Hyundai Elantra Recall Due to Electric Stability Control Sensor Problems

About 155,000 Hyundai Elantra vehicles have been recalled after the manufacturer received warranty claims that suggest the brakes may be automatically applied unexpectedly due to an electrical sensor failure, potentially increasing the risk of an auto accident

The Hyundai Elantra recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on January 6, due to a risk that the electronic stability control (ESC) sensor may fail and cause the brakes on one or more of the wheels to be applied unexpectedly.

Although no injuries or accidents have been reported to day, the auto braking problem may cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle. In the event of the ESC sensor malfunctioning, drivers will begin to feel the brakes being applied and the engine power may be reduced. Other warnings signs may include an illuminated ESC indicator lamp on the dash.

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The recall includes certain model year 2011 through 2012 Elantra sedan vehicles manufactured by Hyundai Motor Company in Korea from November 11, 2010 through September 20, 2011 and certain model year 2011 through 2012 Elantra sedan vehicles manufactured by Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama from October 29, 2010 through October 25, 2011.

According to the NHTSA, there were an estimated 155,000 impacted vehicles sold within the United States. Owners are being encouraged to schedule their repair appointment as quickly as possible after receiving notification to have the issue resolved due to the potential crash hazard the defect poses.

Hyundai announced they will be notifying owners via mailed noticed with instructions on how to schedule a free inspection and repair at their local dealer. Dealers will verify the proper operation of the ESC sensors and update the ESC system’s calibration free of charge. The recall is anticipated to begin on February 19, 2016, however customers with further questions or concerns may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-800-424-9153 and reference recall number 137.

Image Credit: Image via Zoran Karapancev / Shutterstock.com

9 Comments

  • HaileyNovember 1, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Hello everyone. I NEED HELP i have a 2021 hyundai elantra and i have had the same issue for over 10k+ miles and 6 months. My traction control light, (no matter what speed or acceleration/deceleration.) will flicker on and off, make a horrible noise almost as if the ABS is applying but no ABS light comes on, and the pedals will go stiff and the whole car jerks. My 2021 elantra has had a [Show More]Hello everyone. I NEED HELP i have a 2021 hyundai elantra and i have had the same issue for over 10k+ miles and 6 months. My traction control light, (no matter what speed or acceleration/deceleration.) will flicker on and off, make a horrible noise almost as if the ABS is applying but no ABS light comes on, and the pedals will go stiff and the whole car jerks. My 2021 elantra has had a new transmission put into it AND when that didn’t fix the issue, the wheel speed sensor was replace… well if that had fixed the issue, i wouldn’t be writing this post. after a new transmission, and wheel speed sensors, didn’t fix the issue the dealership themselves advised me to look into the lemon law being they had no idea at this point what was going on with my car. i have attempted getting my car bought back under the lemon law (Ohio) which my car meets the qualifications being that the issue was brought the the dealerships attention, before the 12 month or 18k (whichever came first) which in this case was taken to them before both. and that my car had been in the shop more then 30 days cumulative (it’s been 41) and hyundai has denied my request for a buy back, and has told me i need to do more research or get an exterior 2nd opinion. (pretty much a lawyer). they’ve advised me to “just keep taking it to the shop and get it fixed”. the issue is, this does not occur all the time. it is completely random and will do it once in a week and then not again for another 3. but when this happens, it’s scary. it’s loud, the pedals go stiff and the whole car jerks. accelerating or decelerating. the dealership will not replace something if they cannot duplicate the issue which is also a reason it’s taken so long to get any sort of answers. i have multiple videos, the service MANAGER, has rode in my car with me while this issue has occurred and stated himself my vehicle is unsafe, and i should not be driving it. those were his words. he has daughters and said, if his daughters were driving this car… well they wouldn’t be. I NEEDP HELP. I have no idea where to go with this. it’s a 2021 for god sake, no one knows what the issue is, it’s already been attempted to fix and they have no idea what it is, and Hyundai, won’t return/buy back. what do i do.

  • IeshiaMarch 19, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    I have the same thing happening on a 2013 and have been driving with the esc/esp off. Is is bad enough that the steering flex coupler basically disintegrated behind the steering wheel. I changed it myself, but damn it if these parts aren't falling apart constantly.

  • RyanJanuary 27, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    I have a 15 Hyundai Elantra and it does the same thing what do I do it shuts down the vehicle everytime and I have kids and a pregnant wife it is very scary

  • TomSeptember 2, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Hyundai buyers beware! My 2011 Elantra has also displayed the problem with the traction control system. If we do not deactivate the ESC system each time we drive the car, the brakes, engine power and/or steering will spontaneously be autonomously controlled. This has led to the car suddenly coming to a skidding halt on high speed roadways and other highly dangerous situations. Fortunately we have [Show More]Hyundai buyers beware! My 2011 Elantra has also displayed the problem with the traction control system. If we do not deactivate the ESC system each time we drive the car, the brakes, engine power and/or steering will spontaneously be autonomously controlled. This has led to the car suddenly coming to a skidding halt on high speed roadways and other highly dangerous situations. Fortunately we have not experienced a wreck, yet! A check on the NHTSA recall website indicates that my cars VIN is not included in recall 137. Similarly, my car was not on the list of affected vehicles for recall 133, under which the front coil springs were replaced due to the possibility of salt exposure leading to the spring fracturing. 2 years ago the front driver side spring broke on my 2011 Elantra, resulting in a punctured tire and a tow to the dealer. The dealer never informed me of the existence of the recall, and when I discovered it on my own, after shelling out big money to replace both front springs and the tire, Hyundai refused to reimburse me since the VIN was not on the list! Think I'll ever advise anyone to buy a Hyundai???

