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2013 Hyundai Sonata Steering Issue - Vehicle Wanders

acrossleyacrossley Posts: 1
edited February 2013 in Hyundai
After my first extended highway drive with my brand new 2013 Hyundai Sonata I noticed a problem. Driving in a straight line is near impossible. This seems rudimentary I know; a car should track in a straight line with no issue. But as many others have noticed my 2013 Sonata would not. More noticeable at highway speeds, but also at city speeds, the vehicle requires constant correction to maintain a straight track. In a few words, the car simply 'wanders' or 'drifts' left and right, with no real 'centered' feel to the steering. Maintaining a straight track is impossible and requires constant attention and correction. The vehicle wander creates hazardous driving conditions and driver fatigue, which poses a public safety hazard. The vehicle has been brought to three different Hyundai dealerships for resolution, and all three Hyundai dealerships deny there is a problem. Has anyone else here had this problem? If you have I'd love to hear your story. I've also decided to set up a blog to track my progress in fixing the issue with my Sonata here 2013hyundaisonata.blogspot.com.
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Comments

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,733
    edited February 2013
    My wife's 2013 Sonata doesn't wander at all... city or highway. So it's not normal. I recommend you go "up the chain" at Hyundai, since you aren't getting any help from the dealerships. Try the 1-800 customer service number first. Another option is to go to the Service MANAGER where you bought the car and demand that the matter be brought to the Hyundai Regional Service Rep.

    Another thing you should do while at the dealer is ask to drive another 2013 Sonata, and see if it exhibits the same behavior as your car. If so, have the service manager drive with you in both cars so they can see the problem for themselves.

    There is another possibility... if this is the first car you've owned with electronic steering, it does have a different feel than hydraulic steering. I've driven many cars with electronic steering so I didn't notice any problem with the Sonata (my '10 Sentra is much worse on steering feel than the Sonata, for example), but if you aren't used to it there could be more correcting and attention needed than what you are used to.
  • mrmoto42mrmoto42 Posts: 1
    I have a brand new 2013 limited 2.4 fully loaded. I really like the car. I bought it to replace my aging Corolla. I do mostly freeway driving during my commute to work. I have noticed that the car wonders during straight line driving which requires constant correction. This issue annoys me. The car behaves as if the steering is not firmly planted. As if the steering wheel is not connected directly to the front wheels. Any gusty wind conditions make it a lot worse. I called the dealership and asked it there was any adjustments to tighten the linkage. They said no adjustment is possible. I dropped the tire pressure down to 30psi, this seemed to help. My previous cars (Toyota's and Honda's)all seemed to track straight and not wonder as if affected by the road contours.
  • oilmuttoilmutt Posts: 5
    I have a 2013 sonata ,3months old,2,600 miles,no steering issues as of yet.
  • iadnuyhiadnuyh Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2013 Sonata Limited turbo a few weeks ago, noticed the same situation with my steering. First trip to dealer is scheduled for Tuesday of next week.
  • I think what you are all talking about is the electronic steering. I just bought a 13 sonata limited 2 days ago. I had a 99 accord before this. It is very strange steering, but I think I will get used to it. You just have to let your brain retrain.
  • sn123sn123 Posts: 1
    I too have a wandering problem with my 2013 Sonata GLS. We've had it back to the dealer on 3 occasions and they say the car is within spec and that it is due to the fact that I'm not used to the Electric Steering. That is pure BS. I have driven the 2013 Accord, 2013 Ford Fusion and 2013 Altima. I test drove those cars again after the dealer told me it wasn't a problem with the car. All of those cars have electric steering and none of those exhibited a wandering problem on the highway.

    I then had the dealer let me test drive a couple of other sonatas. They all exhibited the wandering problem. This is evidently a problem that Hyundai doesn't want to own up to. I've escalated it up the ladder at Hyundai and have not been able to get any satisfaction. I have 3500 miles on the car and the driving characteristics haven't changed.

