really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
110,000 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. car is totaled (4 reports)
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problem #13

Oct 262018

Sonata Limited 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire

I was driving home from work. My brakes went out, then smoke from hood, then fire. The car stopped after many tries of shifting and emergency brake, I jumped out and ran! The car was in flames, total loss. No warning, no crash (thank god). I am in disbelief, still. October 26, 2018

- Cindy A., Medina, OH, US

problem #12

Feb 162019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,027 miles

My 2011 Hyundai Sonata went on fire coming home 2/16/2019. I had my kids, Mom and dog in the car. Within two minutes of us getting out the car it engulfed into flames. Luckily no one was hurt, but now my kids are very afraid to be inside a car. I am looking for a civil suit for this matter.

- lalina, Centereach, US

problem #11

Dec 042018

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire

I was driving when I heard/felt something and thought I blew a tire. I pulled over and parked immediately and smoke started coming from the hood and was getting worse. As I was calling 911, flames started shooting out and got pretty severe by the time the fire department got there. By far, the scariest situation I have ever been in. My car is a total loss. Hyundai needs to be responsible for this!

- Elizabeth Z., Dallas, US

problem #10

Aug 252018

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Engine was replaced by Hyundai in March 2018. Engine caught fire while driving on CA freeway totaling the car.

- Leonard C., Rancho Cucamonga, CA, US

problem #9

Jul 222018

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,800 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire

Car started smelling like something was burning after giving a jump. Noticed car was on fire under engine under the car. Car burned up all the way to the trunk. Since there are no recalls on the engine catching fire the insurance company won't pursue the issue further and I am stuck paying the balance on the car that the insurance won't cover since I am was making payments.

- Kristal A., Temple Terrace, US

problem #8

Nov 072017

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,500 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire

Add me to the list. I was driving on the highway for about 30 miles started hearing a noise what sounded like a faint exhaust leak. A few miles later it started getting worse so I pulled over thinking maybe my exhaust had disconnected. When I got out of the car there was some smoke but nothing real bad. About a minute later I saw some flames though the front grill. A couple minutes later the entire front end was engulfed in flames.

Car had 98k and I did have a recall checked two years ago for an issue that could cause an engine fire or failure. The dealership passed the car but seems like it had the issue. I put in a claim with insurance and I've contacted Hyundai and opened a case with them. I'm hoping this will be a quick/painless/fair resolution but I won't hold my breath. I'll update the post as I get more info.

- collinsd13, Franklin, US

problem #7

Oct 012017

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,500 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire

I was moving from Los Angeles to Sunnyvale, CA and driving on the freeway when my engine started making a loud ticking or knocking sound. I was quite confused about it, not understanding it was my car at first, until the oil light came on. I regularly check and change my oil and have regular top offs, and have been keeping up with maintenance. In any case, as I began shifting lanes to get to the shoulder of the highway the engine light came on. Very soon after the RPM dropped to 0 and toxic white smoke began billowing out of the vents. I put my windows down and rolled to the side of the freeway, unaware that my engine was on fire (the temperature as indicated on the dashboard was normal). Fortunately, another man saw the fire before I did and pulled over, and was running toward me telling me to pop the hood and get out. He opened my hood and ran back to his car and grabbed a bunch of bottles of Gatorade. I was afraid it would explode and backed away, however the man fearlessly put the fire out with his Gatorade. If it wasn't for him, based on other testimonials here, all of my belongings including a $2K bicycle and $2K laptop would have been toast, and I am thankful to escape with my life. Hyundai says 6-8 weeks to resolve my claim - depending on their response I will or will not do future business with Hyundai. Will post an update when it is resolved.

- JOHN T., Sunnyvale, US

problem #6

May 252017

Sonata Limited 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire engine caught fire

While driving on the highway, my vehicle began to make a loud clacking sound coming from the engine. Within seconds, the vehicle shut off and I was able to shift into neutral and guide the vehicle into a small emergency area between lane 1 and an on-ramp lane. I attempted to start the vehicle, only the electrical components turned on. I shut off the vehicle completely and called for towing services. As I was speaking with the agent, smoke began to emerge from the engine and the vehicle cabin, all this time the vehicle is completely off. As I'm stating this to the roadside agent, I then observed fire begin to rise from the engine. I exited the hell out of the vehicle through the passenger door, because traffic is speeding fast to my left, and crossed over the on-ramp lane in case the vehicle blew up. City of Riverside Fire Department responded within two minutes and put out the fire.

