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:
92,900 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replace bulb (3 reports)
  3. replace bulbs (3 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata lights problems

lights problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #12

May 152021

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles


The headlights and ALL interior lights keep blowing the bulbs. I've had the car less than 1 year and had to replace the headlights twice and the interior lights 6 times.

- Melissa B., Walnut, MS, US

problem #11

Oct 132015

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Taillights keep on burning out. Now the sockets show brown burn marks and the taillight housing has melted some, which prevents the socket from properly being seated. Additionally, I have to change my front headlights about every 3-4 months.

- Marjan J., Somerset, NJ, US

problem #10

Jan 042017

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

click to see larger images

bulbs burned out

Bulbs are continuously burning out (BADLY) and rear housing is melted. I was informed from my preferred mechanic my car is at risk of lighting on fire while driving. This is NOT safe with small children who ride in the back seat multiple times a day. Warranty holder has deemed this as a driver problem, and doesn't see a concern. Looking at this website, there are many others experiencing the same problem. Someone needs to take these concerns seriously and make this right. I have a co-worker having the exact same problem - same make, same model, same year.

Update from Jan 6, 2017: Hyundai ended up resubmitting a request to fix the melted plastic as a result of the break light valve being broken (latest recall) - and it was approved.

- Nicole T., Dunedin, FL, US

problem #9

Aug 272016

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,522 miles


My passenger side tail lights, burned out and I had to replace the whole tail light assembly.

- Afratisha K., Powder Springs, GA, US

problem #8

May 142016

Sonata Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,650 miles

Brake lights went out on both the driver and passenger sides of my car. Went to replace them and noticed that the bulbs were burnt into both connectors. On the passenger side, the bulb had burnt into the fixture of the car and when I went to remove the connector to replace the bulb, the bulb broke off into the fixture of the car but the metal portion was still stuck in the connector and the gray portion was burned. On the driver side, I could not get the bulb out at all and the connector was burnt as well.

I definitely feel as if this needs to be a recall by NHTSA especially since you have a recall where the brake pedal is faulty and the brake lights are staying on inadvertently. These two problems have to be connected. I called the dealership for an estimate and they told me approximately $795. For that price I will put a down payment down on a new car and give Hyundai back this problem. I'm so frustrated!

- therealgapeach, Conyers, GA, US

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problem #7

Mar 282016

Sonata I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,580 miles

Second time in 6 months I had to have headlight bulb replaced...yes, it was replaced properly with rubber gloves to protect from contaminating the bulb with grease. Now they're going to fix an accelerator pedal recall as well. Last November, the car had stop lights on all the time EXCEPT when you actually depressed the brake pedal...then, they'd go off. Also, the car would intermittently not respond to the accelerator pedal at all...kept running at idle, but would not accelerate in traffic AT ALL.Dealer found the rear lighting wiring harness was shorted and fixed that under warranty. I was out a full day of work where I could not go see clients.

- Tim B., Peachtree Corners, US

problem #6

Nov 242014

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


So far this is my 1st problem with my car.

Lets see, not a month after getting my 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS from Carmax, did my front left headlight blow out. Had it fixed, only to drive away later finding out my intake wasn't bolted down. My issue is why my intake was even touched to replace my headlight bulb. Not only that, the bolts to fasten my Intake down, were still on the windshield near my windshield wipers. They didn't even put the bolts back.

This is my 2nd problem with this car..

A couple weeks later my turn signals go out.. FML always something. I went to the dealership this time and had those replaced, and when they tested it to make sure everything was good, my front right headlight bulb went out. So i said F&*% it and just fix that too. All together roughly $200 including diagnostic.

- James H., San Jacinto, CA, US

problem #5

Jul 092014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The headlights on my 2011 Hyundai would blow at least once a month.

- Ebony C., Brent, AL, US

problem #4

Mar 022015

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I have replaced my headlight bulb (low beam) twice in the past 6 months! 3 times total since I've had the car!

- Tiffany D., Spencer, MA, US

problem #3

Nov 062012

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Have had to replace the headlights and taillights on multiple occasions. The headlights have gone out several times. Most recently, I was driving down a very dark road and when I switched over from low to high beam, the entire system failed and I had NO lights. Luckily, I remembered the fog lights and used them to navigate. All headlights failed AT ONCE. The cost was $100.

- Jessica W., Louisville, KY, US

problem #2

Jun 162014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I purchased my 2011 Hyundai Sonata used approximately Aug 2012, so have owned it almost 2 years. In that time, I'd say I've replaced the headlights 5 to 8 times! I have to constantly watch to see if the lights are working, and am afraid of getting a ticket if it happens to go out while I'm driving and haven't noticed yet. This is beyond frustrating, expensive, and potentially dangerous.

- melanieca, Norco, CA, US

problem #1

Oct 122011

Sonata GLS 2,4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

I've had to change the headlights now 5 times , At 17.00 dollars each, Plus just getting to the lights is almost impossible to get ,you almost have to take the battery out.

- knoppel, Crofton, MD, US

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