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:
15 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,660 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 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Oct 212011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 3,993 miles


I bought the Sonata 2011 turbo in 7/15/2011 the first day I test drove the car I asked the sales man if they aligned the car and he said it was done already. Several months later I called them and said the car is out of control the steering keeps to the right and I am tired of pulling it to the left. Also the speed is uncontrollable I have to take my foot of the accelerator in order for the car to slow down other wise I would be going 80mph on the fwy. It is very hard to keep consistency of the speed. I took the car back on October 21 the first time and they told me its normal. I was upset and told them that my 17 year old almost got into an accident due to not being able to control the car at a turn. They ignored me and still insist that the car was normal. I went back yesterday for the second time and test drove the car with their mechanic and he said that the car was fine and its all normal. I was never told that there was a recall on the car. I only found out about this today when I went back to speak to the manager for the third time is when they told me that all the Sonata 2011 have a pulling problems and it has no return memory after its done pulling so I have to get used to this cause that's what they all do. I am now very upset that I found this out on my own and that they didn't tell me about the recall and that me and my daughter are at risk of an accident at any given time. I had over 25 cars in the past and I know that this car is very unsafe to drive and if nothing is done about this someone will get hurt. I opened up a claim with Sonata customer service and I hope this will be taken care off right a way.

- Corona , CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 042011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
On the way to work this morning, my Sonata hybrid started beeping and "check charging system" appeared on the dashboard. My car suddenly started losing engine power to the point where my car would not move after the stop light turned green, leaving me stuck in the middle of a huge intersection with people almost hitting me. After restarting my car, it finally started to move, but repeated the same instance at the next stop light. This is a serious safety issue. I had to have my car towed to the dealership because I was not going to risk my safety and life. People need to be aware of this issue because if other vehicles are experiencing the same problem, someone could get into a serious car wreck which could be potentially fatal, if happened on a freeway.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 062011


  • 123,456 miles
This is what I wrote to Hyundai: Rented a Sonata. Loved the car except: Safety issue. While using the cruise control the car leaped ahead several times after I had applied the brake (because I was getting too close to the car in front of me) and was temporarily handling speed without the cruise control. Nearly had an accident on twq such occasions. Then I figured out what was happening. The "resume" button is so close to the rim of the wheel, and so exposed, that the heel of my right hand was touching it inadvertantly and the cruise control reengaged when I didn't want it to and didn't know it was happening. Imho, your button needs to be relocated or protected by a ridge. Imho, this is a major safety issue that needs to be addressed now. Please let me know if you agree. If not, I will contact the ntsb. Thank you. Hyundai did not agree that it needed immediate attention, so I am writing to you. I noticed on your site that there were two previous complaints regarding the Sonata's speed control, one of them similar in symptom, although the complainant did not recognize the cause. Please note, this was a rental, not a purchase, but to get through your form I have to say, later, that it was a purchase. I also invented the mileage, as I do not recall the mileage on the rental car. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Lighthouse Point, FL, USA

problem #2

Jun 282011


  • 2,500 miles
While driving at 55 mph on the highway, the car self engaged and set the cruise control with no driver input. The car started to accelerate to a higher speed, but stopped accelerating when the brake pedal was pressed. The cruise control was off at the time of the incident. The car is less than 2 months old and has already been in the shop for other cruise control related problems. This car is the new Sonata hybrid and has had multiple other problems requiring numerous visits to the service department.

- Queen Creek, AZ, USA

problem #1

Aug 152010


  • 1,000 miles
Sonata 2011 horn and acceleration problems. People can not hear the horn. Also when I test drove they Sonata the test car had problems where there was accelerator problems. When I stepped on the gas the car almost quit, paused and they took off. This is dangerous and could cause an accident by not accelerating in time. This has happened on my car at least 7 times, accelerate, pause or hesitation the motor kicks in. When I asked the salesman about it at the dealer he told me the motor on the test car was probably cold. This happens when the car is warmed up. This is very scary when you pull out in traffic. Also the horn is a joke. You can't hear the horn and it needs to be replaced.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

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