2018 Hyundai Elantra Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, electrical, fuel system, brakes, powertrain and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is known as a family car with plenty of functions. Even the automaker claims that the newest model is “as smart as it is stylish.” Yet customers find that this car has a lot of flaws. From the poor engine quality to the defective transmission, this vehicle needs to make some significant improvements. What’s most alarming is the safety warning issued by the NHTSA.

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Problems with the Engine

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra was built to be a leader, but the engine can’t keep up. Even fresh off the dealership lot, this car shows signs of trouble.

Just look at this NHTSA complaint. “Car continuously says it’s overheating. First trip to dealership could replicate the issue. Second trip a month later, replaced head gasket due to leak and exhaust pipe. Currently sitting in it waiting for roadside assistance. Still overheating not even a week later also now putters and shakes when I try to start it.”

Service Bulletin #5NP-P4Y7D-08 talks about other issues with the Elantra engine that might require a new speed sensor or oil pressure harness. None of these problems should be seen on a new vehicle, let alone the possibility of all three. If the Elantra were that smart, it would have an engine that didn’t malfunction every other day.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Hyundai Elantra Engine Problems:

THE ENGINE SEIZED WHILE I WAS DRIVING ON THE ROAD AND IT STARTED SMOKING. THE CAR JUST STOPPED AND THE ENGINE COULD NOT BE STARTED AGAIN. THE CAR DID NOT WARNING OF OVER HEATING OR OF THE CAR NEEDING TO BE SERVICED. I BROUGHT THE CAR USED AND IT WAS TWO MONTHS AFTER I MADE THE PURCHASE THAT THIS HAPPENED.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 HYUNDAI ELANTRA. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHEN THE DRIVER ATTEMPTED TO DRIVE ON AN INCLINE, THE VEHICLE STALLED SEVERAL TIMES. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO AN UNKNOWN DEALER WHERE METAL SHAVINGS WERE FOUND IN THE ENGINE. THE DEALER ALSO TEST DROVE THE VEHICLE AND WAS ABLE TO RECREATE THE FAILURE. THE DEALER ADVISED THAT THE ENGINE NEEDED TO BE REPLACED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS CONTACTED AND STATED THAT THE VEHICLE WAS NOT INCLUDED IN NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 15V568000 (ENGINE). THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 59,000.

Problems with the Transmission

The other major component in any vehicle is the transmission. With a faulty transmission, the ride can’t be smooth and it becomes impossible to rely on this form of transportation. Yet, that’s what Elantra owners deal with regularly.

This NHTSA review says, “I have a 2018 Hyundai Elantra having problems with my transmission. When in traffic or taking off from a stop the car shudders like a manual transmission car when you don’t give it enough gas. Also the car does not want to move sometimes when you depress the gas pedal followed by sudden acceleration the car is equipped with a dual-clutch transmission which I am familiar but these are not normal characteristics of a dual-clutch transmission.”

Again, it’s evident that the automaker is having trouble with the transmission in these vehicles. Service Bulletin #19-AT-012H talks about the transaxle clutch slipping while in gear and outlines how the technicians can repair the problem. Between the multiple engine troubles and these transmission complaints, it’s clear that the Elantra struggles with all of the major components. How then can it be considered a smart vehicle? Maybe it’s stylish, but none of that matters if it doesn’t drive.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Hyundai Elantra Transmission Problems:

WHEN ACCELERATING AFTER STOP CAR LUNGES AND THEN STARTS TO MOVE, SINCE BOUGHT IT I HAVE TOLD DEALERSHIP SEVERAL TIMES THEY SAY NOTHING WRONG THAT HOW IT IS. ALSO TIRES HAVE ALL FELL APART OR WENT FLAT AND HAVE WIRE SHOWING ON INSIDE . I FEEL THIS IS SAFETY CONCERN AND WHEN BUYING A NEW CAR TIRES SHOULD LAST LONGER THAN 1 YEAR I SHOULD NOT ACCELERATION PROBLEMS EITHER.

Problems with the Brakes

While talking about driving, it also makes sense to discuss stopping. For the moments when the Elantra is operating correctly, drivers want to know that they will be able to stop, but that seems to be a struggle for this model as well.

