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

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

May 212015


  • 13,400 miles


Was told the brake switch pad came apart. Also pedal stopper was involved..both incidents occurred as I was stopped at a light wanting to make a left hand turn when the car made a very slow movement to move forward, then stalled until I kept frantically hitting the gas pedal to get out of the way of oncoming traffic and trying to prevent getting hit from the back because my car wasn't expected to stop dead in its tracks. I called aaa who towed my car into dealership on N.E. 6th avenue in delray beach, Florida 33483. The above parts were noted on my invoice. Due to the danger, I would absolutely put out a recall before someone gets hurt or worse. Parts no. 32876-3Q100

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #15

May 262011


  • 1,025 miles
Unintentional automatic down shift from drive to first gear when shift lever is firmly in drive position. 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited turbo 2.0T - vehicle will automatically (on its own) shift gears from "drive" while shift lever is in the "drive" position down to 1st gear typically when driving between 5-10 mph, occasionally sometimes at slightly higher speeds. The only remedy I have found is to tap the shift lever to the left and use the shiftronic shifting to manually shift from first gear back up to drive. Have explained to two separate car dealerships who have merely dismissed it as a possible software glitch, not even allowing me to attempt to reproduce this problem, nor even attempting to test drive it to see if they can observe the unintentional unintended automatic down shift problem from "D" drive to "1st" first gear themselves.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #14

Aug 292013


  • 80,000 miles
I got into vehicle to go to work & it failed to start. Illumination light kept blinking telling me to push in brakes, but I was pushing in brake peddle. I just bought this car used, 35 days ago, have not had any issues until today. Contacted Hyundai dealer to find out that I am not covered under warranty, because I am not he original owner. Which I was told vehicle was covered until 100,000 miles from used dealer. Have an appointment to get vehicle inspected & keeping fingers crossed that the issue has something to do with one of the many recent recalls.

- Stratford, WI, USA

problem #13

Oct 022012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 0 miles


Beginning of October 2012 I kept hearing rattling, clanking noise coming from under the hood. I took the car to a Hyundai dealer where I live October 26, 2012. They checked out the car and told me because the engine light didn't come on, they couldn't find a code to fix the car and to bring the car in when the engine light comes on. I kept driving the car and hearing the same noise. I took it to meineke to get an oil change November 14, 2012. Drove the car approximately 3 weeks and still heard the noise. I took it to another Hyundai dealer. They said the car didn't have any oil and meinke forgot to put the drain plug back in, therefore it messed up the engine, and that's why I heard the noise. I kept telling them, I heard the noise before the oil change. I took it back to meinke and showed them the paper Hyundai gave me, they gave me my money back and apologized. Still hearing the noise, I took it back to the first Hyundai dealer and they said it was engine problems and I had to pay the diagnostic fee because my warranty was voided due to meineke. I refused to pay the fee because my car is under warranty. They wouldn't give me my car back until I paid, we argued back and forth and I called the police and they gave me my car back, but told me not to come back on their property. I then took the car to where I purchased it and same thing. They said to try a gas additive 3 times, if that doesn't work, get an oil consumption test in my area where I live. I need my car fixed and no one will fix it. Hyundai blames meineke and meineke blames Hyundai. They're saying because of no engine light on, they can't see the problems, but one dealer said it was the engine another saying gas problems. Bottom line, if the first Hyundai dealer had kept my car, I wouldn't be going through this. How can I resolve this?

- Center Cross, VA, USA

problem #12

Jun 212012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
After getting to work and putting the vehicle in park, when attempting to shut the vehicle off and retrieve the key, the key would only go to off and would not go to lock or let me pull the key from the ignition.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

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problem #11

Apr 152012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 17,900 miles
While driving my car a "check charging system" display appeared on the dashboard. The car turned off as I exited the highway and I had to pull over on the right shoulder. It later started again but shut down after slowing down for traffic on the highway. When attempting to restart the car it would jerk until reaching speeds above 30-40 mph.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #10

Sep 212011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,997 miles


I was driving on a busy los angeles freeway when the "check charging system" light came on and a chime began to sound. My car totally shut down and lost all power. I was stranded in the middle of a busy freeway in what was a life threatening situation. The battery indicator was at the half way mark, which is the norm for the car. I was towed to a dealer who told me that they could not find anything wrong with the car. I had to call Hyundai corporate to get Hyundai technicians to look at the car. They said that a team of technicians repaired the car and that it was fixed. Except that it happened to me again last week on a busy parkway. This is an extremely unsafe car that puts occupants in very dangerous circumstances. It is in for repairs again, but I will not trust that it is fixed. I am afraid to drive it.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 012011

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
The Sonata pulls to the left. I took it in and told dealer I thought it was car, not the road -- but told me it was fine. Took it in again because it pulls hard to left going straigt to ditch if you let go of steering wheel, they said they adjusted it 2 points and it was not pulling anymore. Left dealership and it still pulls hard to left.

