2015-2016 Hyundai Sonata Top 3 Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Transmission, Electrical and Engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
HELPLINE

The Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan with modern styling and a wealth of available technologies. It’s handsome looks, class-leading features and relatively low price have made it a success across America. Unfortunately, the popular line of cars has been plagued with issues since 2011, when engines started failing in mass quantities. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), key problem areas include the engine, transmission / powertrain, and vehicle speed control

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Engine

There were four different engine options offered in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.  The majority of the problems are with the 2.4L four-cylinder and the turbocharged 2.0L. These units are referred to as the “Theta II” family of engines.

Internal engine failure

The Theta II powerplants are well-known for unexpected, catastrophic failure. Metal debris inside the engines – left over from the manufacturing process – plugs up internal lubrication holes. When this happens, the connecting rod bearings are starved of oil and fail. Chunks of bearingmaterial then contaminate the oilingsystem, causing complete engine failure

Hyundai recalled 2011-2012 models for the problem in 2015, then issued an identical recall for 2013-2014 models in 2017. No engine recalls have been published for the 2015 model – yet. But owners are experiencing problems and lodging complaints.

Lack of power and hesitation

Also, there are numerous complaints of limited engine power and hesitation. An owner from Stoughton, MI, wrote in, “Whenever I come to a complete stop while my vehicle is in drive, the RPMs idle at a dangerously low level. Upon releasing the brakes in order to drive again, the vehicle sputters and struggles to take off.”

These concerns are attributed to faulty software inside the car’s main computer, the powertrain control module (PCM). Dealers have access to a related technical service bulletin (TSB) which instructs them to reflash the PCM to cure the problem.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2015-2016 Hyundai Sonata Engine Problems

MY 2015 SONATA 2.0 SPORT ENGINE STALLED WHILE I WAS WAITING AT A TRAFFIC LIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC (OAKLAND) PITTSBURGH, PA. VEHICLE WAS TYING UP TRAFFIC SO BAD THAT A UNIVERSITY POLICE OFFICER HELPED ME PUSH VEHICLE TO SIDE OF ROAD. GOT VEHICLE TOWED TO #1 COCHRAN HYUNDAI MONROEVILLE, PA. WAS INFORMED VEHICLE ENGINE SEIZED UP AND A REPLACEMENT WOULD BE NEEDED. BEEN WITHOUT VEHICLE SINCE MID MAY 2018, WHILE STILL PAYING CAR NOTE, INSURANCE AND CAR REGISTRATION! I NEED TO BE COMPENSATED!!! LUCKILY, ENGINE IS COVERED UNDER WARRANTY BUT STILL A BIG INCONVENIENCE!!!! HYUNDAI HOW WILL YOU SMOOTH THIS OVER WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS???

BLOWN ENGINE, BOUGHT 2015 SONATA WITH 36,000 MILES, CERTIFIED USED, LEASED CAR. DRIVING HOME ABOUT 35 MPH, THE ENGINE MADE A LOUD CLUNKING SOUND, THANKFULLY I WAS IN THE RIGHT LANE, I PULLED OFF THE STREET INTO A PARKING LOT WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THE CAR ENGINE BLEW. HAD TO TOW BACK TO THE DEALERSHIP WHERE THEY ARE TO REPLACE THE ENGINE. HYUNDAI USA NEEDS SEND OUT RECALL FOR THE GTI ENGINE THAT IS CAUSING A LOT OF ISSUES.

THETA II 4 CYLINDER 2,4L ENGINE 2015 HYUNDAI SONATA SPORT. CAR STARTED SHAKING AND THEN STALLED IN THE MIDDLE OF A CITY STREET. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ON THE FREEWAY AND CAUSED A CRASH. THE CAR SMELT LIKE SOMETHING WAS BURNING, I HAD IT TOWED TO MOMENTUM HYUNDAI FAIRFIELD, CA. THEY ARE SAYING NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THE CAR.

Transmission / Powertrain

For 2015, most Sonata models came with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharged 1.6L, however, was paired with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. Both gearboxes have known problems.

Dual-clutch transmission problems

Vehicles equipped with the dual-clutch automatic transmission may suffer from erratic shifting, stalling, and loss of acceleration. In some situations, these problems can be an extreme safety hazard as they prevent the vehicle from moving under its own power.

One owner from Des Moines, IA, wrote in, “Upon entering a four-lane major road from a store parking lot, my 2015 Sonata would not accelerate. I let off and pushed the accelerator pedal – no response, though the RPMs were revving.”

The cause is bad software inside the transmission control module, which is the computer that governs the transmission. Dealers have access to a related TSB which instructs them to reflash the TCM to cure the problem.

