Powertrain, engine, electrical system, and forward collision avoidance issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
Hyundai maintains that “inspired innovation” makes the 2022 Hyundai Sonata “the best thing to happen to sedans in forever.” But for owners who have problems with their cars, this means nothing. Labeled by Hyundai as an iconic mid-size sedan, the Sonata made its debut in Korea way back in 1985. By 2015, the company had sold more than 7.3 million models, 2.3 million of which were sold in the U.S. from 1988-2015. In 2015 alone, 213,303 units were sold in the U.S.
It was the 2nd generation Sonata that was first launched in the U.S. in 1988. The first 8th generation Sonatas were produced in the U.S. at Hyundai Motor America’s manufacturing plant in Alabama in 2020. The 2021 and 2022 models are also 8th generation vehicles. Despite the addition of new features each year, sales have been dropping ever since, from 199,408 units in 2016 to 83,434 in 2021.
According to Good Car Bad Car, the sales figures dipped under 100,000 in 2019. In 2020 they sold 76,997 units, 83,434 in 2021, and between February and August 2022, only 26,070 Sonatas had been sold.
Some say that it’s because an increasing number of drivers prefer sports utility vehicles (SUVs). But could it be because of mediocre performance, generally average features, and some tedious operating requirements? These are some of the complaints that owners make about the car. Other complaints are more serious because
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Most Common Problems
A total of 13 powertrain issues top the number of complaints to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2022 Hyundai Sonata. More than a third of these also mention the engine as a faulty component, most of these report a loss of motive power. But there are also complaints that the engine overheats.
Additionally, there are a substantial number of complaints about the electrical system and forward collision avoidance (six each), again with at least one other component or system stated as malfunctioning.
There are also between one and three complaints each about wheels, tires, backover prevention, suspensions, brakes, lane departure, and vehicle speed control.
There are two recalls, one of which warns that 56,148 Hyundai vehicles, including the 2021 and 2022 Sonata sedans, might lose drive power. More than half of the powertrain complaints either report this problem or state that the parts required to fix the problem aren’t currently available.
Interestingly, even though there has been a recall relating to a fuel leak that increases the risk of a fire, none of the NHTSA complaints, so far, have anything to do with the category, Fuel System, Gasoline. The recall potentially affects 15,752 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe 2021-2022 vehicles that are equipped with 2.5 liter turbocharged engines. The problem is that the fuel can leak where the pipe is connected between the fuel rail and the high-pressure fuel pump. If this happens, the risk of a fire is very real.
2022 Hyundai Sonata Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Lane Departure: Assist|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings|
|Vehicle Speed Control|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
Powertrain and Engine Problems
Most of the powertrain complaints relate to a loss of motive power. But a couple that are also listed as being engine problems state that the engine overheats. Some of the complaints that report overheating are only considered to be engine problems. So, we’ve combined powertrain and engine problems here.
Problems with Loss of Motive Power
The loss of drive power recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 22V746000, was issued on October 6, 2022. But there are cars not included in the recall that have this problem.
For instance, an owner from New York reports that, “ the car has intermittent acceleration issues and hesitates when the automatic transmission is shifting to the next gear. Without warning, the car completely turned off – engine failed – while driving and in the middle of making a turn, and luckily oncoming traffic stopped in time before we were in an accident. The local dealer has been unable to replicate the problem. However, there is an open recall on the same make and model but my VIN is not currently included in this recall. This is not a coincidence and this vehicle is not safe to drive. I also already contacted Hyundai directly but the case manager has yet to resolve the issue. He just says the VIN is not part of the recall.” The owner regards this as an engine and powertrain problem.
Then, in February 2023, an owner stated that “while driving approximately 35 mph up a ramp leading to the freeway, the vehicle suddenly started losing motive power.” The sedan wouldn’t accelerate and had to be towed to the local dealer “who was unable to determine the cause of the failure.” The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure – but nobody mentioned the recall. This owner also regards this as an engine and powertrain problem.
Loss of Motive Power Recall Parts Not Available
There are several complaints that state the owners have not been able to have their vehicles repaired because the parts are not available. And these are cars with a VIN that is included in the recall.
An owner from Florida states that “the vehicle was taken to Hyundai for the recall, but (the) parts are on national backorder with no ETA on when they will be available. The complaint is dated January 12, 2023, more than three months after the recall was announced.
Problems with Overheating
Some complaints are short. For example, one over states there is an “Engine overheating warning. (But) Hyundai cannot properly diagnose the issue.” Another states that the “engine under acceleration and fans run on high after (the) car is shut off.”
