definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,568 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 Hybrid drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #9

Nov 282016

Sonata Hybrid

  • 63,000 miles


Drove vehicle on interstate 405 southbound at 60 mph and error message appeared that there was a hybrid system failure. Safely stop and do not drive. Towed to Hyundai dealership who determined from error codes that the power train failed at 63K miles. Hyundai had to replace the transmission.

- Snohomish, WA, USA

problem #8

Jul 252016

Sonata Hybrid

  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Sonata hybrid. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle lost power and came to a complete halt. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. "hybrid battery low, shift to park position" was displayed across the message board. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 012015

Sonata Hybrid

  • 22,500 miles
Check charging system light comes up, some times cant change from drive to reverse, other times change park to any other gear, have to turn the car off and on again. The car jumps when getting out of ev mode, hesitates when going out of ev mode, making it very dangerous at a intersection and U turns. I found so many complains about the Hyundai hybrid 2012, .....same problems, how come nobody does anything "?"

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

Sep 032013

Sonata Hybrid

  • 77,259 miles


The car was at a stop light and burst into flames, all of the sonatas have this problem, all sonatas will at the least burn up the engines, transmissions, or batteries due to this problem. Out of 35 sonatas tested 35 had this problem. Contacted Hyundai usa, Hyundai fullerton, Hyundai consumer complaint line and they refuse to do anything about it. Every sonata hybird in the world, (to the best of my knowledge) will burn up the engine, transmission, or lithium batteries (which will catch fire) between 70,000 &120,000 miles, Hyundai will not warranty the failure, this is caused by a manufacture defect.. a part in the cooling system will disintegrate and crumble apart like a wet cookie, then you will have a 3/4" hose coming off the water pump pumping all the water out of the cooling system, with less then a gallon of coolant this will take 2 seconds, everything will overheat and you can throw that car away, a new engine is $7,000 a transmission, $6,000 lithium batteries $10,000 all prices do not include installation..

- Kahuku, HI, USA

problem #5

May 012014

Sonata Hybrid

  • miles
Recently my hybrid sonata car would not pickup speed especially between 10 and 40 miles per hour. It would also badly jerk while trying to accelerate or make high pitch sound without picking up speed. I had to pull to the side of the road couple of times and bit scared in driving it. Had the car towed to the dealer. The dealer after looking at the issue agreed to completely replace the transmission with the refurbished (from Hyundai) transmission :(.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

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problem #4

Jul 192014

Sonata Hybrid

  • 23,200 miles
I had been experiencing a hesitation when accelerating, a lurch when hitting the brake as well as sometimes when accelerating as though the gears could not shift properly. This did not occur as often if the car was out of blue drive. This had been going on for about 4 months. I had taken it to a dealer and called a service department but none of them could explain why it might be happening and I could not make the issue repeat once I got it to the dealer. On Saturday I went to drive my car, pulled out and was going about 40 mph about 2 min after I had started the car and all of a sudden my foot was to the floor, the RPM was all the way up to red and my car was slowing down! I pulled over turned the car off and started it again, I pulled out again and it began to do the same thing but when I hit the brakes the car lurched forward worse than ever before. I pulled into a gas station cut the car off and got out to let my boyfriend try it (he had been following me in his car and did not know what was wrong). When he got in to try it he tried to put it in reverse and it would not shift at all. It was like it was still in park, but when he tried to put it back in park the car responded as though he had shifted it. Obviously something was very wrong with the transmission. We called the 24 hour roadside assistance and got towed to the nearest dealership. They mechanics spent all day taking it a[art and could not find the source of the problem. The senior mechanics came in on Monday and said I would need a new transmission, that the existing transmission was "all burned up" they claim this is a rare internal problem and that a new transmission will fix the issue. All of this was covered under my warranty but it could have caused major problems had I been on the highway when this happened!

- Azle, TX, USA

problem #3

Jan 202013

Sonata Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 8,900 miles


See submission number 10559603 sent prior to this on 1/14/2014: This is a continuation of the explanation of the cruise control/transmission/power train issue experienced with the vehicle since new. The text from that submission continues to its end. "it would appear that the cruise control/power train computer program has some errors in it or needs updating to correct the problem of excessive acceleration when re-attaining a set speed from a coast down that causes the car to go below the set speed before the sensors detect and activate the acceleration required to bring the car back up to the set speed. Then is 'shoots' the car forward at full power-like unintended acceleration might- and send it up to as much as 10 mph above the 'then set' speed I have desired. If there is a corner at the end of the rise, the car can feel out of control during this acceleration as it is at full power during the acceleration phase. The transmission also down shifts 2 or 3 gears during this process which aggravates the fierce acceleration feeling. These incidents have been reported both to the Hyundai dealer and to Hyundai. Hyundai says, take it to our dealer; the dealer says they can find nothing wrong as no dash warning lights are ever showing and their electronic scanning brings up nothing of any kind of problem. This may or may not be exclusive to the Sonata hybrid with cruise control and since many people do not use cruise control on winding rural roads, they may not/never experience the same sensation that can happen often to me. I can deal with it. NHTSA should keep this report on file in case other cruise control or acceleration issues with Hyundai vehicles surface as my report is precisely defined as to what type of road condition it occurs on and what happens. Thank you.

- Sharon, CT, USA

problem #2

Jun 052013

Sonata Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 1,800 miles
Purchased new in Mar. 2013, not our first hybrid. Car began to have shudder/jerky/rough take off from morning start and first stop sign at end of street. This became more often and worsened. One morning left curb as usual, brakes locked up at stop sign and warning light on dash for brake problem. Was able to back car back into curb spot and had towed to dealership. Date given was about the towing date. Car was in shop around three weeks due to needing new brake module or something that was leaking internally inside brake unit from factory. Car also had issue to were the battery would not charge properly. Worked correctly when purchased but then would not charge past 50% and usually less than. Repairs made and lots of updates and sensor adjustments and we were given car back. Sadly it only lasted a few months and had to be towed again. Late Aug, early Sept, the car started to jerk at take off again. I tried just sitting at curb for awhile after starting car to let sensors warm up. This seemed to help for short time. Problem worsened again until wife complained. I drove full time and it had gotten worse to bad and all the time. Bad acceleration, like brakes not letting off. Last straw! Nov 1st 2013, car jerked and shuddered at take off, brakes locked up solid at stop sign, locked up again at second stop sign, entering traffic to get back home... car stopped dead in middle of left hand turn in middle of highway!! fully loaded log truck coming at me passenger side. Took 2-3 hard stomps on accelerator peddle to get car moving, gas engine finally revved high but car just crawled forward!!! thankfully the truck had started braking as soon as he saw car hesitate in street and car crawled forward enough that I did not get hit. But that grill filled the entire passenger window. Car towed to shop again on mon 4th am. Called on 5th, huge software update, but no guaranty !"!?"

- Hoquiam, WA, USA

problem #1

Dec 122012

Sonata Hybrid

  • 7,450 miles
While slowly moving downhill, on the freeway, during rush hour traffic, I attempted to change lanes and accelerated quickly. The switch from hybrid to gas engine interface only caused the engine to rev (increase RPM) without any gear being engaged. I quickly let off the peddle and depressed it again. It then engaged the transmission, narrowly averting an accident. This has happened 5-6 times since purchasing this car when traveling slowly and then trying to get a burst from the gas engine. I spoke with the dealership, and took it in for a check per their recommendation. They found nothing and could not reproduce it, although they did not try the same circumstance. They only attempted to stop and accelerate at which I said they wouldn't get it to happen that way.

- Temecula, CA, USA

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