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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
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.
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