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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
72,950 miles
Total Complaints:
74 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace steering coupling (39 reports)
  2. not sure (26 reports)
  3. replace bushing (3 reports)
  4. replace steering column (3 reports)
  5. replace intermediate steering shaft/rack (2 reports)
  6. replace tie rods, axles and an alignment (1 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #74

Apr 012019

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,500 miles


Had an annoying clunking noise when turning the wheel as well as rattling from the wheel when hitting certain bumps in the road. Turned out that the POS plastic coupling was worn out.

Thankfully my dealer replaced the part with a new one that's supposed to be of a better quality plastic. It was done under an extended warranty program and they took about two hours to do the job.

The warranty on this was extended to 10 years/100K.

- derekd, Stamford, US

problem #73

Dec 172018

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles




- czar100, Rockford, US

problem #72

Aug 092017

Sonata GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This is a known issue with the Sonata. I researched online. When I had the issue, Hyundai was not covering the fix of the work coupler. They wanted about $450 to replace it (labor). The part costs $2. I took it to my mechanic who replaced it for $170. Eventually Hyundai included it in a recall. I filled in the appropriate form and received a check back from Hyundai reimbursing me for my cost to repair it with my mechanic. annoying that they won't accept responsibility early on. Many hours of mine wasted researching issue and getting it fixed myself.

- Jim S., San Pedro, CA, US

problem #71

Aug 012017

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles


I personally believe Hyundai should do a recall on the clicking noise in the steering wheels. To make a long story short, I called the 800 number to see if they would cover the cost for fixing this. In working with the people from Hyundai Subaru downtown Nashville, they got a response back saying it was denied. They claim they sent out notification on this problem and could get fixed within the allowed mileage time, but as I instructed to the customer service lady, I never received any information pertaining to my vehicle at all. The said part the little rubber piece that has to be replace only cost $ 1.97 the rest of the almost 400 and something dollars to fix is what dealers are charging. It is very sad how companies don't take responsibility and try and make things right for the customers!!! I love my car but all the problems are becoming a very big headache

- lawandam924, Hermitage, US

problem #70

Aug 302017

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I am the original owner of my 2011 Sonata. I have had problems with it that I have been able to grin and bear. When it comes to a significant safety issue such as steering Hyundai needs to step up as a car manufacturer. I am a volunteer Fire Fighter and EMT and I am very fortunate to have realized there was an issue with my vehicle before it resulted in a disastrous crash, especially when attempting to respond to assist someone else in need. My steering wheel was intermittently aggressively shaking as I hit uneven or rough road. It would after a short time adjust itself and stop. I initially thought it was in fact the road. As it continued to occur under varying circumstances I though I needed to rotate my tires (as that was overdue), that didn't remedy the issue. I finally brought my car into my mechanic who advised me that it was in fact coming from my steering column. With a hefty cost estimate of $1,100 in parts and labor, as well as the safety nature of the issue, I checked to see if there was a recall. To my surprise there isn't. My mechanic advised me that the part was failing intermittently at this time, however if the part completely failed the end result could be catastrophic since I am likely to be going above 55 mph at the time. Hyundai needs to do better for their customers.

- Joanne M., Brentwood, US

problem #69

Jun 012016

Sonata 4S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

This is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!! I bought 2 yes 2 hyundai Sonatas 2011 and both of them are having clicking and turning noises when I am steering!! This is the worst set of cars I have EVER owned. There are so many recalls that it isn't funny!!! and They think I am ever going to buy Hyundai again ??? HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!

- Robin B., New Bern, NC, US

problem #68

May 012017

Sonata Limites 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


As I was dealing with my AC I started to notice my steering wheel making a clicking sound as I turned my wheel, and when I hit a bump it sound like my steering wheel is about to fall off. I take it to Hyundai and the technician immediately knew what my issue was when I described it. He stated that it was the coupling issue that would cost $325 to fix. I said it should be covered and he stated it would have been covered under 100k miles, but since you are over that Hyundai won't pay for it. I was asked why they didn't fix the issue when my car was with them for 2 months and they state because I didn't report the issue when I was there. I was furious.

So Hyundai knows a car has issues, but only fixes it if the owner complains?? Couldn't they at least have checked it to determine there was an issue? I am officially DONE with Hyundai!! I have had 3 major issues in less than 1yr and it is not seeming to get better. I have already put $1200 into the car in one week, if I fix this coupling issue myself it will be another $325!! I am not made of money

- Chandra R., Richmond, VA, US

problem #67

Jun 012016

Sonata SE 2.4L Gas

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,200 miles

Reported problem to dealer, got the same run around as I did with the engine replacement. This company is dishonest and really does make a problem and calls it a vehicle. I am concerned that the steering problem as described by my dad is the locking rod, which locks the steering wheel when the vehicle is turned off is not disengaging properly. The dealer defined this problem as a TSB and MDPS, but not a recall.

Hope to get this problem fixed soon.