    If I could get out of the car without taking a loss I would. I am currently reviewing our state LEMON law to see what recourse is available to me.
  • You do not stand alone, there are many of us with this very serious problem, my self included. I wish I would of researched much more than I did, I would of never considered this car if I had. I took delivery 3/26, driving the car home from the dealership, I could not keep the car in the center of the lane, it veered to the left and right just as yours does. I do not feel safe driving this car, let alone put my kids in it. The dealerships were trained/told to say there is nothing wrong with it, its the electric steering and you need to get use to it...I have read so much and everyone was told the same exact thing...really, all around the country...little rehearsed I would say! Get use to not being able to keep your car safely in a lane, are they kidding me? There was a recall in 2010-2011 for the steering (as you probably do know) and they turn their backs to this repeat defect? Keep fighting, don't give up and let them win...there is plenty about this topic all over the internet, start printing and appeal it.... I am heading in the same direction it seems. Good luck and drive safe!
  • As we speak, my Sonata is in for service.... They first gave me an appt for 4/24 because that is when they had a loner available....I talked to my salesman and he wanted to drive the car, so I brought it in yesterday. after his "test drive" he drove the car right into the service dept... he told them the steering has "a lot of play" to get it checked asap....so there it stayed. I am hopeful , but I doubt there will be any changes due to so many have brought their cars in for service with no improvement to the steering. Everyone who has this problem must report it to NHTSA/ safecar.gov asap! after they get a certain amount of complaints, they contact the auto maker and request they do a recall, if refused they then get a court order to make them have a recall. Hyundai will continue to ignore the steering problem as long as they can...they have 1.9 million cars being recalled for sudden airbag deployment and brake light switches, along with having to pay back gas milage due to not putting the correct gas milage on their cars... it is very important to do a formal complaint with the above . good luck with your states :lemon: law...I will be heading in that direction myself if the problem is not solved good luck!
  • glad you wife is safe driving her car ! It is not that anyone has to get use to electric steering, as many of us have test drove other cars with out the cars wandering all over the road...no one should have to get use to fighting the steering wheel to keep the car centered in their lane. it is unsafe and dangerous!
  • Just an after thought.... Hyundai had a recall on the 2010- 2011 sonatas for steering issues... I have been reading the steering complaints from that time frame. Before the recall, people were writing about the car wandering all over the road , same exact complaints and issues we are having now... word for word. And they are denying there is a problem? It will catch up to them, in time (but not soon enough) they will be forced to recall the 2012-2013 Sonatas as well.... they are putting their costs over the safety of their buyers. :(
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,733
    No, no one should have to fight to keep a car from wandering all over the road. Fortunately, my Sonata does not have this problem, nor did any other 2011-13 Sonata I've driven over the years (as rentals and test cars). Good luck getting the problem resolved with your car!
  • happy to hear you are safe driving your car! many of us are not unfortunately. I have the limited 2.0 T . My car is still in service at the dealer. They test drove the car and experienced it pulling/wandering all over the road. either way, I will never feel safe or at ease driving it, this shouldn't be!! Hyundai is ignoring the 2012-2013 has the same steering issues as their recalled 2010-2011 sonata's.. ????? no recall as of yet, they will have to stand up to the plate sooner or later. shame on them, will never give them my business again, not to a company who does not care about their buyers and putting them at risk with their lives.. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • I bought a 2013 GLS three weeks ago, took a 200 mile trip and get real tired of correcting the steering. Took it to the dealer and they said they took it on a test drive and had no problem. I asked if they took it out on the interstate and they admitted they just drove it around town. Now that I have read the problems posted on the net, I am inclined to force the issue to get it fixed or see if I can get it replaced. It still has less than 1,000 miles on it.

    Just FYI - I have been driving for about 50 years and know how a car is suppose to steer. This ain't it!!!!
  • Both my 2011 GLS and my new 2014 have this issue. I do not feel unsafe; there is nothing to indicate anything mechanical is wrong. But it does require continual small inputs, and is tiring.

    But these are terrific cars, and I am not on the highway often enough for the steering to be a major issue. It's just annoying. :)
  • joto1000joto1000 Posts: 22
    According to a post on another Hyundai steering problem blog there may be a solution to this. "There is a 3 position software switch to adjust the steering." I took my vehicle in yesterday, before I had this new info, and the service manager told me that there was nothing that they could do for me. I suspect that this steering issue is what has caused me to lose almost all tread on my front tires at 12000 miles!!!
  • joto1000joto1000 Posts: 22
    Just a heads up for all of you that do not like the aweful steering sensitivity of the 2013 Sonata. I was able to get my dealer to change the steering sensitivity to Sport mode which they say will tighten it up.
  • joto1000joto1000 Posts: 22
    Brought my 2013 Sonata GLS into the dealer last week and had them change my steering preference to Sport mode. This made steering more substantial in that it is no longer very sensitive and has some torque and requires some effort to steer now. Don't let the dealer tell you that there is no way to do this, because there is. They just hook it up to their computer and select Sport mode from the three options avail which are comfort, normal and sport. Hope this finds you all well!
  • carl81carl81 Posts: 1
    The 2013 Sonata is a problem! The dealer will try to bully you or stonewall you and tell you there is nothing wrong with the car. DO NOT BACK DOWN! Wilson Hyundai in TN said there was nothing wrong with my Sonata. I pushed the issue under the TN Lemon Law and won. They were forced to buy back the car.

    But here is the kicker, Hyundai tried to force me to sign a non disclosure agreement to buy back the car. I reported this to the BBB and they were forced to back off on that demand.

