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:
17 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
18 / 2
Average Mileage:
110,364 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #109

Sep 202016


  • miles


Airbag light stays on.

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #108

Jun 022016


  • 60,000 miles
Steering wheel started to make a small "clunk" noise, which has now progressed to a large "clunk" noise and rattling of the wheel. This began some time ago, perhaps 4 months, and has just gotten worse. I took it in to a certified Hyundai dealership to get it looked at and review for recalls. Well, after having to pay them $100 without previously having agreed to, they tell me the part costs about $3, but with labor would total $310!!!! this should fall under a recall. I have seen so many people post online about the issue. I see where some people got it fixed for free, and others who had to pay! I emailed Hyundai too, prior to taking it in to the shop, and they told me that I had to go to the shop to have it looked at. No help at all. I continue to drive my car, which I paid full price for, with the constant clunking! mind you, I have children in the car and am terrified I will eventually loose control of the wheel and crash.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #107

Jun 152016


  • 80,000 miles
The airbag light went on somehow and never goes off. I have had any accidents before. This is a huge safety concern as the airbag may fail to work when a accident happens.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #106

Jul 012016


  • miles


The airbag light illuminated one day and not turn off when the car is on. The light just stays on and will not turn off - the code that came bak was faulty dba, faulty clock spring, faulty srscm - there appears to be over 100 complaints about this online and apparently this means that the airbag will not deploy if a vehicle accident occurs which is a huge safety concern. See:

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #105

Sep 302016


  • 80,714 miles
Takata recall - my fiancee was driving my car in a parking lot, then stopped and accidentally took her foot off of the brake when she put her jacket on the seat and it fell on the floor. Soon after, she hit a building at less than 5 mph since the car slowly accelerated with the foot off of the brake. The airbag deployed and the trip & reset buttons that were on the steering wheel were broken off and became shrapnel that went right past her face. Luckily she only sustained burns and bruising due to the airbag, but it could have been much worse if that shrapnel hit her in the face or chest. I would like to formally make a complaint stating that the airbag should not have gone off when the vehicle is under 5 mph and furthermore the steering wheel should not have shrapnel being created when the airbag deploys.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

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problem #104

Sep 112016


  • 20,000 miles
This is a continuation of a few minutes ago. When the airbag deployed there was a big black hole in the middle of it & a lot of smoke came out. When I first got to the hospital, they said I had pneumonia, I guess from the smoke, & from there they said I had all these blood clots.

- Stuart, FL, USA

problem #103

Sep 112016


  • 20,000 miles


I collided with another car which was caused by another driver zig zagging across I 95. My airbag deployed, as it should, but the pain in my chest was so bad that it hurt to breathe. Now they say that I have blood clots in my leg & lungs, & water around my heart. I never had anything like that until the accident. My car was totaled & I am in the hospital at this time.

- Stuart, FL, USA

problem #102

Sep 152016


  • miles
"airbag light recall" I have an airbag light on in my car now and it seems like a ton of other people are having or have had the same issue! this light popped on about a month ago while I was driving down the road. I haven't had any accidents, nothing else changed the light just popped on. I am requesting that this be turned into a recall because this is not due to anything that I have done.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #101

Sep 222016


  • 0 miles
I started my car one day and notice that the airbag light was on and wouldn't go off. I wasn't involved in a wreck or hit no bump, just started it and it was on.

- Osceola, AR, USA

problem #100

Aug 192016


  • 101,000 miles
The steering column is rattling and shaking when braking and or reaching a speed of 60. It is causing the balancing of tires worn, and the air bag light has come on and tire pressure light.

- Corona C, CA, USA

problem #99

Sep 032016


  • miles


One day my airbag light just popped on and will not go off and I never be in a accident and it's kind of freaking me out a little

- Ramsey, MN, USA

problem #98

Sep 182016


  • miles
#1today 9/18/2016 while I was driving down the road my airbag light came on. When I made my first stop the light when off. When I began to drive again the light came on and will not go off.#2 I had to pay over three hundred dollars to have my sterling coupler replaced it started with a little clicking noise when I turn to the right and afterwards began to progress and get louder. While driving the car the steering wheel will shake and vibrate until it felt as if the steering wheel will shake a lose.#3 the lights on my car will flicker on and off while driving it's very obvious at night it is a scary situation. One night they flicker and didn't want to come back on right away until I had to pull over on the side of the road until they came back on. I called my Hyundai dealer and was told that it will be an 118 service charged to look at it because my warranty is up. I then contacted Hyundai usa when they finally contacted me back they pretty much told me the same thing the Hyundai dealer said. The problem with my lights began in 2012 but every time it took the car in the problem could not be detected so they would say and this was when I was under my warranty.

