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Hyundai Sonata Transmission Problems



  • I went to my dealer on Monday to have the tranny reprogrammed as they asked and after it was done, I would try to shut the car off and it would keep asking me to put it in park-this happened after I went to a store and came out and restarted it. Also, the immobilizer alaert light ont he dash kept showing up and the chimes kept going off for whatever reason. Okay back tot he dealer and they siad it was the neutral safety swithc and it was too late to install it so back yesterday morning, they take it apart and they call me out to the shop to show me some white stuff near where the switch is located and asked me if i spilled anything in there-I said nope and it looked like sugar but since I am diabetic it wasn;t that and I have never spilled anything in there. Also, the horn shorted out after the tranny reprogramming-What a mess but it is okay now-the dealer was helpful though i have to say that much for them-
  • I bought my Sonata new & after 2,000 miles it developed exactly the same problem .........after computer replaced once and transmission twice, did again & this time I threatened personal injury lawsuit as my grand-dauhgter with me & slammed forward so violently she developed headaches. Hyundai America finally gave me a brand new car. Only 1 problem with it after 7,000 miles & not like this problem. Is your car dark blue? It may be my old car. I call her "Christine" after the novel by Sthephen King of Bangor, Maine.
  • I will never buy a Hyundai again. So far I have had it in to get something fixed over 8 times and it is barely two years old.

    I guess the red flag was withing two days of having it I noticed a nice and shiny black nut on the ground where I park it, the dealer found out where it came off in the engine compartment.

    A piece of interior trim was found under the driver's seat which had to have been there before I bought it.

    Then within the first month the driver's seat belt would not latch and had to be replaced.

    I've had it in several times for the transmission which turned out each time to be software.

    They had to replace a bad Brake Switch, The ESP "off" light kept coming on its own

    The light switch went bad on the passenger's mirror which they replaced

    The last caper is the low tire pressure light comes on even if the tires are OK. Makles you freak thinking you are about to get stuck in traffic when all is OK.

    Hyundai built a lemon and it has cost me a lot of time and expense to bring it back to the dealership 45 miles each time, and they are notthe best as several times it had to go back to get it fixed right.

    You can not depend on Hyundai for quality.
  • I just had exactly same experience with my 2011 Sonata at 19,000 miles. Driving on the highway, I thought and it felt like I had suddenly hit something, jarred my head so bad my teeth hurt. I looked at the gauges and saw that I was running at close to 5000 rpm, not the usual 2000.
    I pulled over, tried to put the car in park, neutral, reverse, used the manual shifter, nothing would get it to shift gears. The indicator by the shifter showed that the tranny was in drive, but it was clearly in 2nd gear. I drove another 10 miles, then turned the engine off. Waited 10 minutes and turned it back on and everything seemed fine, except my massive headache from the jolt. Very scary, thinking about trading it in.
  • :lemon: :lemon: Don't trade it in, file a report with the NTSHB they need to know about the lemons Hyundai is selling. From what I have neen reading, they are becoming unsafe to drive. I see a class action lawsuite may be coming to wake Hyundai up!!

    I had my car back in again two weeks ago for the fourth time for the transmission and last night it started acting up again on the way back from a trip. So far it has been in the dealership oiver 10 times and it is barely 2 years old!

    Just do a google on Hyundai Sonata's transmission problems and you will find out this is becoming very, very common.

    I can not afford to keep bringing it back into the dealership as it cost me time off from work, lost money and lost time. And I am sure Hyundai hates having to pay for all the repeat repairs.

    The unecessary costs having to keep bringing it back in so regularily is really adding to the cost of the car. I figure if you buy a Hyundai, add an additional 10% to the cost of the car for all the time and money you will spend bringing it back in for repairs. In my case my hyundai is costing me and additional $2,500.00.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    if you do further research it is not just a Hyundai transmission problem-Honda, Acura, Toyota, etc have their fair share of problems. We owned a 03 sonata, bought new 11/02. It started with the transmission problem with less than 100 miles. The transmission was finally replaced at about 4,000 miles. We traded the sonata in Nov. 04 for a 05 elantra with manual transmission. We then traded the elantra in July '10 for a '11 sonata with manual transmission. The elantra had over 100,000 problem free miles. The sonata now has 25,000+ miles. We decided to avoid automatic transmission vehicles. I think the transmission supplier should be investigated.
  • My 2011 Sonata is unreliable – Major disappointment and total let down!

