2011 Sonata Hybrid Engine Shutdown

mv_marymv_mary Member Posts: 5
Has anyone experienced the engine shutting down while driving? I was on the freeway, and all of a sudden bells starting going off and the car showed on the dash that the battery wasn't charging. Thank gosh I had some electric power because that's all I was driving on. Once I got pulled over, I turned the car off to see if restarting would correct the problem and it wouldn't start. Any idea's what's up?


  • kyrptokyrpto Member Posts: 216
    What did the dealer say?
    How long have you had the car?
    Have any software updates been done?

    Hyundai has issued several software upgrades for this car along with a valve replacement.
    Technical service bulletins [AKA “TSBs”] TG2, TF9 with new NVLD (valve), and TF8 are all I am aware of.

    I have heard about a few hybrids going into a “fail safe” mode but in each instance the car was restarted successfully. Take the TSB info with you to the dealer.
  • mv_marymv_mary Member Posts: 5
    The dealer said it's the second vehicle that's come in with this problem, the Hybrid Primary Control (HPC). Someone from Hyundai is supposed to be flying in to look at the car.

    I've had the car since May 2011, it has 3,500 miles on it.

    No updates have been done on the vehicle, that I know of. But I do have a value issue. The part's been back ordered for a couple of months, so hopefully that will be fixed as well. Where do I find the TSB information?
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    edited September 2011
    There are currently 14 pages of your issue on this site, mine included here:
    http://www.hyundai-forums.com/229-sonata-yf-hybrid/129573-check-charging-system.- - html
    I also posted 3 videos on Youtube showing the failure here:
    The defective part is called the HPCU (HYbrid Power Control Unit) and it's cost is roughly $5000 to replace and is becoming a widespread issue with the Sonata Hybrid.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • kyrptokyrpto Member Posts: 216
    edited September 2011
    “Widespread” is probably not the best word to describe this as Hyundai has sold upwards of fifteen thousand of these vehicles. They have replaced some HPCUs, but according to my sources, it is a relatively small number of cars, mainly the earliest to hit showrooms.

    That other forum has some good info but there is a definite over amplification of this and other issues on there. For example, engineers do not have to “fly in” to determine if an HPCU needs to be replaced. One of the highest volume Hyundai dealers in America has only done one HPCU swap at this point. Since you bought in May (where?), you could be a candidate for a swap and it is good that your dealer is up-to-speed on this issue.

    Just take everything on that other forum with a grain of salt. "Unlock" your email addy and I’ll explain what’s going on there via email. The TSB #s were in an earlier post.

    For some perspective, the first Highlander Hybrids began having inverter - controller issues with the inverters actually exploding in the engine bays. Initially, Toyota tried to duck the responsibility for the $9 to $12K expense for out-of-warranty owners but now there is a recall of tens of thousands of these SUVs including the Lexus 400h.
  • mv_marymv_mary Member Posts: 5
    The car was from the very first shipment delivered to Orange County, CA. I put a deposit down waiting for the first fully loaded hybrid model. I was overdue on the return of my Lexus lease so I didn't want to wait for later models.

    The dealership, Tustin Hyundai, has been great. The car started right away in the morning when they arrived, but once I told them what happened they knew right away what it was. I spoke with them this morning and supposedly Engineering was in yesterday to see the vehicle. According to the service department this was the second vehicle to come to their shop with this issue.

    Can you tell me how to unlock the email addy. Or you can email me at [email protected]
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    While I may agree somewhat that total number of cars affected by the charging system shutdown is small compared to the total number of Hybrids sold, I can only tell you that there are 14 pages listed of customer's nightmares regarding the shutdown of their vehicles. That's 14 pages too many, if I must say. How many have not googled the issue and didn't come across the site? How many have just brought it back to their dealer and did no research? How many only read the site and don't participate? I am just going by the number of customers that I have seen report it on that website. Also, yes, this Monday engineers will be coming out to personally work on my vehicle. Originally I was told by my advisor that it was going to be needing the HPCU replacement based on info the tech gathered and sent to Hyundai, and it is on backorder. Then I spoke to the service manager on Wednesday and he told me engineers will be coming this Monday to possibly do some sort of software upgrade, and he himself is unsure if they will have the HPCU with them or not at that time, and he will keep me informed on what is happening with the car. I mean no disrespect to Krypto, but unless you personally have had the car shut down while driving with traffic around you, you do not know what we are dealing with. It has happened to me 4 times now, and my car has only 3100 miles. Can it happen to more cars as the mileage racks up and time goes by? I would have to say yes, but hopefully it only affects the early production models.
    I otherwise like the car and wish to keep it, but not if it endangers my family and I, and the bottom line is that our safety is NOT an over amplification of any sort.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • kyrptokyrpto Member Posts: 216
    14 pages doesn‘t prove anything, especially on that particular forum.
    They allow things to be posted there that other forums will not.
    Virtually no moderation.
    Owners with problems seem to flock to it.