- Luis E., Rialto, CA, US

problem #5

Apr 102017

Sonata ES 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

While driving a sound like a worn belt from under the chassis. Called dealership service department and said I would be there with vehicle in 15 minutes. A mile from dealership and metallic crunching sound from under chassis and loss of power. Pulled to side of road and began calling for tow-truck. Noticed flames coming from engine compartment as PD arrived called FD. Car totaled, engine melted.

- Adam R., Canton, US

problem #4

Dec 022016

Sonata 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 86,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire

Hello everyone, I would like to start by introducing myself and telling you all about my bittersweet 10 months with my dream car and how it could have killed or seriously injured me and every passenger that sat in it. My name is Tara Harrell and at the age of 16 I drove past what was, Berryville Ford, and saw a blue Hyundai Sonata parked out in front and I fell in love instantly. I did research and worked towards keep my 96 Pontiac Grand Prix running until Icouldnt afford to not trade it in or had to buy my dream car, finally. Fast forward to me at 21. After a few months of scrounging up money during a job change to fix some things on the Pontiac I found out I would have to pay nearly $400 for repairs, so I decided to call up the old Berryville Ford, that is now Clay Maxey Ford of Berryville, and see if they might have a 2012ish Hyundai Sonata. As fate would have it, they did. I test drove and I was sold on a White 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited. I was a new buyer so I did NO bargaining, NOTHING because i didnt know to or know how. We drew up paper work, I learned I'd be paying over $800 for sales tax and registration for it and my payments would be about the same ammount for repairing the old which they "graciously" gave me $2500 trade in value for. I decided I would have to just push myself to be responsible with my money and disciplined because as a server I knew I could make the payments. I had no credit history or proof of income that day. I didn't bring a check stub and I had never made payments on anything other than a surgery bill so no credit. This was in March of 2016. They got me approved at a whopping rate of 24% for 72 months at $347. Sometimes I made it by the penny at the beginning but as business picked up at my job I managed to make the payments with no problem and some to spare. In the summer of 2016, I'm loving the car and not really minding much that I had to replace a headlight and a tailight already . It was starting to get hot and I noticed that my airconditioning wasn't staying cold or blowing nearly as hard so I called up Clay Maxey and asked them to look at it to see what was wrong with it

Since I had already tried putting the freon in it and that only helped for a few days, I assumed it might be what I had been told from mechanically inclined friends had told me, which was that the A/C would have to be vacuumed and recharged which was about a $250 job. So I asked them to look at it so I could adjust my budget to save some more money, in case they had a diagnostic charge. What they did was took my car back and fixed it without my consent and informed me I would owe them about $250. Furious but good for it, I paid and left. Around the beginning of September I noticed my steering column would make an awful racket when driving over nearly anything on the road. And it was LOUD. A friend of mine suggested I check for recalls to find out if I could get it fixed for free since I had just paid to get it fixed the first time. I was SHOCKED when I discovered there were SIX open recalls dating back to at least 2014. These ranged from faulty door handles to metal shavings in the oil that could cause stalling and/or dangerous sudden shutting off of the vehicle. In the summertime my schedule is hectic because the restaurant I work at is the busiest during September so finally on October 5th I took the car to Crain Hyundai of Bentonville, in Bentonville, Ar. After 5 hours, they said I was good to go and they sent me on my way after I paid a couple more hundred for the fixing of a steering wheel coupler that was the culprit of all the noise and unpredictability of my steering wheel. Fast forward to December 2nd, 2016. Earlier in the day, while driving, I noticed my dashboard lights illuminating, getting lighter and darker, for almost 2 minutes and then stopped