- Amanda H., Pearl River, LA, US

problem #66

Feb 242017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Started as a rattling noise when going over a bump. Got progressively worse. Steering wheel would also make a clicking noise when turning it left. Dealer said this is a very common problem.

- Tim D., Clinton, CT, US

problem #65

Feb 212017

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Ok, so I initially took the car in because it would not accelerate when I hit the gas pedal. However, with that issue they have not called me with the cause yet. The steering coupler was $284.00 to be fixed but the dealership said that bad axles are adding to the clicking/knocking noise as well and that was an additional $1,100.00. I will be coming back to add my VIN the manufacturer should definitely be held accountable to some extent. I have accumulated $1,800.00 in bills for things to fix and they haven't even given me the diagnostic results yet. Done with Hyundai after this one.

- jasminet, Kansas City, US

problem #64

Feb 142017

Sonata SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,123 miles


About six months ago I noticed a slight clicking sound sometimes when turning. I was told at the local dealership that it was a steering coupler and would be expensive to replace. I asked if it was a safety issue and they said it was not, so I didn't have it fixed. Then when I was over 100 miles from home, it suddenly got much worse and started making a louder rattling noise even when just driving straight and particularly with bumps.

I had to contact another dealer in that area about it as I was very worried about driving a long distance and possibly losing control of my car. It was not only costly but a huge inconvenience as I was forced to find alternate means to get to a job. I understand many other owners of 2011 Sonatas have had this problem and it really should have been recalled and the repairs taken care of at no charge. It seems they issue recalls for more minor things.

- Krista N., Hyannis, MA, US

problem #63

Aug 012016

Sonata GLS 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

click to see larger images

clicking noise when turning

I had a clicking/clunking noise in my steering wheel for months and I finally bothered to look it up and seen there's a coupler part that needed replacing (not covered under warranty). It's a common issue online and there's a GREAT video fix on Youtube:

The coupler is small, about 1.5" diameters and goes into the power steering column and it costs about $3-$4 (tiny rubber piece). It takes about 1-2 hrs to fix this, depending on how handy you are, you need some wrenches that aren't too expensive to fix this.

The coupler that was removed from my car was all chewed up inside and that's causing the sound. You may also hear clicking/clunking when going over bumps and stuff too because of this. Now that mine is fixed, it's super quiet. Power steering isn't a major safety issue because it's just an 'assist', kind of a luxury, but definitely the design of this part was bad, the rubber was as soft as chewing gum nearly....totally designed to fail. It's not that involved to fix it, see the video link on Youtube from above, he even shows in his video description the link to take out the cluster so you can access the back screw.

I watched my husband's friend fix this me this past weekend and it took him only 1.5hrs with having watched the video 1 time. All-in-all if you have the tools at home, just do it in your garage or wherever or just buy the wrench and coupler online, he lists all the tools you need on the Youtube video, very helpful!! My car has only $40K on it now, and that's months after I heard the clicking sound. I am the original owner and drive very carefully.

So far, I am mostly happy with the car, but again, I have low mileage so I could have all kinds of trouble in front of me, who knows. Every new model year has some issues and recalls, it's inevitable, like my Husband's new 2016 Chevy Volt had several issues so far in the first year. I've had lots of recalls on my Hyundai, but all in all, no mechanical issues besides the recalls yet. I am most disappointed in the MPG, it's terrible, I have never gotten above 19MPG city. I drive just 8 miles a day or so, (4 miles to work).

- lkrysta, Milpitas, CA, US

problem #62

Oct 102016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I brought my car into my local dealer to have a recall done on my car and ever since than I've had nothing but problems with my car.

First I had my tie rods replaced and I've had a clicking noise in my steering column since Sept/Oct 2016. I brought it to the dealer and they said it could be repaired but they would have to take apart the entire steering counsel. They said it would be costly and in their opinion it was not dangerous.

I contacted Hyundai directly and filed a complaint about the steering issue and my tie rods.

Ironically, I just received another recall in the mail for corrosion issues on my car. I contacted Hyundai to see if the corrosion could have caused the tie rods to go bad and they said I had to issue a receipt for my repairs. I sent them the receipt for over $400 in repairs with a copy of the corrosion letter and now they want a bank statement showing I paid for the repairs, proof of ownership of my vehicle...


- stuartrnet, Elgin, IL, US

problem #61

Dec 282016

Sonata GLS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

When the car is started, there is a lot of play in the steering with a click sound when it engages. I have an appointment scheduled tomorrow at the Hyundai dealer to see what they say is wrong and what it will cost to fix it.

- John E., Greensboro, NC, US

problem #60

Dec 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I hear a noise in the steering column when I'm backing, turning in, turning corners. It's very much a concern. I don't want to have an accident or lose control of the vehicle.