    Most forums caution about multiple identities (user name or accounts).
    Having said that it is not difficult for one person to open multiple Google or whatever, email accounts.
    Armed with different e addys, a smart phone (or tablet) with wi-fi, a home computer, and a work computer, one person can easily assume 3 profiles undetected because all the IP addresses will be totally different.

    That is why so many sites have turned to Facebook to log readers’ comments, or like Edmunds, provide proper, unbiased moderation.

    Some of that duplicity is definitely going on over on that forum.
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    I can't for the life of me understand why someone would open up multiple accounts to post about the same problem on the same forum about the same subject . What gain would it provide them? I know for one that I found the Hybrid forum after doing an online search about my problem, to see if others have had it as well, and what they did to to fix it. All I can say is that MY problem is as real as it gets and posted 3 videos to prove it, and I have nothing to gain or lose by posting it. Hopefully others will gain from my experiences and show the videos to their dealer when they try to describe the issue. Either way, I will try not to venture from the subject, just to provide helpful information to a person who has had the same problem as me, and the way I and others before me are dealing with it.
    There is a lot of good info there that we can share with owners of the Hybrid on this board.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    Here is a link to the NHTSA where you will find numerous complaints describing your issue with the Hybrid:
    Go to the search complaints tab and click on "type of search" and put all the information as it pertains to the Sonata and you can look up individaul problems poeple have had. For example if you click on Hybrid Propulsion System: inverter, you will see 2 complaints, then search electrical system and you will see it has numerous complaints. The ones with the VIN #'s that begin with the letters "KMHEC" pertain to the Hybrid.
    Hope this helps, and don't forget to report it while you are there.
    The more people that file a complaint, the better our chances are of making Hyundai move quicker on this dangerous defect.

    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • kyrptokyrpto Member Posts: 216
    Yep, the best way to handle any problem is to file a complaint before a Hyundai dealer actually attempts to fix your issue. Keep encouraging owners over and over to also file complaints

    And make sure you start another discussion on a forum so you can whine about it.

    I helped set up and moderate forums and trust me, there are some devious folks trolling some venues. And some of the comments the mods have made on the other forum were totally inappropriate.

    A discussion was even started about the redundancy - 8 open threads on the same topic - and lack of moderation.
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    Yes, you said it better than I could Dr Awkward. The best way to handle a potentially DEADLY defect is to REPORT IT to the entity which oversees the safety of said vehicles, none better than the NHSTA. Does the Explorer tire blowout issue ring a bell? How about the Prius sudden acceleration? Maybe the Highlander Hybrid propulsion defect which has recently come to surface. All of these defects were VERY serious and DEADLY, as is the sudden loss of power exhibited by certain Sonata Hybrids. I agree Mary should let the dealer attempt to repair it, but I know from my personal experience, I had it there 3 times and had to finally get it on video and have a fault code recorded before it was determined that they would keep the car until it is correctly repaired. What I would like to see done is when a consumer comes in with a complaint of the charging system vehicle shutdown, that vehicle does not exit the dealership until it is properly REPAIRED and tested, then tested again before it goes back into the consumers hands. While I agree that complaining about low mileage, check engine lights, and other minor annoyances are just that---ANNOYANCES, this issue can actually cause injuries or death! It is so obvious that Mary has the same identical issue that many on the other forum have, and all we are advising people to do is report it the the proper entity to make sure that it is repaired. I don't think anyone on any forum, especially with children, would fault others and myself for reporting this serious defect to the proper authority.
    The bottom line is I am not starting duplicate threads on the charging system shutdown, using duplicate identities to report the issue, or what you consider "whining" about it. I am just making individuals aware that there is a serious issue when it comes to the shutdown and it needs to be reported when it occurs.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • reglee51reglee51 Member Posts: 16
    VinnyG is right, several of us have had this issue with our cars and so far only a couple of us have had the HPCU replacement and so far have not had a recurrence of the problem. One other person from the other forum and I have both logged well over 1k post the HPCU repair. Some issues are subjective and hard to prove and I agree are 'annoyances', I believe this one is dangerous, obvious, and definitely requires attention.
    It appears that so far all of the cars with this problem were built in Feb; care to comment on when your's build date was?
    Also, VinnyG is responding to someone else talking about the same problem and trying to help out... He didn't even start the thread. Why are you giving him a hard time? While not a widespread problem, I wouldn't criticize anyone for helping out someone else that's experiencing the same problem they did and have spent more than a month trying to get fixed. I think that's part of the reason these forums exist....
  • mv_marymv_mary Member Posts: 5
    I've appreciated all the great information from everyone regarding this issue. Because of the response I now know where to go to lookup research vehicle issues and have received support for what I'm going thru now.