- Louisville, GA, USA

problem #97

Sep 182016


  • 173,000 miles
Drivers side air bag light will not extinguish. Air bag light remains on. This web site has reported 97 complaints in regards to the air bag light. do not know if this is a takata airbag system or not. Either way this should be a recall due to safety concerns. Apparently with the light on in this model, the bags will not deploy in an accident. This is a huge safety concern especially since this is my 19 year old daughters car. This light remains on at all times, all conditions on all roads. Weather conditions have been very dry for a couple of weeks. Light come on 9/18/2016

- Kearneysville, WV, USA

problem #96

Sep 102016


  • miles
I own a 2011 Hyundai Sonata limited. A few days ago I started my vehicle and the air bag light flashed and stayed illuminated on the dash board. I turned the vehicle off and started the vehicle back up and the light stayed illuminated. My car has not been in any accidents for the airbag light to turn on. I went to and there are 81 complaints regarding the same issue and none of the vehicles were involved in an accident. Most of the issues were the airbag coil spring needed to be replaced. If this is the case there needs to be a recall on the airbag springs. Once the airbag light is illuminated on the dashboard the airbag will not deploy. This is a huge safety issue and needs to be addressed. I spoke with a representative with Hyundai and they informed me there was nothing they could do about the issue besides take it to Hyundai and have them run a diagnostic on the vehicle and get it repaired. The representative did not seem at all concerned for me or my family safety with her response. If you could please research this information it would be greatly appreciated.

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #95

Sep 022016


  • miles
Air bag light won't go off - serviced regularly - brought this to two separate dealers not covered they said clock spring timer and it is not on recall list - they did say it is unsafe if airbags deploy if you should hit a bump - extended warranty doesn't touch airbags...

- Red Ban, NJ, USA

problem #94

Sep 122016


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While parking the vehicle, it felt as if the brakes did not hold and, suddenly, the vehicle accelerated and crashed into a building without warning. The air bags did not deploy. The contact and the front passenger were uninjured. A police report was filed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 78,000.

- Dyton, OH, USA

problem #93

Sep 052016

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
Takata recall.. my car is not new, but it is less than 6yrs old and my airbag light is on (will not shut the [xxx] off either. I contact Hyundai they said it was the clock spring, which will cost me $400.93 dollars to fix or I will possible die in a crash. I feel this should be a recall, because this is not wear and tear this is a builder mishap...the fact that this situation could cause death and they will not fix due to safety is [xxx] insane...I quest they will not be happy until lawsuits come in place due to airbags not deploying (because the warning light will not always come on, so you wouldn't know). Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #92

Sep 102016


  • 70,050 miles
The air bag warning light remained lit after starting the vehicle. Don moore Hyundai dealership advised me that my air bag will not deploy if a front end crash were to occur but they did not have the part necessary to replace it in stock. This is the driver side airbag. The vehicle is only 5 yrs old and has been maintenanced regularly. The 2011 model is the only year that is not included in air bag recall. Safety is expected for more than 5 yrs or 60,000 miles. I was advised that the part is a coil or spring behind the airbag allowing it to deploy.

- Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #91

Aug 162016


  • 110 miles
Airbag light illuminated and stay on, took the car to the dealer and I was to it needs new airbags. Car is never being into accident, and it never had any problems related to airbag befor. This car is not safe as airbags can just go off with out any aparent reason.,my other problem of this car is, when I accelerate there's pigging noise and car almost losses power this happen in middle of hiway once and lost power other times on street. Took it to the dealer was not given clear answer to why the car does this.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #90

Sep 102016


  • 88,000 miles
Airbag indicator light is on, seen on instrument cluster panel. Dealership diagnostic determined the issue is a faulty clock spring. Car has not been in any accidents. Car receives routine maintenance.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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