I chalked it up to the shadows of the trees and the brightness of the sun and later realized this is a sign of a possible electrical issue. Relevant? At about 6pm that evening my boyfriend noticed the car making a "knocking" noise so he pulled over to check the oil and waited an hour and a half before someone could bring him some, giving the car plenty of time to cool and be good to go. He got going down the road only at about 25mph and got about 500 yards when the car made a "whoosh" sound and the engine shut off. He coasted into a driveway and minutes later the car was in flames. After unloading a fire extinguisher that gave false hopes of putting the fire out, it took the fire department cutting open the trunk to completely drown out the smoldering burnt marshmallow that was my dream car. It is now February 26th, 2017, and I have been harassed and treated poorly by car salesmen, dealt with a careless insurance company, and fought hard to be smarter than the companies and people that are turning away while I suffer more and more from the loss of my car, my belongings, and the draining of my bank account due to the laziness and lack of sense of urgency to those of us who pay them hard earned money to work hard for us and they dont. I called Hyundai Claims on December 3rd and have been waiting on the results of their investigation since. I couldnt even get a new car for my birthday because i couldnt afford to pay 2 car payments while i wait on the insurance and GAP companies to get their checks to the finance company. They have had the findings from the inspector for 6 weeks now and still no answer. So now I am asking you all, the people who should know Hyundai the best. Can you think of an explanation? What can be done for me? How can I help myself or is there someone that can help me? Cars should not just go up in flames and smoke like an action movie. Why is it taking so long to tell me what happened to my car? Is there someone that can direct me to someone that may be able to get these answers for me. I have a budgeted income and a plan and a way of life that has been altered by this and I am running out of time to not know if Hyundai is going to take responsibility or if I need to take my business elsewhere, and strongly urge everyone I know to do their research before buying anything with a HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA emblem. I am saddened so much by this because I truly enjoyed my Hyundai Sonata. It drove so well most of the time and it was comfortable and suited my needs perfectly. I would love to give Hyundai my business for another updated proven safer vehicle but I cannot feel safe about sitting in another vehicle made by the same company that built the car that could have killed me and any passenger in it until I know that they hold themselves accountable and to a higher standard than trying to not come out of a horrific situation too unscathed. Less scathed than the victim of the negligence. Where is the integrity? Where is the customer care and appreciation? Where is the liability and the concern for safety of those who love their products and keep the lights on in those fancy buildings?

- Tara H., Eureka Springs, US

problem #3

Feb 062017

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,566 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire

I just purchased my 2011 Sonata with 57,000 miles and a month later it wouldn't start, and I finally got it started and drove to my parents house and watched the Super Bowl...when I tried leaving It wouldn't start again and just made a clicking noise and I just gave up. I noticed it was smoking and just thought it was the starter. I locked it and went inside and within 5 minutes it was up in flames and now I'm just without a car. What do I even do?

- Nick R., Atlanta, GA, US

problem #2

Dec 192016

Sonata GLS 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire

On December 19th I was on my way to work. At 4:15AM...as I was driving on the highway without warning my 2011 Hyundai Sonata's engine randomly made a humming noise. I quickly put my foot on the brake & released. Then the car continued to go as if It were on cruise control. I put my foot on the gas, but the vehicle would not accelerate. My check engine light came on as I coasted to the side of the road. When I came to a complete stop all of the lights on my dash came on & there was smoking coming from the hood. I popped the hood open to inspect & there was a large fire coming from the engine. I immediately closed the hood, got as much stuff as I could get out of my car, & ran back as my car was engulfed in flames within seconds. Called 911 & my job. I'm just glad I was able to make it out of the vehicle alive.

I've had the car for about a year & have always kept up with the maintenance. I've had 0 issues up until this point. There were no warning signs or anything at all. I've taken my car in months earlier for the recalls. The parts that Hyundai needed to change was changed, but when it came to the recall about the engine, they said my vehicle was fine & wasn't affected!

I've got in touch with Hyundai & they said they would conduct an investigation that would take up to 6-8 WEEKS! NO GUARANTEE! NO COMPENSATION! NOTHING! I have no other means of transportation. I'm forced to take an Uber & rent out of pocket. I plan on seeking legal action if this is not properly handled.

Here is a video link to the fire:


- Wale S., North Providence, RI, US

problem #1

Oct 262016

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,500 miles

click to see larger images

engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire engine caught fire

This car had numerous recalls and we wanted to evoke the Georgia Lemon Law but was denied. They replaced the brake light switch twice, the engine was replaced within 6 months ago for the second time, door latches, electric power steering box, cv axle. We have owned this car for 5 years and it was always in the shop for something.

- Derek F., Suwanee, GA, US