2011 Hyundai Sonata transmission NHTSA complaints: Power Train:Automatic Transmission

NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2011 Hyundai Sonata (Page 1 of 2)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com 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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,816 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Feb 032014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated there was a loud banging noise under the vehicle while driving 65 mph. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times and they were not able to duplicate or diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000. Updated 10/07/14 updated 3/16/2015

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #21

Mar 042012


  • 3,900 miles
From: Consumeraffairs@hmausa.com subject: Re: Hyundai Sonata 2011 date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 18:01:34 -0700 dear javier rivera: Thank you for contacting Hyundai motor America. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you, but we apologize for the circumstances that prompted your contact. We would like to refer you to your servicing dealership for the diagnosis of your battery concern prior to any decisions being made about a buyback situation. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you but we need additional information regarding your situation to review your case further. Once you have contacted your dealership for the repair details, please contact us with the dealership contact information that includes who is working with you and what they are offering to do to address your concerns. We have documented your comments. Your case number 4751061 can be referenced if we can provide further assistance. Thank you for contacting Hyundai motor America. To: consumeraffairs@hmausa.com sent: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 20:55:27 -0700 subject: Hyundai Sonata 2011 to whom it may concern, I am the owner of a Hyundai Sonata hybrid 2011. I recently bought the car in November 2011. I was very excited of buying my first hybrid and the significant savings in gas. I have been happy with the car, although I have realized that the savings in gas were good in the beginning, but have dramatically decrease lately. I thought it was our driving and had not paid too much attention to this until yesterday when the following incident occurred. Yesterday, Sunday March 4, 2012, around 9:00 am on our way to church with the entire family, while my son, 15 years old with a learners permit. Out of the blue the car jerked, stalled and completely lost power on southwest parkway. My son, an inexperience driver, totally panic and almost crashed into a passing car. The car was towed to the dealer, round rock Hyundai in tx. Today the dealer was unable to give additional

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #20

Aug 302011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 10,700 miles
I placed the car in park when I got home from work went inside my house for a few minutes came outside, when I turned the car on and tried to take it out of park it would not change gears. I tried it for almost 20min. I had to turn the car off and back on a few times for it to work. It does it almost everyday. Yesterday 09/14/2011 I had to drive the car away from my job due to an emergency and it would not change gears. I tried after 10min and just left the car behind and had to get a ride from a coworker. If this was a life or death situation I would likely not make it due to this safety issue. This is an ongoing problem.

- Homestead, FL, USA

problem #19

Aug 182011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


2011 Sonata SE dropped to 4th gear at 70 mph with loud bang happened once and put in shop computer had code to replace module and something else parts on order shift solenoid

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #18

Aug 162011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 5,488 miles
For the second time, in interstate high speed traffic (70mph) the car without warning downshifted. A thunderous clunk is accompanied by the car lurching as it deaccelerates then almost immediately resumes speed. But instead of the engine being at 1800 RPM its closer to twice that. In both cases the driver behind me thought that I braked intentionally and nearly rear ended me. The car is then stuck in a lower gear and is driveable with extremely poor response. I had it towed once at the dealer's request and the last time I was able to drive it to a different nearby dealer to demonstrate that unquestionably the car was stuck in one gear. It is an automatic. I'm skeptical that either dealer has any clue to what is wrong. I won't let anyone in the family besides me drive the vehicle as I'm afraid for their safety. It has less than 7000 miles and is 8 months old. The first event was over 1000 miles ago and about 5 weeks earlier.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #17

Aug 062011


  • 3,213 miles
I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE, I have brought it to the dealership 3 times with the same issue. I know there is something wrong with the transmission and they keep telling me that they cannot duplicate the issue and send me on my way. It has happened numerous times when my fiance or I have driven it, now my daughter (who just got her learner's permit) had it happen to her. The tranny slips, it makes a loud clunk when trying to go in reverse then the car will not move. I have to put the car in park, turn it off and on again then try again! other times I will be driving and the car revs up and wont move then slips into gear and then clunks back in gear again causing the car to buck. I don't know what has to happen before this gets fixed!! or hurt! whichever comes first! I am over this!!! I need a car that works!! I am so frightened to have my kids drive the car only for something bad to happen and them not knowing how to handle it scares the [xxx] out of me!!! that is a lawsuit in the making!! someone please help!!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #16

Jul 142011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles


I have owned my 2011 Hyundai Sonata for one year. On July 15, 2011, I went to start the car and I could not depress the brake or start the car. The acc stuff would come on but no ignition to the motor. I tried and tried to start it and ended up calling the dealership. I was told to "kick" the brake pedal "hard" several times; which I did. I finally got it started and drove it to the dealership. I was told "brake light switch" replaced. Left the dealership and drove to my office and when I went to tried to start the car to leave the car would not start, but this time I had to call roadside assistance for the car to be towed back to dealership. Dealership told me they replaced brake light switch again. Now the traction control light comes on and my brake lights are not working. When I did get it to start the car would not go into any gear; it just was locked in park. Well, yesterday, July 20, 2011 the car had to be towed again because of all the same problems. So, the car has been back to the dealership three times within the past five days; two of which the car was towed. I am very concerned about my safety because I believe the brakes have something to do with the air bags not to mention the unknown electrical issues.

