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Hyundai Sonata Recall Issued Due to Steering Problems with 2011 Vehicles

  • Written by: Staff Writers
  • 75 Comments

About 139,500 Hyundai Sonatas from the 2011 model year have been recalled due to steering problems that could cause a loss of control.   

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which announced the Hyundai Sonata recall on September 23, connections in the steering column were either improperly assembled or insufficiently tightened on certain vehicles. The manufacturing defect means that the driver could suddenly lose the ability to steer the vehicle, possibly resulting in an automobile accident with a potential for property damage, injury and death. 

The NHTSA opened an investigation in late August after at least two customers complained that the steering shaft came loose on their Sonatas, causing them to completely lose the ability to steer the vehicle. The Kia Soul, which has different parts but is also made by Hyundai, is also under investigation after an owner complained of the same problem. The number of reports for the Sonata has since grown to a total of eight, according to company officials. There have been no injuries or accidents reported. 

The recall affects certain 2011 Hyundai Sonatas manufactured between December 11, 2009, and September 10, 2010, at the company’s Montgomery, Alabama facility. The recall of the vehicles is expected to begin during October. 

According to the NHTSA, Hyundai dealers will inspect the steering column’s intermediate shaft universal joint connections to ensure they are properly assembled and have the correct amount of torque. Dealers will also update the power steering software. Hyundai owners with questions can call the Hyundai Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-633-5151.

Photo Courtesy of IFCAR via Wikipedia Public Domain

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75 comments

  1. concerned mom Reply

    I got my 2011 sonata in March 2014. Up until a month ago it was fine. I noticed first knocking in my steering, like something was broke, but it still drove fine. I only heard the noise when turning the steering wheel. Took it to the dealership for what was supposed to have been an hour inspection….4 hours later I had to call to get status of their findings, and was told a bushing had broken (due to defective design) and theyd order the part. I was also made aware of a recall on the brake light switch or lamps (cant remember specifically). A week later I took it back for the repair and again it took all day for what was only to take 1.5 hours. I, like everyone, have to be able to have a car for my kids and errands. I was frustrated with the situation for sure. Now, in the two weeks Ive had my car back, my brake lights wouldnt turn off last night and while driving on 4 occasions, so far, the gas pedal stopped responding. I am very concerned. I have 4 kids in my family and the ‘what if Im crossing traffic and it stalls’ keeps running through my mind. I cant help but wonder if this is related to the ‘repair’ or if its something unrelated. Gotta call the dealership again on Monday, after the holiday.

  2. christina Reply

    Hi concerned mom..i have the same issue. did they fix yours for free

  3. Lynn Reply

    I have been experiencing the knocking sounds in my steering wheel and a clicking whenever I turn the steering wheel. I purchased my Sonata in Sept 2013. I recently took my car to the dealership to see if there was a recall on my car for the issues I was experiencing and was told there wasn’t! However upon doing my own research I see that there was in fact a recall on this particular model and year! I have already purchased the steering column and scheduled the work to be done out of pocket! I don’t have the money for this but am forced to pay other bills late just to have this problem taken care of that my Hyundai dealer refuses to do! I am very frustrated at this point and just don’t even want my car any more! It looks great but sounds HORRIBLE! No longer a fan of Hyundai!!!

  4. Autumn Reply

    Wow I’m experiencing the same things reported. Knocking in the steering! I was also told they my vehicle does not fall under the recall but have read several articles concerning this particular problem and recalls so do not understand why my vehicle does not fall under this recall. I will have to pay this out of pocket as well. I have two kids and feel like I’m putting them at risk daily but i don’t have the funds to get it fixed right now and this is my only means of transportation!!

  5. Skoda Reply

    Numerous steering complaints have been filed to the NATSA on 2011s that are not in the recalled lot. And on all the following year Sonantas. Work is often done at the costumers expense and the problem is typically not corrected. Why are these affected cars not being recalled? It would cost Hyundai a lot! Or they do not have a fix and would have to buy all the cars back? That would put a huge dent in their wallet and reputation. Are they knowingly letting people drive unsafe cars? That is a big gamble.

