otherwise great to me and as an example to others who may be having the same issue on a Sonata with high mileage and out of warranty.

- Steven J., St. Catharines, ON, Canada

problem #32

Nov 022016

Sonata ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

I started having issues with my car around 120,000 miles. I noticed it was using an unusual amount of oil and every now and again the engine would act peculiar when speeding up. I took the car in for the engine recall and was told the car passed. Later I took it in again because, again it was burning a lot of oil. Dealer brushed it off. Car started shaking, this time I took it to my mechanic who told me that the piston rings were shot and that the issue was a part of the recall. I would need a new engine. Hyundai refused to replace the engine, or even test again for the issue even though it is clearly a recall related issue. I now have a car that doesn't run.

I will NEVER buy another Hyundai again!!! Poor service, plus the car should have ran way longer. I did the maintenance before it was due and the car still fell apart, not to mention Parkway Hyundai did not perform the inspections it said it had which is probably why the issue wasn't caught earlier.

- Niccole G., Frazier Park, CA, US

problem #31

Aug 202016

Sonata GLS 2,4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

2011 Hyundai Sonata Engine failed on the first day of our holiday trip to Seattle while driving in a remote location of the mountainous British Columbia interior. We started hearing a metallic ratcheting noise, and within 5 minutes, the car stalled.

Flagging down a driver (no cell coverage) we drove into a town 25 miles away. There we found a towing service / mechanic and a driver went to recover the vehicle. The mechanic had googled our model and told us that it might be linked to a recall. We had actually had the vehicle in for the engine recall test in March and they said ours was fine. Three days before our trip, we paid $1400 to do a number of services, including inner and outer tie rods. We have faithfully maintained this car at the Hyundai deal since purchasing it new.

Anyway, after phoning our dealer, who said they could put in a claim to Hyundai Canada, we paid $1400 to tow it from BC to Edmonton, Alberta, where we live, as they said it needed to come back to the dealer. We had to push to get a rental car covered, and also had to pay $200 for them to take off the oil pan cover so they could take photographs.

We didn't hear back for three weeks! At that point, the phone call from the dealer was that Hyundai Canada said it wasn't a warranty issue and that we should get our vehicle off the dealer's lot as soon as possible as they needed the room. Too bad for us...!

So, we are trying to build our case, as it sure seems linked to the issues noted in the US class action law suit. Anyone from Canada who has experienced an engine failure in 2011 or 2012 Sonata please let us know.

Update from Jan 22, 2017: After a four-month battle with our local dealership and Hyundai Canada, they finally admitted that our engine issue was related to the recall. They ordered a new engine, put it in, and while they were taking it for a test drive, the transmission failed and they said they weren't responsible. We were convinced that all of this was connected to the engine and kept pushing. They finally agreed to cover the cost of the transmission and we paid for the labour. On Dec. 24 we got our Hyundai back with new engine and transmission. Uncertain if we want to keep it, but probably won't get much money if we try to sell it.

- Carolyn G., Spruce Grove, AB, Canada

problem #30

Sep 042016

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,284 miles

I am really irritated with how Hyundai has handled its Sonata 2011-2012 engine recall. During my last scheduled vehicle maintenance in April 2016, I explicitly communicated my concerns to the Hyundai dealer about my engine and the fact that the oil light kept coming on when I tried to accelerate and would go off as soon as I took my feet off the accelerator. I later found out through local news and information from online blogs that this was a sign of engine manufacturing problems originating from Hyundai's Alabama Engine manufacturing plant. http://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2015/hyundai-recalls-cars-engine-fires.shtml http://www.ctvnews.ca/autos/hyundai-recalls-midsize-cars-in-canada-u-s-1.2580799 The dealer did not inform me that the engine in my vehicle was being recalled. Instead, I was told via the maintenance report that oil level was low and there was no visible leaks. I have receipts to prove that I adhered to all recommended owner maintenance services and have been diligent enough to service my vehicle according to the service schedule prescribed during vehicle purchase. I have strong reasons to believe Hyundai has not be honest with its customer. This being because, rather than elaborate on the cause and solution to the problem (i.e. Hyundai Sonata 2011-2012 engine recall), information was deliberately withheld from me by Hyundai. The Tech comments, per my last service report only states that there were 2 outstanding recalls on my vehicle (1) door inspection & (2) Engine noise. No further details on the recalls or solutions were provided. Instead, the tech proceeds to undertake standard test on my vehicle. The dealer never mentioned that Hyundai was recalling 470,000 Sonatas of the 2011-2012 class equipped with either a 2-liter or 2.4-liter "Gasoline Direct" injection engine. And I never received a recall notice from the dealer despite purchasing the vehicle from an Authorized Hyundai pre-owned vehicle dealer. I'm even more frustrated because this recall was announced in September 2015, 4 months after I purchased my vehicle under warranty and paid extra to have extended warranty coverage added on my vehicle. It’s now 7 months after the recall announcement and I still have not received notice of the recall from Hyundai. As of today, 3 weeks after my vehicle stalled on the ON-401 highway whilst driving at approx. 100km/hr. , I still have not heard back from Hyundai with respect to how they will be handling the situation. To me this is more than a hidden recall notice, this is a matter of safety and I personally believe Hyundai's handling of the situation is negligent. I had to coast my vehicle to the outside shoulder of the busiest highway in North America at 9:00pm. My vehicle stood little chance against the huge transport truck that frequent this highway at this time of night. It is now 3 weeks since the highway stall and I am still without a vehicle, with no repair timeline, no form of restitution, and Hyundai has not even acknowledge its wrong doing. To make matters worse, Hyundai continues to false advertise it defective cars all over TV. Furthermore, from talking to the Hyundai dealer where my vehicle was towed, it seems the extended warranty office has repeatedly delayed processing my claims. I am seriously considering legal action and would appreciate any advice I can get on this matter.

