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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #45

Jan 062017


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 25 mph and making a left turn, the rpms increased independently and the vehicle lunged forward without warning. In addition, once the vehicle was placed in park, the rpms continued to increase and then decreased. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Doylestown, PA, USA

problem #44

Dec 012015


  • miles
Car makes a loud clicking noise in the steering column when going over 60 mph and when slowing down. When parked, there is also clicking noises when turning the steering wheel. When in reverse, it makes a clicking noise when turning. Gas gauge doesn't work. It now will run out of gas when there are "60 miles" left until empty. The cruise control button will not work. You have to keep pressing it to come on. Also, the button to see trip miles, trip a, trip B etc, does not work on the 1st try. It takes many pushes to get the screen to change.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #43

Sep 272016


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 5 mph, the vehicle accelerated rapidly on its own, which almost caused a crash. The vehicle was taken to be repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 93,000.

- Waterloo, IA, USA

problem #42

Sep 042016


  • 85,284 miles


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 just 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. 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 were 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 been 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. 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 have not heard back from Hyundai. I had to coast my vehicle to the outside shoulder of the busiest highway in North America at 9:00pm. 3 weeks on, I have no vehicle, no repair timeline and no response from Hyundai

- London, On Canada, MI, USA

problem #41

Jul 192016


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owned a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While pulling into a parking space at approximately 5 mph, the vehicle accelerated and crashed into a building. The failure occurred without warning. The air bags deployed. The police was called to the scene and a police report was filed. The contact sustained injuries that required medical attention. The vehicle was towed totalled by the insurance company. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 85,000. Updated 09/27/16

- Okeechobee, FL, USA

problem #40

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 #39

Nov 122015


  • miles


To start with the airbag light on the drivers side will not go off even though the vehicle has never been in an accident. Additionally none of the steering wheel controls will work at all. I have looked online and these seem to be a rampant problem with the 2011 model.

- Wahiawa, HI, USA

problem #38

Apr 022016


  • 90,000 miles
Cruise control wont engage. Buttons for cruse control intermently work. When and if cruise control does engage buttons cancel, set, +/- speed may or may not operate. Setting cruise control and increasing or decreasing accelerator speed may or may not engage. May have no control if unintended acceleration hapens. No control of speed and settings. Numerous Sonata ownwers are having this problem. Google problem and its well know. What is Hyundai doing to prevent or fix the problem if and when unintended accleration occurs. Or is Hyundai going to wait untill someone mentions class action lawsuit like in the replacement of Sonata engines.....

- Flushing, MI, USA

problem #37

Oct 032015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
October 3rd 2015, I was driving on highway 78 West. I was in the vehicle with my 3 year old daughter. I was driving in a 2 way lane that was under construction. All off a sudden without any warning my vehicle started to decelerate on the highway. I immediately had no control and my speed was decreasing fast. I was in the left lane and in matter of 4-7 minutes my car engine was shutting down on the highway. I was almost hit by multiple trucks who continued to fly by my vehicle on the highway as I tried to find some where in enough time to bear off. Putting me and my 3 year old daughter in immediate danger. Needless to say I was terrified. I was finally able to pull off into the right lane and pull my vehicle into the shoulder of the highway. Since I was in an area that was under construction on this highway the shoulder space was very limited. I could feel the trucks pass my car and I was scared for my life and my daughter?S life. I had an immediate panic attack and thought my daughter and myself was going to die. This has caused a great deal of hardship on myself and my daughter. We have been without our vehicle since this incident. Hyundai in lebanon, pa has had my vehicle since 10/3/15 and continue to give me the run around. They say they ordered a new engine, but it has not shipped to the dealer yet. This incident has created a tremendous hardship for me and my family. I continue to be at a disadvantage as I am driving a rented vehicle. Meanwhile I continue to pay for a car I have not driven for over 3 months. Your immediate assistance would be appreciated. This issue I am having with my vehicle is due to a recall campaign 132. This recall was due to the engine malfunction that Hyundai is aware of. My vehicle stalled while in motion on the highway, putting my life and my 3 year old daughter's life at risk.

