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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,654 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

Apr 272016


  • 101,000 miles


While driving 45mph I experience my steering wheel shaking and it leaves the vehicle hard to control and it pulls to the right. I then started to experience my car not starting after sitting for not even 5 minutes and this has been occurring for 2 days. I took my car to the local dealership and was advised that I needed to replace the starter lever and steering coupler. Both of these are common defects of this model and has been recalled in the past. I called Hyundai today and was told that I am now responsible for the cost of the repairs regardless of what happened in the past. The repairs are going to cost me a little over $600 when the parts are plastic and wouldn't cost more than $20. A complaint has been filed with the BBB as well...this is a major safety issue on this vehicle and the manufacture needs to do a better job at building these parts.

- Lithia Springs, GA, USA

problem #35

Apr 182016


  • 75,000 miles
My air bag light stays on after I start my engine, I have no one else in the vehicle only a light jacket or lunch bag on the passenger seat. It started three days ago.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #34

Mar 312016


  • 68,500 miles
ECM computer failed. Nothing will work. Not only undrivable, it is unstartable! had to be towed from our driveway. (many systems on this car have failed previously!!) cannot get local dealer to repair it. No one seems to know what to do. Hyundais are a joke!!

- Bastrop, TX, USA

problem #33

Feb 292016


  • 58,000 miles


II had a recall on several things on my car. Took the car back to dealer I bought it from had the recall stiff done and two week later my starter went out. I informed them there was also a recall for the starter and they argue me down that it was not. Well several people I know with the same type of car year, make and model and they received an notice but when they took it in the recall was found. I had to get my car towed and pay for the repairs in the amount of $575 at for they were trying to charge me over $700. I should not have had to pay for a recall and now trying to find how to file a claim for a refund. My car stop on the street in front of my place of employment I got a jump it made it home and died again on the street call aaa and had it towed to dealer.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #32

Jan 242016


  • 72,500 miles
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata pneumatic hood lifts, both left and right, have failed. These pneumatic lift struts do not hold the vehicle hood up when the hood is released and lifted up. When lifted up the hood immediately falls down hard because there is no support anymore to keep the hood up. This is extremely dangerous because a person's arm or hand or both could be severely injured or possibly severed off. This happens when the vehicle is stationary and the hood is released and opened to replace window washer fluid or to perform any other maintenance item. Both the left and right pneumatic hood struts make a noise indicating that there is no pneumatic support function to make them work safely and properly. Can very dangerous if small children were close to the hood or had their fingers in the way when putting the vehicle hood up.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #31

Nov 122015


  • 62,000 miles
Twice now I tried to crank my auto and it "turned over" but would not crank. Came back to it about an hour later and it cranked.

- Cullowhee, NC, USA

problem #30

Jun 302010


  • miles


I agree with all complaints regarding the flimsy weak sounding horn. It sounds like a golf cart. A car next to me can not hear me blowing at them. In addition, the security system is hooked to the weak sounding horn; I can not hear it in the house. I certainly believe this is a safety hazard!!. I contacted Hyundai and they told me that they were sorry, they could not build autos to please everyone.

- Thomaston, GA, USA

problem #29

Oct 262015


  • 45,000 miles
Car would not start. Towed. Starter lever failed. This is known issue as stated by tow driver, Hyundai rep, and hundreds of owners complaining of this exact issue on internet. Occurred just out of warranty.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #28

Oct 262015


  • 45,000 miles
Car would not start. Towed. Starter lever failed. This is known issue as stated by tow driver, Hyundai rep, and hundreds of owners complaining of this exact issue on internet. Occurred just out of warranty.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #27

Oct 012014


  • miles
The drivers side door is loose. Took it to dealership last year and they stated that my car was not included in door latch recall. Airbag light came on out of nowhere. Called N they stated this is not a recall. As of this past summer, the steering wheel clicks every time I turn it. I'm going to call them tomorrow because I read where there were recalls on that, but I never received notification. I drive 45 minutes to work and back Monday through Friday and do not want to take a chance on being in an accident. I don't understand how my car shows the exact same signs of recalls but every time I call or take it there, my VIN number was not included.

- Washington, GA, USA

problem #26

Jul 202015


  • 89,000 miles


The horn doesn't work at all. I even had the "clock spring" changed and it still doesn't work. There is a stem that connects to the horn which is worn down and it has no contact with the horn; that's why is doesn't work. I think that this is very dangerous to drive around without a horn to alert other drivers or pedestrians from wrong doing. I can't be the only customer that is complaining about this issue.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #25

Sep 182015


  • 58,000 miles
While driving in peak traffic my 2011 Sonata shut down in traffic. Total engine shut down. With congested traffic, I was very much disturbed that someone could have rear ended me. Could not get vehicle to start. After sitting in traffic for a while, vehicle started but would not accelerate to normal speed until after moving a while. My vehicle is in great condition and I am concerned that this may be a problem in the future and I do not feel safe driving it being a female for fear that it may put me down again. I have seen forums which describe similar instances happening to others with the same model and year. Please advise! thanks...