- Chelsea, OK, USA

problem #8

Sep 222011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 9,802 miles
I drive the Hyundai Sonata hybrid. The first time the problem occurred at approx 9800 miles, I was driving 60 mph on a highway when the vehicle lost battery power and an alarm sounded, and then a signal indicating to "check charging system." I immediately took the vehicle to my Hyundai dealership where they were aware of the issue, but did not know how to fix it and suggested I just simply turn off and then restart my car. It happened two additional times, one while approaching a stop light, and another time while I was stopped at a stop light. The last time it happened, I could not get my vehicle to reset by restarting once. I had to shut the vehicle off, then attempted several times to restart. The 4th time I tried to start it, I was able to do so sucessfully. I did notice the last time it happened, the engine light remained on even after battery power was restored. I am taking it back to the dealership tomorrow and demanding a solution. This is just too dangerous to lose power in high-speed traffic, and the problem seems to be occuring at all speeds.

- Canyon Lake, TX, USA

problem #7

Aug 162011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,100 miles
The first incident occurred in a thunderstorm: "check charging system" warning lit up and alarm sounded. Car lost power. Had to pull off on the side of the highway. Restarted the car and it was fine. Called dealership and was told it was "water on the serpentine belt and not to worry about it." Second incident was approx. 1 week later when the "check engine" light came on along with the "check charging system" light and alarm and car lost power. I pulled over on the side of the highway. Turned car off and restarted. Third incident, a couple of days later, "check charging system" alarm. Same scenario. Took to dealership. They conducted a system download to onboard computer. Now it is a daily occurrence. Couldn't get out of the driveway today after restarting the car 4 times. Will be contacting dealership tomorrow.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #6

Apr 072011


  • 1,777 miles


The sun visors are not long enough (vertically) to prevent the sun from hitting center of windshield area and blinding driver. I've had to stop several times to regain my control and my clear view. The car was purchase on 12/19/10 and at the time I noticed that the sun shield that they sold me at the dealership would hardly stay in place because of the vertical shortness of the sun visors but when the hour was changed to daylight savings time is when I really realized the severity of the problem at the time of the sunset. Even raising the driver's seat all the way up it is impossible to avoid being blinded by the sun; it's an accident waiting to happen. I have notified the consumer service department of Hyundai but have not received a reply. Thank you for your assistance.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 012011


  • miles
Car pulls to the left since brand new. Very noticeable when driving at a high speed for a length of time. Constant right pressure must be maintained on steering wheel to prevent car from moving to the left. At a slow speed on back roads the pull is not that noticeable. For some reason, when taking a right turn off a highway ramp, the left pull increases, which requires increased right pressure on the steering wheel. Have had car checked at dealer, alignment was checked, and told everything is fine. Researching the Hyundai forums, it appears my Sonata is not the only car experiencing this problem, and as of this date, Hyundai/Kia have no fix, or even acknowledge their is a problem.

- Boonsboro, MD, USA

problem #4

Nov 302010


  • 949 miles
The steering pulls to the left, & somtimes to the right. I have to struggle to keep the car from crossing the center line while it pulls to the left. Steering has wandered since car was new. Feels unsafe to me. I took car back to dealer at 949 miles. They did re=alignment car still pulls, took car back 3 more times to dealer for same steering pull, dealer acknowledges the sever pull, they installed a factory suggested camber kit, car still pulls & wanders. This car is unsafe & should have a recall.

- Durand, IL, USA

problem #3

Feb 112011


  • 3,000 miles
Vibration in steering, grinding noise in transaxe, low tire pressure (by dealer), refusal to perform 3,750 mile maintince secdule (dealer refused).

- Mcadoo, PA, USA

problem #2

Oct 232010


  • 11 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact smelled an extremely strong toxic odor emitting from the interior of the vehicle. The odor did not subside at any time. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer three times. The technician attempted to correct the failure by placing coffee grounds in the trunk, on the front and rear passenger seats as well as the drivers seat but to no avail. The dealer offered to trade the vehicle for another however, the contact stated that the manufacturer did not adhere to the agreement. There was significant concern of a potential health and safety hazard. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was approximately 11.

- Delmar, MD, USA

problem #1

Dec 182010

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 68 miles
Since purchasing vehicle last week it drifts to the left. Dealer did alignment but stills pulls to the left. I have contacted Hyundai and I am waiting for a response.

- Indio, CA, USA

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