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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,812 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #7

Oct 162012


  • 73,686 miles


Today I was driving down the road at a normal speed when I heard a loud bang. It was so frightening I thought I had been shot. I was starring straight ahead. There was no truck in front of me. I was on a two lane road divided with a grass medium with steel grids separating the sides. I immediately stopped the car to find out that the glass of the moon roof had shattered and had completely come out leaving a hole in the center of the roof. Fortunately, my inside visor was closed and the glass did not enter the car. The temperature had gone down to a chilly 60 degrees that night and warmed up during the day. I searched the area and found nothing to indicate a rock or an object having hit the glass. There was a hole in the middle of the roof. I called insurance and Hyundai dealership because the car is still under warranty. Immediately the Hyundai representative said something hit the car pointing to a spot that had residue wax from a recent waxing stating this is where the hit had come from. I disagreed and insurance is now sending an adjustor.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #6

Mar 262011


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised him that the air bag sensor needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired for the sensor. After leaving the dealer, the light illuminated again. In addition, the vehicle refused to start on one occasion and the contact noticed smoke coming from the engine. The vehicle was later towed to the dealer where they advised him that the ground cable was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the ground cable. The contact also stated that the front driver side window was open and could not be closed. The window failure was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 14,000.

- East Jewett, NY, USA

problem #5

Dec 202011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
After scraping some ice from the windshield with a standard plastic scraper, the windshield was covered with scratches. The same scraper was used on the other windows of this car, and on the windshield of another car with no scratching. Tested on another day with a new scraper, and additional scratches were caused. The result is reduced visibility due to the scratches, and an inability to physically clear ice from the windshield in order to prevent additional scratching. Visibility is especially impacted when driving toward the sun. The Hyundai dealer and Hyundai customer service refused to resolve the problem.

- Lakeville, CT, USA

problem #4

Jul 152011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,500 miles


The contact owns 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The contact noticed that the headlights produced a shadow on the windshield making it extremely difficult to see clearly when driving at night. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics. The technicians stated the headlights met safety standards. The technician advised the contact to upgrade the headlights at her expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 8,500. Updated 09/21/11 updated 09/28/11

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #3

Apr 052011


  • 1,000 miles
When I returned home from work and closed the driver door the rear windshield shattered and exploded outward. It was 7P and Hyundai was closed, had safelite emergency replace windshield and they confirmed it did not break from an impact but from stress due to a bad factory install. Hyundai refused warranty reimbursement claiming it cannot be proven one way or another the windshield was defective.

- Homestead, FL, USA

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problem #2

Jun 272010


  • 0 miles
Windshield is defective in several areas of the windshield. View is distorted through these sections of the windshield, especially the lower 1/3 area and areas near the posts. People have complained of car sickness looking through the glass. The passenger seat is lower than the driver's seat and my wife has looked through the windshield and thought I was going to crash or at least go off the road. The dealer replaced the original but the replacement glass is worse. All the Sonata's on their lot are as bad or worse. It appears Hyundai's supplier of windshields is manufacturing distorted windshields. It appears all Sonata's are being manufactured with this distorted glass in the windshields. There is distortion looking out the rear glass through the rear view mirror but we can live with that.

- Ormond Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 152010


  • 0 miles
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata windshields have distorted images when seated in the front and viewing diagonally across the vehicle and out the windshield. All images show a "ripple effect". this happens in both directions (left to right and right to left) I checked other new vehicles in the showroom and they all have the same issue. While it is suttle and most may not notice it can be a problem when changing lanes or turning right. Obviously the driver see a distorted image when looking across the windshield to turn right.

- Ashburnham, MA, USA

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