  6. Jesse Reply

    Same issue here on same car,also been told no recall,.

  7. Michael Reply

    My 2011 has been doing it. 2.0t sonata problems?

  8. Kim Reply

    I purchased my 2011 vehicle brand new and it is now out of warranty and I’m experiencing the same knocking noise in my steering column. I’ve taken it TWICE to Hyundai about this issue and even-though there has been a RECALL notice for some of the same model vehicles, it has not been on all. I’m quite confused about this, because it appears that we are all having the same problem and for the life of me, I do not understand why some have to fork the bill out of pocket, and Hyundai recognize and sponsor the payment for others, is beyond me.
    Something should be done about this, because someone could possibly lose their life over wear and tear of their vehicle not caused by them, but the manufacturer.
    A CLASS ACTION suit should be filed and we should all be reimbursed for the funds utilized to make such repairs!
    In addition, I too transport my elderly mother and grandchildren and this is so wrong for Hyundai to ignore all these complaints for the same exact matter.

  9. MsP Reply

    I’ve had my car for 2 years and I too have been experiencing the problems of knocking and noises in the steering column. I went to Firestone and they told me would have to take to the dealer and that they have had several other sonata’s with the same problem. I did research on the web and found there was a recall but the dealers’ are refusing to correct the issue and state it will be out of pocket. to my understanding when there is a recall it must be repaired regardless of if the vehicle is out of warranty or not. I REALLY AM NO LONGER A FAN OF HYUNDAI!!! I have many friends and family who ask how I like my car, Garbage and the dealer customer service is Trash!!!

  10. herman Reply

    Steering wheel noise

  11. Ricardo Reply

    I too am having an issue with steering Vibrations and loud popping noises. Getting worse as I drive it. 2011 Sonata

  12. Glenda Reply

    I just recently heard the noise my husband notice it we took it to the shop .The mechanic recommended take it to the dealer. I will take it to Barnes Crossing n Tupelo miss that’s where the other recalls was fixed .

  13. Kelly Reply

    2011 having same problems. Drive-train still under warranty. The dealer told me that the part, and I saw it, was less than $5.00
    I’m a disabled person and cannot get under the dash anymore to do it myself, even though I did the research. It has become quite scary!

  14. Melisa Reply

    I am having the same problem ..they charged me 80 dollars to tell me what was wrong then said it was going to cost 300 dollars… I am reading that there was a recall on the 2011 sonata made in Montgomery Alabama between December 2009 and September 2010 and mine fall in that range

  15. michelle Reply

    Im having the same issue. My dealership is going to charge $1200 to fix my car. I don’t understand why the won’t fix these issues for free

  16. Brian Reply

    I just got my 2011 sonata back from the dealership today as I have been hearing the knocking noise. I told the gentleman at the dealership my problem and immediately he diagnosed it as ‘the mdps coupler” on the steering wheel because ‘they have repaired a lot of them’, and the cost was $310; however, driving home after they ‘fixed it’, I heard the knocking noise again! I immediately called back up there and am going to have to take it back in for a proper diagnosis. I thought the dealership would have been more thorough in their assessment on the front end. A friend of mine that is familiar with cars said it sounded like a bushing gone bad on possibly the control arm. Can anyone give a more specific diagnosis of the knocking and what is causing it? Also, I researched the class action for engine failures, and hyundai is claiming that the only similarity in those cases is that the owners had gone 11,000 miles without an oil change. However, that could just be their defense until the case is finalized.

  17. Tony and Jackie Reply

    I have a 2011 Sonata and have had problems just like all of these complaints. My motor my steering my brake light switch ….steering is the most recent. I am now reading about the recall on that.

