really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,847 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.

2012 Hyundai Sonata electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #48

Sep 012011


  • 60,000 miles


This vehicle has had electrical problems from the very beginning. As well as the horrible ticking (cylinders not injectors!) mainly at first was the radio would go out. Was not even a month after purchase, dealers answer was to "remove the fuse and push back in and it will work". so I did, shady but I did. Then cruise would not work, would have to pull over shut off vehicle then maybe it would work. Next my car kept burning out headlamps. Friggin expensive (I use silver silverstar ultra headlights for long trips) I'm now on my 8th set. I even contacted the manufacturer to complain about their cheap headlights! oops! then the clicking and popping started with the front wheels first only in reverse then all the time especially while turning. I was past the warranty and because I didn't ask about it before my warranty expired they didn't fix it!!! then the crazy electrical stuff started! my dome light stopped working right so I had to turn it off completely. Then parking tail light stopped working. Finally I went through my third battery and took it to the dealer to ask what all this crappie as about, oh it's a bad battery, you know they do go bad they said. Well thank god I purchased extended warranty they fixed an axle, clock spring replaced buttons on steering wheel, I had to buy a new battery and still the problem persisted. Recently after this whole ordeal I started with the dealer in August and didn't get my car fixed and back to me until almost christmas! got my car back tail light still doesn't work, cruise is somewhat fixed radio did it again and guess what, the headlight burned out again a week after I picked up the car!!! arrrggghhhh! I went and bought a new set of headlights (because they always tell you to replace in pairs) and guess what even the brand new bulb doesn't work!!! I spent almost 30K on this car and my 18K corolla was way better! functioning.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #47

Oct 012016


  • 100,000 miles
The first issue is that my car will not start sometimes. Then after a minute or two it will start. I have the push button to start my car. It is beginning to happen more often in the last 6 weeks. The second issue is that my steering wheel is making a clicking noise when I turn the steering wheel. It happens all the time.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #46

Sep 182016


  • 77,000 miles
I purchased my vehicle 1/21/15 certified pre-owned w/ 39,011 4/10/15 as I was driving on a town road doing approximately 45 mph, the vehicle shut off on me and turned itself back immediately. The heat was not on prior to the shutdown, but when the car turned back on, the blowers came on full blast. I explained to the dealer it was like my car was possessed. Mechanic only tested the battery at this time, battery is fine, cause is unknown. 8/3/15 engine seized with while driving approximately 60 on a state highway. Engine was replaced and later a recall was announced by the manufacturer. 9/18/16 vehicle shut off again while driving on an interstate doing approximately 80 mph while switching lanes. Lost power steering briefly and the vehicle came right back on, all lights illuminated on the dash, radio came back on blasting (was not like that prior to shutting off). Maybe it was a coincidence or not, but the second I turned my left turn signal on, is when the vehicle shut off. It came back on maybe 3 seconds later. Original dealership claimed a loose connection with the battery caused it, however, they did no further testing or investigating. It is currently at another Hyundai dealership getting assessed. From 2/20/15 until present, I have also been experiencing the controls on the steering wheel not functioning properly: Ex. the mode button will mute the volume, the channel changer and volume will start making calls on my bluetooth call log or activate the voice controls. Volume will sometimes changes the channel or will increase instead of decrease and vice versa. Sometimes the channel changer will control the volume or mode, they do what they want to when they want to. Cruise control is inoperable most of the time. I have multiple videos and have shown the mechanics, but they claim to never be able to duplicate the problem. Cause, still unknown.

- Kunkletown, PA, USA

problem #45

Sep 112016


  • 33,000 miles


I have 2012 Sonata glx, most of the time, shut the car off and went into the house to grab somethingt came back out and started the car and nothing out of the speakers. Everything works on the screen, map, clock, radio but no sound from the speakers earlier has the same problem went to dealer and fixed twice, it is ridiculous going to the dealer and to get rectified. Now again I had same problem, I need permanent solution for this issue. Please help !!!