    Here is the letter that I wrote to Hyundai that gives a summary of the issues that I have experienced with my 2011 Sonata.

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I am writing you today to express my total dissatisfaction with my 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited.
    At the beginning of 2010, I was so excited to hear the rave reviews about the new 2011 Sonata and could not wait for it to hit the market. I loved the sleek and sporty styling, the excellent fuel economy and the added technology features that were to be available with the car. Once the cars hit the market, I was one of the first to buy one in my area.
    I purchased the car on 2/20/10. Within 2 weeks of purchasing the car, the car would not start. It was finally determined that there was a faulty brake switch that caused the push to start button not to work.
    Over the past 18 months, this same issue has occurred more times than I can count. My car will not start and I am inconvenienced and left looking at a beautiful car that will not function and is not meeting my basic needs. I have had my brake switch replaced 4 times and the problem continues to reoccur.
    This is a major issue. One expects for his or her new car to start reliably. I have researched on the internet and I am not the only person having this issue.
    Yesterday, 10/11/11, my car would not start again! I cannot keep this car if I cannot count on it to start. Once again, I will have to take it in to be serviced and be inconvenienced.
    In addition to not starting, the driver side window is malfunctioning, the traction light will not go out, the xm radio works intermittently, and the low tire light will not go out even though I have had the tire pressure checked 3 times.
    I see all of your commercials on TV expressing the pride that you take in your vehicles. What can you do to fix this issue? A new car should be reliable. My car is a total lemon! I was really expecting much more. Please contact me to discuss.
  • I have had exactly the same problems with my 2011 Sonata. It won't start. Have had brake sensor replaced. Also, a couple of times it started but there was no display where it usually tells you what gear it is in. I have also had a couple of times when it seemed like my driver's side window was not going to go back up! Wow, my garage/dealer acts like I am crazy but I am glad to know I am not crazy. I love the looks of the Sonata but I think a new car should start EVERY TIME! I have around 20K miles on it!
  • alexkprojtalexkprojt Posts: 11
    edited October 2011
    If you have had it in several times and they have not been able to fix it you are probably covered under the lemon law. They would then have to buy it back and compensate you. Check the laws in your state.

    Also make sure to tell Hyundai what a piece of junk they have scammed you with, call their consumer affairs at (800) 633-5151.

    If his creates a safety problem report it with the NHTSA, otherwise make sure you also file with the BBB
  • ridohuridohu Posts: 1
    Wow! I bought a 2011 Sonata. I only have 5k on it. I bought it for the turbo and the power. If this is what I have to look forward to then I may as well trade it in on American products. If you have an issue with a preignition sound then take it to hyundai. It is the turbo actuator rod rattling around. Kind of makes your car sound like a piece of crap to anyone with their windows rolled down.I work as a diesel mechanic and know how turbos are suppose to act and sound. Hyundai will say the problem is normal due to extreme heat.
    Well it does not get much hotter than Oklahoma summers of 105 plus and my self driving. I also keep getting recall after recall in the mail. I guess no one tests their products before producing them like General Motors in the 80's. I also have a 2006 Honda Accord which has posed no issues except a bad batch of batteries from the manufacturer.

    The warranty is only as good as the manufacturer who produced the vehicle.

    I may just trade this thing in after all and just wash my hands of it. I expected more from Hyundai. I actually expected it to be like my Honda.
  • WTF...just stick with the crappy Honda if you got so many complaints about the Sonata!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    That's not a very kind or helpful response to someone who has already purchased the vehicle and is dissatisfied. This isn't a Sonata Fan Forum - it's for members to express their experiences and opinions, regardless of whether they're positive or negative.


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  • My message was 277, I took the Sonata to the dealer who was very helpful, they did the computer flash reset for the transmission (and washed the car), and I have had no further issues, and have put 1000 miles on since the service.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    You my friend qualify for lemon law in most states so I would in act it immediately. Hyundai had more than enough attempts to get the problem resolved and their solution does not seem to be working. Best of luck to you.
  • Sadly the lemon law in my state only covers it if it happens three times in the first year and it has to make the car inoperable. Having the transmission slip does not qualify otherwise Hyundai would have to buy back many cars.

