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:
23,680 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

problem #7

Feb 012016

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles


2011 Hyundai Sonata. Consumer writes in regards to NHTSA's campaign number 15V-568. Consumer states that vehicle was repaired but the issue still exist. The consumer stated the brake light switch was replaced several times, and there was clicking sound coming from the steering wheel.

- Panama City Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Jan 012013

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
An existing recall (NHTSA campaign number: 13V113000) indicates that for 2011 Hyundai Sonata the stop lamp switch may not function correctly. The recall notice states that: "during the affected models' production periods, some vehicles were equipped with stop lamp switch assemblies that may experience intermittent switch point contact. This condition could potentially result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, intermittent ability to remove the vehicle's shifter from the park position, illumination of the ┐ESC┐Ł (electronic stability control) indicator lamp in the instrument cluster, intermittent interference with operation of the cruise control feature, or intermittent operation of the stop lamps." All of these symptoms have been observed in my vehicle, yet this VIN is not covered in the recall notice.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #4

Sep 082011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 25,734 miles


My skid light warning light kept coming on. They said a brake lamp switch was pulling a fault code, so they replaced it. Nine months later my skid light warning was randomly coming on again. They ran a test again saying it was a faulty brake lamp switch again. Before I could get it in for repairs the transmission range sensor malfunction on Aug 14 2012. Picked up my car again and the skid traction warning light came on again. I took it in again this time the tcs light was on and the shifter was not releasing.they tested the brake switch circuit and found no power to the brake switch. They replaced the fuse box and harness cable. I have called three different dealerships service departments and they all say there is a problem with the brake lamp switch causing the tcs warning light to come on. If it is effecting other cars there most be a national problem and should be a recall before there is a fatality. I have had this car for 2 years now and had it in for electrical problems over eight times.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #3

Aug 292011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 8,226 miles
Car would not start.. dealer replaced brake switch.

- Columbia, IL, USA

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problem #2

Aug 182011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 27,800 miles
"ESC" light activated intermittently over past four days. Suddenly brake switch failed, resulting in brake lights failing completely. Unable to start the vehicle (since that requires brake pedal to be pressed, and brake switch failure means car doesn't know pedal is depressed), and unable to switch gears at all for same reason. This failure has occurred on two separate Hyundai Sonatas I have owned (a 2006 and now a 2011) more than a dozen times. The most recent time was in this vehicle, 28 days ago. This failure is known by Hyundai, but still requires a time and money investment to fix, I have lost hundreds of hours of my time to fix this problem which has never been mitigated. I had to pay out of pocket for the first several brake switch replacements, they have since been covered by the dealer. Hyundai says they have developed a new brake switch which was supposed to last longer, but the failures persist.

- Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jul 142011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
I have owned my 2011 Hyundai Sonata for one year. On July 15, 2011, I went to start the car and I could not depress the brake or start the car. The acc stuff would come on but no ignition to the motor. I tried and tried to start it and ended up calling the dealership. I was told to "kick" the brake pedal "hard" several times; which I did. I finally got it started and drove it to the dealership. I was told "brake light switch" replaced. Left the dealership and drove to my office and when I went to tried to start the car to leave the car would not start, but this time I had to call roadside assistance for the car to be towed back to dealership. Dealership told me they replaced brake light switch again. Now the traction control light comes on and my brake lights are not working. When I did get it to start the car would not go into any gear; it just was locked in park. Well, yesterday, July 20, 2011 the car had to be towed again because of all the same problems. So, the car has been back to the dealership three times within the past five days; two of which the car was towed. I am very concerned about my safety because I believe the brakes have something to do with the air bags not to mention the unknown electrical issues.

- Evans, GA, USA

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