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #44

Sep 082016


  • 102,101 miles
The car turns off while driving and there is a loud knocking sound from the engine area. The car also hesitates, and it is a loud roaring sound from the engine area. The issues occur when the car is stationary, in motion, and on the city street and highway. When I press down on the brake the car cuts off.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #43

Aug 142016


  • 58,658 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 80 mph, the vehicle independently decelerated and all the warning lights on the instrument panel flashed. The contact pulled over and discovered that the vehicle was on fire underneath the front end. The police extinguished the fire, but a fire report was not filed. No injuries were sustained. The vehicle was towed to a local dealer, but was not diagnosed nor repaired. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was previously serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,658.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #42

Aug 012016


  • 86,000 miles


Car will not shift out of park- was parked and went to shift into reverse and it would not shift, called mechanic used shift release button to get out of park, brake lights do not work, cruise control doesnt work, ecs light stays on. Took car in for recall, they sold us the brake padal switch that I thought was the recall but they said would solve the problem and it did not solve the problem!!! this is my 17yr olds car and I am very nervous to have her drive this car now, but it can not be until we figure out brake lights!!

- Tamaroa, IL, USA

problem #41

Dec 202014


  • 34,000 miles
While driving in the city or highways using my turn signals, hazard lights or brakes my tail light keeps overheating and melting the plastic casing, I have replaced the casing already and the bulbs keep blowing, the plastic from the new casing looks burned and continues to have smoke. I have replaced the bulbs weekly over a year to date. These bulbs are all being replaced by a reputable shop and not an individual. I have receipts to confirmed the number of bulbs that have been replaced since my purchase in Dec 2014. I stopped by clem's Goodyear to inspect the constant bulb outage. I was in formed the entire case has melted due the type of bulbs Hyundai manufacturer are using and could potentially cause a fire or an explosion. The mechanic went on to say it's to close to my gas tank and potentially be detrimental. The mechanic called Hyundai dealership for lighting kit and was informed they keep this kit heavily stocked because of the number of complaints they get regarding the read break lights frequent outage.quoted price $540. So I stopped by bentley Hyundai to discuss the information provided to the mechanic. I overheard the service mechanic customer service rep say to a mechanic we got another one with the same issues. When the service rep returned he informed they have the part and quoted me $440 to replace. This is an indication they is a lighting/electrical mechanical problem that could potentially kill someone. A recall should be issued before it's to late.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #40

Jan 022016


  • 98,000 miles
Tail light keeps overheating and melting the plastic casing, I have replaced the casing already and the bulbs keep blowing, the plastic from the new casing looks burned already within a month and within two weeks of the second bulb replacement it is burnt out again. These bulbs are all being replaced by a reputable shop and not an individual.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #39

Dec 252015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact had to coast the vehicle over to the side of the road and was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that there was a catastrophic motor failure and that the dealer needed to provide a repair. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine). The vehicle was kept at the dealer for longer than two months. The dealer replaced the part for the recall repair, but the failure recurred. The contact was informed that the motor and starter needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Robstown, TX, USA

problem #38

Mar 072016


  • 92,222 miles


My car is slowing down while I'm driving and in order to pick up speed I have to take my foot off of the gas and put it back on to accelerate. I am also having electrical issues which includes changing my brake lights several times every couple of months. The electrical issue also includes my check engine light, seat belt light, check tire light and truck light on when it is not open. The electrical problem is also affecting my doors and alarm system I.e. my car is currently only manual when it should be automatic.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #37

Jan 232016


  • 73,000 miles
1/23/2016 8:02 am I received a call from my wife who was driving her 2012 Hyundai Sonata on the I-95 in South Florida on the way to work going approximately 70 mph, when she went to accelerate to overtake a car driving slower. All the lights on the dashboard went on and the car completely lost acceleration power and the speed dropped all the way down to 40 mph. When the speed reached 40 mph, she could not accelerate anymore and hence quickly pulled off to the side of the road (upon my request). Due to the heavy traffic, she was extremely lucky not to get into an accident. When I arrived to switch cars with her, the car started fine and accelerated appropriately. I took it straight to the Hyundai dealership who after running diagnostics came up the following: No codes stored in memory and no signs of what could have caused the car to act like this. They recommended a throttle body cleaning which is currently being completed (I am writing this from delray beach Hyundai). They stated the throttle body sticking may be the cause, but went on to admit they really had no idea as diagnostics gave them no information. After this incident, we are concerned that the car is no longer safe to drive and the fact the dealership has been unable to come up with any cause is even more of a concern.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #36