6-speed automatic transmission shifter concern

The traditional 6-speed automatic transmission hasissues, as well. In some cases, the unit may not shift out of park, leaving drivers stuck.

Hyundai has released TSBs to dealerships that outline how to remedy the problem. In many cases, the solution involves replacing either the body control module (BCM) or integrated power module (IPM).A bad connection in the vehicle’s wiring harness may also cause the concern.

Axle shaft may separate

Finally, there’s an NHTSA recall (campaign number 14V784000) which indicates the left axle shaft may separate from the transmission. This can result in loss of control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2015-2016 Hyundai Sonata Transmission Problems

I PURCHASED MY 2015 SONATA 12/04/2017. ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, MY GEAR STARTED TO SLIP. AT FIRST HAD ISSUES BREAKING, IT SEEMED A BIT DELAYED. I WAS ADVISED BY SOME FAMILY MEMBERS THAT MAYBE THE ENGINE SIMPLY NEEDED TO BE FLUSHED. (EARLY JANUARY) ABOUT 2 WEEKS LATER GOING UP AND DOWN HILLS STARTED BECOMING AN ISSUE. DUE TO MY BUSY WORK SCHEDULE, I HAD TO PUT OFF GOING TO THE SHOP. MY CAR IS NECESSARY FOR MY EMPLOYMENT. THE WEEK BEFORE I WAS DUE TO SERVICE (EARLY FEBRUARY) MY CAR STOPPED MOVING FORWARD OR BACKWARD AFTER STOPPING AT A LOCAL STOP SIGN, I TOWED THE CAR INTO THE DEALERSHIP AND THEY HAVE DECIDED THAT THE CAUSE OF THESE ISSUES IS A CRACK IN MY TRANSMISSION. THEY HAVE DECIDED NOT TO USE MY WARRANTY TO COVER THE DAMAGES BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT IT WAS CAUSED BY A DRIVER. THEY EXPLAINED THAT THE PART THAT SEEMS TO BE AFFECTED, IS THE ONLY PART OF THE UNDERCARRIAGE THAT ISN´T PROTECTED BY THE PLASTIC COVER PIECE. THEY SAID THIS DAMAGE COULD HAVE HAPPENED UNKNOWINGLY AND EASILY. THIS HAS MADE MY CAR EXTREMELY VULNERABLE TO OUTSIDE DAMAGE AND HAS ALSO BROUGHT THE VALUE OF THE CAR DOWN EXTREMELY.

THIS IS A TRANSMISSION ISSUE.CHECK ENGINE LIGHT TURNED ON AT 15000 MILES AND NOW AT 31000 MILES. AS A RESULT OF THIS, CAR DOESN’T ACCELERATE AS INTENDED. THE CAR ACCELERATES ON ITS OWN.

WHEN IN DRIVE, AT LOW SPEEDS (BETWEEN 5MPH AND 10MPH) THE VEHICLE BECOMES JERKY WHEN DECELERATING, VEHICLE SHUDDERS AS IF TROUBLING TO CHANGE GEARS

Electrical system

Instead of traditional, hydraulic power steering, the Sonata has electric power steering (EPS). The EPS system uses an electric motor to provide steering assist. Motor control is determined by a dedicated control module, based on input from a torque sensor. All of these components are housed together in the steering column.

Electric power steering wiring problems

A recall was issued by the NHTSA (Campaign Number: 14V325000) regarding a poor connection in the wiring harness of the Sonata. The problem can cause a lack of power steering – a definite safety concern.

From bumper to bumper, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is riddled with problems. These issues not only inconvenience their owners but potentially put them in harm’s way.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2015-2016 Hyundai Sonata Electrical Problems

THE CONTACT OWNS A 2015 HYUNDAI SONATA. WHILE DRIVING 32 MPH, THE CONTACT HEARD A LOUD NOISE UNDERNEATH THE HOOD. THE OVERHEATING, STEERING, AND BATTERY WARNING INDICATORS ILLUMINATED AND THE ENGINE STALLED. THE CONTACT PULLED OVER TO THE PARKING LOT. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO THE DEALER WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT THE ALTERNATOR NEEDED TO BE REPLACED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 66,000.

THE SAFETY SYSTEM ON MY CAR MORE OFTEN THEN NOT WARNS OF DANGER THAT DOES NOT EXIST, ESPECIALLY IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT AT DAWN AND DUSK. THE CAMERAS FALSELY WARN OF IMPENDING CRASHES OR ALERTING YOU THAT YOU HAVE SWERVED OUT OF YOUR LANE EVEN WHEN YOU’RE DEAD CENTER IN YOUR LANE WITH NO OTHER CARS AROUND. HYUNDAI HAS NO SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2015 HYUNDAI SONATA. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHILE DRIVING AT 75 MPH, THE VEHICLE STALLED. THE CONTACT WAS UNCERTAIN IF HIS KNEE ENCOUNTERED THE KEY FOB. THE CONTACT WAS ABLE TO RESTART THE VEHICLE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 7,000. THE VIN WAS UNAVAILABLE.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon 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.