    If you are going to pursue it under the Lemom Law of your state, contact the BBB Auto line to staqrt the process. Concentrate on the safety issues of the vehicle and the problems you will experience with resale.
  • cicciuzzucicciuzzu Posts: 1
    I thought I would never get used to the steering in my 2013 Sonata, coming as I did from Alfa Romeos with wonderful road feel. But in a while (less than 3000 miles) I found that a very light touch on the wheel kept me going in a straight line at freeway speeds. Of course, since there is very little road feel, correcting the direction the car is traveling solely by sight is fatiguing as you are deprived of one sensory input from the wheel. This is not going to change. All cars need to lose weight to reach gas consumption levels which are competitive. This is done by eliminating hydraulic pumps. There are vehicles with worse feel to their electric steering than Hyundais have. Learn to lighten up on the wheel after you find dead center. I haven't tried the sport setting and would like to see a good write up about this.
  • travelbug3travelbug3 Posts: 1
    Thank you for all this information! We have a 2012 Sonata and are having the same steering problems and have had them since we purchased the vehicle a little over a year ago. We have brought it in a few times already and are bringing back again this week! I am done with this car and don't even want to drive it in fear of an accident!
  • joto1000joto1000 Posts: 22
    Glad I could help .Just make sure that they don't tell you otherwise. The Sonata's are pre-programmed to steer in comfort mode. There are three modes to select from once the tech hooks it up to the diagnostic machine, comfort, normal and sport. You want sport mode which tightens up the steering considerably. Good luck!!
  • As a Hyundai Platinum Technician for many years I can say that this thread is technically incorrect. Yes you can Change the settings in "Motor Driven Power Steering" but not like described in this thread. The setting is to tell the EPS (electric power steering) module what trim level the unit is installed in. Settings are GLS, GE, and Sport. Yes it will change the steering feel like described but not as a "personality" setting but as an installed setting. Feel changes due to pre-programmed settings internal to the EPS module that give it the ability to be installed into different vehicles with different tire and wheel packages, depending on trim. I.E. a Sonata Turbo with 225/45R18 wheel/tires installed will have different setting/feel as compared to a base Sonata with 205/65R16 combo installed. With all this being said, this is not a warrantable repair/correction but is a modification to the vehicle and is not factory correct. Just thought I would clear up what this setting is, its not like the system installed in the 2013 Santa Fe which gives the driver the ability to change the "personality" setting with a press of the button on the steering wheel.
  • pdo850pdo850 Posts: 1
    My dealer and the Hyundai 800 number folks deny ther is a software setting to select one of 3 modes. Can you tell me the dealership that fixed yours or the name of the service advisor who did it? I'd like to speak with them to get my dealer to fix mine.

    Thanks.

    Pete
  • Pete, please see my previous post. It's not a software selection or a fix. What it is, it's a option selection that is selected by a technician when installing a new module into a vehicle. It "tells" the new module what trim level Sonata it is being installed in. It is not a "ride" setting not is it a "fix" to anything. Hope this helps.
  • joto1000joto1000 Posts: 22
    It is a steering option in the software. The modes are comfort, normal and sport. Sport is what you want as the current setting is comfort which
    "In Comfort mode, the steering effort is much lighter, with a looser on-center feel. Hyundai says Comfort mode comes in handy for the long boring cruises or for situations when a higher-speed road is heavily crowned."

    The service advisor that did fix my steering issue is located at Auffenberg Hyundai in O'fallon, IL, Kevin Quayle. He can be reached at 618-589-1354. Your service advisor is obviously not doing his research. All he would need to do is contact his Hyundai engineer rep and they would tell him the same. Let me know how it goes.
  • joto1000joto1000 Posts: 22
    Just a heads up that it did fix my steering issue and it was a software selection that the dealer can adjust. I did not have a new module installed. I now have better handling and a tighter on center feel.
  • It doesn't "fix" anything, just changes the setup in the module to fool it that it is in a different vehicle with a different wheel/tire combo. You don't have to install a new module to do it rather set the "correct" vehicle when installing a new one. The options (as stated before) are GL, GLS, and sport. Which are YF (Sonata) trim levels. In essence by changing the setting you are "fooling" the module that's it's in a different car. You where just unhappy with the "feel" before the change but with the new setting selected its a "feel" you are more used to coming from a hydronic power steering which had "slop" where an electric does not and the second the steering angle sensor sees an input (in degrees) left or right the electric motor will assist. I knew I shouldn't of posted here because blog people always know more then the experts...
  • lightfootfllightfootfl Posts: 442
    Re: All these comments,etc.
    How will making a change in the "software" affect the warranty? or will
    everything be OK ? It would seem to me that that change should not make any difference, but if you are speaking as a "company man", I would like to know what you say about it.

    van
  • As this is considered a modification and not a repair would not be covered under warranty. As to affecting future warranty can't say 100% as that is above my pay grade, but it should not affect anything unless you have a direct issue with the module itself. I'm not a "company man" just Master (Platinum) Technician with Hyundai for the past 7 years...
  • joto1000joto1000 Posts: 22
    In my experience, if something is causing abnormal tire wear and posing a significant safety risk, as this steering issue has been widely reported by many consumers, I don'tsee why it would not be considered a repair. My dealer happily changed my setting without charge. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before a recall is issued for this engineering screw up.
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