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 7 of 43)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #733

Sep 062016


  • 39,000 miles


I purchased my Hyundai Sonata on 12/31/2010. It has 39,000 miles on it now. Hendrick Hyundai of charleston SC has informed me the steering column coupler needs to be replaced and has quoted me a repair cost of $243. I declined their offer of repair, but have become concerned as the steering has begun to exhibit an increasingly loose feeling. Following my inquiry to Consumer Affairs at Hyundai motor America, I have been informed this would have been covered under their 5 year 60,000 miles warranty, but since my vehicle is beyond the 5 year period, the warranty does not apply. As a result of my internet search, I have found this part was part of a recall for VIN numbers not including mine, and that there have been numerous complaints filed with NHTSA about this issue. I suspect the fault with the part failure lies with Hyundai, and I resent having to pay for the repair, which I now intend to have the dealer perform because I am concerned about the safety risk.. I further resent that Hyundai has not been more pro-active about a repair issue that I suspect could be life-threatening should steering be lost at highway speed, resulting in a crash.

- Johns Island, SC, USA

problem #732

Jul 172016


  • 74,000 miles
My vehicle has approximately 76,000 miles. When turning the steering wheel in either direction, there is severe looseness and clunk that is felt in the steering wheel. Even in park moving the steering wheel to the left or right the loud noise is present.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #731

Aug 212016


  • 61,000 miles
My vehicle has approximately 61,000 miles. When turning the steering wheel in either direction, there is severe looseness and clunk that is felt in the steering wheel.

- Tujunga, CA, USA

problem #730

Jul 252016


  • 53,100 miles


Seemingly out of the blue, the steering wheel began to have extra give when turned even slightly. Days later, a rattling sound in the column started, especially whenever I hit a bump in the road or turned corners. I took the vehicle to the dealership and was told it was a broken column coupler.

- Yeadon, PA, USA

problem #729

Jun 012016


  • 40,000 miles
I noticed a clunking sound when I turned the steering wheel. I also felt like the front tires and steering were very loose. Driving over bumps or pot holes the wheels felt like they were shaking even though the steering wheel was held tight and not moving. After researching this problem, I found that it is a common complaint due to a power steering coupling going bad. Sonata has a technical service bulletin 14-St-002-1 regarding this problem. I have attached the tsb. The problem became noticeable 5 years and 1 month after I bought the car. The tsb says there are "no steering performance issues associated with this condition". I strongly disagree with this statement. The degraded couple introduced play or wiggle room in the connection between the steering wheel and front tires. When the car is parked, you can rock the steering wheel back and forth to hear the clunking noise. When this is done, you can tell that the steering wheel was moving further than it should without the wheels moving. At first I thought my front wheels were loose. I believe that this issue is very much a safety concern and should be a recall. During my last visit to the dealer to fix other recalls, I paid the $275 to fix this problem since I did not feel safe driving the car with this problem. Since it was over 5 years, the dealer would not replace it under warranty. Thanks, wyman

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #728

Aug 252016


  • 79,000 miles
2011 Hyundai Sonata SE with severe knocking and banging in steering wheel and dealership diagnosed this as steering coupler failure. This is a safety issue despite Hyundai and it's dealers denying this fact. Steering is notably harder with low speed driving and feels uncomfortable at higher speeds. My spouse is afraid to drive the car until this is repaired. This issue is common on these early model Sonatas as well as the Kia optima. The dealerships avoid this issue until after warranty period is over, then they tell customer that it's now their responsibility to repair at $400-600.00. They are even telling customers that there is steering column failure and charging them thousands of dollars in replacement. I cannot understand how this is not considered a safety issue due to it being steering related.

- Canton, MS, USA

problem #727

Sep 012016


  • 68,000 miles


Brought the car in for the steering recall and they tell me the steering coupler is bad will cost $400 to replace and is not covered under the recall. I see numerous people are having serious steering issues because of this faulty part. The 2011 Sonata with 68,000 should not be having this issue. Why wasn't this included with the recent steering recall

- Atcp, NJ, USA

problem #726

Aug 012016

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving various speeds, the steering wheel shook. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V426000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 92,000. Updated 12/01/16 the power steering electric motor coupling was replaced. Updated 12/19/16.8jb

- Flemington, NJ, USA

problem #725

May 022016


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 5 mph in reverse, there was a loud popping noise coming from the vehicle. Also, the steering wheel felt as if it would detach. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who diagnosed that the shaft joint was separating from the steering column and a repair was needed. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Lexington, NC, USA

problem #724

Jun 012016


  • 77,467 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds or making left or right turns, there was an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that a steering boost needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. However, the remedy for NHTSA campaign number: 16V190000 (steering) was performed. The vehicle was then taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the steering rack needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,467.