  18. Diane Reply

    I took my car (2011 Hyundai Sonata) yesterday to the dealership for the same problem with steering issue & noises bc my regular mechanic advised that it was a recall issue – they fixed it & never said anything about recall or reimbursement. I called the 800 number today & she advised that it doesn’t fall under the recall issue even though it plainly states that it’s a 2011 Hyundai Sonata problem. This was our 4th Hyundai & it will definitely be our last!

  19. Robert Reply

    I have the same issues with my 2012 Sonata SE… there is major play as you turn the steering wheel from clockwise to counter clockwise, basically a looseness in the couplings bushings. As a result there is a fairly loud metal to metal knocking noise when you turn the wheel. I took the car to Hyundai in Tampa, Florida and because it is not covered under the 2011 model recall, the dealership wants $379. I agree with everyone here that this is a Hyundai issue and I am pushing to get it covered as a warranty. I am getting ready to buy a new car and also had really liked this car, but I am very disappointed in Hyundai’s support of this issue.

  20. Rick Reply

    Took my 2011 Sonata 2.0T into Temecula Hyundai today. After reading all these posts, I find it very hard to understand why some of the cars were recalled & others were not, when they all have the same problem. This was my second Hyundai I have purchased and even bought another one last year. When someone asks what I think of Hyundai, I always tell them I think it’s the best value car out there. Well this will be the last Hyundai I purchase, and will never recommend anyone ever purchasing one again. I hope this doesn’t cause a steering problem since Gabriel told me the car is safe to drive.

  21. Irene Reply

    I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE/Limited and have had the brake switch replaced twice. By the way I discovered through YouTube how to override the keyless ignition and start my car without pressing the brake. It’s NOT in the owners manual. Then last year after my warranty ran out I noticed the clicking in my steering wheel and then the excess play which only got worse. The front of my car was all over the road. I got online and saw where there was a recall on a bushing for the steering linkage? So I took it to the dealership and they informed me AFTER they spent 2 hours with my car that I had to pay for it. It cost me $320.00 that day. Thank God I had just gotten paid. I asked about the recall and the service tech told me there was only a “memo” on the problem. WTH?

  22. Tperry Reply

    I guess I’ve joined the club with the same issue knocking noise each time I turn my steering wheel, but also when I put my car in gear sometimes it does not show up on my dashboard, but I’m able to still drive it (strange) then when stop and cut it off and restart it it shows up park, reverse, drive. etc. I hop whatever problem is, is covered under my maxcare.

  23. Vincent Reply

    Wow! I cannot believe with all the complaints that I’ve just read regarding the same issues about the noise in steering wheel. I went to the dealer last week and mentioned the problem. Right away, without looking further, the agent told me that the problem was the steering coupling because according to him, had lots of complaints. Just this past weekend, I took my 2011 Sonata to my regular mechanic and after dismantling, he mentioned that the problem is the steering column. Dazed and confused…

  24. Achristi Reply

    Well….. I thought I had a great car. Purchased the warranty ( I bought it used). Anyway, I had to get a starter replaced. Not too mad about that… It happens. However… the clicking into the wheel. They told me there was a recall, they “fixed” it and the clicking is still there. I’m like whatever….. Now! I drive it and when I turn into a merging road… the steering wheel locks. Immediately unlocks. Proceeds on like nothing happened. Soooo I was told at first it was a history that needed to be reset. A steering column sensor. Lol! Alright I entertained it and paid $61.00 for the repair. I thought the repair was complete and I was good. Lo and behold it did it again 13 days later. Now!!!!!! After diagnoses….. It’s the steering rack. Ok Hyundai. I hope this works. MY LAST HYUNDAI!!! GOING BACK TO FORD WHERE ANYONE CAN WORK ON IT!!!

  25. Billy Reply

    I actually have a 2012 Sonata 2.0t SE and I just had a mechanic look at mine because it was making the same types of noises explained above. I wonder if this recall should have been expanded into other years as well.

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