- jeanthequeen, Woodland, CA, US

problem #59

Dec 012016

Sonata V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I bought my 2011 sonata used with 70k miles on it from a hyundai dealership and after about 1 year the engine completely DIED while driving on the freeway and 6 months later there was a recall on the engine for which I was eventually reimbursed ! Then there were approx 5 other recalls which I took care of and now my steering wheel started making a clicking sound when I turn it and it also rattles loudly when I'm driving on the streets or over a bump! ALSO, the volume controls and cruise control functions on the steering wheel no longer work. I am scared to drive this vehicle and I'm wondering if my steering wheel will stop working while I'm driving I'm convinced this is a LEMON and potentially a very unsafe car. Now there is a power steering recall but not a steering coupling recall,This is RIDICULOUS! ! What is next. ..this is not cool and hyundai is going to lose my business. I will never buy another Hyundai.

- Susan C., San Diego, CA, US

problem #58

Sep 052016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I have owned my 2011 Sonata for 5 years now and within that timeframe I have taken it in for 7 recalls. And now the dilemma of the steering column, airbag light illuminated for no reason. I'm just sick and tired of this vehicle posing problems.

This time a recall will not fix what is going on with the steering column and I can't seem to recall the steering column recall at this point in time. I would hope that the dealer would have record of it. Well the airbag clock spring is the problem this time and will cost approx. $410 and then the coupling replacement is another $390. I will need to have all of this replaced before I pass the safety inspection.

With all that has transpired I do believe I may have a lemon. I am not impressed with this vehicle product and I am definitely going to try and get out from under this mess. Good luck with owning your own Hyundai Sonata.

- biviansva, Dumfries, VA, US

problem #57

Oct 102016

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

The steering wheel started making a clicking noise and then it progressively got worse. The vehicle felt like it was unsafe to drive. I brought it to a local repair shop where they informed me that they would have to take apart the entire steering column to identify the problem. The car only has 49,000 miles on it and of course the New Car warranty had already expired. I filed a claim with Hyundai which was denied. There reason for the denial was that it was no longer covered under the new car warranty and there had not been a recall. There was a recall in July for the steering column but it was not for the part that failed which I must say was a piece of plastic which obviously was inferior. As a matter of fact this car has had quite a few recalls. I cannot believe that Hyundai would not do the right thing and reimburse me for the cost of this repair. I do not drive this car very much and based on this experience it is obvious to me that as soon as the 10 year power train warranty is up there are going to be continued issues. I will be replacing this car within the next 5 years with something that is more reliable and built with parts that last. Maybe Hyundai should take another look at issuing a recall for this plastic piece holding the steering column together.

- Michelle M., Ledyard, CT, US

problem #56

May 132015

Sonata LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,777 miles

I have had my 2011 Hyundai Sonata for the past three years, and I have had nothing but problems. My current issue, well not current, I just found this site to complain. I found out from the dealership after picking it up from one of several recalls which was the engine recall that I needed to replace the steering coupling. Well when I get up to 60 mph the car has a horrible vibration and it scares me every time I get in my car to drive. Just never know what is going to happen. After reading another complaint I am learning that my tires are not bad, the vibration that I am experiencing is coming from the steering column. Also when I make sharp left or right turns or back up my vehicle, I hear a loud clicking sound and that is frustrating as well. It would be nice for the manufacture to fix ALL of their known issues and my car has only 81,777 miles, it sits in my driveway not moving more than I do driving. And my recent repair as of two weeks ago was a new starter. Really Hyundai. I do a lot of driving and it would be nice to have a dependable car especially since I am still making payments.

- Terease J., Ellenwood, GA, US

problem #55

Oct 042016

Sonata Ltd 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I went in for an oil change and brake noises (which has been a constant problem for the past 6 years), and was asked if I had heard clicking noises when I turned. I hadn't. The guy at the dealership told me there was a known problem with 2011 and 2012 Sonatas with a clicking in the steering wheel that many people have experienced. If I hadn't heard it yet, I would, and it would get so bad I would need to fix it, which would cost over $360. I hadn't heard the noise, so I declined the repair. Little did I know that clicking would start as soon as I got my car back from service. It now clicks and rattles over even the smallest bump in the road, or when I turn my steering wheel.

I called Hyundai Customer Care, and they had no idea about the issue and said they would contact the dealership. I asked why there was no recall, if this was such a wide-known issue that the dealership was recommending repair, and they said they didn't know, but I should file a complaint with NHTSA ( If enough people complain, it will escalate the problem, and hopefully turn into a recall. I'm not sure if I can last that long. It's been problem after problem with this car, and I plan to trade it in. I've had enough of the recalls and constant problems. But I HIGHLY RECOMMEND people to GO ONLINE and FILE a COMPLAINT with NHTSA.

Update from Dec 2, 2016: I recently went to have my state inspection performed by the dealer (Fairfax Hyundai) and was told my inspection wouldn't pass until I had my steering coupler replaced. So... $350 later, and I got my "free" state inspection. Once again, I told them I didn't have this problem until last time they touched my car, and that I still didn't understand how this wasn't a recall from the maker. They told me they didn't know, but to hold onto my receipt, and if it ever became a recall, I could get a reimbursement.

- dianava, McLean, VA, US

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