2019 Hyundai Elantra Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, headlights and brake issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

This vehicle is subject to a engine recall. Find out if your Hyundai Elantra is included in the recall. 

The 2019 Hyundai Elantra is one of the top choices among American drivers. Even the automaker claims it is a “stylish, dependable sedan.” Still, owners find many defects once they have been driving it for a little. From the suspension to the wheels and the engine to the powertrain, there are many major components that are failing.

Click on another model years to view more problems: 2020   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

Hyundai has become one of the top automakers, mainly because of the lower cost and superior warranty coverage. However, there seem to be serious concerns with the structural integrity of the Elantra.

One Cars.com review states, “I purchased this car new from the dealer March 2019. It has had the following issues: Paint peeled off of the front grill. Mirrors were replaced due to being cloudy. Climate control computer failed. Rust in the hood sensor area caused the sensor to show hood open. The engine hesitates when accelerating. I have had it at dealership over 10 times for repairs.”

It turns out that even the NHTSA has issued warnings about the way this car was built. In fact, there is an alert among the crash test ratings stating the following, “Due to the intrusion of the left rear door during the side impact test, the interior door panel struck the torso of the rear passenger dummy, causing a high lower spine acceleration. Lower spine accelerations in excess of 82 g’s indicate a higher likelihood of thoracic injury.” It’s difficult to hide structure-related issues as severe as this one. With such poor ratings, it’s no wonder that newer models are scoring higher – it doesn’t take much.

2019 Hyundai Elantra Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Exterior Lighting
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Seat Belts
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Service Brakes
Exterior Lighting:headlights

Problems with the Electrical System

Running just about everything in the car is the electrical system. With the Elantra, there’s very little that’s operating the way it should.

Here is yet another Cars.com review. “I got aElantra brand new and after 4 months the car stopped. They said it was the alternator on my brand new car. Idk if the battery was just no good. It has a lot of cute features tho. The app was my favorite. Traded it in after 4 months for a Honda.”

Even more concerning is Service Bulletin #19-AT-016H. It shows that owners are suffering with a Check Engine Light and several DTCs that indicate both the oil pressure harness and related solenoids must be replaced for proper function. With a new car, these are systems that should have already been perfected. Yet, it’s clear that the wiring and inner workings are no better than the outward structure.

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Problems with the Headlights

Moving onto the lighting concerns, it’s clear that the Elantra doesn’t illuminate the roadway the way it should.

Here is one review left with the NHTSA. “My brake light and turn signal lights have went out roughly 5 times in the last month and I just purchased the vehicle a month ago. Mostly occurs while driving and randomly goes out. The entire casing was replaced and the issue is still occurring.”

This isn’t the only issue that’s being addressed either. Service Bulletin #20-BE-004H states that some of the halogen headlights might face intermittent operation of the high beams. To correct the problem, you need to replace both headlamp assemblies and perform the necessary adjustments. With the lack of visibility, it’s obvious that the Elantra doesn’t want to be seen. It’s probably embarrassed about all of its defects.

Problems with the Brakes

When the vehicle malfunctions or an accident is imminent, owners want to know that the Elantra is going to stop. However, this is another source of complaints from customers.

Here is what is written on the NHTSA compliant. “The contact owns a 2019 Hyundai Elantra. While driving 53 mph, a deer collided with the vehicle. While coasting over to the side of the median, the brake pedal was depressed to the floorboard and failed to stop the vehicle. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The contact quickly engaged the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 6,000.”

Service Bulletin #20-BE-006H also talks about trouble with the safety systems. It turns out that some of the functions might issue warnings that shouldn’t occur on the instrument cluster. To fix the problem, the front camera and multi-function camera will need to be replaced. Is there anything on this vehicle that works the way it should? It doesn’t appear so, which means the newer models don’t have to fix much in order to claim that it is “smarter and bolder.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Hyundai pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Monica M

    My Hyundai Elantra SE. Has hung in a gear almost causing me to wreck numerous times.
    Can’t see unless on bright.
    Smell USB port like burning wires when I use it.
    And much more. Told dealership. They said they would have to keep my car. But it’s my only ride. So I asked for a loaner they said no.what can I do

  • JD

    2019 Hyundai Elantra

    Bought August 2020 W/27,000+ (paperwork says28,00

    I believe I’m second owner

    I noticed some kind of idle issue early on but it was slight and went back to normal immediately.

    May 2022, Check engine light P0011
    May 2022 Variable Camshaft Timing Unit replaced.

    Currently sitting at approx 58,500 miles.

    Since repair check engine light won’t go off and car stalls while driving. (Don’t know if it’s the same code). There is a troubling sound that reminds me of a tab against the spokes of a bicycle or against a fan blade however, intermittent.

    High beams don’t work at all.
    Regular running lights are dim.

    Doors arm rest looks like it’s 10 years old… May be due to being the eco model?

  • Anne

    My car was stolen because it is possible to use end of a usb cable. You just need a small part at the end of the cable. You don’t even need the whole cable. Why hasn’t there been a public notice sent to owners? To at least protect themselves???

  • Garvin B

    I have a 2019 hyn. elantra I purchase in 10-15-19 have driven it 103,000 miles
    have chnged the oil every 5000 mi. NO PROBLEMS EVER has not used abit of oil
    Garvin Brown

  • Steven

    My 2019 hyundai elantra se is for my needs a reliable car.
    It is a huge improvement over my previous elantras.
    The driving dynamics are excellent.
    However I did have brake failure about 2 years ago resulting in a minor collision.
    I notified hyundai corporate.
    I took the car to the hyundai dealer.
    To no avail.
    No problem since then however.
    The interior plastics are crap.
    The hyundai dealer has supported me in all respects in regards to warrenty .

  • Julio H

    Purchased new 2020 Hyundai Elantra in brownsville texas. Elantra has defective engine oil ring pistons installed which wear down causing castrophic engine fire under normal maintenance &operation. This vehicle has a substantial defect covered by Warranty occurring after purchase & it occurs as you operate the car daily. Can you help with class action lawsuit to have the car bought back by Hyundai?

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