really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,691 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Oct 032016


  • 58,000 miles


While driving my 2012 Sonata (purchased at freeman Hyundai in irving, tx) it started to have loose steering then started to hesitate frequently. While driving it started to hesitate and a cyclic knocking noise from the engine ensued while attempting to accelerate. Drove to dealership and was told the steering would be taken care of. Was also told the oil had metal shavings which was effecting the motor. The car is under warranty, this is a known issue. The service department is trying to get out of the repairs because the oil changes were not done by them. Any subsequent engine failure could result in my car stalling, increasing the risk of a crash.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #33

Jul 102016


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving at 5 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle hesitated before accelerating. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that there were metal shavings in the oil pan. The technician stated that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 15V568000 (engine). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 56,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #32

Mar 102015


  • 60 miles
Hyundai break switch, Hyundai break lights, sunroof, air conditioning break switch gone out four times. Took to savannah Hyundai to be fixed. No fix as car continually does not accelerate in the middle of nowhere - on the highway or when getting ready to pull out in front of traffic - very unsafe. I have contacted Hyundai Corp concerning this issue since 2015. Savannah Hyundai service manager mike told us that we were not allowed to return for repairs because they got frustrated trying to figure out. Break light never works. Had this repaired 3 times. Savannah Hyundai put new sunroof on. Four months later it wont open or close. We have paid for everything over and over and over using our extended warranty and copays. Even if Hyundai or savannah Hyundai previously fixed something and it was even within 90 to 120 days that the repair was bad, they never offered to fix without charge. Always made us repay full deductible and costs.. car does not turn on air conditioning system intermittently. Trips get awfully hot. Sometimes starting up car and restarting fixes. Savannah Hyundai never able to fix. Savannah Hyundai has reported on two occasions that our car has serious electrical issues. They believe this is related to sunroof and brake light. This car has been having issues before 60,000 miles and stil lhas under 90,000 and same issues repeatedly. This car is not safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! car is unsafe. Currently emailed david zukowski of Hyundai, other Hyundai outlets, message hyunda on fb. Unresolved.

- Fort Stewart, GA, USA

problem #31

Dec 012015


  • 27,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that the speed and rpms would fluctuate independently while driving various speeds. The failure was intermittent. The dealer was unable to locate the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 27,000.

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #30

Mar 302016


  • 71,086 miles
Car could not start without pressing acceleration pedal this morning (03/30/2016). After pressing acc pedal and turning the key engine started. It repeated the same way when car was started going to home. Although, it took much longer to start the engine. Drove home and then took kid to soccer practice. On traffic light, when green light was on, I was turning right but car suddenly accelerated without control. I moved gear to neutral and RPM piked to at 2500. I have a video of it after I stopped on red light. Car has 71086 miles and is in "prefect" condition. Check engine light was on for couple of days but there was no mil code present. After I turned the engine off and then on, check engine light went off and no codes were present, not even pending ones.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #29

Mar 072016


  • 69,963 miles
Car was not driven for 7 days. First day, on a way to work, check engine light went on. On a way home, at green traffic light, I was making left turn, acceleration pedal was pressed and car accelerated as intended but after half a second acceleration pedal stopped working and car slowly moved forward only by inertia. Acceleration pedal was non functional, and engine was running at idle. I was able to safely stop the vehicle on a stop lane, past intersection, with engine still running and non-functional acceleration pedal. Then, I shut off the engine and started it again. Acceleration pedal was working without problem. Mil codes were: P2135 P0221, P2106, P0121 and P2110. Took it to the Hyundai dealership in new hudson, mi where some incompetent mechanic could not even diagnose what was the cause blaming the car battery. Car battery is holding charge, currently at 12.4V and alterantor is charging battery with 14.2-14.4V. Car starts without any problem and hesitation. There were no cars coming from opposite direction at intersection so we were not in imminent danger when acceleration pedal lost control.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #28

