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

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Battery Drain Issues? Read our post on Hyundai Kona Electric Battery Drain Issues.

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

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Most Common Problems with the 2022 Hyundai Kona

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.

Battery Problems

Note that the complaints discussed in this post do not relate to complaints about the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric. There are only 5 complaints and all of them are about a serious battery drain. Lemberg Law has initiated a class action investigation into these issues, which don’t appear to impact the other 2022 Kona models.

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.

Problems with the Powertrain

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.

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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Brian Jones

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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • 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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