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:
12 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
43,980 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 10 of 43)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #673

Jul 012015


  • 90,000 miles


Steering knocking noise - appears to be related to the steering coupler that has not yet received a recall. Hyundai dealership told me that they see the issue a lot, but would still charge to diagnose and repair. The noise has been on-going for quite some time and has increasingly gotten worse

- Midlothian, TX, USA

problem #672

Jul 262016

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 80,412 miles
Felt some play in my steering wheel, took it to the dealer. Hyundai part # 56315-2K000-fff, flexible coupling was the issue. This small piece of rubber was a mangled mess - see attached pictures. Saw some forums where is common place. Part cost - $17 labor - $372.22! plaza auto mall invoice # [xxx] from 7/26/16 I'm not an engineer but in my opinion a part this critical which is made of rubber failed in a vehicle only 5 years old with 80,000 miles which was mostly highway during the first 4 years of ownership I've attached photos of the part which was given back to me by the dealer who also concurred that it was poorly made but there is no recall at this time. Reading some Hyundai forums on the web I also see that this part is in demand as well so I can only conclude that this issue is widespread? I ask that you consider reaching out to Hyundai to address this problem and just maybe I'll recover the $432.05 expense incurred to correct this problem thank you and I look forward to your reply [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Howard Beach, NY, USA

problem #671

Jul 242016


  • 85,000 miles
Even I had the problem with my 2011 Sonata turbo 2.0. steering wheel became very stiff and there was a loud clunking noise when driving on uneven roads, bumps and high speed. The garage I went to charged me $300 for electronic steering coupler kit and rebuild and $450 for the labor. Looks like there are quite a few complaints with this problem in 2011 Sonata. This wasn't part of the eps control module recall. Hyundai should make a note of it and have this fixed as part of recall asap.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #670

Jul 142016


  • 89,592 miles


I have had this car a little over a year now. It has made the same noise since I've had it. I've been to the huynda dealer many times. They don't understand what's wrong. When your car is between 2000 RPM and 3000 rpms or steadily at 2000 it makes a continuous raddle noise coming from the engine and continues until you take your foot off the accelerator. You want to know my opinion about the damn car? anyone who owns one should be given a new one. Because the car is a piece of crap. Now I also saw a complaint about someone having to replace the coupler. I have documentation that shows I paid the Hyundai to replace my steering coupler. It was over 300 dollars. When your driving down the road the steering is hard to control and the wheel makes a clicking noise. So I took it in and they coupler needed to be replaced. I want reimbursement and you guys should implement another recall about replacing everyone's coupler. You guys should make Hyundai give everyone a new car who has gone through al the mess we have.

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #669

Jul 212016


  • 83,475 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving various speeds, the steering wheel made an abnormal sound. The dealer diagnosed that the steering coupler needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 83,475.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #668

Jun 222016


  • 35,500 miles
Was told by Hyundai service tech that I needed a steering coupler and it is not covered under warranty nor was it covered as part of the existing steering recall.this comes at an out of pocket expense of approx. $500. The steering wheel clicks and feels like it is sticking when turning it. Car was in motion when it happened and I have not tried it when sitting stationary. Was also told could lose all steering. I think we need a recall.

- Carteret, NJ, USA

problem #667

Jul 212015


  • 127,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 45 mph, the steering wheel made a loud "cranking" noise in the shaft of the steering wheel. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 127,000.

- St Martinville, LA, USA

problem #666

Nov 212014


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 60 mph, the steering became uncontrollable. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering gear box failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 54,000.

- Littleton, NC, USA

problem #665

Nov 182015


  • 98,000 miles
After crossing railroad at low speed, there was a loud, metallic clank, then would click/clank in turns. Steering became increasingly difficult to control, and car would drift at high speeds. Dealer stated the steering coupler was bad, although this was not covered under the multitude of steering recalls for 2011 Sonatas. The serviceman said everything in those model's steering was junk and they replaced the couplers all the time. Dealer confirmed that there would have been eventual loss of control of the vehicle and I should not wait to get it repaired.