- Moseley, VA, USA

problem #24

Jul 022014


  • miles
My car is making a knocking noise or rattling noise from car throll when am driving like the car is not getting gas to go. My car car go into all the gear onto I stop and put in park it what go into no gears I would have to turn my car off for the gears to start working my engine light come on and off all my light come on in my car a lot of unknown things I cant understand.

- Belle Glade, FL, USA

problem #23

Oct 152015


  • 60,000 miles
When the car is going up or down inclines (both slight or steeper inclines), the car stalls and when the accelerator is pushed, nothing happens for several seconds which is obviously problematic when entering or exiting highway on and off ramps, or trying to merge. This has occurred on local streets as well as on a highway. I have brought it to two dealerships and paid their diagnostic fees and they have been unable to tell me what the problem is. This is my family's main car and I have been unable to drive my children in it, because the stalling puts us at a huge risk of being rear ended.

- Allison Park, PA, USA

problem #22

Sep 302015


  • 72,000 miles
Light in back window keeps flashing and brake lights keep needing replaced. Also just replaced a rear censor. Our son drives back and forth from college this can be dangerous!

- East Berlin, PA, USA

problem #21

Aug 092015


  • 124,000 miles
While driving on a highway in the middle of traffic my 2011 Sonata completely stopped and the engine totally seized up endangering my entire family. There was no unusual engine sound prior to it stopping and no warning whatsoever. We had to coast to the side of the road, avoiding oncoming traffic. This is totally unacceptable as it endangered 5 lives. Thank goodness we were able to get to the side of the road. We are told that the engine would need to be totally replaced at a min. Engine cost of $5800 not including labor or other parts. In estimating costs, probably $8000 or more. It looks like there is a defect in the rotating assembly that causes sudden and catastrophic engine failure. Hyundai is aware of this problem and has done nothing to prevent it. Now I have no car to drive, and must somehow come up with the above costs or rent a car. The car is out of warranty but was well maintained. This is a serious problem and needs immediate attention.

- Perry, MI, USA

problem #20

Mar 012015


  • 63,000 miles
I have noticed a gradually worsening rattling noise while driving. The noise is coming from the steering column, and the steering wheel vibrates intermittently. It happens on the freeway when driving 75mph and it happens on surface streets driving the posted speed limit. The noise also happens when the car is idle and you move the steering wheel in either direction. The steering wheel acts as if it is catching on something. This seems to be a common issue that is reported on Hyundai sites, but it has not been reported on this site. Please look into this and see if it is a safety issue that merits a recall.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #19

May 192012


  • 7,000 miles
While driving my 2011 Sonata, the windows fog up to a dangerous level where I can not clearly see the road, especially the front windshield. This happens at various times of the day and night in cold, hot, humid or raining, etc. Weather conditions. I am most affected at night while returning from the gym and I have to travel through winding, dark, deer infested wooded roads. No matter what temperature setting I place thermostat, it fogs! I have taken my car in several times with the same complaint and the dealer is aware and says multiple people have complained but they have no solution. Dealer says to match outside temp with inside car temp and leave A/C on. I followed the advice, I turn on the A/C in the winter and the heat in the summer and it is very uncomfortable but still doesn't effectively solve the dangerous problem. Outside temperatures reach 100+ degrees in atlanta and turning on the heat after working out makes a bad situation worse. I feel people can or will die or be seriously injured if the problem isn't corrected by the manufacturer / dealers....updated 10/05/15

- Fairburn, GA, USA

problem #18

Jul 142015


  • 82,200 miles
Headlights go out when brightening or dimming lights or when turning turn signals on or off.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #17

Jul 082015


  • 79,500 miles
I was on my way home from work and accelerating from a stop at a traffic light when the car seized and initially appeared to lose power. No indicator lights came on prior to the incident occurring and there were no other indicators of any problems such as smoke, a smell, or any leaks on the ground when driving or parked. After pulling the car over and opening the hood everything appeared to be fine. We were unable to diagnose the problem and had it towed to a local repair shop. The next day the repair shop called and stated there appeared to be some sort of unknown damage to the engine which caused it to completely drain of oil. Oil covered the entire area of the engine compartment underneath the casing. The mechanics at the shop were unable to get the engine to turn at all. The vehicle just had a full service at the dealership on 4/24/2015 including: Oil & filter change, fuel induction service, replace engine air filter, replace cabin air filter, rotate tires, check brakes, check exhaust, suspension, belts, and hoses, top off all fluids, and multi-point inspection. At that time the car was noted in perfect working condition and no issues were annotated. The estimated cost to repair the engine is between $9,000 and $10,000, but the repair shop hasn't fully assessed the damage to the rest of the vehicle. From what I understand this should be under the extended powertrain warranty, but I'm currently going through the claims process to try and resolve this. A quick search brings up a multitude of similar cases for Hyundai Sonatas referring to catastrophic engine failure with near identical circumstances to what I experienced.

- Dallas, TX, USA

Read the next 16 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?