Lemberg Law are Lemon Law experts and can help you get Lemon Justice – absolutely free! Fill out our form on this page for a no-obligation case evaluation, or call toll free 877-795-3666

18 COMMENTS
  • Devon

    2015 Sonata purchase brand new in 2016, for about a year I have had issues with the transmission lagging and then jerking (in lower gears) when decelerating. I’ve taken it to the dealership MULTIPLE times, paying for what they THINK will fix it because of course they can’t duplicate the problem. Still having the issue and it’s beyond frustrating because I really do love my car. I will never purchase a Hyundai again, going with Toyota.

  • Kimberly

    I have a 2015 Hyundai Sonata and the check engine light came on at around 75K and can not find out why. The mechanic can’t find anything wrong. At 90K it drives worse. When you press on the gas the RPMs go really high but the car moves slow, it started burning a lot of gas and sometimes when you go to back up it takes off and the brake is really hard to push. The mechanic put a new time and chain in and censor but its still doing the same thing. He still has it. I’ve been without a car for a month and thousands of dallors later and 3 years left to pay on a problem. The mechanic had a Hyundai mechanic come to his shop to see what was wrong and he told him that they don’t work on that year car so needless to say, they are sticking people with car payments and lemon cars that aren’t worth a shit. I am so mad and in distress.

  • John

    I bought a 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid when it was new. At 55000 miles we are now having electrical problems. About 8 weeks ago it began to take 2-3 pushes of the Start button before it turned over. Then it wouldn’t start at all. We had it towed to the local Hyundai dealer and they couldn’t duplicate or diagnose the problem. 5 weeks later, it had the same problem except this time it died while we were driving. I had it towed to the local Hyundai dealer again (this time costing me $105 out of pocket because the Hyundai warranty roadside assistance only covers up to $75). The service department did find that there was a Mgr memo instructing the dealership to replace a redesigned Power Relay and Safety Plug. Everything worked great for 2 weeks but once again it’s starting to take 2-3 pushes of the start button before the car will start. I have an appointment to bring it back to the dealership I’m Monday. Needless to say, we’re extremely frustrated!

  • Michael M

    2015 Sonata 2.0T Sport Limited – 48K car started to sputter and hesitate. Had the vehicle tow as the check engine light was on and was solid, not flashing. Dealer inspected and said one of the spark plugs was broken. Replaced just the one spark plug and returned the car to me. The next day (35 miles later) on the way to work I accelerated from a slow corner and felt three quick sputters. Made it into work with vehicle sputtering the same as before and had towed. Now they said the turbo failed. Turbo and balance of plugs are being replaced.

  • Christina

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.0 Turbo- Bought brand new November 2015. Put 59k miles on it. Engine blew up August 2018. Received car back with new engine Jan. 2019. Put another 5k miles on it by April 26, 2019. Clanking sound coming from under the hood, stalled and started smoking at a stop light. Check engine light starts blinking then stays illuminated. Took to hyundai dealer for diagnostic tests. The turbo was now broken and needed replaced. Received my car back May 3, 2019.

  • Pizzaguy

    2016 Sonata Eco with 57000 miles. Dual clutch transmission failed. Dealer diagnosed after three visits. Transmission would fall out of first gear. This was especially dangerous during hurry up left turns. A plastic whizzz noise and engine revving without continued forward motion lasted a few seconds.

  • Carrie Axe

    At 45,000 I lose get up and go.. RPM idles up really high when I push down harder on pedal and finally the car shifts. Once I get the speed up it goes down the road ok. But if I am climbing a hill it starts losing power. Then the check engine light comes on. Took it in to the dealership and they said it was a blown cam plug. They changed it (under warranty) and it ran great for about two weeks. Then rinse and repeat. The last time they changed the oil thinking my sludge oil was causing it.. and again two weeks later. Rinse and repeat… Here we go again… I only have 60,000 mile warranty..
    Very discouraging

  • Drew

    2015 sonata sport.. 28k miles engine light came on and began losing power and chugging along. Brought into the dealership Betton Hyundai in Muskegon,MI. Service people were great, gave us a loaner. Replaced engine, we’ve had it 3 weeks engine light came back on, dropped off at dealership, awaiting tomorrow’s results! I’m starting to think we need a call for action here..

