2021 Hyundai Elantra Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, powertrain and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

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Customers looking for a vehicle are going to be naturally drawn to the beauty of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra. After all, the company claims it provides drivers “with an edge.” However, this car comes with a whole lot more than people bargain for, including a glitchy electrical system, defective engine, faulty steering and a poorly-made structure.

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Problems with the Electrical System

A modern electrical system requires a lot of care. It needs to have the right configuration to run all of the features that matter the most.

One NHTSA complaint shows major problems with this system. “According to the dealership where I bought this car, the ignition coil failed. This has happened two times so far, resulting in two separate trips to the dealership to diagnosis and repair the issue. They were able to reproduce and confirm the problem; however, what caused the coil to go out is unknown. The component has not been inspected by any other sources outside of the Hyundai certified mechanics at the dealership. No warning lights or messages appeared at time of occurrence; however the engine would rev up when switching between hybrid and gas modes causing the car to lunge forward. The car also would lose power and not accelerate placing me in extremely unsafe conditions as this has occurred on the highway both times. The car is currently at the dealership getting another ignition coil installed. The second time these symptoms appeared caused me to lose power while turning into a gas station from the highway almost resulting into a t-bone crash with a semi-truck. I purchased this car end of February 2021.”

Hyundai knows there are major electrical system issues with the Elantra. Service Bulletin #21-BE-002H discusses how the radio software needs to be updated because there is too much disconnection occurring. Basically, the Hyundai drivers are spending all of their time asking, “Can you hear me now?”

Problems with the Engine

Having a potent powertrain is just one part of the equation. If the motor isn’t reliable, the drive is anything but enjoyable.

One Edmunds customer states, “Purchased a 2021 Elantra from Hyundai and within 2 weeks, had problems with the car shaking and check engine light came on. Took it in and they said it was bad gas but never syphoned it and ended up having to bring it back two more times. Turns out there were several misfires and then they really did nothing when I brought it in the 3rd time and it sat there for a day and a half. I brought the car home since the dealership wasn’t working to help and they wouldn’t do a collateral swap and tonight, the engine started starting up on its own so we parked it far from the house with the hood popped open so it wouldn’t start up and if it did it wouldn’t catch the house on fire.”

Hyundai doesn’t walk around unaware of engine issues. Service Bulletin #21-01-048H discusses how there is a coolant leak in some vehicles. It is caused by machining burrs located at the mounting port of the cylinder head. With an overheating engine in play, the Elantra isn’t worth a dime. Instead, it should be sitting in the nearest junkyard, where it should be awaiting a wrecker.

Problems with the Steering

Keeping the Elantra under control seems to be a problem in its own. Customers continue to talk about losing control of this popular model.

Another NHTSA complaint says, “The contact rented a 2021 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated while driving at various speeds, the vehicle drifted to the left and to the right. The contact stated that an unknown warning light was illuminated.”

When the steering gives out, it would be imperative to have a well-running braking system, but this is just as defective. Service Bulletin #20-BR-002H talks about brake fluid leaking from the caliper area, leaving drivers at risk when the system is needed the most. Maybe this is the “edge” that Hyundai brags about – causing everyone to put their life on the line.

Problems with Vehicle Structure

While the Elantra isn’t considered a high-end car, it should still be constructed with superior materials and manufacturing practices. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

A final Edmunds review reads “I bought the highest trim. 1- The trunk wasn’t closing properly. 2- The door panels squeaks and makes sounds at the slightest vibration. Badly assembled.”

There’s a recall that illustrates the lack of care in constructing this vehicle. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V30200 states that affected vehicles have front seat back recliners that weren’t welded correctly. This defect can cause the seat back to separate from the frame if a crash occurs. Truly, this car is forcing people to live on the “edge” even though they just want a safe ride.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon 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.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.


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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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