    I have had it with Hyundai and next time will be buying American.
  • datagendatagen Posts: 107
    If I may suggest, do not be surprise you run into similar issues with American vehicles as well. What many do not know is that parts suppliers sell across the board in many different shapes and sizes. I understand the transmission for the Sonata is built in Grand Rapids, MI. Wonder who is supplying the parts for it. I had a Lincoln MKS. At less that 27,000 miles I had the steering wheel column go out, electrical problems, heated seats go out, had to be repainted, left front bearing went out, and a transmission leak. Think about it for a sec, these cars now look so similar why? Same process and supplier? I purchased a Sonata as well and I have had some minor issue that was fixed right away. So far I am impressed with the car and like it was said earlier by someone, it is not perfect. The ride is surprising well and the power it produces (Turbo) is nice. I agree with others about the seating so if I take a trip that will take more than three hours, I will pad the seat some or shop around for some custom seating. Win lose or draw I plan on keeping this one. I am tired of car payment. :shades:
  • The transmission on the one I have was made in Korea it says so o the sticker that comes on the side window of the car-maybe not the later ones but at least this one is made in Korea but the rest of the car is from the U.S.
  • Just bought a 2011 Hyundai Sonata 1.5 weeks ago that was dealer demo w/ 1500 miles on it. Wife called me this morning on her way to work after driving at speed on highway when car lurched made loud noise so bad she thought she may have hit something so she pulled over and got out. After seeing all was well got back in car started it put the car in drive and car would not change into higher gears. >Lashawn, REALLY?? Why not report it?? Well just for the safety factor alone. Not to mention the manufacturer, and any safety boards etc. need to know just this kind of information to prevent any personal injury or death due to problem as well as if its a known issue then people wont have such a difficult time getting the vehicles repaired. Anyways I will keep you all posted as to what I find out.

  • I just changed the 3rd brake light in my 2010 Sonata - what an ordeal! But I did save the $50 the dealer wanted to charge me!

    1. In the trunk, unplug the wire that feeds the 3rd tail light.

    2. Remove the rear seat. Remove two 12mm (I think) bolts about 1/3rd and 2/3rd across seat in crack between seat bottom and seat back (where your rear end would be if you were sitting on it). Pull forward on the two plastic clips in the front of the seat bottom (where you would put your hands to lift up the seat - where the backs of your calves would be). Pull seat out.

    3. Remove left and right seat back end cushions. Remove 12mm bolt at the bottom and wack upward (I did this with a rubber mallet) to unhook it from the top hook. Note: these will be a bear to put back in.

    4. Fold down both rear seat backs.

    5. Remove the thin, black plastic "frame" around the opening.

    6. Remove the small "SRS Airbag" medallion in both “C” pillars to expose the philips screw. Remove the screw and the plastic cover from the “C” pillar. It is held in by the one screw and many clips. You might have to pop some of it out with a screwdriver. Be careful, the side airbags are in there.

    7. Now you can remove the rear deck. It is just held in by one clip (looks like a small yellow drywall anchor) which is visible and accessible in the trunk.

    8. Now all you have to do is remove the housing, I think by removing just 2 small screws, and change the light bulb (bulb #921).

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347

    all that just to change out a lightbulb?!!!

    I would trade the car in first!
  • just that to change a lightbulb???-well unless you want ot pay the dealer to do it, then you have to do it yourself
  • I also have a 2010 hyundai sonata which two months after i bought it the transmission did the same thing took it in they computer flashed it. Ten months after started doing it again took it in they did it again. Month after that started doing it again. Now there telling me because its over 60,000 miles its not cover but i took it in the first time when it was under the warranty. I honestly wish they would do me right. But they are trying to give me the run around. Any advice anyone can give me would be appreciated.
  • Looks like they did not fix it correctly the first times so you should file with the BBB first then if that does not resolve it try posting on every internet complaint board, like ripoffreport. When filing with the BBB reference out forums like this to show there is a know precedence that a problem exists.

    Hyundai has a know issue that they have a design flaw and will not "man up" to their customers.

    Good thing to do is also post complaints on all the local reviews of that dealerships, as they will looses tens of thousands in sales. Just complain to everyone a one every where you can and make Hyundai loose a lot of sales.

    Also call Hyundai directly and tell them about this and make sure they know about all the dissatisfied people posting here.

    People do not realize the power they have, especially as consumers - if you don't buy from Hyundai because they have bad products, they will cease to exist.