- ehigie, London, ON, Canada

problem #29

Sep 242016

Sonata LTD 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,200 miles

The second stall occurred yet again last night in front of a clients house while doing a delivery. Hyundai dealer gave me what they thought a fixed car was, but the problems persisted. The engine would not turnover, all dashboard lights came one, A/C came on but no engine. I've never been stranded by a car so many times, now really a third time if I count the starter issue too (not part of recall). So now I wait for an answer from Hyundai and honestly contemplating going upside down to get a Honda or Toyota. I no longer feel confident driving anywhere with this Sonata because I risk being stranded at what seems to be the cars will. I will not be buying Hyundai again.

- Peter I., Fort, TX, US

problem #28

Sep 172016

Sonata LTD 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,200 miles

The first stall occurred while at my second job,

I had just finished with a delivery and as I got in my car and pushed the START button the engine would not turnover.All the dashboard lights came on the A/C kicked in but no engine. I previously had maintenance work so I knew it wasn't the battery or starter, which I previously replaced a few weeks back. I towed it to Hyundai dealer when I discovered the car was under recall for engine problems. A week later I got a call to pick up my car, I thought it was resolved, I mean I have the useless work orders, unfortunately for me the problem persisted.

- Peter I., Fort, TX, US

problem #27

Jul 202016

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

On july 20th 2016, my son was coming home from work at 11pm and the interior of the dashboard lit up and car slowed down and turned off all while in motion. I met up with him and had to push car home because my tow co. didn't want to come for a few blocks. The next day had car towed to my regular shop n they informed me that this was an engine problem and that I needed to have the Hyundai dealer deal with car because of recall. My car has been at Rick Case Dealership in Plantation since july 24th and still no word or timeline, well initially one of the 3 times that I actually got to speak to him he said 4 to 5 weeks. I called the manufacturing Factory Hyundai USA and every time I speak to them the tell we'll get back to you in 3 business days, I've heard this 3 times already. The service dept nor the manufacturer have made any effort to get me a loaner or a rental. The service manager Earnest never returns calls, I stopped leaving messages and have even left messages with the General manager and have not gotten a courtesy call.

- bsandoval, Hollywood, FL, US

problem #26

Jun 102016

Sonata Limited 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,054 miles

Driving home from work, 75 mph, engine stalls, no warning lights, no knocks or anything, just stalled. Everything still works buy it won't start, turns over but won't fire, pulled the plugs and they look fine. Less than three weeks ago I took it to the dealer because the vin fell into the engine replacement recall, dealer said it passed inspection, didn't need a new motor. This happened yesterday on Friday, 6/10/2016, so it will be Monday before I can contact a Hyundai dealer but I'm the second owner and after reading other complaints I'll probably get the shaft as well. I purchased this car because of the fuel economy and the comfort, I love the interior and body style , the limited 2.0T has every bell and whistle and very peppy for a 4 cylinder but I drive 104 miles a day round trip to work and this thing left me stranded in the middle of a 20 mile stretch of nothing in 98 degree temp. Thankfully I had one bar on my cell and was able to call a wrecker,,,,for $175,,,,.. I'll post an update after I talk to the dealer

- Dana R., Dekalb, TX, US

problem #25

Jan 012016

Sonata ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 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 these comments.

Update from Aug 3, 2016: The problem is only getting worse. After reading all the complaints, the 2011 is a joke. I guess they will pay attention to my complaint if a lawsuit is filed. Myself and my family are being put in danger and the problem is going ignored.

- Michelle F., Austin, TX, US

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