    In response to your question when my car was built, I don't know. Can you tell me how I would find out?
  • reglee51reglee51 Member Posts: 16
    Open the driver side door, from the outside look at the bottom right corner of the car frame where the driver front door would touch the vehicle, you'll find a black plate with the info including the VIN and build date.
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    I have an update on my vehicle. I received a call from my service advisor this afternoon and he said an engineer worked on the software for about half a day today, and it has been repaired without the need for the HPCU replacement. The dealer is going to hold on to it to do some real world driving tests for a bit. He said the bottom line is that they are not going to give me the car until they are sure it is fixed. I was hoping for the new HPCU, since it seems to be the correct fix, but they say that it isn't the HPCU that is causing the shutdowns, it's the software that needed to be fixed.
    I hope this helps guide you Mary and any others that may come here looking for advice. I will keep you posted if you wish, Vinny.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • kyrptokyrpto Member Posts: 216
    Just took another look at the much hyped video and I noticed after the check charging warning went off, according to the odometer and speedometer, the car continued to be driven at about 40mph for about one mile.
    That just doesn’t seem like something to be calling “deadly and dangerous.“

    Exact same thing happened to my wife.
    She kept driving the car for about a mile, too.
    However, we didn’t immediately rush to file a complaint, then become a cheerleader urging others over and over to file with NHTSA before we tried contacting Hyundai.

    You say your hybrid experienced a ‘loss of power;’ any video of that?
    Was Hyundai able to duplicate that issue?
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    edited September 2011
    You probably were not following my prior posts in that thread, so I will clarify for you and others that may have come here which may be having this problem. That video was the 4th and last time that it occurred on my Hybrid. The car has been in the dealer since then, for now a total of 15 days stemming from that incident. That was the one and ONLY time that I was actually able to continue to drive it. The previous 3 times it shut down immediately, as soon as the check charging system light illuminated and the alarm started to ring. There is no other video showing the loss of power, because I just started to drive around with a video camera in the glove box after the previous shutdown when the dealer had it for 9 days and found no issues with the vehicle and could not duplicate the problem. That's what was so frustrating, that it happened 3 times and shut down all 3, but no event was logged in the computer. All 3 prior events didn't log any fault codes, and when I restarted it each time, it ran fine afterwards, which made it difficult for them to diagnose. This time, though, as seen in the videos, it initially would not restart, so I let it sit for a minute, and got it going and video recorded the event as it happened again, but this time it recorded a fault code. That code, combined with the video I showed them helped with the diagnosis. By the way, there are 3 videos on my channel, each with a brief description of what is going on at that time. It shows me first trying to restart it unsuccessfully after the alarm sounds and I pull over, then I get it started and start driving which is the main video, then the alarms go on, and last is when I get it home and shut it off and it restarts fine.
    I will be still carrying the video camera in the car when I get it back just in case it happens again, but my dealer feels it is properly repaired now.
    Sorry if you feel I am a "cheerleader", but if your wife or child experienced the immediate shutdown on a busy expressway, you would understand my passion in having this repaired not only for me, but for every one else that has had this happen to them. You seem to be an intelligent, well written individual, but I can't understand why you don't get it that it is a serious issue that needs attention. I said before that I otherwise love the car and wish to keep it, but not if it proves to be unsafe. It is my fourth Hyundai, the first being an '86 Excel, and I have been a steadfast Hyundai advocate since then.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    Well, got the Hybrid back today after 15 days in the shop. They are convinced it is permanently fixed now and I sure hope so.
    My service sheet states "P0A0D High voltage system interlock circuit. Spoke with Hyundai had field engineer come out and look at vehicle. Update hybrid power control unit with updated software. Road test 40 miles vehicle operating as designed."
    My advisor said the Northeast engineer who came out really knew what he was doing and he was impressed by his knowledge.
    I must say this; I reset the MPG meter at the dealer before I left for the ride home which is only about 16 miles or so away, and when I got home, it said I averaged 45.8 MPG. It seems to be running like new, and I didn't notice that "first start up" jerkiness either. I don't want to jinx myself, but it seems to be running like new again, no jerkiness, and mileage is great again. I hope it stays just like this for the remainder of my ownership, but I must remember that I only did a few miles on it since the repair. (I will still carry that video camera in the glove box just in case.)
    I'll keep you all updated on the progress.
    Take care, Vinny.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • reglee51reglee51 Member Posts: 16
    Krypto: My hybrid experienced a 'loss of power' both times, Hyundai was able to duplicate it on a test drive and had it towed back to the dealership. Took them 80 miles to recreate it and took me 120mi after their first attempt at fixing it for it to occur on me the 2nd time; it's no wonder it's difficult for Hyundai to recreate.
  • kyrptokyrpto Member Posts: 216
    With thousands and thousands of these hybrids - now joined by the identical Kia - hitting the roads every month, Hyundai must be getting close to correctly diagnosing the CEL and power loss issues and developing remedies for both.
    Fingers crossed . . . . . .
  • mv_marymv_mary Member Posts: 5
    Got my Hybrid back today after a week in the shop. They only test drove it 6 miles though...what's with that? There were computer updates done, replaced a fuel value and corrected some recall items. Hopefully I won't have to see them again until I turn in the lease in 2.5 years.
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    Hi Mary, I hope the computer software updates performed were the ones that will correct the shutdown issue. The replacement NVLD valve, active air flap, and headliner service bulletins would not be the cause of the shutdown you have experienced. Engineers have narrowed the issue down to a software problem that they say will be corrected with updates rather than new parts. I just had it done, and although they test drove it 40 miles and I drove it another 16, it still has not proven to be the permanent fix yet, at least to me. I must say it is running great as of yesterday and I got some really great mileage on the ride home, but only time will tell if it is the permanent repair.
    Good luck, Vinny.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • bobdunntechbobdunntech Member Posts: 1
    As a tech turning wrenches for a dealer in the Piedmont Triad, I can for sure say that these Hybrids have been a thorn in my side. I see more hybrids roll into the service department on the back of tow trucks than any other car. CEL/MIL issues, car won't start, car won't drive, car shuts off, car shakes/stutters. Engineers stop by on occasion to look at the cars, but usually scratch their heads and reload the ECM. I see it as job security, but I'd hate to be the guy that had his car sit here for 4 weeks, only to bring it back in a week later.

