really awful
Crashes / Fires:
12 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
13 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,114 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Hyundai Elantra:

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

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Mar 302010


  • 185,000 miles
2002 Hyundai Elantra. SRS airbag light came on instrument console. The passanger seatbelt tensioner detonated about a month later. About two months after that the driver side seat airbag deployed on its own while I was driving..no impact whatsoever. Car now in dealer for module replacement and aribag replacement.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #18

Sep 102009


  • 120,000 miles
Air bag light is on when car is on and started. Also when turning left or right my car is making cranking noises up in the front of the car.

- South Jordan, UT, USA

problem #17

Feb 092010

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 137,500 miles
Dash board air bag light comes on - no crash, etc. Light stays on. Appointment at local dealer to diagnose.

- Avenel, NJ, USA

problem #16

Jan 112010


  • 70,250 miles
Air bag light comes on due to loose connection under drivers seat.

- Great Falls, VA, USA

problem #15

May 012009


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the air bag sensor light illuminated and would not dim. Through online research, she found a recall regarding the air bags; however, her VIN was not included. The contact feels that the manufacturer should repair the vehicle because this is a major safety issue. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure mileage was 74,000.

- Lebanon, PA, USA

problem #14

Nov 052005


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Elantra. When the ignition was activated the air bag warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was not taken to an authorized dealer for the malfunction since NHTSA campaign id number 08V53300 (air bag frontal sensor/control module) recall was previously repaired. The air bag warning light continued to remain illuminated when the engine was on. The vehicle identification number was unavailable. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 50,000.

- Carrollton, MO, USA

problem #13

May 092008

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Elantra. When the contact started the ignition, the air bag warning indicator immediately illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained lit until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for a diagnostic and they stated that the failure was related to the air bag module. The vehicle has not been repaired. The VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign id number 08V533000 (air bags, frontal:sensor/control module), although the failures were identical. The failure mileage was 70,000 and current mileage was 104,000. Updated 12/10/08 updated 12/16/08.

- New Palestine, IN, USA

problem #12

Oct 252005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
The consumer states son parked in a parking lot and when he tried to get into the car he heard a loud bang, all of a sudden the driver's side air bag deployed without warning. He was told that it was okay to drive the vehicle with the air bag deployed. A couple of days later while the vehicle was parked and running the passenger's side air bag deployed. The vehicle is at a dealership being repaired for four recalls. The recalls did not include air bags. No crashes were involved to make the air bags deploy. The vehicle is being investigated as of now. Updated 11/29/05. Abl.pco

- Delmar, DE, USA

problem #11

Jan 312005

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer inquiry regarding whether or not any research has been done on the air bag failure in the 2002 Hyundai Elantra.** answer required***.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #10

Mar 172004

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 26,500 miles
Car involved in a collison, air bags failed to open, driver injured, car struck on passenger side, car was a total lost.

- Edgerton, WI, USA

problem #9

Mar 122004

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
Consumer's vehicle was rear ended by another vehicle that was traveling at 65 mph. Upon impact, air bags failed to deploy. Vehicle was totaled.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 102003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
While driving between 25 to 30 mph and going down and a curb the steering wheel failed to respond and remained in the same position. This caused the vehicle to veer into oncoming truck. Upon impact, neither of the air bags deployed. According to the consumer, under puerto rican law, vehicle would be returned to the bank if dealer was notified.

- Carolina, PR, USA

problem #7

Mar 012002


  • miles
Several weeks ago, I filed a complaint on this site 10049365. I have seen no responses of any type. Now to take that complaint a step further. Many of the problems that I have encountered with this Hyundai death trap, and the unwillingness of hma to look into the problems, or the dealers to rectify the problems is well documented on this web site. As I mentioned in my previous complaint, I went through the lemon law process in my state. They require arbitration with the BBB autoline. The arbitration was a joke and the hma representative accused my wife of driving the vehicle as a commercial vehicle and put all of the car woes on her. She drives the car for work, mostly highway. Also, the arbitrator accused us of having a tow hitch on the car, which is legal, but not recommended. Well, we have no trailer or hitch. The BBB autoline is rigged against the consumer and they should not associated with any state or federal laws whatsoever. Hyundais of this model are certain death traps and I feel that the federal government should order hma to repair everyone of them now. The consumer is stuck between a global conglomerate and local dealers who will not repair these vehicles.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 222003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
While traveling at 35 to 40 mph driver lost control of vehicle and slammed head on into a street pole. Upon impact, none of the airbags deployed. Then, air bag light illuminated shortly after. The vehicle was towed to dealer.

- Quitman, MS, USA

problem #5

May 122002

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40 miles
From day of purchase, I noticed a vibration in the steering, starting about 42 mph. Took the vehicle to dealer, who rotated and balanced tires. Vibration then started about 50 mph, back to the dealer rotated and balanced tires again along with alignment. Vibration about 58 mph back to dealer again, rotation, forced balancing, rotor turned down, still had vibration. Filed under lemon law, final attempt by service department involved hma regional chief mechanic trouble shooter. He claimed they loosened motor mounts and let engine center itself, changed tires, balanced and aligned again. After a week I picked up car which he said was fine. Vibration still noticeable. Gave up on hma and drove car about 20,000 more miles till vibration got so bad I had to go to a brake shop because it was almost impossible to stop. They changed pads, adjusted brakes and rebuilt right front caliper. No more vibration. Hyundai won't pay for the repair, so following thru with lemon law and hoping to get out of this death trap. Air bag light comes on some days, and stays on all day, some days it's not on. Do the air bags work. Also having problems with paint finish, door seals and seat belt retractors. Real piece of junk and I would never recommend this car to any one. Also had to have brake dust removed from rear brakes at about 7000 miles and the dealer charged me 60.00$ excessive dust accumulation is a design defect and at the least should have been covered by Hyundai. Abl.pco

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #4

May 022003

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,618 miles
Vehicle "surges" to very high RPM without warning. Has been to dealer X3 for repair/adjustment. Last time at dealership 04-10-03 the throttle sensor was replaced. )N 05-02-03 "surging" occurred again, causing crash. Also vehicle pulled violently to right after brakes were applied, car skidded prior to impact even with ABS brakes. No air bag deployment. Crash speed est. At 25-30 mph.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 022002


  • 9,500 miles
Air bags activated causing driver to lose control of visibility and vehicle. Abl.pco ***dimsii IVOQ entry posted after 12/12/02 cut-over to artemis*****769299

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Mar 272003

(reported on)

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle was impacted on the passenger side door yet the air bags did not deploy.

- Nacogdoches, TX, USA

problem #1

Apr 012002


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While at a stop, vehicle was hit on drivers side from another vehicle going 25- 30 miles per hour. Upon impact none of the four air bags experienced deployment. Consumer suffered lower back, neck and shoulder injuries. Drivers window shattered.

- Shelton, WA, USA