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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,509 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

May 282015


  • 112,000 miles


As I was driving, I slowed down used my turn signal and as I made the turn and completed it the interior light and head lights shut off or begin to flicker. You have to jiggle the end of the stem to get the lights to turn back on. I changed the setting from auto to just the headlights and the same thing happened again. It mostly occurs with the left turns, but can occur with the right turn signal. I occurred once when I first purchased the car in 2014 but then did not become a problem until now. It is very dangerous to be driving down the road at night and lose your headlights. Also it causes the headlights to flicker at other drivers and they may think that I am having other issues. I also have a 16 year old daughter who is driving my car and it concerns me that this had happened when she is driving and may not be able to know what to do to fix the situation.

- Murrells Inlet, SC, USA

problem #59

May 302015


  • 80,020 miles
Riding down the interstate look through my side mirror and noticed my tail light hanging off and it fell off before I could stop to check it, and when I did stop I noticed the one one the opposite side was about to do the same.

- Cusseta, AL, USA

problem #58

Feb 172015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 111,781 miles
Went to lakeland automall which is a Hyundai dealership to get some recalls taken care of. Upon arrival I gave them some recall paperwork in which they refused to look at and said that they have it in their database. The recall that has to do with the "stop lamp switch malfunction" was not complete. When I got my car back I checked my brake lights and they did not work properly. I told them that when I drive in cruise control my car releases it and my brake lights stay illuminated and my ESC control light comes on. Also on ocassion one of my tail brake lights work but not the other. They told me that they fixed this problem last April of 2014 but apparantly the same problem is replicating. They then told me it needed a whole tailight assembly.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #57

Jun 142012


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. In addition, the contact stated that the brake lights and headlights failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the stop brake lamp and the starter motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Long Beach , CA, USA

problem #56

Jan 012015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata defect in the light stem switch that causes headlights and dash lights to flicker the consumer stated he began to experience occasional episodes of flickering headlights, especially when switching between high and low beam.

- Aurora, MO, USA

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problem #55

Jan 012015


  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the driver and passenger side headlight failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 123,000.

- West Point, MS, USA

problem #54

Oct 232014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


I was informed by several co-workers that there were recalls for our car, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The problems that are affecting my 2011 Hyundai Sonata are: Exterior lighting: Brake lights: Switches, brake light and steering: Gear box: Shaft sector. The only recall that the Hyundai dealer honored was from campaign 123. Campaign 110 and 122 will not be honored due to the manufacture date of my vehicle which is March 28, 2011. If my car is having the same problems as the other 2011 Hyundai Sonatas why can't my vehicle be repaired under the recall. I feel that this is unfair to consumers of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata due to a manufacturing date. Please give me some type of remedy for this matter!!! had I known about the business practices of Hyundai I would have never purchased this vehicle!!!

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #53

Oct 202014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 75,300 miles
While I was driving, at about 40 mph, another driver flag me down and asked me to check my taillight. I parked my car on the side, and I noticed that the whole taillight had fallen off the car. It was just hanging from the wires. Upon inspection I noticed that the plastic studs holding the taillight had broken off. Lots of small plastic pieces all over. Glad I wasn't on the freeway, because it would had caused an accident if it would had fallen off the car. The taillight shows no signs of any impact at all it is clean.

- Houston , TX, USA

problem #52

Oct 222014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 103,106 miles
Have replaced brake lights 5 times due to someome telling me they were out. Was stop by a cop today because both brake lights he said we're out. Why are these lights burning out so fast" automotive guy said put some grease on bulb then place them in. I did and they still went out"

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #51

Aug 112014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 73,689 miles
Left and right taillight assemblies falling out of taillight housing/car body. Metal taillight bolts no longer secured in plastic taillight assembly. Plastic taillight housing "crumbling" where taillight bolts are affixed into housing.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #50

Jun 272014


  • 57,000 miles


Driving on the highway at 70 mph, the complete left rear taillight fell off and out of the vehicle, dangling only by the light bulb wiring harness. Another driver had to flag down my wife down to get her attention that the light had fallen out. All 4 bolt housing pieces had crumble apart internally causing this.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #49

Jan 272014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 59,017 miles
Found left rear fender tail light assembly no longer mounted. Further inspection found all four mount stud plastic molding broken away, light assembly being supported by single electrical connector. Dealer service department was not surprised and stated they have seen this issue before, most likely over torqued during manufacture. Now, 6/17/2014, at 68111 odometer, the right tail light assembly, P/N 92402-3Q000, had the same physical/mechanical failure. This poses a serious threat not only to other vehicles inability to determine what my vehicle is doing but as a foreign object threat to other vehicles as 5 pound, two foot long projectile.

