really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,103 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.

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problem #17

Nov 302020


  • 77,000 miles
On November 30, 2020 after shopping in food store, starting the cat and coming out of a parking lot and driving the car forward, I smell something burning. Stop & open the front hood and saw smoke coming out of the air filter housing and started to burn. Somebody helped and put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. The car was running hood and my daily driver before the incident.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 172016


  • 197,000 miles
Headlight wire harness on drivers side is melted. Pictures taken and uploaded.

- Mohegan Lake, NY, USA

problem #15

Dec 092014


  • 156,000 miles
Alot of problems with this car.

- Roebling, NJ, USA

problem #14

Nov 012012

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 186,000 miles
My 2002 Hyundai Sonata radio comes on and off when ever it wants to and I notice when it rains it makes a really loud noise. I have to replace an alternator 3 times within the last 3 years. Not sure what could be causing this but it is very annoying. Please help!

- Bedford, OH, USA

problem #13

Aug 212011

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
All three rear brakes lights on when ignition is shut off and smell electrical wire burn. Every day need to remove negative terminal from battery to shut off the three rear brakes lights.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #12

Jul 272012


  • 135,000 miles
My car started getting erratic idling and then the engine light started to turn on. I got the spark plugs and spark plug wires replaced and then it mild down after around 1wk after, then the erratic idling while on drive or on reverse started again. Left it like that thinking it was maybe the fuel pump or something like that. Had my brother that is a mechanic check it and said he found the spark plug wires out of sequence, but after he made sure all were the correct order the same problem started again, same erratic idling and this time it really did feel like sometimes loosing power. It has gotten worse since then that I was driving, don't recall the mph, but it must of been around 50 - 60 mph cause I was on the freeway. The whole engine sporadically, in less than a split second, turns off then on. All the electric panel and the front dashboard and the whole car's electrical system turns off/on in a "blink of an eye". it made the car make an erratic and sudden stop, like if I had put the brakes completely or the engine just stopped that split second. Then it went back on and still driving. After that it did it about 2 more times like around those mins I was driving, about mins apart. After this happened, it's been getting worse and now the power shuts off completely and I have to drive to the side with no power on car. Then suddenly gets power again and I just start it again. I've checked the cables of batteries and they keep telling me I can't get the car checked for codes cause the engine light keeps getting reset since it looses power completely and they can't get any codes unless the engine light is lit up. Sometimes turning signal or putting the brakes or lights on make it stop or loose power completely.

- El Paso , TX, USA

problem #11

Mar 042011

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 148,423 miles
Corrosion of subframe, causing it to break and then catch fire to the car under the hood, destroying wiring and hoses.

- Worthington, OH, USA

problem #10

Oct 312007


  • miles
Ever since I bought my car on halloween 2007, my 2002 Hyundai Sonata has had electrical problems. I would put the wipers on and my radio would turn on. My alarm randomly goes off and I can't disconnect it because it is tied in with the main computer for the vehicle ( I was told by mechanic). The doors used to lock by themselves, now they just don't work altogether. The radio cuts out and randomly tries to play a cd regardless of whether or not there is one in it. From the time I test drove the vehicle, the backlight on the radio never worked. Approximately one year later, it all of a sudden began working and works to this day. I have brought this vehicle to the dealer I bought it from for these reasons among others, and he refused to fix them because he didn't know how.

- Douglas, MA, USA

problem #9

Dec 142008


  • 116,590 miles
The battery is often drained and continues to do so all the time I've researched it on the internet and many owners of the 2002 have the same problem, possibly the ignition switch relay. Many have replaced battery, alternator and problems continue. My car is currently draining and dying all the time I have purchased a jump starter for my car. I have to jump my car every time I use it.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #8

Dec 012006

Sonata 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
- the contact stated that while driving the 2002 Hyundai Sonata at 45 mph the vehicle lost power without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after waiting approximately ten minutes. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic, who advised the contact that the failure was due to the crank sensor, cam sensor, and the timing belt. The mechanic made the repairs. However, the same problem occurred the next day. The contact stated that the vehicle was then taken to the dealership, and they informed the contact the problem was due to the crank sensor, cam sensor and the timing belt. The dealership made the repairs however, the same problem continued to occur. The dealership then advised the contact that the module assy- timing and alarm system were faulty and needed to be replaced. The dealership repaired the module assy- timing and alarm system. The contact stated she has not had a problem with the vehicle since this replacement. The vehicle currently had 74000 miles.

