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:
14 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 1
Average Mileage:
46,387 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 3 of 49)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #937

Aug 272017


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 25 mph, the power steering made an abnormal vacuum sound. The contact stated that the sound was more prominent while making right turns. The contact also stated that the steering lock failed to operate as intended. The contact also stated that there was an issue with starting the vehicle. The contact stated that the steering wheel had to be turned to the left simultaneously while attempting to start the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to be diagnosed. Hatchett Hyundai West (757 N tyler rd, wichita, ks 67212, (316) 440-8400) was notified of the failure. The manufacturer was not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Plevna, KS, USA

problem #936

Jul 012017


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 60 mph, the steering wheel became very loose and a knocking sound was heard when the steering wheel was turned slightly. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic (malik's in newark, Delaware) where it was diagnosed that the steering coupler failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V426000 (steering). A few months ago, the steering knuckle failed and was not repaired. The local dealer and manufacturer were not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 98,000.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #935

Jul 152017


  • 75,000 miles
There is a play in steering intermediary shaft. Wheels makes noise while turning.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #934

Jun 012017


  • miles


I have noticed excess click in the steering column when turning or riding over bumps in the road. In addition, the steering wheel gives a slight resistance when the noise is present. This happens when the vehicle is in motion and when maneuvering the wheel when parking. The problem has been persistent since June of 2017.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #933

Aug 122017


  • miles
When I hit bumps it sounds like the drivers side wheel is going to pop off. The clicking of the steering wheel affects the wheel when going over the bumps. It seems as it going to fall off

- Mckees Rocks, PA, USA

problem #932

Aug 182015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While the vehicle was stationary, the steering wheel and the ignition switch seized without warning. The contact stated that the failure was intermittent over a period of two years. The contact was able to unlock the steering wheel and the ignition on her own. West broad Hyundai in richmond, Virginia was made aware of the failure and could not determine the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000.

- North Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #931

Aug 152017


  • 107,500 miles


Steering wheel has loose spot noticeable especially when turning into a parking spot. It is as if it's pulsating or a clunking loose area when steering wheel is turned.

- Mount Dora, FL, USA

problem #930

Aug 032017


  • 100,000 miles
My steering wheel is cluncking & rattling very bad as if I am going to lose control. I have also ben burning oil like crazy for months.

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #929

Jul 252017


  • 127,455 miles
The contact's girlfriend owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving, the contact heard a clicking noise coming from the steering wheel and an unknown warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the power steering unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 127,455.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #928

Aug 022017


  • miles
Had my 2 front tires changed, after they were charged the brake paddle locked up and the push button starter will not start the car and I have no brake lights. The only way to start the car is to press down on the brakes while pushing and holding the starter at the same time for about 60 seconds, the car will not move out of gear unless the shift release lock is pushed. I have no brake lights

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #927

Jul 142017


  • 136,719 miles


I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata writing in regards to the Hyundai steering gear assembly recall no. 0## I have a vehicle that has this loose steering wheel concern where this vehicle is immobile now and cannot be safely driven anytime. This vehicle has been parked in my yard since it was picked up from the dealer several weeks ago. When I spoke to the local dealership about it, I am told it is not covered due to its mileage. This item has been a concern awhile and brought more clearly to my attention when driven by my father. He describes it as "a death trap" and told me not to drive it until it corrected. There is excessive play or a loose feeling in the steering wheel and it is very slow to respond. It feel like it will fall apart at anytime when driving and it has a clicking noise when making a turn either direction. I have written a letter to the Hyundai assurant program and I have been told the same thing; its not a covered warranty item. I says it is covered due to the recall no matter when it was discovered, because the assembly of the steering column is definitely malfunctioning. An upload of the letter forward to Hyundai assurant program is attached to this complaint. Unhappy owner Oklahoma

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #926

Feb 082017


  • miles
Interior light comes on without opening doors clicking in the steering collar motor has a winning sound and the brake light some times just blink off

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #925

Jun 202017


  • 111,000 miles
Clacking sound coming from the steering column when wheel is turned during driving and when the car travels over bumps in the road

- Wilmington, MA, USA

problem #924

Jul 012017


  • 105,000 miles
Was getting onto the highway when my power steering gave out, was able to pull onto the side of the road away from traffic. My engine started knocking and I was unable to keep my car running. I had it towed to Hyundai in clarksville Maryland, where they stated I had engine failure and that it needed to be replaced. They are now telling me they can't replace it although it is under a recall and under the cut off mileage. They are not communicating with me about the repair of my car and have yet made any attempts to get me into a new car. At this point I don't want my car repaired, I would rather them buy my car back or put me in a new car. The car has 5 recalls that I an aware about including the engine, power steering, front seat belt latches, my brakes pedal, and front coil springs.