Sep 152014


  • 9,308 miles
****buyer beware*****purchased this car in Feb 2014 with only 230miles on it and in Sept 2014 I pulled out of my home turned right and had no issues...although about 50 feet later I stopped at a red light on a fairly busy street with mid to high traffic, I stopped and once in motion, immediate my ets light came on the dash and my steering completely froze up and steering wheel lock up. I was in motion going about 40 mph, not yet up to the 45 speed limit. There were cars all around me and I had to physically force my car to right with my emergency lights on. I was lucky this didn't happen on my way to get my child from school, or after. Otherwise it would have been a completely different situation. The Hyundai corporation, has refused to buy back their default death trap of a vehicle and had the nerve to offer a "month car payment". my life could have been taken from me and they only offer a payment. Not acceptable. Buy back your known defective vehicle. I have had four recalls on this car in less than 3 years of purchase.

- Loveland, CO, USA

problem #35

Dec 182015


  • 60,000 miles
The vehicle has a history of losing power completely. At this point I am unable to enter the car with the keyless entry, you have to do it manually. The car was parked on the street. Once you put the key in the ignition the horn/alarm goes off and doesn't stop. It also seems to be revving while it is in park. While driving I experience little power surges from the car where it accelerates with me trying to do anything. There was also another instance where the car would not start once the emergency brake was engaged. Once disengaged the car started with a little hesitation. I only had the car for 6 months and have had to bring it back to the dealer at least 6 times.

- Mount Vernon, NY, USA

problem #34

Jan 012015


  • 12,000 miles
During cold weather, the 2.0 turbo Sonata engine will cut power to the car and go into a "limp" mode if an over boost code (usually P0605 & P2110 ), is triggered. This causes an unsafe situation as there is very little power available to get out of the way or can cause a rear vehicle crash. There have been a couple times where this has happened on 0 degree days or even at 30 degrees. This will happen at any speed if the boost pressure is exceeded and makes for a very dangerous situation. The ECU should not be cutting power or fuel, it should be reducing the boost to compensate for temperature. The only way to restore the power to the engine, is to shut the car off and restart.....codes will still be active but the power will restore itself.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #33

Aug 252015


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at 25 mph, the instrument panel lights flickered and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not diagnosed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Paso Robles, CA, USA

problem #32

Feb 092015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 21,348 miles
Earlier that day the wrench was lit up on the dashboard, but it disappeared. I was driving out of my neighborhood at about 15-20 mph and the screen read "warning! do not drive! irreparable damage to ? I can't remember" it started to freeze the driving. Then I parked it and it would not start back up. It was towed to the dealer and they replaced the battery and hpcu. It scares me to think what would have happened if I was on the freeway. I bought this car April 20, 2014 and now can just get 2/3's what I paid for it. Sad, but true. When I get some money I will be trading this in as I am nervous driving this car now.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #31

Jan 062015


  • 78,000 miles
The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) has displayed erroneous tire pressure readings during cold weather climates numerous different times despite having the correct psi or adding air to reach an ultimate psi reading. This has been an issue with other models of Hyundai vehicles with the TPMS feature according to other owners.

- Homewood, IL, USA

problem #30

Dec 232014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 72,340 miles
Starter and battery needed to be replaced on 2012 Hyundai Sonata. Not covered by my warranty.

- Ronkonkoma , NY, USA

problem #29

Nov 282014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • miles
When going to work I parked my car in the garage. When I came out to try to start it said check brakes. The brakes were not on, I then pressed the brakes and pushed the button and it said it needed the key. I put it in the slot and it still said the same the whole time making the sound when it starts. The tow number and the closest dealer said to hold the brake in and the key against the push for about thirty seconds, still did not start. The tow truck hired to come asked me to take the key inside the key and put it in driver's door and lock and unlock then do the thirty second brake with pushing the button again still would not start, towed to dealer service manager acted like he never had anyone ever complain about this before. I asked him how road assistance and the other dealer and the tow truck driver knew. I cannot wait until I can get out of this lease.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

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