- Clayton, OH, USA

problem #48

Jun 162014


  • 36,821 miles
I was driving down a road which is only 25 mph in my parents neighborhood when I turned around to head back once I got out the car I noticed that my drivers side taillight was hanging out by the wires. There was no damage to the taillight or on the car, the inside plastic pieces where it is mounted to the car were broken. Going to try calling Hyundai tomorrow as it just happened tonight. But after reading all the other complaints it sounds as though they will do nothing. This is a safety concern.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #47

Apr 102013


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the headlight housing was fractured. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnostic. The manufacturer was made aware. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 90,000. The VIN was not available.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #46

Dec 182013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
In December, as I was walking to my car in the morning to go to work, I noticed my brake light hanging out on the right side of the car. The whole lighting fixture was removed from the plastic and not connected to the hinges anymore. I couldn't afford to fix it at the time so I rigged it so it would stay in place temporarily. About 2 months later, the left side did the same thing. The entire lamp light was hanging out of the sockets again! I became enraged because both times this happened while the car was parked. When I took it to the dealership, they said it was vandalism and said I would have to pay full price for both lights. After I did some research, I found lots and lots of posts with the same thing occurring to them. This is not a coincidence! there needs to be a recall for this as this is not safe. I am scared to wash my car due to the electrical wires that may be get shorted. I am going to try my best to complain about this in many platforms as I can until this is deemed fair and addressed by the proper authorities. I was actually praising Hyundai for the experience up until this point. Now, I feel robbed and will not recommend this car due to the injustice experience. If this has happened to you, please report it. Thank you for listening.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #45

Feb 262013


  • miles
Add me to the growing list of tail light issues. My taillight was found hanging for no apparent reason. When I took it to the dealership for warranty replacement, pictures were taken and forwarded to their rep as the dealer had not seen this issue before and they were looking for authorization. Although there was no exterior damage to the tailllight, the inside plastic where it is mounted to the car was all broken up. A determination was made by someone who had not even seen the vehicle to deny warranty work due to damage. There is no damage to my car! the dealer offered to install the taillight at no charge if I would buy the part. I didn't feel that I should pay $182 for a new taillight and they offered to find me one used. What does that tell you" I was able to find an aftermarket replacement for $61 and they will install for free. How foolish of Hyundai to lose a customer for a cheap repair. What good is their warranty if they don't honor it" and, by the way, they don't recognize your website with all others who have issues.

- Sugar Grove, IL, USA

problem #44

Apr 112012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 55,946 miles
I have purchase my vehicle in March-2011 as a certified pre-owned vehicle. There are several complaints I have on this vehicle since purchased, but I will stick with a recurring issue. 4/11/12 I took my vehicle in because a blown passenger low beam headlight that went out. They determined that upon inspection found an open circuit due to blown right front bulb. It was "corrected." 06/07/12 took my vehicle once again for the drivers side headlight that went out. Installed bulb 5/2/13 took my vehicle for a blown passenger low beam headlight that went out. "undetermined." 2/5/14 took my vehicle for a blown passenger low beam headlight that went out. "undetermined updated 04/17/14

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #43

Dec 022013


  • 61,000 miles
I have experienced several issues related to the Sonata within the last several months starting in December, 2013. * several of the service indicators have lighted up on the dashboard that have never behaved this way before. * doors will not lock unless I have my key in the ignition and the engine turned on. Remote switch does not function at all. * the front low-beam lights do not function. * the clock on the dashboard does not function. * internal dome lights do not function at all on any switch. * the ESC light is malfunctioning is appears. Comes on for no reason and stays on. * several times it has been hard to get the car into "D" drive and then to get out of "D" and back into park. * engine makes weird noises, roaring, and clinking that it has never made before. * overall I am happy with this vehicle up until these issues happened and they seem to all happen at this particular time. Within the last three months.

- Swansboro, NC, USA

problem #42

May 122011


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that she attempted to start her vehicle but to no avail. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the brake light stop switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 14,000.

- Reseda, CA, USA

problem #41

Dec 012013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 104,400 miles
While driving at 65mph on highway, there was a sudden loss of acceleration. It was as if I had let go of the gas pedal. Of course the pedal was at the same position and did not change. I let go of the pedal and repressed it and noticed that I got my power back. It does this intermittently for the last two code errors appearing on dash or obd reading. Will happen at any given speed. Other issue is the driver side break light will work for a few weeks and then burn out, in which it will leave the remaining center and passenger brake light permanently on while the headlights are turned on. So it appears that I am breaking but I am not. Only temporary fix is to remove the left bulb from its socket.

- La Puente, CA, USA

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