- Glassboro, NJ, USA

problem #723

Aug 012016


  • 58,000 miles


Takata recall issues with steering after recall-steering coupler issues with seatbelt lamp after recall-clockspring issues with lighting-interior malfunstions issues with turbo feed line issues with A/C lines leaking

- West Warwick, RI, USA

problem #722

Aug 262016


  • 88,000 miles
Intermediate steering shaft is giving me problems

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #721

May 012016


  • 84,000 miles
Steering not precise on road (larger play in wheel) and loud clunking noise when going over bumps. Took to dealer and it was a steering wheel coupler that needing changing. Original was rigid and they changed the design on later models. Issue on play the N wheel and noise at all speeds, however felt more dangerous on freeway. Car was 5.5 years old and 86K miles of mainly freeway driving.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #720

Aug 012016


  • 68,000 miles
Steering has become "loose". it started out a month ago with just slight vibration when driving, now when turning steering wheel in either direction, wheel clicks and shifts from side to side. Also, when going over bumps, the steering wheel makes clanging noise.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #719

Mar 092016


  • 110,000 miles
When turning, a popping noise is heard and also felt in the steering. Also, when traveling at interstate speeds, the steering wheel shakes. In addition, when turning the wheel while backing the car the popping noise is also heard and felt something is very wrong, please help!

- Millbrook, AL, USA

problem #718

Aug 022016


  • 57,700 miles
Had no idea there was this many complaints about the steering I as well had a rattle in the steering when I went over a bump or turned my wheels it would make a loud noise, was told by someone in my hometown they had an elantra that something in steering broke and caused them to brake so I was really paranoid then. I called the dealer told me exactly what it was as soon as I told him how it was doing and that's a $200 fix I said this must happen a lot reply was yes in Sonatas and elantras why isn't there a recall my car doesn't even have 58,000 miles on it and have never had anything like this happen in any other vehicle I have owned. Once drove one for 15 years never had this problem!!

- Ripley, MS, USA

problem #717

Aug 242016


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at 30 mph, a loud clicking noise emitted from the vehicle. In addition, the contact stated that the sound was heard when making a left or right turn and became louder when driving over bumpy roads. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering coupling failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 53,000.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #716

Aug 162016


  • 67,120 miles
After recall repair on steering the steering started a harsh bumping when turning steering wheel left or right while in motion on highway or stopped. The steering went from no problem to a severe problem shortly after the recall. Hyundai service said the relationship to the recall was puirely coincidental. Problems like this usually occur gradually. The service agent stated that he had seen hundreds of Hyundai with this problem. Please investigate this as a possible recall.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #715

Dec 142015


  • miles
I bought my Hyundai Sonata gls 2011, in 2010, and since then there have been several recalls on it. I have done my research, and have found that a manufacturer must repair, replace, or supply a new vehicle to the owner when a recall is mandated. I have taken my vehicle to the dealership for each recall, and what they do is inspect the vehicle, and in most cases, tell me my car doesn't apply to the recall as they find nothing wrong. I am disturbed by this because again, everything I have read, everyone I have talked to, etc... tells me that the dealer must do something in order for the recall to be considered complete. I am driving around in a vehicle with things wrong with it, transporting a toddler, and am stuck with finding resolution on my own. How is this fair to the consumer? the manufacturer has all of its money, as my car is paid off, and my car isn't worth anything for trade or resell due to negligence. If I can make a difference by filing a complaint, and possibly save someone's life, I am willing to try everything and anything in my power to do so.

- York, PA, USA

problem #714

Aug 242016


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the steering wheel violently shook without warning. The contact was able to maintain control of the steering wheel with excessive force. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000. The VIN was not available.

- New Providence, NJ, USA

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