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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,333 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

problem #13

Dec 142014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles


The fuel pump module has high resistance at the connector and burned a hole through it. Connector burned* that should not have happened, this could have caused an explosion or a fire to start...this is not normal wear and tear and is a safety hazard....the part was manufactured wrong and should not have worn out. We are thankful that we are still alive.

- Corinth, TX, USA

problem #12

Jun 042014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 75,203 miles
The car was parked. Started and backed up I proceeded forward at 10-15 mph in a parking lot and the car just died would not start I had plenty of power lights etc but it would not turn over. Had to have the car towed. A car only four years old should not have a safety issue like this. This is a safety issue biz if we had rode in the car for 10 minutes and it stalled we would have been on a very dangerous section of a highway that would most certainly ended with an accident and even a worse scenario. For you to have no warning a signal or a bell but for it to just shut off. I have enjoyed the car for the most part but between a oil sensor going a few year ago and the car died the same way in the middle of an intersection and the car going dead again in the course of the vehicle moving I seriously would not recommend or consider buying a Sonata again I hope this note has some effect on fixing this problem before fatalities occur. (now I also have a huge repair bill for a problem that so obviously a faulty part.

- Morton, PA, USA

problem #11

May 022012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
On 5 occasions my car has temporarily stalled/lost power for an instant, always at freeway speed within 10 miles of my home. The sensation is as if the car had run into something heavy on the pavement. It violently pitched my wife and I forward and I expect that we would have hit the dash had we not been wearing seatbelts. After exiting the freeway in all cases, the car had barely enough acceleration to drive more than 25 mph for the couple of miles to the dealer. The dealer claims that they cannot repair a problem which they cannot duplicate. I understand this but find it difficult to believe that Hyundai has never heard of this issue before. I strongly feel that my vehicle is unsafe and needs to be repaired under the manufacturer's warranty. I am only 30,000 miles into a 100,000 mile warranty.

- Sellersburg, IN, USA

problem #10

Aug 012013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 26,045 miles


Car stopped several times during highway driving, causing driver unnecessary stress that she would be involved in deadly accident. Had to move to shoulder area during rushhour traffic several times, in the DC area. Multiple attempts to get issues addressed with dealerships in DC/md. Told many reasons why the sudden stops. Had to pay off of pocket for rental, never addressed to satisfaction of owner. Major, major problems with sudden stops without any warnings.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Oct 032013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I am reporting a second incident that occurred after the date of the first incident I previously reported in my earlier complaint. As noted in my earlier complaint, the car had experienced catastrophic engine failure. I had the car taken for repair to the Hyundai licensed dealer and automotive repair service center operated by Hyundai burlingame (1025 rollins road, burlingame, ca 94010). The repair center explained the engine would have to be completely replaced and so would the fuel intake valve. A new engine and intake valve were installed in the car. On 10/2/2013, the repair work was completed and my spouse picked up the car and returned to our residence. On 10/3/2013, my spouse was driving the repaired car to work during the morning commute on southbound I-280 in the bay area when the car began to make loud clanging noises and violently shake and shudder. My spouse was able to pull of the highway just as the car again experienced catastrophic engine failure and the engine began releasing very heavy dark smoke. As the engine failed, the power to the steering went out and this made the car difficult to maneuver. The car was towed to the nearest authorized Hyundai dealer and service repair center, stevens creek Hyundai (4425 steven creek blvd., santa clara, ca 95051). Stevens creek Hyundai opened the hood of the car and examined the engine. Steven creek Hyundai told my spouse there was a high pressure gasoline leak and gasoline had been spurting on the hot engine and also that there was some sort of catastrophic engine failure.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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problem #8

Apr 082011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 1,677 miles
There is a smell of gas/engine fumes notable in the vehicle on occasion. The problem does not happen consistently, however there are some common factors to when the smell in noticeable. These factors include: 1) the engine must be hot, generally having been driven for at least 15 minutes or more. The smell is never noticeable when the engine is cold, such as after sitting overnight. 2) the vehicle must be either moving at very slow speeds of <25 M.P.H., or sitting still. Examples would include driving through parking lots, sitting at an idle for a long period at a stop light, when first starting the vehicle after sitting in a parking lot for awhile, etc. 3) when the gas / fume smell is notable with greatest intensity, it seems to occur after a hot engine soak of 15~45 minutes at ambient temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit or above and in conditions of moderate- to high-humidity. Examples include during periods of heavy fog, rainy days, snowstorms, etc. On occasion, the smell is strong enough that it is no longer comfortable to remain in the vehicle. Rolling down a window at speeds >25 M.P.H. to clear out the cabin air, followed by activating the HVAC recirculation button will lessens immediate recurrence the smell to some extent. Finding ways to "mask" the smell are of lesser concern than determining why the smell exists in the first place. The vehicle has been in for this concern twice, with neither trip to the service bay having resolved the concern. While it does not appear to be an issue causing immediate danger (no noticeable fuel leaks or signs of fire), the smell of gas and engine fumes entering the passenger cabin is a bit concerning, both from a potential fire hazard in the future, and/or exposure to carbon dioxide and other noxious fumes while operating the vehicle. I will return the vehicle for a third visit to resolve this concern.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #7