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 #27

May 182015


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. While driving approximately 5 mph, the vehicle accelerated when the brake pedal was depressed. As a result, the vehicle crashed into a pole. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but the failure was unable to be duplicated or diagnosed. On a separate occasion, the failure recurred and the vehicle sideswiped a tree. There were no injuries in either crash nor were police reports filed. The unintended acceleration recurred sporadically. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000. Updated 04/29/16

- 55123, MN, USA

problem #26

Jan 312016


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle lunged forward without warning, continued to accelerate, and crashed into a power pole. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure and stated that the vehicle was working up to specifications. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 53,000. Updated 04/13/16

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #25

Jan 112016


  • 8,500 miles
2012 Hyundai Sonata limited 2.0T car looses boost when started after being left unused overnight or cold weather. 8500 miles. Apparently, the wastegate is staying open. I give it gas and the acceleration stays flat like its all engine. This usually happens when being in a ramp to enter the highway. The car acceleration goes flat and revolutions go up to 5000 to 6000. Car stays at 50-6-mph. Car went to the dealer for 5 days and gave it back because they didn't find anything. Told them about the wastegate actuator sensor but no response. When looking in the internet about this issue, there is a page www.cargurus.com/cars/discussion-T41526_ds522751 where many people are complaining about the same issue and, the problem is, that the car doesn't lit the "check engine" light so the dealer cannot scan the problem. This is a very dangerous safety issue because you might get run over by a truck when going in the highway.

- Manati, PR, USA

problem #24

Jan 012016


  • miles


Email letter from consumer to the administrator re Hyundai's flouting of their agreement with NHTSA by refusing to honor the Sonata recall for sudden unintended acceleration. The consumer had placed the vehicle into park, with her foot firmly on the brake, when suddenly the vehicle violently lurched forward at significant speed and hit and broke a split-rail fence and post.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #23

Oct 172015


  • miles
Cruise control will not set, accel, or cancel intermittently with daily use of the car. It works usually when you first start driving the car but not always. The cancel button rarely works at all and there have been instances when the only way I could cancel cruise control was by hitting the brake pedal. Several near collisions because of the failure of the switches on the steering wheel working. I've taken it to the dealer repeatedly to have it repaired and they say they can't duplicate the problem. I bought the car new and just recently had it at the dealership again and now they say they won't cover it under warranty and that it would be customer pay. Hyundai has a database showing when I've had it in to be looked at. Today's visit was at roseville Hyundai in roseville, ca (916) 677-3636 service advisor 7713 calden, christopher. October 17, 2015 work order 146002

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #22

Mar 022015

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 44,493 miles
When attempting to accelerate the vehicle to get onto the freeway the engine lost all power. This incident has happened multiple times on multiple occasions, each time Hyundai and the dealership have failed to identify and fix the problem. Each power failure event has been a near accident. I am concerned for the my passengers and my own safety. The vehicle has received all regular maintenance, oil changes and recalls. A case has been opened with Hyundai customer support.

- Arroyo Grande, CA, USA

problem #21

Jan 262015


  • miles
On Jan 26 my husband was driving home and the road conditions were slippery. When he went to apply the brakes, he heard a loud pop and the brake went all the way down to the floor and would not come back up. Luckily this happened around the corner, but by the time the car made it into the driveway the brakes were smoking. I had to have the car towed to the mechanic. We had to replace the front brake pads, calipers and rotors. Also the brake switch oem had to replaced. When all said and done the total cost came to $729.64. Can I tell you how disappointed I am in this vehicle?? this vehicle is only a 2012 my high beams don't work nor does the cruise control. I am starting to think this car is a real lemon!!! at this point I would like to know if the brake system has any recalls because my bill was extreme and should not have happened on a 2012. I do not have the VIN number on me at this time. Very very disappointed and have nothing good to say about this car!

