pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
33,800 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #5

Feb 042023

Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Sonata Plug-in

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


click to see larger images

hybrid malfunction alert hybrid malfunction alert hybrid malfunction alert hybrid malfunction alert hybrid malfunction alert

This is a continuing issue of the car not driving.

In 2017 the car would not restart after stopping en route from Nevada to California. Massive ordeal like many other's stories, haggling with Hyundai BlueLink, Hyundai "Corporate" to get towed/rental car/hotel reimbursement/long wait for car to be repaired in California then haggling to get car brought back to Nevada. Costly, time consuming, always frustrating. Was told it was a bad capacitor, which was replaced.

Continued to have malfunction lights/indicators from that point on, brought car in multiple times to dealers, they can never figure it out, last time brought car in November 2022, was given the "can't replicate issue" and gas cap leaking so would cause engine light to come on. Several error messages subsequent to that and my car died in the middle of the road 2/4/23 causing me to nearly be hit from behind.

Car at local dealer who I have zero confidence can never fix this major issue and I have an e-mail into Hyundai corporate as well (no response as of yet). Probably going to reach out to an attorney to explore lemon law potential as I prefer not to be a similar story to the Tesla that shut down while driving resulting in the drivers DEATH. Yes Hyundai, this is a massive problem and one you probably should not continue to brush off.

- Tracy B., Henderson, NV, US

problem #4

Dec 262022

Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I am new to this site. I am the second owner of this car, having bought it at approx 30k miles. Everything was running fine, until I went in on a recall notice and got some electrical upgrade for the hybrid system at the dealership.

Since then, my car has been having the same hybrid system malfunction issues noted in these complaints. https://www.carcomplaints.com/Hyundai/Sonata_Plug-in_Hybrid/2016/electrical/electrical_system.shtml

Most notably, it is a danger to drive on the freeway, as it can shut down without notice in high speeds. If you are not near the far right and able to pull over, this can cause serious loss of life.

I have taken my car to the dealership about 6 times regarding this hybrid malfunction issue. Each time they claim it is a separate issue. They makes notes in their internal system and say the problem was something different each time.

I hope a serious recall is made for this model vehicle. They keep saying a sensor or recalling some BS electrical component to put the blame on something small, when generally, the vehicle simply should not lose complete propulsion power when driving. The, computer needs to be reconfigured to simply light up the check engine light, not turn the car off completely.

The dealer wants the vehicle towed directly to the dealership when this happens. I have towed it to them with AAA a couple of times right after, but this has become ridiculous. The same hybrid system warning comes up and the system has to be cleared, sometimes getting a tow truck is not feasible.

- Serge L., Riverside, CA, US

problem #3

Jul 052017

Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,282 miles

I purchased the vehicle on June 24th 2016. I also purchased the Premium Hyundai Protection Plan for $2,800.00

My daily commute is 90km each way, as such the car has approximately 60,000kms on it. It has been saving me money and time as I can use the carpool lanes (green plated car in Ontario), and charge the vehicle at home/work. This allows me to not use the toll highway (407) here and save approximately 2 hours on my commute daily, which is why I purchased a plug in hybrid.

Long story short: unknown issue with car (Check Hybrid System error), replaced water pump didn't resolve issue, long waiting times to get parts (1.5 week so far, possibly longer), issue now is apparently cruise control module, only 5 days of rental car covered under premium extended warranty, huge commute time and fuel cost impacts among hours of time wasted, issues with service at dealership and corporate. Dealership did provide loaner car and tried to expedite part delivery. Corporate offered a gas card. Car still in shop. Spent countless hours on the phone with corporate, and dealership (probably about 15). Was told I was not inconvenienced by having my new car break down. Numerous trips to the dealership and other places as a result of the car failure.

Full story:

On July 5th 2017:

I was driving home when I received a "Check Hybrid System" error code. As I was very close to the dealership (Grimsby Hyundai) I took it in, dropped off the key at the front desk as the service department was closed, and had my fiancee pick me up to take me home.

I saw this issue prior to purchasing the car and actually made a post asking about it on Hyundai Forums (http://www.hyundai-forums.com/sonata-all-hybrid-models-yf-lf/484441-2016-sonata-phev-check-hybrid-system-warning-light.html) prior to buying the car to see if anyone else had the issue.

I picked up my moms truck which is about 30 km from my house to use the following day to get to work.

July 6th 2017:

The following day the dealership called me and advised that the issue is with the water pump and it will take 2 weeks to get the part in. I questioned why it would take so long, and they said there aren't very many around. I asked about the rental car, which was discussed when purchasing my warranty and they advised that they will supply me with a rental vehicle.I provided links showing others having this issue and a stop drive notice issued from the USA indicating a wiring harness issue caused a short, possibly causing the same issue I am having.


I advised them that 2 weeks was a long time without the car and that it has put a hardship on me as with a rental car, I cannot use the carpool lanes, increasing my commute by 2 hours a day, in addition to the extra fuel costs. They advised there is nothing they can do. After numerous phone calls the dealership did offer to cover use of the toll highway on July 7th.

I called Hyundai Canada and complained and after waiting on hold and discussing for about 1 hours was advised they can give me a gas card and nothing more. I advised that unless it would cover or substantially help with the costs (never mind the time implications), I wasn't interested and either wanted a car that allows me to do what I currently am doing (use special lanes) or pay for the toll road so I'm not spending an extra 2+ hours on the road...I advised I didn't care about the extra fuel costs, I'll deal with those (even though I don't think I should). It took about 45min to get escalated, after the rep told me there is no process to escalate. They advised I would receive a call back in the next 2 days.