Aug 312011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 1,604 miles


Loss of power, car shuts down, 'check charging system' alarm/chime with alarm symbols on dash display for battery, check engine and wrench icons. Have to pull off the highway somehow (in midst of heavy traffic) to shut car completely off and restart. On third incident (one day after second), car would not restart for 10 minutes and check engine icon remained lit. Every incident has been while traveling at high rate of speed in commuter highway traffic. Very frightening and dangerous experience for driver and safety hazard to others when it occurs.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #6

Aug 262011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle (2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T) leaks gas at the rear of the vehicle after fill up. This can continue after 2 bars removed off from fuel gauge. It has leaked in the garage, which inturn has got gas fumes in the house. There is also an extremely strong odor of gas in the cabin. We have to drive with the windows down to clear the fumes. This is an extremely dangerous situation that the Hyundai dealership is not taking serious. Will it take an explosion for someone to do something about the problem. I have read numerous complaints about similar issues. This needs to be investigated before someone is hurt. This problem happens every time that we fill up the car. The vehicle has been into the dealership 3 times for this complaint.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #5

Apr 072011


  • 9,000 miles
I agree with the other complaints about the fuel fumes. My husband had mentioned to me while I was warming my car that the smoke coming from the tail pipe was very strong. I then begin to notice fumes inside the vehicle and thought I was just imaging things. The highway safety commission need to look into to these complaints before someone get killed. I get sick and tired of going to the dealers and they claim nothing is wrong with the car. Hyundai need to wake up and look into these complaints.

- Capitol Heights, MD, USA

problem #4

Feb 042011


  • 4,600 miles
I just purchased a 2011 Sonata turbo and am experiencing strong gas smell inside car when going at slow speeds. I also notice it pulling to the left. Cannot tell the difference between high and low beam with the headlights.

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #3

Jan 022011


  • 6,500 miles


Fuel smell 2011 Sonata limited no turbo. Very noticeable fuel smell in the cabin after car is warm and at idle or when moving less than 10 mph. Have heard/read similar complaints related to overfilling gas tank, this tank has never been overfilled. Opened hood after car warm and gas smell is very strong. Opened trunk and there is no smell. Long idle when warm and the car is very uncomfortable to be in especially with young kids. Possible safety issue.

- Parkville, MD, USA

problem #2

Feb 072011


  • 10,500 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata gas fumes most noticeable at red light and slow speeds.

- Brookfield, WI, USA

problem #1

Feb 012011


  • 4,200 miles
There has been an odor of gasoline entering the passenger cabin of the vehicle. I noticed it started at my last gas fill up. I did not top off the tank. The pump shut off when full, and I stopped pumping. This odor starts when sitting at a stoplight and stays in the cabin until I'm moving again. I thought it only started when I came to a stop at a light and sat for a couple of minutes, however when I was driving home in a blizzard yesterday at slow speeds (15-25 mph) continuous, the smell was constant. Lately it is so bad I have to roll down the window. One time, I almost pulled over at the roadside, and was going to get out of my car to get fresh air, but there was too much traffic. There are no fuel leaks that I can find. No standing fuel under the car after I park. It has done this most times I've driven the car to more or less degrees, but not everytime - most times. I have not been to a dealer yet, but I will be taking it in to have it checked. Apparently there are quite a few other owners of this car who have noticed this same thing based on a Hyundai internet forum. I read it previously in this forum, but I did not have this problem until lately. I can't imagine that this is not a safety issue with the gas odor. Not only are passengers having to inhale these fumes, but I'm wondering if it could be a potential source of fire/explosion. Here is a link to the forum where people are claiming to have the same problem. I'm not so sure these are just very few, isolated incidents. I see a problem starting to emerge. Certainly, I will not drive a car that I have to smell gas fumes nearly everytime I drive it, not even to mention the profound safety problem this may cause.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

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