    Remember their CEO made millions and you got a defective product! Make sure they know you will not tolerate this! Good luck!! :shades:
  • We bought a 2009 Hyundai Sonata and have had the issue of the "jerk" when at low speeds recently, every time we drive. We dropped it off at a dealer late yesterday morning, and they were not even able to look at it before the end of the day. This after saying that they might charge a $115 diagnostic fee! Needless to say, we are not planning on going back to this location. This is unfortunate since (1) it's in a convenient location, and (2) we were planning on purchasing perhaps another Hyundai, Sonata or Elantra, THIS WEEK! Do these issues occur with the Elantra as well?
  • I have the same issue.. I work in a shop that builds vehicles, thought i might change the fluid and see, but from reading here, I decided to call the dealer and find out whats up!
    To many people saying the same thing to be a fluid issue.
    Ill keep you up to date on my issue.

    I also have the same issue with the tail light.... Im going threw bulb afer bulb, until I realized that the socket is bad... If they dont fix it under warrenty Ill fix it myself in the shop.
    I love the car, but Im really thinking I may have to trade it in if issues like these start happening.....

    I just got off the phone with the dealer, they will run the software update for me under warrenty and look at the bulb issue... cross your fingers!

  • ...."cross your fingers!"

    Actually get mad and call Hyundai and ask them why when they have known so long about the defect in their software have they been ignoring it and loosing repeat customers!
  • alexkprojt

    ..oh believe me, I will be asking!. I prefer to do things face to face though, not over the phone, not in a letter, and not on a forum... Im sure it will be fixed to my satisfaction.

  • alexkprojtalexkprojt Posts: 11
    edited February 2012
    Don't expect Hyundai to really do too much, they already either have your money or know you are legally bound to pay them over time.

    In-fact, within a month of getting my Sonata the driver's seat belt would not lock, it took over a month for the dealership to fix it. I had to put up with risking my life and that damn annoying dinging. When complaining to Hyundai they contacted the dealership and the dealership said it was fixed the same day, however I had paperwork showing they had to order parts and I was waiting three weeks. Hyundai really never did anything to help me and after several calls seemed to get annoyed I was complaining.

    When I called Hyundai about the transmission they just appear concerned that it was documented and wanted to move on to the next complaint. Perhaps they pay or treat the workers at their call center or whomever they contract bad.

    I will never buy a Hyundai again. Like I said they have your money and the money is all they seem to care about! Just make sure the next car you buy is from their competitor and over time if everyone does that they will loose millions in sales and have to listen.
  • alex alex alex.... all is good my freind... maybe you are dealing with a [non-permissible content removed] of a dealership....
    To tell you the truth, when I bought my Sonota the dealership couldnt wait to get me into it, bent over backwards to take care of me...comes to find out they were going bankrupt and needed to get rid of their inventory... so be it... the dealershio that bought them out was Larry H Miller here in Oregon....they rock, took great care of me, and covered the issues I had under warrnty..they even washed and vaccummed out the car.
    I gotta say I had a great experience with them.
    Car is working great more transmission slams !
  • The dealer ship is definitely not one I would recommend however every time I contacted Hyundai trying to get things resolved their customer care phone center did not seem to care too much. I got the impression that all person on the phone wanted to do was be able to close the complaint as quick as possible. They must have orders to get people through fast. Whether or not the issue was truly resolved appeared to take second place.

    The dealership did get me a great price but then their repair department was where they seemed to fail. (Boucher Hyundai / Waukesha WI. More than once I had to come back (especially with the transmission) and several times I had to tell them what was wrong and how to fix it (k up tables in the microcontroller not updating correctly). Tell them it shakes at high speeds and it is was a good chance they would not check it except around the block at 20MPH, get an alignment and I had to come back as it would then pull left.

    I was told later by an employe they were having pay disputes and that is why the mechanics are unhappy. It then reflected in the quality of work. I also think they get bonuses for selling you useless work. With the car we bought a prepaid oil change service plan (big mistake!!). A few weeks ago my wife took it in just to get the oil changed. She called me all flustered as they were pressing her to get work done they said it needed. So she called me and I had her put them on the phone. I was told the car never had the required service maintenance of a front end alignment and that it needed brakes. I then asked what about the front end alignment done a few thousand miles ago that they did and also informed them we had the brakes checked when we brought it into our regular mechanic for a winter check just a month ago and he said the pads are fine. He shut up instantly. Actually had they really did the multi-point inspection they supposedly do with the oil change they would have seen we had a light out which I would have said no to anyways as I already had the replacement bulb in the trunk but had been putting it off.

    Perhaps the same is with the Hyundai's consumer affairs department - pay little and get unhappy workers. However sell a bad product and give second rate customer care and you get your customers leaving and buying from your competitors. Sad to say, many repair trips later and calls to their customer care and it still slips. What a junk car (company)!
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