- Chapin, SC, USA

problem #664

Jul 112016


  • 100,000 miles
Our family car has a recall with the steering that if read is due to loose steering and bolts that has caused other cars to loose control. Hyundai says they won't replace the steering column because of a chip that passed inspection.the article I read said nothing about a computer chip. The steering on the car is so loose we don't even feel comfortable driving it any longer. Hyundai keeps telling us that it will be 3 to 5 days everytime we talk to them to decide what they are going to do for us. We have a new born baby and cannot afford to drive this vehicle. We really are just stuck right now. This vehicle has had recall after recall. The tech that inspected the car said it should be fixed under the recall in his opinion and they he would fix it but corporate is dragging there feet.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #663

Jul 012016


  • 87,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving, the electronic power steering sensor warning light illuminated and the steering wheel became very loose when making a turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the eps was reprogrammed. The steering wheel became very tight and difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,000. Updated 09/22/16

- Bedford, OH, USA

problem #662

Jul 142016

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 65 mph, an abnormal clicking sound emitted from the steering wheel without warning. The failure occurred at various speeds and when making a left or right turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering coupler needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 16V190000 (steering). The failure mileage was 36,000. Updated 09/29/16 updated 10/04/16.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #661

Jun 302016


  • miles
2 weeks ago I bought a pre-owned 2011 sonota gls with 69,000 miles, from drivetime. I asked for a car fax report which they provided something similar but their report only showed one recall on the vehicle which was recall number 143, regarding the eps problem. So for a week I looked into all the recalls this vehicle has but it was past the 5 day return policy by drivetime. We figured if it was a recall then it would have to be repaired by law, right" so I put my VIN # in to verify that indeed my vehicle was part of numerous recalls, so I scheduled an appointment for recall 132 at vandergriff Hyundai in arlington, tx. Before they even looked at the car they said that campaign was "closed" & said they couldn't assist me any further. I asked them what does closed mean, does that mean the engine block was replaced previously or not? they just said "its been done, " nothing more. We've had this car two weeks & already my girl has got a ticket for the left rear brake light being out which I've replaced 3 times now, the car for no reason pulls to the left which could cause a possible head on collision, & the engine & transmission both sound that they are on their last leg. Finally, I received a notice in regards to the extended warranty 10yr/120,000 miles which I was thinking we can get it looked at that way, but then after a series of questions I was told that our vehicle does not qualify for this warranty due to the vehicle we just purchased 2 weeks ago has issues. I told the rep I thought all of the 470,000 vehicles that were affected by the recall automatically was given that warranty" I want the info on what was done to fix/repair the vehicle on each recall & why are we being told all the problems we are having with the car now have been "closed." There's no way this vehicle has been repaired because we still have all the problems & symptoms explained in the recalls.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #660

Feb 102016


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that there was an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel that progressed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for further diagnostic testing to determine the cause of the failure. The dealer also mentioned that the dtc was not shown for NHTSA campaign number: 16V190000 (steering) and the failure may not be able to be replicated. The contact was unable to determine when the vehicle would be repaired as the noise from the area of the steering wheel continued. The contact was to check with the manufacturer to determine the guidelines for the dealer to repair the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 136,000. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #659

Jun 012016


  • 80,000 miles
Every time I turn my wheel left there is a horrible clanking sound and pop. Was told that on 2011's that the steering coupling is breaking. This is an issue that needs to be addressed asap. This happens stationary and in motion. When you go over bumps it causes the steering to shake uncontrollable.

- Maryville, IL, USA

problem #658

Jun 012016


  • 67,642 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at unknown speeds, an abnormal sound was heard from the steering wheel. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was previously repaired per NHTSA campaign number: 16V190000 (steering). The vehicle was taken to the dealer; however, the vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 67,642.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #657

Jun 082016


  • 38,500 miles
Vehicle steering wheel has developed a clunking noise when turned to right or left when parked. Also has a hard clunking bang in entire steering wheel when a bump is encountered. Steering is also unresponsive at higher speeds when wheel is initially used to correct lane usage on highways. Constantly concerned steering failure is imminent. Vehicle has less than 39000 miles and otherwise excellent condition. Needs to be corrected but not at owners cost. This is an obvious manufacturing defect. Date of manufacture 4/05/11.

- The Villages, FL, USA

problem #656

Nov 022015


  • 110,000 miles
Steering wheel/column stated making a clicking noise about 6 months ago. At first it wasn't that bad; now everytime you move the steering wheel a clicking noise is made. Every bump or rut you hit in the road makes it rattle. Sounding as if it is getting ready to break.. I have taken it to the Hyundai place several times and reported this problem. Hyundai keeps telling me that this is not a recall. It will cost me $250 to $300 to have this repaired. My question still remains that if this steering coupling is defected and it is controlling the steering of the car then why if is not a recall? my steering wheel vibrates, shakes, and makes an awful racket. I do not understand how this is not considered a recall.

- Bolton, NC, USA

problem #655

Jun 172016


  • 40,700 miles
There is a clicking/thumping noise when I turn my steering wheel. Feels like the wheel is going over a bump. This is heard more when the wheel is being turned to the left and right. My vehicle has 41,066 miles on it. You can hear/feel the noise while the vehicle is stationary or while driving. I have read similar complaints on message boards which describe this failure as the steering coupling.

- Spotsylvania, VA, USA

problem #654

Jul 112016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V190000 (steering); however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Aliceville, AL, USA

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