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:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,338 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Jul 132016


  • miles


When I accelerate on the freeway, engine stalls. Goes from 55 to zero and when I pump vigoursly in the gas to make it go faster, it will not. I almost was slammed in the rear from other cars in the freeway. Plus air bag light will not go off. Plus knock knock noise heard in the engine.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #24

Oct 262016


  • 5,500 miles
Our 2011 Hyundai Sonata gls 2.4 engine caught fire as my wife was returning home from taking our son to school. My wife smelled gasoline and then it burst into flames. This was the second replacement engine covered under warranty and had less than 6000 miles on it. Hyundai mall of Georgia has performed all warranty service work on this vehicle. After the second engine and many other warranty repairs tried to envoke the lemon law but was denied by hyundia case #9412898.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #23

Jun 182016


  • 56,000 miles
The fuel gauge is not working properly from 2-3 months and I started noticing it by early June 2016. When gas is filled, it displays the full tank gauge. But after stopping at any place and then starting the car, the fuel gauge drops by few bars to half a tank. Next morning when I start my car to go to office it would show empty tank with gas light on but will correct itself to few bars to half a tank to full tank. I had visited Hyundai dealership on Oct 12 2016 and they said its out of warranty by 62 days and my extended warranty of 100,000 miles only covers engine and transmission. They also said it will cost 750 plus $ to replace the "fule pump" to fix this issues. To avoid any empty gas situation I always rest my trip B to zero, after full tank.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #22

Jul 182016


  • 65,000 miles


Fuel sender (in tank fuel sensor) has failed. First noticed over a year ago with intermittent erroneous fuel gauge reading after refueling, but quickly corrected its self. Noticed the full failure a day after I had refueled and my fuel gauge read half full. Assumed that I was a victim of fuel theft, but no sign of forced entry to my fuel door. I refueled and the car topped off within about a gallon. However the gauge was still reading low. Assumed that maybe the thieves had damaged and partially obstructed my fill hose with a lost syphon hose. Over the next few days the gauge slowly rose to full. Now the gauge fluctuates between full and half full. Researched the sending unit and found that this was a known problem with three models and a tsb (sb-10052842-7701) for inspection of the unit was issued May 2013 and a replacement procedure (sb-10060967-2273) was issued June 2014. Aftermarket replacement part is affordable at approximately $45 from third part vendor, but the replacement procedure is complicated by the high risk of working with gasoline and either trying to remove the fuel pump in the tight confines of the car with the fuel tank still installed or removing the tank with residual fuel.

- Pioneer, CA, USA

problem #21

Apr 012015


  • miles
Fuel sensor is faulty. The gas level is never correct. It shows empty when it's not and randomly goes up and down so I never know exactly how much gas I have.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

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problem #20

May 012016


  • 105,166 miles
In the beginning of may, 2016 at 105K, I started the car and I made it down the street and the car stalled in front of a stop sign. The engine, oil, battery, and ESC lights came on. I turned off the car and tried to turned it back on and it wouldn't start. I got the car towed to the dealership and they said it was going to cost $1000 to replace the fuel pump so I took to another mechanic and he replaced it with an aftermarket fuel pump for $375. Got it back and it ran great. 2 weeks later, on my way to work I had a full tank and I drove about 10 miles and my full tank went to a half tank and it was saying I had 289 miles left then said I had 270 and then went to 290 miles left in less than a minute. I got off of work and the car started, but stalled in the middle of pulling out of the parking spot. I got it towed back to the mechanic and he said there was something loose on the fuel pump. A week later, it broke down in the middle of a car wash. I had to get it pulled out and towed again. The mechanic replaced the fuel pump again. A week and half later, the fuel indicator kept going up and down and then said I had no more gas when I knew I had quarter of a tank so I brought it home and filled it up at a local gas station. It ran well after the fill up. Didn't drive it for a week because I went on vacation. The day after I came back I went to the grocery store and it drove fine, but after it sat in the parking lot for 15 minutes, it wouldn't start. I let it sit for 6 hours and came back later that night to try again. It took 4 tries for the car to start and was able to drive it home, paranoid thinking that it was going to break down again. It has been sitting in my driveway for the past 2 weeks.

- Lathrop, CA, USA

problem #19

Apr 092016


  • 70,140 miles


After losing power and getting horrible gas mileage, I took car into dealer. I was told it was the waste gate for the turbo and that it was not covered with my wrap around coverage that I paid extra for. With this comes the possibility of a firs as the car will heat up because the air can not escape. Hyundai should cover this under warranty and after reading all the other stories the same as mine, a recall needs to be done. I will never buy another Hyundai!!!

