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 32 of 43)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #233

Nov 082011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 100 miles


After the manufacturer's recall on tracking issues with this model neither this attempt at fixing the problem nor the other previous two attempts has fixed the tracking problem with this vehicle. In the left lane at highway speed if the steering wheel is released the vehicle immediately turns abruptly left and must be corrected immediately to prevent it leaving the lane and then the highway. The dealer states that the car is within specs but that is only when they take it to a certain section of a local highway where there is no crown. When this car is in the left lane where there is any type of crown it will abruptly move left the instant the steering wheel is released in 98 percent of the times I've tried it. This car could be very dangerous if you aren't alert at all times because of the rate of drift. The NHTSA should force a recall that fixes this problem, Hyundai seems to be whitewashing this with claims that under perfect conditions the car is in spec. The dealer must drive the car to a stretch of highway about 5 miles from the dealership to find this perfect strip of highway to test the cars in order to claim they are in spec. Amazing!

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #232

May 102011


  • 659 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that when driving at any speed, the steering wheel would feel loose and the front end of the vehicle would exhibit an abnormal clicking noise. In addition, there was an abnormal metal scraping sound coming from the rear of the vehicle in which the tires were wearing prematurely. The vehicle was taken to the dealer numerous times for the failures. The dealer replaced the steering clock spring and advised that the noise in the front and rear of the vehicle was normal because of the wheel design. The vehicle was not further repaired. The front and rear end continued to make noise while driving and the steering wheel still felt extremely loose. The failure mileage was 659 and the current mileage was 21,811.

- Tayler, TX, USA

problem #231

Oct 032011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 13,400 miles
Vehicle steering pulls to left. Checked air pressure (cold) of tires and all were within specified pressures (30 P.S.I.). just received mfr notice advising me my Hyundai Sonata limited may have a "current open recall campaign". note: The notice was allegedly from mfr., but directed me to contact a Hyundai dealer other than the dealer which sold me the vehicle. The dealer from which I purchased the vehicle is still in operation, but I have received no such recall advisement them. The notice states, "this campaign may be a safety related repair and will be performed at no charge to you". strange...very strange.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #230

Oct 062011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 11,500 miles


Follow up on my earlier steering problem with the 2011 limited turbo. ODI id number : 10427654 dealership installed new struts, aligned car and did a selective tire rotation. Car still pulled left in left lane and wandered left and right every 4-7 seconds in right lane of highway. Took car back into dealership 10/6/2011 and they again aligned and did another selective rotation. Car still pulls and wanders. Contacted Hyundai customer service and their reply was as follows: "thank you for contacting Hyundai motor America. We apologize for your dissatisfaction with our previous response regarding the specifications for the tracking in your 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T. We contacted buerkle Hyundai to gather further information regarding the specifications for your vehicle. We were informed the vehicle is required to track straight for 9 seconds or less at 40 miles per hour. They informed us that for every 10 miles per hour that your vehicle accelerates over 40 miles per hour, the requirement drops by 2 seconds. If your vehicle is going 70 miles per hour, the required seconds the vehicle would need to track straight is 3 seconds. If your vehicle does not track straight for 3 seconds at 70 miles per hour, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with the service department of buerkle Hyundai for further inspection. We are confident that the dealership will address all of your concerns and provide you with expert advice. You can reach buerkle Hyundai by calling *** *** ****. " they tell me that this was a dealer's decision and that if the Hyundai can travel 300-500 feet without a steering correction than the car is within spec's. this is a steering correction every 4 sec. At 70mph. Why isn't NHTSA doing something about this?

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #229

Oct 142011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 20,656 miles
While driving 65 mph on a state highway during rush hour with the cruise control on, the steering wheel/car suddenly starting shaking extremely violently and it was all I could do to maintain control long enough to pull over and stop/inspect the vehicle. It was remarkable an accident did not occur and if my child, a new driver, had been behind the wheel, I am certain an accident would have occurred. The electric power steering (eps) and electronic stability control (ESC) warning lights came on and power steering no longer worked. The sensation I experienced was very much like that described in NHTSA campaign id no. 10V426000. I took the car to the dealership and they ultimately concluded that the problem was a brake switch which caused power steering to stop working. The dealership replaced the brake switch, concluding that my 2011 Hyundai Sonata, manufactured on 3/11/11, was not subject to the recall involving steering column intermediate shaft universal joint connections. I am currently driving the car, although I do so reluctantly, particularly with family members in the vehicle. While I do not know if these situations are related, on 9/11/11 my car had to be towed to the dealership because the starter would not recognize the brake was depressed. At that time a brake light switch was replaced. I have been in contact with Hyundai Consumer Affairs and the dealership's service manager, but remain concerned about my vehicle and this situation happening to other drivers who may not be as lucky as I was. I remain hopeful Hyundai will be aggressive and proactive in this process, but it scared and concerned me enough I felt it was necessary to pursue this situation with a regulatory body.