Later the same day I was contacted and told by the rental company that there are no cars available, so I called the dealership and they contacted a different rental company and secured me a Honda CRV. I also again complained about the situation and the dealership advised they should get the part in a week instead of 2 weeks.

In total I probably spent about 3 hours on the phone with the dealership and head office.

I left work early to drive to the dealership, pick up the rental, drive home, drive back to dealership with fiancee, pick up my moms truck, drive truck to my moms house with fiancee following, and come home.

July 6th 2017:

I continued calling to try to speak with someone who could assist. It was at this time I was advised that my warranty only provides me with a rental car for 5 days!!! regardless of how long the repairs take. The dealership advised they will provide a loaner car at their cost for the remainder of the time the car needs repairs. I had an argument with the service manager Brad about the how this was inconvenience me, and he told me that having the car break down wasn't an inconvenience and that they are providing a loaner at their cost and trying to get the part sooner. As a result I spoke with the manager, who admitted this is an inconvenience, but they are doing all they can do. When stated that I need to come in to the dealership and tell everyone how I'm being treated or post this online, he said he will take the loaner car away if I drag their name through the mud.

Hyundai head office advised there is nothing they can do to help me except a gas card but he will double check and get back to me monday or tuesday.

Monday July 10: no calls either way

Tuesday July 11: I was advised by the dealership the part would be in the next day. No calls from head office

July 12:

Called to check status around 1:00 was advised the part is in and it is being worked on. Received a call at 2:00 that even with the water pump installed the car is still giving error codes and they need to send the info to head office technicians to look into.

Called head office and told them I didn't receive a call back yet after waiting on hold for 30min.

Was advised that it looks like it is a "Cruise control module" causing the issues and there are none in Canada available and they would need to order it from S. Korea, it would take a month. I asked what can be done to help me, the dealer advised they will try to get the part from the USA as the service manager lives there (with no help from Hyundai corporate head office). The dealership later advised they will need to eat some costs due to getting the part and they are doing everything they can to assist.

I called the dealership and left a message for the manager to call me back to discuss and to advise when my rental needs to be brought back and received no call back.

July 13:

Left a message again for the manager, no call back. Wanted to know when to return the rental as it has been 7 days now, and I can't take more time off work to return the car and I'm supposed to go away for the weekend.

Head office called me back and advised they can give a $200 gas card but nothing more, but they will keep checking. I advised I'm not taking anything until I know when I will have my car. They will check with the dealership on the rental.

After a few calls back and forth the dealership called and advised to bring the rental car in and pick up the loaner and that I would need to sign some paperwork and provide a credit card. I said fine. When I got to the dealership I noted there is an end date for return of the car and a limit of 1500 km on the loaner car. As I had no other choice I signed it.

July 14th:

Was in a hit and run minor sideswipe with the loaner vehicle (obviously this is nobodys fault other than the other driver) , minor damage.Police involved. Went to dealership so they can check the vehicle out and spoke to the manager about not getting called back, as well as all the time and money and stress this (the repair issues, not the sideswipe although that adds to my stress) caused.

And now I wait to get my car back, wondering how many days or weeks or months it will be (based on other complaints) only to fear the next time it breaks either during the warranty period or, I couldn't even image what would happen after the warranty, or while travelling on a road trip.

Oh and I was told that because my license plate is bent (due to a very minor bump when my fiancee attached the licence plate of my car to her parked car, while parking my car....zero damage done) it may effect coverage.

- Chris K., Stoney Creek, ON, Canada

problem #2

May 192017

Sonata Plug-in Hybrid SHL Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,157 miles

4th time in less than a year at the dealership. In total the car was not available for 85 days and still counting. This time the hybrid system check went on. Had to insist that the dealership take the car again to have it repaired. I think they are scared of repairing that car now. The problem was supposed to be a part in the braking system but after waiting about 30 days to receive the part from Korea, in this day and age when a customer experience repeated issue like me they should have had this part taken from a vehicle being build and shipped via FEDEX Urgent. But even after replacing the part they still have the same warning message on the dashboard.

They still haven't heard from Hyundai on what could be the cause.

Considering that I could not use my car for another month, I have asked for serious compensation from Hyundai or the dealer. Hyundai responded to my official complaint that this not their problem but the dealer to solve. I felt totally brushed away in their answer. So I am filing this complaint in hope that it pushes them to quickly resolve this matter. I will also contact an appropriate lawyer to see what kind of resolution can be found. We do not lemon laws in Canada, but we will find something else I am sure.

- mcbulot, Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #1

Oct 232016

Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,400 miles

After much research and negotiation I bought a new car that I was hoping would be reliable. Unfortunately after only 2400 miles, I attempted to start my car and was quickly alerted that my hybrid system was malfunctioning needing service. After investigating what all the alert lights meant in the manual it became clear that the car was not driveable. Of course the dealer service department is closed as this was Sunday, so I would have go the day without a car. Monday comes I have roadside assistance tow the car to the dealer for service hoping that perhaps it would a simple software update or patch and I would have my car the end of the day. Well the end of the day comes and no word from the dealer, which had me concerned. So I call them for an update. Immediately, I can tell the service advisor has not been looking forward to my call. In a nutshell they couldn't figure out how to address the multiple hybrid system failure codes and mentioned there is a transmission trouble code too. However, rest assured they have time set up with Hyundai corporate to troubleshoot my car together. At this point I am thinking "WTF", what kind of a car am I dealing with? Is this a prelude of things to come?

If anyone has experienced something similar please send me a comment and let me know how it was resolved.


- D P., Simi Valley, CA, US

Not what you are looking for?