    As krypto said, "Hyundai must be getting close to correctly diagnosing the CEL and power loss issues and developing remedies for both.
    Fingers crossed . . . . . ."
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    It's been almost 3 weeks since my car has had the software fixed, and last week I had all the October service campaigns performed. My car is running much better now and I seem to be getting slightly better mileage and a lot less first start up jerkiness. Most importantly is that I have not had the loss of power issue since the repair. If anyone has an issue with the charging system loss of power, bring the vehicle to the dealer and get the latest service campaigns which should fix the problem.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • s2thems2them Member Posts: 1
    Crain Hyundai service guy acted like he never heard of theis when we took our car in ,and then sent us on our way ,we were almost ran over.. we pulled out and engine never engaged we had to pull over and re start but scary!!! Then the dealer had others on the lot with a sign saying return to factory,,So they tried to move us a Volester that is way under powered..
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    Time to go to a different dealer.
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
  • sandigosandigo Member Posts: 1
    did spark plugs rodary fuel filter.any one have any ideas really appreciate any input
  • ncdriversncdrivers Member Posts: 1
    Driving, I felt a jerk in the car, the ready light flashes and the wrench symbol shows up. The car is on battery power only. I coast on battery till I can pull into a parking lot. Shut the car off. Luckily both times it started back up. Bob King Hyundai in Winston-Salem says they don't know why it would do that.
    We are waiting on some parts that are updates. I have copied the posts here and plan to show them to the dealer.
  • vinnygvinnyg Member Posts: 77
    I had the same issue happen to me 4 times earlier on starting in June, along with some other hybrid owners.
    The service campiagns will take care of the shutdown issue, and they will also replace the high voltage connectors as well.
    If there is any confusion at your dealership, I suggest you go on the Hyundai-Forums.com site and P.M. Car Tech Dude. He is responsible for the development of the repair campaigns and he will personally contact your dealer and tell them exactly what to do to repair this for you. He is a good guy who will get this taken care of for you.
    Here is a link to one of the threads regarding the same issue you are experiencing, and you can contact him through it:

    http://www.hyundai-forums.com/229-sonata-yf-hybrid/129573-check-charging-system-- 31.html
    Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to meet the same people on the way down.
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