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #228

Aug 012011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 1 miles
My 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T has been tracking and pulling to the left and has a side to side motion that has caused my daughter to become nauseous since I bought the car new on August 1, 2011. I went to two different dealerships on three separate occasions. Both dealerships acknowledge that it pulls to the left and the side to side motion. Both have not been able to fix the problem even after three attempts. Hyundai has done a voluntary tsb campaign (#927) to fix the problem but so far the all the dealerships have done is balance the tires and align them and that has not fixed the problem. At highway speeds the car feels unsafe but Hyundai doesn't seem to care. I tried calling their Hyundai usa toll free number but have not had any help from Hyundai usa. I think that there needs to be a full recall to have Hyundai correctly address and fix the problem. I've spent almost two months and three trips to dealerships to have them mickey mouse around and tell me that the problem was a "simple balance problem" or a "simple alignment problem" when clearly the car still pulls to the left and moves side to side. It seems to be that Hyundai did not do proper engineering because the problem is only with the 18" wheel and tire package.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #227

Mar 012011


  • 16,000 miles


Vehicle pulls hard to one side while driving on a flat, smooth surface.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #226

Oct 052011


  • miles
Look at the problem in this video. Serious steering malfunction.

- None, NY, USA

problem #225

Jun 012011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the headliner in the vehicle was leaking water. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they advised him that they were unable to diagnose the failure. In addition, while driving at various speeds the steering wheel would pull to the left very hard. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they advised him that they were unable to diagnose the failuer after test driving the vehicle. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 7,000. The VIN was unavailable. The roof seam is leaking which has stained the headliner. Also having problems with the steering, gearshift, and subwoofers. Updated 11/09/2011

- Peebles, OH, USA

problem #224

Sep 292011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,300 miles
Took car to dealership for front end noise and "popping" during turns. Dealer states the steering rack is faulty and needs replaced. Steering rack is on order as of 09/30/2011 and won't be in until 10/05/2011. Keith hawthorne Hyundai service dept. Claims vehicle is still safe to drive until part comes in.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #223

Jan 062011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 15 miles


Vehicle has pulled to the left since new. At approx. 7000 miles the left hand pull changed to pulling to the right and left and would require a steering correction every 4 sec when traveling at 70mph on a straight highway. That's 900 corrections per hour for a longer trip. Talk about work! talked to the service tech at the dealership where I purchased car several times and he said that Hyundai really didn't have a fix for the Sonata at this time--8 months later. Now have 10,000 miles on car and rotated tires and now it's back to the left pull. Talk about an unsafe car.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #222

Aug 062011


  • 4,300 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 65 mph the contact heard a cracking sound while turning the steering wheel. The steering wheel would pull to the left making it difficult to maneuver the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician was unable to duplicate or diagnose the failure. The technician performed a tire rotation, a front and rear end alignment, applied a lubricant to the steering and suspension, and tightened the frame bolts but the failure continued. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 4,300.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #221

May 252011


  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE. The contact was driving 35 mph when the vehicle drifted towards the left despite the contact maintaining control of the steering wheel. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer, but the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 200 and the current mileage was 2,600.

- Deerpark, NY, USA

problem #220

May 102011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 1,506 miles
Purchased car on May 10, 2011 at local dealership. Didn't have new car window sticker in car or at dealership. I was told I wasn't looking hard enough for it. Dealership got me one in July. I have pictures of test drive with no window sticker. Found hail damage on car after the paperwork while still at dealership--finally fixed in July. Found out while doing paperwork the car had 1500 miles on it--didn't know that until then--should have stopped then---in my book not new!!!! car pulled to left real hard on way home from dealership--realigned front end--still pulling left. Dealership service dept. Admits to recall and doesn't have equipment/tools to repair. The car had deep scratches on front passenger side bumper at delivery--finally fixed somewhat--you can still feel and see the scratches if looking for them. Drivers seat fraying apart at material at 2900 miles. Trim damaged by hail repair person--still waiting on that repair. Just left dealer complaining to manager about everything and found paint flaking off of rear drivers wheel. Strong smell of burnt charcoal coming from trunk area---manager in service dept. Said that's a normal smell. I have purchased 5 new from same dealership and none of the others have had that smell. I purchased a 2011 tucsan the same day--no problems. Owner of dealership said that they are allowed to sell new cars without "new car window stickers", I looked it up--it's illegal. Also told there was communication problems about the sale of my car---not telling me everything--like the scratches, hail damage, replacement of parts. The manager today said he did not know anything about the Sonata's pulling to the left---I told him to google it. I have never had so many problems on a new car or even a used one. Current mileage is 3100 miles. Just did a carfax and found no repairs from dealer? I guess they are beyond the law of reporting it.

- Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #219

Aug 052008

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 10 miles
Although my 2011 Sonata limited, is in effect an excellent vehicle, it is causing me a great deal discomfort. It is being let down with the worst steering tracking I have ever experienced. The car constantly needs to be eased back and forth to make it stay straight. Over a long ride this is very fatiguing, the slightest lapse in steering control to made an in car adjustment of the radio for example, or to adjust the rear view mirror, can send you towards the guardrail. I am constantly having to make minor steering corrections when driving straight, I have never felt so insecure in charge of a vehicle in my life. For all the great safety measures built into this car, for a fundamental such as the steering, well. You kind of expect it to work. As long as there is tension on the steering wheel, like in a curve or a turn, the steering responds fast and accurate. The second you are on the straight road, the steering wanders. I really feel unsafe, the pleasure I should be having with this car has been replaced with trying to stay straight in my lane. My work involves me flying all over the country so I drive countless rental cars, none have anywhere near the bad steering tracking I'm experiencing. I would like to take it back, but the dealership doesn't think there is a problem, their static tests show the alignment spot on, and I was recommended to drive it for a few thousand miles and I'll get used to it. And the dealer's technician informed me that the Sonata always follows the crest of the road. This is not acceptable. I was so concerned I went to to see if anyone else was having this problem, and found literally dozens of people with this same complaint.

- Cottleville, MO, USA

problem #218

Jun 202011


  • 135 miles
Purchased 2011 Sonata gls on 6/20/11. Driving home I had to make my left hand hold tighter on the steering wheel to keep the car from drifting to the right. As I released my grip from the steering wheel I noticed the car pulling/drifting all the way to the right as far as space would allow. Notified dealership immediately, had car serviced 4 times in two months. Hyundai adjusted tire pressure, did alignment, road force balance test and rotated tires, did another alignment. This has lessened the pulling/drifting to the right (some pulling/drifting still remains) and what will happen when, during normal maintenance, I rotate the tires back to their original position" will this terrible pulling/drifting to the right begin all over again? the problem remains that when you move the steering wheel to the right to either stay in your lane, change lanes to the right, or make a right hand turn, after you come back to center, the car drifts back to the right. At first Hyundai would not acknowledge that there was any problem. They now say that this is normal. How is it normal when it does not do it to the left? Hyundai service managers say this problem occurs on all 2011 Sonata's from minor to major pulling to the left or right on each vehicle. Hyundai has refused to continue to try to fix this problem. I have filed a complaint with Hyundai motor America and have a case number and have contacted my state's attorney general's office. I will be contacting Hyundai again by certified letter requesting that they tell me what they intend to do to fix my brand new car. Why is there no recall for people in my situation? why is Hyundai not held accountable for what they have done and be made to fix my brand new car" as consumers we pay a lot of money for these cars. They ask us to be honest with them on their tv commercial, but when I did they did not like it.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #217

Jul 252011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 39 miles
Car pulls to the left most of the time, sometimes forcefully. Occassionally pulls to the left. Vibrates at multiple speeds. Spent four visits to two different dealers for service that did not correct the issue.

- Edinburg, TX, USA

problem #216

Oct 312010

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
Our 2011 Hyundai Sonata has a pull to the left. We noticed it immediately on the day we took delivery and have had the car in the dealership on at least three occasions, but it still pulls. We have had three alignments and replaced one help.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #215

Aug 252011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 19 miles
Purchased a 2011 Sonata hybrid (premium package). Since driving off the lot the car pulls to the left and vibrates between 65-75mph. Brought it to a local dealer for service and they performed a computer wheel alignment and straight trak. Problems still exists all the time. From looking at the listing, there are over 100 complaints on this that are registered for 2011 Hyundai Sonatas. NHTSA, please help the consumers with this problem. Even when calling the Hyundai toll free number, they act like it is the first time they heard of this problem.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #214

Aug 302011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 13,200 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata, has been returned to dealer six times since purchased in June 2010. Difficult to steer the vehicle and keep on your side of the road. This is my second complaint, ODI # 10380197. Hyundai states the "car drives as designed". Hyundai refuses to admit their is a problem. Software update ordered by NHTSA did not fix the problem. Factory rep has refused to authorize any repairs. 13200 miles on car now. Original incident date 8/23/2010. Cannot drive on any long road trips with this car.

- Missouri, MO, USA

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