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

Forward collision, engine, and powertrain issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2022 Hyundai Kona is a top choice among SUV models, with the automaker claiming it is “the thrillseeker in the family.” However, many customers are finding major forward collision avoidance problems, engine defects, and severe powertrain issues that are leading to more of a thrill than they signed up for.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2023

Most Common Problems

Consumer complaints about the 2022 Hyundai Kona are piling up. Between September 7, 2021 and October 25, 2022 a total of 29 disgruntled owners expressed dissatisfaction about 11 components and systems.

On the face of it, the way complaints have been listed, forward collision avoidance is top of the list with 9 complaints. Then there are 8 about the engine. There are 5 complaints listed in the vehicle speed control category and 4 under brakes. Other affected components are airbags, the electrical system, exterior lighting, lane departure, brakes, and visibility.

But often complaints overlap different components. For example, 4 of the vehicle speed control complaints are linked to forward collision avoidance complaints. The only fuel/propulsion system complaint is also listed under engine issues. And 1 of the 2 lane departure problems is linked to forward collision avoidance.

One positive complaint is from a Florida resident whose front passenger side window exploded without impact. Nobody was injured and the dealership said the vehicle would be repaired under warranty.

2022 Hyundai Kona Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Engine
16
Electrical System
15
Power Train
12
Unknown Or Other
11
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
10
Service Brakes
8
Vehicle Speed Control
8
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
4
Air Bags
2
Electrical System:horn
2

Battery Problems

Note that the complaints discussed in this post do not relate to complaints about the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric. There are 12 complaints and all of them are about a serious battery drain. Read our post on battery drain issues for the 2022 Kona Electric.

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Forward Collision Avoidance Issues

The only airbag-related complaint, which is also listed under service brakes and forward collision avoidance reports a crash with 1 injury. An owner from Rhode island says that when the car crashed, the airbags didn’t deploy and the automatic brakes failed. Worse still, “cruise control continued to attempt to drive the vehicle despite (a) collision warning.” The car did not stop.

An owner from Indiana says the cruise control doesn’t engage. “When setting the adaptive cruise control I have had the car slow down 15-20 mph before turning the cruise control off. This is “because traffic is backing up behind me and I become a hazard on the road.”

After taking the car to two different dealerships that couldn’t replicate the issue, this owner logged a complaint with the NHTSA.

An owner from Utah has decided that “Adaptive Cruise Control is practically non-functional. There is a major delay when setting the cruise control speed before it actually kicks in. Speed can slow down upwards 10-15 mph below the intended set speed and take roughly 30 seconds. Once it engages, it’s spotty with its functionality.”

Another Utah owner experienced the emergency brakes locking and the Kona coming to a stop on the fast lane of a freeway. “This has happened twice – both with no reason and no issue in front of me to cause the car to think it needed to suddenly use emergency brakes.”

Problems with the Engine

The motor is definitely the most important component of any vehicle. If the automaker can’t get this part right, the whole vehicle is going to suffer.

Faults with Kona engines range from bad wiring that results in the check engine light coming on to those that report engines shutting off. All of these need to be taken seriously by Hyundai.

An owner from Tennessee states, “My vehicle keeps shutting off with no warning and has almost killed me on multiple occasions. The dealership keeps placating me about getting it fixed, saying that a repair is months out. Meanwhile, I am driving a very dangerous vehicle that shuts off and shakes like it’s going to explode.”

An owner from New York reports a similar scenario. “Randomly, the check engine light turns on and the car begins to violently shake. This is the second day this already happened and only happened while on the highway. The car is only 3 weeks old with just over 1000 miles on it. After pulling over on the side of the road and turning the car off and on, the problem disappeared and the check engine light turned off.”

“The danger of the control of the car on the highway when this issue occurs at random is sufficient enough to ensure that all these vehicles are recalled to get the problem fixed.”

An owner from Washington state has experienced the 2022 Kona dying in the middle of the street and not accelerating onto the highway. This, the complaint states, “was extremely frightening and I felt very lucky that it didn’t cause an accident, or worse.”

One NHTSA complaint from an owner in California states that “while driving (at) 5 MPH, the vehicle inadvertently shut off due to the idle STOP/START feature.” No warning light illuminated.

Hyundai isn’t winning any points with anyone with a defective engine. In fact, the company has been plagued by engine problems, with class-action lawsuits popping up on older models because of fires due to defective motors.

Powertrain Problems

Some say that the powertrain has been built to the same standards as the engine, causing even more people to become fed up with Hyundai.

The first complaint was short but not very sweet. An owner from Florida states that the transmission has extremely hard shifts from 1st to 2nd when accelerating quickly. Ironically, the result is that if you are trying to get out of traffic you might not be able to accelerate quickly enough to get out of traffic.

A New Jersey owner experienced transmission failure when the Kona was only 10-months-old with 4,000 miles on the clock. Declaring that this an extremely dangerous situation, the owner states, “This needs to be categorized as a catastrophic failure.”

An owner from Texas states, “While on the highway the transmission completely stopped shifting and stayed in first gear and would only rev up the engine when the accelerator was applied. I had to coast slowly off the freeway to an exit to safely park. I turned the vehicle off and restarted after a few minutes and it drove regularly. Apparently there are other customers that have experienced this issue and this raises a lot of concern on the safety of operating this vehicle.”

