2023 Hyundai Sonata Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Powertrain, engine, and shattering moonroof problems are the main causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

A solid sedan generally regarded as being reliable, the Hyundai Sonata has been around for more than three decades. Despite consistently being one of the automaker’s best sellers, the advent and entrenchment of SUVs has impacted its popularity and there are rumors the model will be discontinued quite soon. Nevertheless, Hyundai says that every inch of the 2023 Sonata “is pure sophistication” and they promote its “comfort, convenience, and safety.” But owners experiencing acceleration failures and steering loss, Adaptive Cruise Control malfunctions, or exploding moonroofs, feel differently. They don’t feel safe or sophisticated and they aren’t at all comfortable. 

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Most Common Problems

There aren’t a lot of complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about the 2023 Hyundai Sonata. Between December 18, 2022, and February 22, 2023, there were only 5. But they are varied and highlight 5 components and systems: the engine, forward collision avoidance, the fuel/propulsion system, the powertrain, and visibility.

The most common issues relate to a loss of power or inability to accelerate. There is also a problem relating to Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with a Sonata randomly braking, downshifting, and then accelerating.

Another ongoing problem that recurs in many Hyundai vehicles is moonroofs shattering or exploding.

2023 Hyundai Sonata Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train
Vehicle Speed Control
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking

Problems with the Power and Engine

Several complaints draw attention to issues with the 2023 Hyundai Sonata losing or threatening to lose power. Despite them being filed in a variety of different categories, it is clear that they all have similar, if not related, malfunctions.

Sonata Loses Power When Fuel Floods the Engine

An owner from Minnesota describes how a new 2023 Sonata suddenly started to lose power and shake violently. The complaint is filed under the Fuel/Propulsion System.

“I lost steering and was unable to accelerate. I pulled over to the side of the road and the vehicle would not start again.” The dealer discovered that “a fuel injector was stuck open and it had flooded my engine. This was the second time with this vehicle that this happened.”

Drastic Deceleration on a Freeway

Cruising on the freeway at 65 mph, which was the speed limit, an owner from Texas was shocked when his Sonata suddenly started decelerating. When pushing the gas pedal, the only thing that changed was the RPM rose drastically. There was no change in speed. He managed to maneuver from the far left lane to the freeway shoulder on the far right.

“The whole time, my speed was around 40 mph and dropping drastically. Trying to safely navigate a slowing vehicle on a 65+ Texas freeway is an adrenaline rush that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.” Panicking he remembers, “I was almost hit by several vehicles in my maneuvering. I could have died last night.” Once on the shoulder, he tried to start the sedan. “I thought it may be a battery issue, but it turned on. It didn’t start, though. The lights came on, as did all of the typical system/dash lights that usually indicate when a car’s engine hasn’t ‘turned over’.”

Eventually, he was escorted off the freeway to safety by three police cars. Later he was towed by a Hyundai-serviced AAA emergency road-towing service. The dealer “detected” a possible condition with the engine’s control system.

The complaint adds that it definitely wasn’t a gas issue. Also, the car had undergone a complimentary maintenance service that included an oil change eight days before the incident. This complaint is filed under Powertrain, Engine, and the Fuel/Propulsion System.

Transmission-Related Error Code

Listing a problem as Unknown or Other, an owner from Missouri experienced an error code that was related to the Sonata’s transmission multiple times. He was worried that it might result in the transmission failing, which might result in a loss of power while driving. This, the complaint states, “could potentially cause fatal accidents.”

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Forward Collision-Avoidance Problems

When a new 2023 Hyundai Sonata traveling with ACC switched on suddenly braked, downshifted, and then accelerated hard, the driver and passengers were scared. According to the NHTSA complaint, the owner from Texas had set the following distance at maximum. But when a car from another lane turned into the Sonata’s lane and then continued to an off-ramp, the Sonata braked. Then it downshifted “from 8th to maybe 4th and accelerated hard – scaring me and my passengers.” As the car came into the lane, the Sonata driver pressed the following distance button on the steering wheel several times. The intention was “to lessen the actions of the car when the car entered my lane.”

Having previously owned a 2016 Sonata with ACC, he expected it to have fast, normal, and slow settings. But he discovered that the 2023 Sonata “has no ACC setting.”

“I feel this is dangerous so I reported it to Hyundai Customer Service. They told me to go to my dealer.” The dealer said this was “normal.”

Exploding Moonroofs

Hyundai vehicles are notorious for moonroofs shattering and exploding according to a complaint from an owner from Maryland states. Stating in an NHTSA complaint that the moonroof of a 2023 Hyundai Sonata shattered, it says that the driver “could have lost control due to fright/heart attack.” The insurance company “said it happens to Hyundai often (with) no warning at all.”

There is also a complaint on Edmunds about a 2023 Sonata moonroof exploding. Despite being generally regarded as a reliable sedan, this owner gives the Sonata 3 stars – and only 2 each for safety and reliability!

“I like the car and the way it handles, but I only had the car for 6 days/372 miles when the moonroof exploded while I was driving.” Even though there is an extended warranty on the new Sonata, “the dealer said the roof isn’t covered. It was supposed to be bumper to bumper (for) 10 years/100,000 miles. My insurance says this happens to Hyundais. I will not have the car drivable for months. Besides being scared to death, I have no car.

“I have since found out this has been happening since 2014 to all models with this roof and no recall has been issued. (There has been) nothing in the papers or on the news. The dealer says it’s up to my insurance to pay for and fix (it) after only 6 days. Not good Hyundai!”

What to do if your 2023 Hyundai Sonata is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Do you think that your 2023 Hyundai Sonata is a lemon? If you have problems that continue to recur, can’t be fixed by the dealer, or affect the value of your sedan, then it may be a lemon. But it’s a good idea to get an experienced lemon lawyer to assess your problems before attempting to take action.

Lemberg Law is a lemon law firm that is available to assess your case free of charge. We have helped many vehicle owners get worthwhile settlements from automakers because their vehicles were indeed lemons.

The fact is that every year automakers pay back, replace, or trade in vehicles to lemon owners. At the end of the day, the law makes Hyundai pay the lemon law legal fees. All you have to do is call our Helpline or fill out a contact form, and we’ll 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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