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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,876 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 #4

Aug 052013


  • 56,003 miles


I enjoy the car but the low head light beams are dangerously poor. I have replaced the bulbs and have had the dealership raise them to their highest level. They still do not reach out 10 feet past the hood and as speed increase the amount of light becomes less. I mainly have to drive on high beams or take another vehicle when we go out at night. Is there any recall on this problem. There are many blogs on this and we need help from this Agency to prevent Hyundai from selling more cars with inferior lighting.

- Shawnee, OK, USA

problem #3

Jul 152011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,500 miles
The contact owns 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact noticed that the headlights produced a shadow on the windshield making it extremely difficult to see clearly when driving at night. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics. The technicians stated the headlights met safety standards. The technician advised the contact to upgrade the headlights at her expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 8,500. Updated 09/21/11 updated 09/28/11

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #2

Jul 162011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
Have owned this 2011 Hyundai Sonata for about three weeks now. For the first time, I operated the car at night. I was not aware of an obvious and consequential defect with the headlight low beam aiming on this automobile. With headlights on after dark, there is a sharp boundary between headlight illumination on the lower area and darkness above. On all but level roadway, this hazardous defect is apparent. Many roads where I live in Pennsylvania are twisting and hilly. Traversing those roads with this Sonata using the low beam headlights is unnerving and dangerous. When the front of the car dips into even a slight downgrade, road ahead is illuminated to about 40 feet in front of car. Line of sight through windshield has at least half the view above unlit. Seems that the view zone brightly illuminated below, the eyes try to compensate for contrast. Consequently, the top half seen through the windshield appears to be in complete blackness. Aside from the impaired road illumination, while driving on curving roads, there is an annoying hypnotic effect caused. Due to the harsh light and dark contrast, I find it confusing to navigate between the painted lines due to the low beam problem. Last night while on the way home over one of the winding roads, I nearly hit a deer. The animal was standing in the road but I could not see it. Because of the low beam headlights on my Sonata, I nearly crashed. Fortunately, the deer jumped out of the way in the last seconds directly in front of the car. To me, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata low-beam headlight problem is a difficult situation. Until there is a solution, for my own protection, I now drive on those roads with the high beams, at night, all the time. I ask that you please investigate this issue as it is a serious and very dangerous situation to life and safety.

- Tannersville, PA, USA

problem #1

Sep 302010

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact was driving approximately 35-40 mph when the steering wheel began to shake violently, exhibiting an abnormally loud noise. The steering wheel would not turn in any direction. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for diagnosis in which they were unable to replicate the problem. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V426000 (steering:gear box:shaft sector) yet the technician advised that the defect was not related to the recall. The contact stated that the power steering software was updated, which was the remedy stated in the recall notification. In addition, the contact stated that the automatic headlights would not function properly. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was approximately 7,000. Updtated 2/17/11 updated 05/06/11

- Manchester, CT, USA

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