- Jonestown, PA, USA

problem #36

Oct 012015


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65 mph, the vehicle decelerated independently and the rpms increased. In addition, the vehicle hesitated without warning and the contact heard an abnormal noise coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact received a notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine) however, the part to do repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 59,000. VIN tool confirms parts not available. Updated 04/20/16

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #35

Nov 142015


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle independently decelerated. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #34

Sep 012015


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle suddenly began to sputter and stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the throttle body was faulty. The throttle body was repaired, but the failure continued. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 95,000.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #33

Sep 242015


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owned a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 to 35 mph and when the accelerator pedal was applied, the vehicle veered to the left and accelerated. As a result, the vehicle accelerated violently and the contact crashed into a tree. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The approximate failure mileage was 54,000.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #32

Sep 142015


  • 50,800 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the brake warning light and the ESC warning light randomly illuminated. The contact stated that the vehicle constantly hesitated. While driving 45 mph, there was a drastic reduction in speed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer twice, but the failure could not be duplicated. The contact stated that the condition progressed. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the stop lamp brake switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 13V113000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic) and 14V433000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided no remedy. The approximate failure mileage was 50,800.

- Oldsmar, FL, USA

problem #31

Aug 242015


  • 64,635 miles
In mid--August 2015, my car began to have odd things happen such as the car alarm randomly going off. I replaced the battery thinking it may be the cause. That did not help. The alarm still randomly went off. I did not think this was a serious problem until my daughter was driving at highway speeds. On Aug 14th she reported to me that her steering became erratic regardless of what she did. After she pulled over, she noticed the fuel gauge went to zero and the low fuel light began blinking despite having recently filled the tank. When she got back on the road, the cruise control suddenly stopped working. Finally, within the next couple of days, the brake lights came on and would not go off. This caused the left tail light assembly to completely melt! then, on Aug 24th, she drove the car to O'brien Hyundai in ft myers, fl. They replaced the steering angle sensor, sending unit, brake switch, brake switch stopper, and tail light assembly. They could not tell her or me what the root cause was for this electrical issue that nearly caused a accident.

- Belleair Beach, FL, USA

problem #30

Aug 302015


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle did not register the gear on the instrument panel when shifted around, making it difficult to know which gear was in use. The contact stated that the failure affected the acceleration. The contact also stated that when the gear was placed in drive, the vehicle jolted. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and stated that the vehicle was excluded from any recalls. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 99,000. The VIN was not provided.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #29

Apr 142015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
I am having problems with my car not wanting to accelerate sometimes, I typically notice this when I am on the freeway going about 60 mph and when I try to go past that it will seem to not want to accelerate and then jerk and then go accelerate faster. Lately I have also notice this when going normal speeds it seems like it wants to stall.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #28

Oct 032014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 79,800 miles
On October 3, 2014, I had my car serviced for two Sonata recalls, one regarding the shift cable and the other regarding the brakes. That same afternoon, my stability control light illuminated on my dash. I have had this car for 4 years and could not remember it doing that ever before. Pressing the stability control button did nothing to change the light (it would not turn off). The next day, while pressing the gas pedal, I noticed a failure to accelerate. This has happened dozens of times since, at varying speeds, and while the car was both cold and warm. It always lasts several seconds and then I can accelerate again. During one of these episodes, I can press the gas pedal all the way to the floorboard and get no acceleration. This is becoming increasingly dangerous. I've been in to the dealership, and they denied any connection to the recall work, despite this problem presenting immediately upon leaving. They said they replaced the brake switch and that they should have charged me for that, but they did not. I got no paperwork showing that they actually replaced the brake switch. After that visit, the traction light was off for a day before this problem reoccurred. I am terrified driving this car to and from work because I never know when the acceleration will fail. It has happened while changing lanes in heavy traffic, and also on the ramps in my office parking garage.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #27

Aug 042014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while reversing, the vehicle moved forward and crashed into a pole. There were no injuries. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000. Updated 10/02/14 the consumer stated the failure occurred 3 times before the accident. Updated 3/5/2015

- Blossom, TX, USA

problem #26

Apr 252014


  • 57,000 miles
When driving 45 miles per hour or 25 mph, the cars RPM's rev really high and the car gets stuck, I could not accelerate and was almost hit from behind. It has done this several times. I was going 75 miles per hour on the highway, the RPM"S revved really high and I could not accelerate or move. Then the D on the dashboard dropped from D to 4 to 3 to 2...... I had to wait for it to shift back into gear on its own and then it went back into drive and I could move. However it continued to do that 4 times later in the same day. I have had the vehicle in several times for this issue and they keep saying there isn't anything wrong. This is very dangerous and I have 3 small children so I am very concerned about this issue as it is continuing to do it. Getting stuck in gear is not safe nor is having the RPM's rev that high and being stuck on a highway!

- Maple Grove , MN, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?