really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,406 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2012 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #10

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 #9

Nov 022016


  • 70,000 miles
About 2 months ago I started to have a loud clunking sounds while I was driving at a high rate of speed on the highway. It sounded like a knocking and it is actually pretty loud. It affects the steering of the car and shakes the steering wheel to the point it is not comfortable to drive over 50 mph. In California, if I drive 50 on the highway I am going to get rammed off the road. I did a quick google search and come to find out I am not the only one with this issue. This issue needs to be recalled by Hyundai so that everyone can drive their cars safely. I feel that I am in danger driving my car and have recently had to consider renting a car just to travel for the holidays. I am too afraid of breaking down in the middle of no where or in the dark. I learned that the part that is needed is a steering flex coupler that is only a 4$ part (part #apdty 112837) and yet the dealer or any shop wants 400$ which is so ridiculous! this is a serious safety issue and needs to be addressed. Less serious but still an issue is the lighting assemblies in the car. Both the front headlight assemblies and the back taillight assemblies are so properly made that the plastic has literally melted the housing assembly for the bulb and they get stuck inside. I had to explain this to an officer who was not very amused and then ended up paying a shop 40$ to get it out which they did. Thankfully they did because when they got it out you can see where it is melted and how it was stuck. That is not ok! I need to be able to change the bulb when it goes out. Not to mention the huge risk of a fire by having a hot light bulb by a bunch of melting plastic. I mean really hyundal, my car hits its warranty expiration and all of a sudden you are trying to kill me!

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 182016


  • 90,000 miles
The steering column has become very loosened. When driving at a high rate of speed, the steering column will pop and jerk in the opposite direction, and sometimes cause my car to steer in the opposite direction. I have learned that the manufacturing could have been either improperly assembled or insufficiently tightened on certain vehicles. This manufacturing defect could suddenly cause me to lose the ability to steer my vehicle, possibly resulting in an automobile accident with a potential for property damage, injury and death. Hyundai (homer skelton, olive branch, ms) is refusing to repair the steering column. I have been told that I will have to pay $305. I just purchased this vehicle from their dealership in Feb. 2016. The driver's side brake light housing unit has a defect, which caused it to melt and the blow the bulb. The bulb is hard to remove because the plastic assembly has melted to the bulb. I have been told by a certified mechanic that this is very dangerous and can even cause a fire. I have been told by Hyundai (homer skelton, olive branch, ms), that they will have to replace the entire light fixture, just to replace this blown bulb. The cost will be $253. If Hyundai has had some of the same known problems with the 2011 Sonata, someone should hold them accountable to recall the 2012 Sonata and take a look at the same issues, before these defects cause someone and/or their family their lives.

- Olive Branch, MS, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Apr 092016


  • miles
The has to be something wrong with lighting or electrical system on my car. I have had to replace every headlight, taillight, brake light and license plate light, not once but several times for each one. Must have replaced 16 to 20 lights. Now the horn keeps blowing. I have had to disconnect the battery cable so it doesn't wake up the whole neighborhood.. I am taking it in to the dealer tomorrow. I would appreciate any feedback or if anyone else is having these problems.. this is not normal. Also, it loses power as I am driving. Feels like it is going to stall out, but then takes off again.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

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problem #5

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 #4

Jan 162016


  • 62,000 miles


The rear passenger tail light bulb blew out and upon making the change it was discovered that the bulb socket and the light housing surface were melted to the point that the two surfaces would nor interlock correctly. The incident was discovered while the vehicle was parked but the failing of the bulb likely occurred while moving. I'm concerned that this type of bulb failure could be a fire hazard.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #3

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 #2

May 012012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
The vehicle's cruise control failed to engage or disengage when used. The dealership was initially unable to replicate the problem, then replaced a headlamp switch. After this, the radio began turning completely off while driving, and the cruise control continued to act erratically. The dealership said they could not replicate the problem but replaced the radio. Several more times, the dealership stated they were unable to replicate the problem with the cruise control and radio. After contacting the manufacturer, the dealership looked at the car again and found loose pins in the connector to the fuse box.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jul 152011

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. The contact stated that while driving a night, the headlights were dim and she was unable to see the road clearly. The dealer advised the contact that the vehicle was operating as designed and offered to install new lighting at her expense. The manufacturer agreed with the dealer. No repairs were performed. The current mileage was 1000. The approximate failure mileage was 60. It was noticed the first time car was driven at night. Head lights do not illuminate entire road except when in high position. Difficult to see road. Updated 10/05/2011

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

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