  • Christi N

    I have a 2015 sonata turbo. I have had all kinds of stalling out problems. I can be at a dead stop red light try to go when light turns green an it will stall out RPM go high. I’ll let of the gas for the rpm go down an try to accelerate an it does it again at ever shift. I’m I’m okc busy 4 lane high way me an my kiddos was coming off the ramp to get on the busy highway an I give it gas to jump on an as soon as I get on the road my car completely stalls out to where I had no power the car behind me I’m sure was at 75 an had to slam on his brakes from hitting us. Then he honks an flips me off that day we all could have died bc these problems with the car. I have taken my car to the Sherman Hyundai place an everytime they cant fined a problem it’s been there 7 times now for this stalling an rpm deal. Yesterday on the way to school on the busy interstate at 70 mph my car tells me transmission protection control on the screen an my rpm was high. I tried to slow down an get the rpm down but the stayed over 3 like it was stuck. It always seems to feel like its In the manual mode.i understand it have a dual transmission but it should never stall out to where me an my kids lifes are at risk. This is a daily problem with my car.

  • Unsatisfied

    I have a 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport and I’ve been haveing the same stalling/hesitant issues as well. I’ve been back and forth to the dealership since January, the first time they replaced a horiness wiring due to my engine light blinking, 2nd time they replaced the engine-also due to my engine light blinking, and 3rd time they replaced the horiness wiring again- due to my engine light blinking for the 3rd time; also even kept/drove the car for a week before releasing it back to me. Today, I’m back again because the engine came back on (no blinking) after having the car for no more than 4 days. Now they say its code “p200a-intake manifold in bank 1” mind you I’ve only had the car for ONE year.

  • Rada Z

    I have a 2015 Sonata and have been without for almost 3weeks! Dealership gave me a 2019 as a loaner and I want to keep it after reading all of the complaints! I was told I might need a new engine, after they fixed recall issues, then my engine light started flashing, they supposedly fixed it….it started flashing again 20min after I left the dealership. Now, like I said, no phone call, no information at all. I feel that we can all make a whole lot of lemonade with our 2015 Sonatas ??‍♀️

  • Shawn C

    Bought my 2015 Hyundai Sonata last Jan 2018 car seemed great until last night I was driving on the freeway and the car just stalled it would not go no matter how much gas I gave it. The check engine light was flashing so we immediately pulled to the side of highway and had to get it towed to the dealer where we bought it Team Chevrolet in Vallejo Ca I’ve done some research and now find out this year models have this same engine problems…..waiting to see what the dealer is going to try to tell me….need help!

  • Kelly

    I currently have a 2016 Sonata ECO. This is the worst car I’ve ever owned…. at 45k my check engine light came on, I was told it was a clogged fuel injector, which of course was not covered by warranty. But the car continued stuttering at stops, hesitating, etc. At 72k it started making a loud clunking noise when changing in low gears. After three trips to the dealer they finally replaced my transmission. Told me would be three days, kept the car for a month. Then just 2 weeks after getting it back it started doing the same thing. Took it back and they told me nothing was wrong with it. They kept it for another week. Mysteriously the issue stopped when I got it back. Now it’s sputtering again and making a ‘puffing’ noise when accelerating. I just don’t want to even begin to know what this issue is…

    This doesn’t include the weird wear pattern of my back tires which makes a loud humming noise (had the same issue with my 2011 Hyundai which was a whole other nightmare with the Blown engine…) Or the power seat that no longer works, etc.

    I will never ever buy another Hyundai. As a sigle mom, this car has given me more anxiety And stress than I’ve ever had. I wish Hyundai would take this one back and replace it with a Toyota…

  • Mike

    2015 Hyundai sonata SE 2.4 has hard shifts. 40000 miles on it started.

  • Tommy

    i have a 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.0 Turbo .I brought brand new . The Malfunction indicator light & The Engine oil pressure warning light came one and my car loss power and stall on the highway with my Niece in the back seat very dangerous

  • Sing Vang

    2016 Hyundai Sonata Eco with the dual-clutch transmission. Two days ago, car would not reverse. I put into drive and drove it 10 yards before a transmission warning light came on. Had it towed to local dealer who could not fix it. So it was towed again to the dealership. Now they want $4,300 to replace the transmission. Please help.

  • Carol

    I bought my Hyundai Sonata last year 3 months after I had the car it stalled. They changed the battery and it’s still stalled. My car has stalled eight times. The last time they told me I don’t drive the car enough that’s why it stopped. Well, today I’m sitting here with no car because it stalled again. Please I need help.

  • Lorenzo

    My 2015 Hyundai Sonata died in the highway and almost killed me and others. Had it towed and was told engine seized up.

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