- Evans, GA, USA

problem #15

Sep 152010

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. I purchased the car in August of 2010. About a month after owning the vehicle, the engine light came on. When I took it to the dealer, they recorded the code and then said it was the ac. I was asked to wait 15 seconds before turning the ac on after starting car. So I did that. About a week or so later, the light comes on again. Take it back twice after this, they record the code and then the switch is replaced. I maintain my car with all maintenance requested and I drive it on the highway. I had the tire light come on a few months later - was told it was the temperature. That eventually went off. Next was the engine light yet again. This time it occurred after I took the car in on June 17th for an oil change. They told me a recall was on the transmission and they did the recall update. Immediately after this update, the car drove terribly. Very loud, very rough. About a week after this update, the car breaks down in the parking lot. It has done this now about 5 or 6 times since June (today is July 20th). I take it to the dealer and told I need the engine light on in order to repair. The light needs to come on two or three times before Hyundai will replace. The engine light sometimes comes on, sometimes does not, but it is guaranteed to break down. It is most definitely the transmission as it will stall and then hesitate. The lights on the gear shaft go away completely and the dash lights go away so you have no idea if you are in park, reverse, etc. Last time my engine light came on, it went back off that night. The problem continues and Hyundai can't seem to fix. I read online from a general search on this car that this is a resounding issue across the board with others as well. I am frustrated and something should be done. I called corporate and got nowhere. I continue to get the runaround. They should be investigated before someone dies from their transmission issue/lack of concern for the safety and wellbeing of their drivers.

- Portland, TN, USA

problem #14

Jul 162011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
While backing up my car at a slow speed the car abruptly stopped as if I hit a brick wall and made a loud crashing sound. The indicator letters in the dashboard were blank and the shifter gears letters were not illuminated. Car was able to get into drive and was parked, I turned the motor off for a few minutes and restarted the car. Was able to get it home and will call the dealer asap.

- Sugarloaf, PA, USA

problem #13

Jul 022011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
Brake switch failure. Left car immobile.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #12

Jun 122011


  • 22,000 miles


I stopped by the gas station to fill up and turned off my car. After filling the gas tank I attempted to start my car and was unable to get the car out of "park." I tried multiple times and even asked the gas attendant to try and they were unable to get the vehicle out of park as well. This lasted for about 10 minutes before I was able to get the car out of park and proceed on my way.

- Salem, NJ, USA

problem #11

Nov 102010


  • 6,000 miles
While very cold (in the morning during all winter) my 2011 Sonata had shifted from 3rd to 4rt gear very fast and I had very high rpms. I was told that I have to leave my car with them for couple of days and they did not provide me with the loaner.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #10

Feb 012011


  • 2,700 miles
My new Hyundai Sonata SE 2011 fail to start or to turn off ( I have to restart the car in order to do it). Besides that once in a while the transmission indicator does not show any letter on (R or D or P or N).again, I have to restart the car then it goes on normally.when driving the transmission downshifts abnormally.

- North Miami, FL, USA

problem #9

Mar 282011


  • 2,700 miles
The transmission in my 2011 Hyundai Sonata has failed twice. There is a solenoid problem. First time it blew 2 solenoids @ 1,400 miles, felt like I hit a cinder block the 2nd time @ 2,700 miles, the transmission blew out on a major highway. Dealer advises multiple 2011 Sonata's coming in with solenoid issues.

- Tn, TN, USA

problem #8

Feb 112011


  • 3,000 miles
Vibration in steering, grinding noise in transaxe, low tire pressure (by dealer), refusal to perform 3,750 mile maintince secdule (dealer refused).

- Mcadoo, PA, USA

problem #7

Jan 312011


  • 630 miles
Hyundai Sonata SE 2011, 630 miles. While traveling on an open stretch of highway at a steady speed of 70mph, there was a sudden loud ┐thump┐ sound. The entire vehicle jerked violently with sudden deceleration as if it hit a solid object. Driver did not see any obstruction or imperfections on the road prior to the noise. Driver realized that the speed was almost instantly reduced from 70mph to ~63mph. Rpms were racing unusually high, around 3000 when typical operating range is 2000. Driver shifted from automatic ┐drive┐ gear to shiftronic and realized that the transmission was stuck in 4. neither the manual or automatic transmission could change the gear. Driver immediately took vehicle to dealer. Dealer's service department acknowledged that the transmission was stuck in gear 4, but technician was able to reset the transmission by turning off the engine and restarting. Based on the computerized error codes, dealer replaced the body valve harness and solenoid.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #6

Jan 052011


  • 7,200 miles
When driving at highway speed the car made a huge thud, it automatically shifted from 6th to 4th gear and remained stuck in fourth gear until you turn off the car. Took car to dealer and entire transmission had to be replaced.

- Webster, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 282010


  • 1,200 miles
I recently purchased 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T limited. The car has 1200+ miles on it and I have it for 4+ weeks. One major problem is the car is pulling to the left and the steering wheel is not at absolute center. Steering this car feels very heavy when I turn to the right and very light when I turn to the left. I am not sure what is going on and why this problem. Can you please help? I have submitted an email to Hyundai and will be taking the car in to the dealer this week to have it checked. VIN = [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #4

Dec 072010


  • 3,900 miles
My 2011 Hyundai Sonata transmission went after 2 months. The rpms went haywire and it switch gears. I took it to the dealership and changed the transmission. I hope this doesn't happen again. However I 'm finding alot on the internet in reference to this issue.

- Raleigh , NC, USA

problem #3

Dec 112010


  • 11,000 miles
I own a 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE. 11000 miles. On December 11,2010 while on I-16 in savannah, Georgia, I was driving my Sonata and it felt like my front end bottomed out. Rpms revved up and stayed at 5000 and I was only traveling at 65mph. It was like I was stuck in 2nd gear. Gears wouldn't shift up or down. This went on for 10 miles. When I slowed and accelerated it was very hesitant. I stopped the car and turned the ignition off for 20 minutes. When I started it again, it shifted normally. No other occurrences since then.

- Savannah, GA, USA

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