- Fridley, MN, USA

problem #18

Mar 282016


  • 1 miles
When I was driving 70 mph with two bars left on the gas gauge (dashboard said distance to empty: 80 miles), the car suddenly lost power and engine was turned off. When I try to start the car, I noticed that it was out of gas. I put a gallon of tank and it worked. Hoping that it was just one time problem, I was driving it carefully filling gas when it had three bars left on the gauge. A week later, while driving 25 mph, the vehicle shut off without warning when there were 4 bars (130miles to empty on the dash). Took it to the dealership and they told me be replace the fuel pump for $1,000 which I declined at the moment. I had 63,000 miles on the car and found out that many Sonata 2011 are having the similar problem.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #17

Oct 042013


  • miles
I was traveling to return my vehicle to southern states Hyundai on state highway 70 in durham, North Carolina when suddenly, and without any warning, my vehicle exploded. At the time of the explosion, I was traveling approximately 50 M.P.H. not able to see through the windshield and unable to breath because of the smoke, I pulled off the highway and jumped from the car.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #16

Jan 052016


  • 57,543 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle shut off without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who, after diagnosing the failure, contacted a local dealer and reported that the pigtail on the fuel pump failed and burned. The dealer stated that the vehicle was out of warranty. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not under warranty. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 57,543.

- Marshfield, WI, USA

problem #15

Sep 242015


  • 75,000 miles


At random times the fuel gauge will show the car is totally empty and the fuel warning light starts flashing even if the car has over half a tank. After sometime it might go back to normal. When flashing empty and I get gas, the tank will trigger the pump that it's full after only a couple of gallons and the gauge will show the tank is full. I have started resetting the trip odometer after each gas station visit, and making sure I don't go over 150 miles.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #14

Mar 122014


  • miles
Check engine light came on. Test shows it is the fuel sensor. Fuel gauge inside fluctuates.

- Fuquay Varina, NC, USA

problem #13

Sep 012015


  • 67,656 miles
Gas guage not registering correctly was told by dealer it is a sensor, but then failed after testing. Mechanic retesting, says fuel unit not registering on cluster. Fault in "cluster" so gas guage is not working. Wants to charge $1482 to replace, says not warrantied

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #12

May 112015


  • 78,000 miles
I started up my car and realized that my gas gauge wasn't correct especially when I filled the gas the night before. So I turned off the car and turned it back on and the numbers was just jumping around and the gas light would pop on etc. As of today my car is still doing it and it has me concerned

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #11

Oct 152014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Fuel gauge has stopped showing the proper amount of fuel in the car. Car was filled at a local station, entered the roadway, low fuel light began to flash. Fuel gauge has not worked properly since. Brought the car to the dealer, was told by dealer that this is a known issue but is not considered a recall item. Repair was quoted at over $600 to replace the fuel module.

- Tinton Falls , NJ, USA

problem #10

Dec 242014


  • 144,000 miles
Oil light blinked on and off twice. Car was making a knocking noise. Stopped to check oil; absolutely no oil in the vehicle. No sign of leak; no smoking; no other indication of problem. Put 3 quarts of oil in the car. Knocking sound was worse. Drove car home and haven't driven it since. This is one of many problems I've had with this car. I get regular oil changes. I haven't had the car looked at yet due to cost and out of warranty. I've read other complaints of loss of oil resulting in complete engine failure. There was absolutely no indication that the oil was even low which I attribute to the faulty electrical system since I've had problems with that as well. It's my opinion that this car is unsafe to drive. I've read this year model has over 900 problems while other year models have average of 230 something problems. Obviously, this car should be completely recalled and replaced by Hyundai dealer.

- Vinton, LA, USA

problem #9

Sep 012014


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. When the accelerator pedal was depressed, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate. In addition, the contact smelled a strong fuel odor. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 69,000.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #8

Nov 122014


  • 65,413 miles
I filled up my car on Thursday after filling it up the first time I started the car the gauge read full, later on while drive the fuel gauge said 3/4 full even though I had driven a few miles. The next day after taking my kids to school I stopped to run an errand. I get back in my car to start it up and the gas light is on and the fuel gauge says empty. After driving a few miles the gas gauges went up to 1/4 then eventually 1/2 tank. The gauge had been showing 3/4 full a few times in the past few weeks after filling up but this is the first time it's shown as empty.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #7

Apr 152014


  • 62,000 miles
Fuel gauge is not working properly. When gas is filled, it display the full tank gauge. But after ~ 100 mile drive, the fuel gauge drops to empty tank with alarm sign. At first it happened very rarely, but now (69000 mile), every time the fuel gauge drops to empty tank once it is drive >100 mile after full tank.

- North Grafton, MA, USA

problem #6

Mar 012011


  • 10,000 miles
At various times, when filling the car with gas, a very strong gas smell is in the car cabin. I have not been able to determine any common precipitating factors. Happens sporadically when adding various amounts of gas.

- Houston, TX, USA

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