- Pennington , NJ, USA

problem #20

Sep 132014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Bought a brand new 2012 Sonata a couple of years ago, and the engine service light was illuminated last Saturday morning after I tried three times to start the car. On highway I had trouble reaching 45 mph, the lowest speed limit. It's caused by low fuel pressure. I did some online searching and found that Sonata 2006 had the recall of fuel pump failed prematurely. I can not believe the same issue is happening to their 2012 ones. Am I the only one who have this problem with 2012 Sonata? this particular issue is not covered under warranty. I called the dealer and made an appointment a week away. Obviously they have lots of cars to service. Ironically, I just received their recall letter on 2012 Sonata for their "inability to place the transaxle into the park position". have to rent a car because mine might get stranded anywhere at any time. Worst-case scenario: Rear-ended by cars that are driving at a perfectly normal speed.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #19

Sep 012014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Car accelerated suddenly and could not be stopped. I was in a parking lot and backed up to leave, accidentally hitting a storage container with my rear bumper. I put car in drive to move forward and the car accelerated out of control by itself traveling fast about 30 feet. I tried to brake but could not stop the car. We hit a fence, moving the fence about 5 feet and hit the car parked on the opposite side of the fence, smashing in the passenger side of the car. We had our seat belts on and were not injured but without seat belts we would have been thrown through the windshield. I do not feel safe driving this car anymore.

- Garden City, NY, USA

problem #18

May 152014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
While attempting to accelerate from a stop the vehicle got to 30 to 35 mph and would not go any faster despite pressing gas pedal and rpms went up to 7 and 8. after pushing gas pedal several times the car will finally increase in speed which is very concerning given I drive on an interstate. This has happened 3 times in past 4 months and same exact thing at 10 mph and RPM went to 4 and 5 and car would not increase speed. I stopped vehicle and accelerated and then it operated normally. Dealership has been in unable to duplicate it and has questioned me several times about driving with two feet which I do not do and laying purse on console against shifter which I also do not do. 3 of the 4 times it happened it was at the beginning of my drive within first mile or so. 1 time was near end after about 20 miles. Purchased car used with 18000 miles on it and did not drive on interstate from July 2013 until March 2014 on regular basis.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #17

Mar 032014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I took my car into the Hyundai dealer for a 30,000 service. They said the computer has an upgrade to the software. After the upgrade, the cruise control speeds up by 4 - 5 miles per hour when it is set. For instance, if you set it at 65 mph, it will speed up to 69 or 70 mph and then slow back down to 65. It does this when you initially set the speed or if you brake and then hit the "resume" button. In the case of "resume", if you initially set it at 65 mph and use the brake to slow down and then use the "resume" button, the car will speed up to 69 or 70 before going back down to 65. The cruise control will do this no matter what speed you initial set it at. I took the car back in and the service people thought it was strange. So they said they ran the upgrade to the software again, but it has the same issue. They then told me that the surge in speed was within an acceptable tolerance range. I have owned many cars with cruise control and none of them have ever done that and this car did not do it prior to the software upgrade. It is pretty dangerous if you are not paying attention.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #16

Apr 162014


  • miles
When I applied break my RPM idle goes up. I don't know if that is safe I show in other car RPM goes down. I took to dealer got oil change. And I asked why this happens. He told me to chack eco system. I chack eco system it was on off postion. I ask him when I bought car I never show RPM go up when I hate break. There no engine sing comesup on dashboard either. This really safety concern for my family. RPM should not go up when U hate breaks. It's should bring RPM down. RPM should go up when U hate gas padel. I get this. But when I go to any speed. And tried to applied break it should drop RPM should not go up.

- Tinleypark, IL, USA

problem #15

Jan 292014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 26,993 miles
Unintended acceleration, had to slam on brakes and put car into neutral in order to prevent shooting into a intersection of oncoming traffic. The car immediately threw a number of codes, and a engine control system condition code, check engine code.... dealer tells me when unloaded off the tow-truck that the brake pedal went to the floor, after 6 days of having the car the dealership service manager is telling me no problem could be found due to not being able to reproduce the problem.

- Paris, KY, USA

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