Others provide more detail. “My ITMS has failed. It’s happened 5 times now where my car will say it’s over heating and go into limp mode. Then within seconds it will act like nothing happened and drive normal. My fan runs constantly and my oil temp is always high. The dealer has refused to fix the problem even with multiple repair sheets from other owners who’ve had the same problems.”
A complaint listed as a powertrain, electrical system, and engine problem describes an overheating incident. It happened as he drove on the highway and was beginning to accelerate. The car symbol “Engine overheating” was flashing on the dashboard. So, he pulled off the road. “The car cooled immediately.” But, “after I turned the car off to get gas, the Check Engine light came on. The light is still on.”
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Forward Collision Avoidance Problems
Forward collision complaints are varied, ranging from a car not stopping in time to avoid a collision to faulty diagnostic codes including several for the Lane Keep assist system, Electronic Stability Control, and Smart Cruise Control.
A complaint from an owner in South Carolina is listed as being both a forward collision avoidance and brake issue. The crash occurred on a highway in South Carolina, when the “car did not stop in time to avoid a front collision with a stopped car.” Four people were injured.
Another complaint, this time from an owner in Pennsylvania, states that the Sonata brakes when backing up “when no objects are present. When stopped at a light, the vehicle will detect that cars are too close or will sense objects are around when nothing is around. The collision warning will sound at random times.”
There are three complaints listed under Service Brakes, although brake issues are mentioned in other categories as well.
For instance, posting under Forward Collision Avoidance, an owner from Florida reports a crash that resulted in one injury. The complaint states that the “vehicle locked up the brakes by completely depressing them automatically and didn’t use ABS when sensing another vehicle stop in front of it”. This caused the Sonata “to slide into the rear of the other vehicle.”
Another complaint from an owner in Illinois is listed as a suspension and brake issue. It states that “the car lost control” when he applied the brakes while turning onto a ramp on the expressway. It hit a curb and the driver “had no control over the car, which bounced to (the) shoulder of (the) road.” The front tire was loose and the rotor on the braking system was “broken in pieces.” He was unable to stop the car until it came to a rest on the shoulder of the road.
Tire & Wheel Issues
A tire-related complaint from an owner in Ohio describes how the tread on the driver’s side rear tire separated without warning when his Sonata had only 500 miles on the clock. He heard an abnormal noise, but there was no warning light. A towing company took the car in to have the spare tire fitted. The dealer was “unable to diagnose the cause of the failure.”
A tire- and wheel-related complaint comes from an owner in Illinois. It states that the rear wheel bearing and hub assembly sets for the new 2022 Sonata comprise “terrible-quality parts.” By the time the car had 2,400 miles on the clock, the parts had started to “deform.” The result was that the two rear wheels and tires cannot move forward straight, and the “rear wheels and tires are yawning during normal driving. And I am feeling jumping, shaking due to (the) imbalanced nature of wheel bearing, hub assembly and wheel tires. It is really dangerous, as (a) wheel and tire could be falling off on (the) highway.”
Lane Departure Problems
Some of the complaints about forward collision avoidance also mention lane departure being an issue. A couple also blame a faulty electrical system as well as bad service from Hyundai.
A complaint filed by a North Carolina owner says the problems “started with a loud noise under the hood. That happened maybe four times. Then the car began to switch gears on its own. I would park the car and press P for park but the car would go to N instead. That happened about 20-30 times.
“Now the car is randomly switching gears while at stop lights. While at a pause the car automatically shuts off which is normal.” But the car also started to switch gears when stopped at lights. “I was at a light when the car shut down and went to D, N , and stayed in R. I had to cut my car off just for it to go to P and then D, all while the light was red. If I didn’t, I would have backed into the person behind me.
“The self driving is not accurate at all and the car tries to play bluetooth and Apple Carplay at the same time.
“I’m reaching out because I’ve been to the dealership multiple times to have it checked out and they found nothing wrong.”
Another complaint states that voice recognition issues affect the messages navigation phone as well as lane assist and radar. “For 2 weeks I have tried to address this with Hyundai customer service with no proper response, the dealer service stating (that) the computer head is at fault. But they have no idea when they will get one from Hyundai.”
What to do if your 2022 Hyundai Sonata is a lemon?
If your 2022 Hyundai Sonata has recurring problems that impair its value, use, and/or safety, you might have a lemon. If you believe this to be the case, and the manufacturer is unable or unwilling to fix the problems, Lemberg Law is available to assess your issues free of charge.
Over the years, we have negotiated many settlement deals for vehicle owners who found themselves with lemons. These include buy-backs, trade-ins, and vehicle replacements.
All you have to do is fill in our contact form or call us. It’s not going to cost you anything, because the law says Hyundai must pay the legal fees of lemon law cases.