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Hyundai lacks the expertise needed to put an SUV together safely. Just look at Service Bulletin #21-ST-003H, that states the power steering system can suffer from a bearing noise. To repair the problem, the column worm shaft assembly must be replaced, but these faults shouldn’t even be occurring on a brand-new vehicle.

What if your 2022 Kona is a Lemon?

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. So, call us on our Helpline or fill out a contact form now.

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.

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11 COMMENTS
  • Don

    My 2022 Hyundai Kona had problems with the wireless phone charger not working. It took 4 service visits before they finally fixed it. Now the engine will overheat if left running for 5 minutes. It takes a month to get it in for service. Now I see why, Hyundais are one big problem.

  • Jordan

    We only have 22k miles on the vehicle and the radiator “malfunctioned” and destroyed the radiator, engine, electrical equipment, and potentially the transmission. The engine shut off and it’s a total mechanical failure. Hyundai as a whole (and these are words from their own staff at the dealership) don’t care about your equity or safety when it comes to this. They just babble about how they will fix it and everything will be fine. When at the end of the day, it isn’t ethical to put someone back into a car that almost killed them. They show no care or concern and are only worried about the dollar. When you ask to trade it in for another vehicle they say you’re gonna get screwed on the trade in value. Hyundai doesn’t care about you or your safety.

  • Mary M

    My 2022 Kona has been a pain from the first month. It shudders and almost dies all the time. The engine can be cold or warm, doesn’t matter. I’ve learned to drive giving it gas at stop lights with my foot on the brake just to keep it alive. I’ve been giving it Premium gas – doesn’t help much if at all. The car has 2,704 miles in Feb. 2023; I purchased it NEW July 6, 2021. No, I don’t drive much. I have no desire to drive this car and get killed! Now the Check Engine light is on and it’s going in for service. I can’t WAIT to sell it and get a car I can trust again! DO NOT CALL ME!

  • Kimberly B

    I’m leasing to buy my 2022 Hyundai Kona. I’ve had it since 12/22 its been a year. Already it has to be taken to the dealership, because the temperature gauge is acting funny. The car is not overheating and the pin on gauge goes all the way up and then down. My husband gets out of the car to check the engine and it’s cool to the touch. I’m supposed to purchase it in March, should I?

  • Adair

    My Kona 2022 actually went backwards while it was in drive I got in my car, turned it on, put in in drive and the car went in reverse. Happened 3 times..one right after the other. Has this happened to anyone else?? Good thing there was no one parked behind me..it was in a Walmart parking lot. Has been fine since but certainly makes me nervous and much more aware of how and where I park.

  • Steven M

    I bought a brand new 2022 Kona Limited from Paramount in Hickory. The car had 165 miles on it when I got home. I checked the oil and it was a quart low. Dealer thought manufacturer just made a mistake. I took the Kona to the dealer for oil change and tire rotation around 6500 miles for complimentary service. I have 8600 miles on it and the engine starting ticking the other day. No fault lights or any warnings. I stopped and checked oil and it was just over a quart low. I called dealer who said add a quart. Ticking sound went away immediately. I checked and no engine leaks, pan or drain plug leaks. No evidence of any leaks. Dealership did a oil consumption test in 8 days after changing oil. They said I will bring car back every 1000 miles for 3 visits. They implied it can burn some oil and it’s normal. I know if they replace the engine, the car is never the same. I had a issue with a 2013 Outback and after they replaced engine, it began to have intermittent electrical issues and other problms. To this day, the Outback has never been the same. I am very concerned to have spent 36k but bought best platinum factory warranty. Should the oil or engine light come on when the oil is a quart low? Also, it shouldn’t have had engine ticking noise loud when a quart low. What are my options when the car fails oil consumption test or are they going to tell me it’s acceptable to burn a quart every 2k miles? What is their so called allowable consumption?

  • Naomi

    I just totaled my 6 month old Kona Electric. I was actually going slow as I live in the Rockies and am always aware of the large wildlife and snow/ice. Three nights ago, I hit some black ice. I tried to maneuver the car to stay to the right but it took me to the left. I landed in a steep ravine, totaled the car and am lucky to be alive. I just filed a complaint with the NHTSA. I am at a loss.

  • Franco

    Steven D the radio goes. off. on the kona 2022 when as. soon as you open the. door, its not. a. problem that’s how. it. works.

  • Gorton

    Just got into a car accident with my 2021 kona. Car stalled in the middle of traffic and I decided then to head straight home, upon heading down the hill my breaks went completely out and the car wouldn’t stop and I crashed into a parked car. Second vehicle with Hyundai first was recalled and never returned to me. Looking to find a lawyer to take my case. I have a small child and can’t take any more chances with this company /car. I could have lost my life, super scary.

  • LMR

    My 2022 Kona has suddenly jerked me into an oncoming lane with the lane keeping assist feature. I have about 1k miles on mine. I had no idea that the Kona had so many issues when I purchased mine. This scares me! I wasn’t aware the 2022 was included in the model years with issues.

    If someone contacts me. Please do not call. I will only respond to email or text.

  • Steven D

    My 2022 Hyndai has been back to the dealership 5 times for the same reason. The back up camera does not work at times and the radio stays on when car is off. They have replaced the radio to no avail. This car I leased and has 1450 miles.

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