  • TammiJune 25, 2018 at 7:27 am

    I have the exact same problem with my 2016 Elantra with the added issue of the traction control randomly locking some or all of my brakes along with the malfunction as well as occasionally jerking the steering wheel (usually left) but there are no listed recalls for my year model regarding this issue. It has almost caused 4 separate accidents in the past couple of months but luckily I was able to [Show More]I have the exact same problem with my 2016 Elantra with the added issue of the traction control randomly locking some or all of my brakes along with the malfunction as well as occasionally jerking the steering wheel (usually left) but there are no listed recalls for my year model regarding this issue. It has almost caused 4 separate accidents in the past couple of months but luckily I was able to maintain control. Has anyone been able to successfully locate/repair/correct the problem? I love my car but not if she's not safe.

  • GeraldJanuary 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Anyone with complaints about the ESC or ESP failures and steering being a component?

  • CraigJuly 17, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Hyundai’s safety recall Campaign 137 was on the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, which may have caused my car accident with my 2012 Hyundai Elantra. I called the Hyundai Recall Campaign Center several times about my case. Many of the reps I spoke with either provided wrong information, inaccurate timeframes for supervisors to call me back, denied my request to speak to a supervisor, or[Show More]Hyundai’s safety recall Campaign 137 was on the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, which may have caused my car accident with my 2012 Hyundai Elantra. I called the Hyundai Recall Campaign Center several times about my case. Many of the reps I spoke with either provided wrong information, inaccurate timeframes for supervisors to call me back, denied my request to speak to a supervisor, or hung up on me. National Customer Care Rep Larry Bane managed my case. He refused my request to have my car tested in post-accident condition. During an oil change visit at my local Hyundai dealer, a service advisor recommended replacing my car’s yaw-rate sensor (the key component to the ESC system), and I approved. More than five weeks later, Larry Bane’s first conclusion letter said, “Unfortunately, we were unable to inspect your vehicle in its post-accident condition since it had already been repaired.” The message ended by saying, “We believe your vehicle operated according to its design in the accident.” The following week Larry Bane sent a second conclusion letter. This letter stated, “We have re-reviewed all of the available information regarding your accident, as well as the points raised in your most recent correspondence. Based on all of the available information, we continue to believe that our previous response is accurate and that your accident did not involve a product defect. With respect to the recall referenced in your correspondence (Recall 137), we do not believe that the condition that the recall seeks to address was present or caused your accident.” Larry Bane’s supervisor Chris said, “We pride ourselves in customer service and delivering excellence to each and every person.” However, he said the decision on my case was already made, and there was nothing else he could do for me. Then he added, “I’m trying to be really honest with you. I’m in the business for helping people, and I want to make sure that I’m doing my part to make us close any gaps and make the process as smooth as possible for you, and unfortunately I don’t make any of those decisions.” I asked him to clarify Hyundai’s conclusion letters. He simply said, “That was the decision they made.” Then I called the Hyundai Recall Campaign Center and spoke with supervisor Ethan. He suggested that “someone that doesn’t know how to write out a letter” could have composed the conclusion letters. Ethan concluded, “Honestly, those letters just sound ridiculous.” I wrote a letter to Dave Zuchowski, the CEO of Hyundai Motor America. He didn’t address my customer service experiences or answer why Hyundai didn’t want to test my car in post-accident condition. He said, “We continue to believe that our previous response is accurate and that your accident did not involve a product defect.” Do you think Hyundai was correct in refusing my request to test my car with the same yaw-rate sensor and ESC system at the time of the accident as part of the recall? Do you think Hyundai provided me great customer service? Do you think my next car should be a Hyundai?

  • CedricMay 26, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    I lost complete control of my 2011 Hyundai Elantra and spun out into a ditch. I later figured out that the ESC system was very much unstable. At the time I couldn't understand why the back wheels suddenly lost grip, as if the vehicle was a rear wheel drive. I saw no significant degradation in my tires. The officer that came on the scene agreed that my tires seemed fine. I bought new all weathe[Show More]I lost complete control of my 2011 Hyundai Elantra and spun out into a ditch. I later figured out that the ESC system was very much unstable. At the time I couldn't understand why the back wheels suddenly lost grip, as if the vehicle was a rear wheel drive. I saw no significant degradation in my tires. The officer that came on the scene agreed that my tires seemed fine. I bought new all weather tires (just in case the high mileage tires that came with the car were the issue) and the car still felt unstable. I changed out the rear stabilizers and still no improvement. Ultimately, I resorted to switching off the ESC when the weather conditions reduced friction, because the car is more predictable with the ESC off in slippery conditions. I drive my wife's car on snow days. I can't believe the very thing that is supposed to help me not die, is doing the opposite and almost succeeded.

  • CristinFebruary 28, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    My daughter was driving and the car just lost control and swerved to left and she hit the concrete barrier then hit it again and then swerved all the way to the right hand lane. Luckily no cars hit her but we did get scrapes on the car and tire. She said it was scary and didn't know what happened She said it has happened before where she can't control the car. Two days later I get a letter stating[Show More]My daughter was driving and the car just lost control and swerved to left and she hit the concrete barrier then hit it again and then swerved all the way to the right hand lane. Luckily no cars hit her but we did get scrapes on the car and tire. She said it was scary and didn't know what happened She said it has happened before where she can't control the car. Two days later I get a letter stating the safety recall. Know I know what the problem was

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