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #7

Aug 192004

Sonata 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
The speedometer intermittingly stops working without warning. The consumer says she has tried to see if speed or distance affects it. She says there is no reason that she can see to make it stop working. The consumer has taken the vehicle to the dealer for the 5th time today. The manufacturer called the dealer to get it fixed. She said other electric components are not working as well. The doors, windows, and clock are slowly getting worse. The consumer has concerns that it might lead to something more serious, like a fire.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #6

Aug 272002

Sonata 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
8/27/02 belt noise and burning rubber smell. The pulley belt was replaced. 1/33/03 recall on automatic transmission would not shift out of first gear. Throttle body assembly was replaced. 9/8/03 car engine raced to 5000-6000 rpms, had to turn off ignition. Service department can find no explanation. 9/16/03 check engine light comes on. While in park, engine races to 5000 rpms. After 3 restarts at the ignition, the idle returns to normal. 9/21/03 check engine light comes on. Wait to take to dealership. 10/7/03 service department says they can find no problem. 10/23/03 check engine light comes on. Service department says there is a leak in the fill vent valve, repair. 12/18/03 recall service done. 5/9/04 check engine light comes on. Ignore, it goes off after two weeks. 8/6/04 check engine light comes on. Ignore, it goes off after two weeks. 11/4/04 while traveling on a highway, vehicle does not respond to braking. Collision occurs, acceleration continues, car spins out of control across two lanes and into a grassy field. I put it in park and shut off the ignition in order to stop the car from continuing into the fencepost. Patrolman said the throttle was open. Insurance company valued the vehicle a total loss. Recall campaign: The consumer could not slow down the vehicle. After impact the consumer stated that the engine was still racing and she was still pressing the brake. The emergency brake had to be pulled to stop the vehicle. The officer on the scene started the vehicle and the engine was still racing. Yhe battery and alternator were replaced.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #5

Sep 012004

Sonata 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Electrical system. I have already filed one complaint on the check engine light and the sensors. It has been in the dealership 9 times prior to this one. Now it is a cam sensor and I believe a speed sensor. Not only that but both wheel bearings are bad. It has roughly 78,000 miles. You can only get parts at a dealership. The parts are not only overpriced, but the dealership charges outrageous prices to do anything. You can unhook the battery and the light will stay off for a couple of months and then it comes back on. I take it to the dealership and they supposedly fix it and the light comes back on in a shorter amount of time than unhooking the battery. I have spoke with Hyundai when the problems started and all you get is we'll fix it until the warranty is up then you are out of luck. I can't keep the check engine light off long enough to even sell it.

- Sciotoville, OH, USA

problem #4

Mar 292004


  • 20,000 miles
Onsumer stated every time she exited the vehicle she was being shocked. Dealer indicated there was an electrical short, but hds not determined where it was coming from.

- Belcamp, MD, USA

problem #3

Mar 062003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,727 miles
I have a 2002 Hyundai Sonata that I bought new in April of 2002. As of March of this year at 27,700 miles, it has been in the shop for the check engine light 5 separate times. The first time it showed an oxygen sensor. Within the next 100 miles it was on again, this time it was an evap code and they said it was the fuel pump seal so they tightened it. Within another 100 miles it came on again and was another oxygen sensor. It came on again after about 3 months (and around 9,000 miles) and this time it was the evap code again and they said that it was the fuel cap. This had to be ordered and I called back after three weeks and someone had forgot to order it so it after all took 3 months to replace it. In the meantime the car was detailed and the company unhooked the battery, the check engine light stayed off for a little over a month (the light was on when it went to the detail company). So the fuel cap was eventually replaced and the light came on again within 100 miles after. This time it was 3 different codes. One for another oxygen sensor, one for a throttle positioning sensor, and one for a fuel increment sensor. I am at 47,800 miles now and I am told that it could take a few months to get the oxygen sensor due to Hyundai updating the sensor due to a defect. By the time my car is fixed, this time the warranty will more than likely be up or close to it and all I can get from Hyundai is that they will fix it up to the 60,000 mile warranty and if the light comes on after that it is my problem. They say it is not a concern due to something different every time.

- Sciotoville, OH, USA

problem #2

Aug 162003

Sonata 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
While driving at an undetermined speed, the battery light came on and the vehicle stalled. The problem was caused by alternator failure. The dealership indicated that there was a tsb for this issue. Houser dealership replaced the alternator with a different type and configuration. Another dealer replaced the battery, alternator and drive belt. All work was covered under warranty.

- Orange, CT, USA

problem #1

Oct 212001

Sonata 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles
Right front speaker pops on and off at a stop or moving. When you use the ac button, windshield wiper, windows, and turn signals the speaker either shuts off or turns on. The radio was replaced three times, the speaker twice and the wiring and wiring harnesses were replaced. The car has been in and out of the shop with and without repairs for the same problem at least 12 times. The problem started the first night when I bought the vehicle in October of 2001. The car has had other problems with the power window motors, battery, and remote door locks. I feel as though I have spent more time at the dealer trying to get the car fixed then actually enjoying the car. I have filed cases with the Hyundai corporate office, a factory representative looked at the car, heard the problem, in formed the dealer on how to fix it. I received a phone call 6 days later saying the chief mechanic could not duplicate the problem so he did not touch it. Even though the factory representative heard the problem and told them what to fix. I have taken the first step in the lemon law, I have sent a certified defect complaint to the dealer. The received it April 11 2003 at 12:00 pm. I am just waiting on there response. This car has been a nightmare to my self and my family. Two visits ago the dealer had the car for one week. When I received the car back, the car was covered with an unknown substance (maybe tree sap) all over the hood, roof, and trunk. I brought this to the dealers attention while the factory rep was there. The rep told them to compound the car out and rectify this issue. When I picked up the car, the car was washed but the substance was still there, now with swirl scratches in the paint where they tried to up the substance off the car. Dealer and corporate will not take responsibility for this. This will be the final case for my lawyer against Hyundai.

- Tamarac, FL, USA