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 2 of 43)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #833

Aug 172016


  • 38,000 miles


I unfortunatley have the sonora with the engine recall which to me is asking why Hyundai just isn't replacing engines regardless of failure? there is no resale in a car with this open other issue I need to have addressed is my steering was upgraded and approximatley a month or so after I heard a clunking noise in the driveway when I turn the steering wheel from side to side, I called my dealer ( Hyundai 112 in medford, N.Y ) and it was almost scripted, I was told it's a bushing or something he said and it's not part of the recall. I have to pay for this. If you check online you will see it's a major failure, why it would be such a flimsy plastic gear in steering " I hope you can remedy this as a recall. My car had no noise until the steering was quote upgraded by Hyundai, again plastic piece in a steering motor"

- Stony Brook, NY, USA

problem #832

Dec 082016


  • 90,000 miles
When turning steering wheel in either direction, it makes a thud with each turn. Happens on all occasions. After checking complaints, I noted the same complaint was made on 12/06/2016 and 12/07/2016. Please take this problem seriously and notify manufacturer.

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #831

Nov 282016


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving various speeds, the power steering seized. The vehicle stalled and restarted on its own. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 16V190000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #830

Dec 012016


  • 119,000 miles


Steering wheel in 2011 Hyundai Sonata started clicking when turned side to side. Mechanic said it was a plastic power steering coupler/bushing that needed replacing. If broken/worn down enough, the steering could seize up. According to some youtube views, this is a very well known problem. Part is only a couple of dollars, but labor is several hundred. Not sure why they used plastic, and why no recall, as this is a safety issue.

- Tahlequah, OK, USA

problem #829

Nov 062016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Whenever the steering wheel was turned, a loud clicking noise was heard from the steering column. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the failure was a known issue and recommended that the steering column be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #828

Oct 182016


  • 70,000 miles
There is a clicking and ratteling in the steering column when turning (or when going over a bump). And there is a slight grip or pull from the column onto the steering wheel at certain degrees of its rotation. Definitely a potential safety issue. I believe it originates with the steering coupler. Online search reveals this is a widespread issue with the model, however there has been no recall.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #827

Aug 012016


  • 120,000 miles


Recently I have heard a knocking noise in the steering wheel and can feel this knocking as well. I have taken the vehicle to the closet Hyundai dealer for looking at and repair, they describe it as the steering coupler that needed to be replace and was very costly for repair. This noise and feeling appears below 5 mph and when the steering wheel is being turned left or right.

- Spring Lake, NC, USA

problem #826

Aug 172016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact had not experienced power steering failure until a dealer completed a recall repair for the steering. Immediately after the dealer's repair, the steering wheel became extremely stiff and difficult to steer. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified that the remedy caused a failure. The contact was waiting for the manufacturer to determine a repair solution. The failure mileage was not available.

- West Babylon, NY, USA

problem #825

Nov 102016


  • miles
I have taken my car into Hyundai 3 times for the same repair on the steering column. I have clicking and chunking in the steering wheel and now my key will not release. I was told this time by Hyundai that it would cost me $150 for diagnostic and thousands if it isnt a related issue. This car is a lemon, and im stuck with it.

- Coolidge, AZ, USA

problem #824

Nov 232016


  • 86,000 miles
Car stalled and engine shut down while trying to cross over a 4 lane highway came within 5 feet of a major collision with 2 approaching vehicles there is also another issue with the steering column. Hyundai chose to use a plastic bushing in the steering column that has completely failed at 65000 miles. The dealerships, 2 separate ones, state that this is not covered by the multiple other recalls with the steering. The bushing is hard plastic, about the size of a nickel and costs 2.00 at the dealership. But they want $300 labor to install

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #823

Nov 012016


  • 63,000 miles


I have excessive free play in my steering wheel while the car is stationary and my steering wheel vibrates and shakes while I drive the at high speeds or changing lanes. Also my suspension feels loose when going over bumpy roads.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #822

Nov 142016


  • miles
The contact owned a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While the vehicle was at the dealer for routine maintenance and an oil change, the technician stated that the vehicle needed three recall repairs for NHTSA campaign numbers: 16V190000 (steering), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 15V568000 (engine). Shortly after the dealer's repairs, smoke emitted under the hood near the front passenger side of the vehicle while driving 60 mph. The contact was able to coast the vehicle off the road and the fire department extinguished the flames. The fire department filed an incident report. The vehicle was towed to a yard and then to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed by a dealer and the manufacturer to determine what caused the failure. The contact was waiting on a response from the manufacturer. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was not available.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #821

Nov 122016


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 50 mph, the engine hesitated, the steering wheel seized, and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The contact mentioned that the engine failed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that there was metal deposits in the engine that caused a knocking noise and the engine to fail. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 16V190000 (steering). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 109,000.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #820

Sep 132016


  • 80,732 miles
I purchased a pre-owned 2011 Sonata in Oct 2013. In September of 2016 the steering wheel at times would be hard to steer. Then around October of 2016 my steering wheel started making a clicking sound when turning the wheel and the ESC light remained illuminated even when I depressed the button numerous times. When I went to a local mechanic to find out what the problem was, I was told it was the steering column and that I would need to take it to Hyundai to fix it because the steering would have to be reprogrammed. I called and was surprised to learn that it was not covered under warranty. I had to shell out $1100 just to have it repaired.

- Bangor, PA, USA

problem #819

Nov 112016


  • 41,740 miles
Turning steering wheel a few degrees left or right of center produced a knocking, clicking and some play. Also, steering would rattle loudly when driving over rough surface such as gravel driveway. Dealer repair determined it was the steering coupler allowing both shafts to become loose. Had this repaired and service dept. Manager told me I shoud now have a safe car? 8 months out of warranty, mileage of 41,740. I feel lose of steering control is a safety hazard.

- Hillsboro, OH, USA

problem #818

Nov 102016


  • 18,293 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 25 mph, an abnormal sound emitted from the steering wheel without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that an unknown part located in the steering wheel fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 18,293.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #817

Nov 062016


  • 80,000 miles
Took my 2011 Hyundai Sonata in to the dealer for the engine seizing recall in April 2016 and they recommended I replace my steering coupler. I had not noticed anything wrong with it at that time so I decided to wait. I am taking it in today to have it replaced because the steering wheel is very loose and is making a clicking noise when I turn it. The car is not immediately responsive to turning in the past few days. I have seen numerous people complaining about the same issue with the same model year car on the Hyundai forums. I checked my VIN and there is not a recall for this. There should be if the car can become unresponsive to someone turning the steering wheel.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #816

Nov 012016


  • 70,000 miles
There is a clicking or clucking sound when going over a slight bump in the road and the steering wheel makes a clicking noise when turning along with a slight give in the steering wheel.

- Forney, TX, USA

problem #815

Oct 102016


  • 88,000 miles
The steering wheel clicks when turning, doesn't respond well. While in dealership for another issue, was informed that the steering coupler needed to be replaced, and the technician said "it's just one of the 'perks' of living in Florida. The weather here just eats this part away.". problem with his statement is that we just moved here a few months ago and, until then, the car was garage kept in the northeast, so his reasoning doesn't hold water. According to what I've read, thousands of other 2011 Sonatas are experiencing this same issue. Why hasn't this been covered under a recall? I was told by the technician that this is a very dangerous situation and it should be repaired asap...and Hyundai would only charge me $375 to repair it "and most likely save your life" per the tech.

- Davenport, FL, USA

problem #814

Nov 082016


  • 90,000 miles
Steering wheel knock and vibrations at high speeds. Steering coupler failure.

- New Richmond, OH, USA

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