2022 Hyundai Elantra Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Seat belt pretensioner, brake, and electrical issues are among the top complaints from vehicle owners received by the NHTSA

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2022 Hyundai Elantra makes up a segment that has been losing popularity over the years. Still, the automaker claims “the sedan is back with an edge.” But, does it really have the edge? Owners experiencing seat belt pretensioner, faulty brakes, and other issues aren’t so sure.

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Most Common Problems

The problems owners are experiencing with the 2022 Hyundai Elantra are very varied. They include 16 components and systems and range from failed acceleration and malfunctioning brakes to windshield cracks and grinding wheels.

The most common problem, though, is a serious lack of parts needed to rectify a dangerous seat belt fault that has been recalled by Hyundai. As the recall states, 2022 Elantra seat belts may explode!

More than half the complaints received by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) – 27 out of 51 (2 for the Elantra N) – are about this problem. They come from various parts of the country. Fortunately, it isn’t because their seat belt pretensioners have malfunctioned, but rather that parts needed to fix them aren’t available.

Most of the other complaints are standalone issues. Otherwise, they are components that have attracted no more than 2 or 3 complaints each, and usually highlight different issues. There are, though, at least 7 complaints that focus on malfunctioning brakes and several regarding TPMS sensor issues.

2022 Hyundai Elantra Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Seat Belts
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train
Vehicle Speed Control
Electrical System:horn
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Service Brakes

Exploding Seat Belt Pretensioner’s

Seat belts are a vital safety feature in any vehicle. When they have a major fault, like those in the 2022 Hyundai Elantra seat belts have, it is understandable that tensions run high.

While there are no complaints to the NHTSA stating that seat belts have exploded, there are a lot of very anxious people. Their anxiety is exacerbated by the fact that since the recall was first announced in May, 2022, there has been a general unavailability of parts to fix the problem. There is also some anger.

Consumer Complaints About Faulty Seat Belts

Most complaints state that the part to do the recall repair is unavailable. But there are some comments from highly concerned Elantra owners.

An owner from Cookeville in Tennessee, maintains that her dealership is “prioritizing money over public safety.” She states that she was told the cars on the lot needed to be fixed before they could fix her Elantra. “THE UNSOLD CARS THAT ARE JUST SITTING THERE. Not only is this reckless, it shows a complete disregard to my safety and others that may be in the vehicle or near it if something were to happen while being driven.” While she has had “zero issues up until this point,” she feels that her “vehicle should be given priority over a vehicle that isn’t even sold.”

Others also feel that safety should be the priority. An owner from Texas was advised in August that Hyundai didn’t have the parts or personnel to fix the problem. They couldn’t supply a timeline on repair either. The owner, who is reliant on the car to commute to and from work daily, states he has no other transportation options. “I live in a high traffic area and am scared that my seat belt will kill or maim me if (I am) involved in an accident.

An owner from Washington , DC says: “This is serious. I am scared to drive because my seatbelt can kill me if I get into an accident.”

Having received a second letter from Hyundai in September, an owner from Florida is super-frustrated. “It has now been almost two months and there is still no concrete plan being reported to me. I think this is an unreasonable amount of time to be waiting for a remedy to a safety problem while I drive a car that could be potentially dangerous.”

Recall: Seat Belt Pretensioners May Explode

Hyundai’s seat belt problems keep increasing. On March 3, 2022, they issued a recall for 140 2022 Elantra and Elantra HEV sedans. The problem, they explain, is that if the vehicle is in a crash, “the front passenger-side seat belt pretensioner may explode upon deployment.” And, an exploding seat belt pretensioner “can project metal fragments into the vehicle, striking vehicle occupants and resulting in injury.”

A month later, on April 1, a new recall notice was filed with the NHTSA. Adding 2020 Hyundai Accent and 2021 Elantra models to the list, it increases the potential number of vehicles affected to 6,240.

On May 19, 2022, a third recall was filed, increasing the potential number of affected vehicles to 230,233. The list of affected products now includes the 2021-2022 Hyundai Elantra and Elantra HeV, as well as the 2020-2022 Accent.

The first owner notification letters were mailed on May 19, followed by the second batch on May 31, and the third on August 28, 2022. Owners were told that the seat belt pretensioners would be replaced free of charge. They were also told that if they had previously had the repair under first or second recall, they would still need to “have the new remedy completed.”

However, there is no indication how many – if any – owners have been able to get the repair. Between May 23 and November 16, 2022, there have been 27 complaints to the NHTSA that the parts needed to repair the seat belt pretensioners are not yet available. These come from owners in at least 16 U.S. states.

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Brake Problems

Complaints about the Elantra brakes are varied, but some talk about sounds the brakes make.

An owner from Texas describes “a kind of wailing sound” that is like the “high pitched squeal that is usually heard when the brake pads are worn. It sounds like a deeper kind of wailing sound. It actually comes and goes and never does it in normal drive only in reverse.”

The autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system is the subject of an owner from Nevada’s NHTSA complaint. “I was traveling on a road headed to east bound 1-80 when my AEB engaged and it caused me to swerve to the left and the AEB slammed into the braking system. It lasted about 30 seconds and then clicked off and did not do it again until a few days later when traveling on the same road the AEB engaged again at the same spot causing my vehicle to swerve to the left. It then did it a third time while traveling in town at 45 mph. The AEB slammed into the braking system for about 20 seconds and then released. It was very scary and not provoked as this could cause a very severe accident if not fixed.”

An owner from Illinois tried to make a stop at a stop sign, but the brakes didn’t work. “The car kept driving, (and I) had to swerve several times.” Changing gears didn’t work either. But suddenly the car stopped abruptly in the middle of the road. “Several lights displayed on the dashboard. (It was the) scariest moment of my life! Hyundai needs to fix this problem!”

Problems with the Electrical System

There aren’t a lot of complaints to the NHTSA about the Elantra’s electrical system. But one issue that has been highlighted several times is the horn. It’s faulty, stops working, and, according to complaints, there’s a back order on new ones.

An Elantra owner from Idaho states that when responding to a driver who was clearly distracted, and “almost backed into my car, I hit the horn.” It sounded for a second and then stopped working. “In researching online and speaking with a local dealer, there are numerous reports of the horns failing. The dealer even said that the items to repair them are back ordered.”

Another horn-related complaint from a New York owner states that the horn fails and blows fuses, which is a “band-aid for the current problem.” His concern is that not having a horn is a “risk to me and my family and others on the road.” But the problem is he “was offered no options from Hyundai Corporate other than to wait for the (a new) horn.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

It’s not easy when you find yourself with a lemon, especially when you can’t use your car. Or, if you do, it isn’t safe to do so. So, if you think you have a lemon, why not sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Hyundai pay legal fees and there’s a good chance 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. If that sounds like a good idea, call the Lemberg Law Helpline or fill in a contact form. We will assess your case and see how we can help 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

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