- Eldersburg, MD, USA

problem #923

Jun 232017


  • 105 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact heard an abnormal noise progressing from the area of the engine. The dealer (gurley leep Hyundai, 5302 grape rd, mishawaka, in 46545, (574) 258-7700) was notified of the failure and diagnosed that the engine assembly needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact experienced the failure related to the unknown manufacturer's engine recall, but the dealer refused to provide a solution because the vehicle was excluded. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 16V340000 (air bags), 15V759000 (service brakes, hydraulic), and 16V190000 (steering). The approximate failure mileage was 105. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #922

Jun 152017


  • 73,301 miles
2011 Sonata, car burns oil to black immediately. Took car in on warranty service for front knocking noise that appeared to generate from steering wheel. Replaced left transaxle, still noise took it back they replaced right transaxle. The issues with electrical still exist they've replaced the left side buttons on steering wheel even though I complained none worked correctly. Now cruise control is nonexistent. The airbag light came on at 73000 miles. Seat doesn't go all the way down. There is a definitive rattle originating from the engine and at times the rear end seems to have drag and shake. They inspected car for recall and of course they said my vehicle is unaffected but who knows how thorough their inspection actually is. I mean they represent Hyundai so why would they want to say it was bad prior to any breakdown. Right. I feel like this severe of an issue should have an independent inspection.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #921

Jun 122017


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While making a left or right turn, the contact heard a clicking noise coming from the steering wheel. The contact called the Hyundai dealer in stockton, ca at 855-371-9460 and was informed that she needed a rubber coupling for the steering wheel. The contact was informed that the vehicle was over the mileage for the extended warranty and could not be serviced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that the vehicle was over the mileage and the contact needed to pay for the repairs. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #920

May 152017


  • miles
Steering wheel / steering coupler. Steering wheel would shake and rattle when driving over a bump( all the time) or hit a certain speed or driving on a freeway.

- Montebello, CA, USA

problem #919

Aug 182015


  • miles
I have had issues with this car since I purchased it and purchase the extended warranty however all it has done is help with standard oil changes. The power steering or the steering wheel rather begin making a loud clicking noise when going in reverse it would be more pronounced I took it to the dealership and after two times there they finally said oh it's the left transaxle I took the vehicle home and immediately same sound I took it to capital Hyundai and they said oh it's the right transaxle my tires have worn three times already on the front since I purchased this car in 2014 so I'm going through six tires in three years on the front end in addition to this problem I took the car in because the radio volume up button when I pressed it would initiate the phone functions of the car when I would hit cruise control resume then it would cancel the cruise control completely I told him this and they ended up replacing the left side buttons on my steering wheel but now my cruise control doesn't work at all in addition to this when I plug in iphone charger socket into the power receptacle the radio stops working and has complete interference when I pull it out the interference stops in the radio returns to normal the cooling function of the vehicle is nonexistent it blows hot air regardless until the engine gets really warm then it will blow cool air. As soon as the vehicle stops moving instance if I stop at a red light it begins blowing hot air again. When I had my oil changed in the last time I checked the oil and it was already black I took the car in for these service for the recall for the engine inspection and I feel like Hyundai is going to say there's nothing wrong with the car because they're representing Hyundai. I believe there should be an independent inspection facility to ensure that these engines are up to standard I don't believe my engine is

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #918

Jun 092017


  • miles
The steering wheel has a defective part and there is no recall. Complaints all over the internet. The steering wheel clicks when you turn or hit a bump and the steering wheel is very loose. The defective part is a "coupler" that costs $5 to buy, but they want $400 for labor. This is a common known issue and it's a safety hazard, but there's no recall. It's ridiculous. I nearly lost control hitting a bump because the steering is so loose from this defect.

- Louisville, KY, USA

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