One NHTSA reviewer stated, “I drive a lot due to commuting to and from work. Recently, I have had to brake suddenly due to a rapid change in flow of traffic. I had a near miss. I was 5 car lengths behind a vehicle in front of me when traffic came to a halt. I was traveling at 55 mph. I had stepped on the brake as far down and hard as I could. My vehicle wouldn’t stop. I had to swerve around the vehicle in front of me in order to avoid hitting them. My seat belt didn’t lock and I felt as if I wasn’t slowing down. The same thing happened to me while driving at a slower speed of 30 mph. I broke again hard and my car wouldn’t stop.”

The company didn’t have a lot to say about seat belt issues, but the NHTSA did release another safety concern for this vehicle. It appears that the Elantra has a significant safety concern that the NHTSA wants owners to know about. During the side impact test, the interior door panel struck the rear passenger dummy torso and created lower spine acceleration. It was measured at more than 82 G’s, which indicates a high likelihood of thoracic injury. This combined with the faulty brakes is a disaster waiting to happen. It appears that it isn’t the car that needs to be smart, but the occupants. With some brains, it becomes apparent this is a model that all people should run the other way from.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Hyundai Elantra Brakes Problems:

I HAVE MID 26K MILES I CHECKED MY BRAKE FLUID AND PADS THEY ARE BOTH GOOD. THE BRAKES FOR THE PAST 3 MONTHS ROUGHLY 15K MILES (I DRIVE 5K MILES A MONTH) HAVE BEEN SPONGY AND SOFT. UNLESS I HIT THE BRAKES HARD THEY BARELY WORK. SOMETIMES I HAVE. TO PUMP MY BRAKES 2 OR 3 TIMES TO HAVE THEM FEEL NORMAL. I’M GOING TO TAKE MY CAR TO THE DEALERSHIP AND LOOK OVER THE ABS SYSTEM AND BRAKING SYSTEM SINCE IT SEEMS VERY UNSAFE AND I HAVE A NEWBORN. IT SEEMS LIKE THE CAR ONLY DOES IT AT SPEEDS ABOVE 25 OR 30MPH

Problems with the Electrical System

With the electrical systems running so much equipment on modern vehicles, it’s easier than ever to face glitches. That’s the case with the 2018 Hyundai Elantra.

This NHTSA review says, “The Low Tire Pressure Warning lights came on as I was driving down the highway and my tire pressure was displayed as 14 PSI on my back left tire. I pulled over and looked at the tire and it didn’t seem low. I plugged my portable tire air pump in and attached it to the tire, and the gauge on the pump said 36 PSI, which is what it is supposed to be at. I got back in my car and started driving, and the car said the PSI was back at 36 PSI. Sounds like this is a common problem and Hyundai needs to address it.”

Apparently, this is only one electrical system problem with the Elantra. Service Bulletin #5NP-T5B2D-02 also discusses how the Bluetooth connection doesn’t always work with iPhone devices. Considering how many people use the iPhone, it’s likely that many consumers are quite irritated with this car right now. It’s possible they aren’t referring to it as “smart,” but instead, have choice words that get uttered under their breath.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Hyundai Elantra Electrical Problems:

I BOUGHT THE CAR IN MARCH 27 2018 THE CAR WON’T NEVER CHARGE UP MY PHONE. WHEN I USE MY CHARGER TO CHARGE MY PHONE. MY DAUGHTER HAS A GENESIS AND IT DOES THE SAME THING AND HER CHARGE IN CAR BLEW OUT MY PHONE I’M SCARED THIS ELANTRA GOING TO DO THE SAME IT WILL NOT CHARGE UNLESS THE PHONE IS OFF. WHEN MY PHONE IS ON IT KEEPS MAKING FLICKERING SOUND. THE LIGHT GOES ON AND OFF ON MY LIGHTER ADAPTER AND MY PHONE WILL NOT CHARGE. SO I THINK IT’S ELECTRICAL PROBLEM. I HAVE TRY DIFFERENT PHONES BUT WHEN I TOOK IT TO THE MECHANIC TESTED HIS PHONE AND HE SAID IT WORKS FINE. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO PLEASE HELP.

Problems with the Fuel System

The fuel system in a vehicle must work properly in order to get the gas to the engine and power the car. Again, this is a process that doesn’t operate correctly.

Look at this NHTSA complaint. “When refueling the vehicle, and placing the nozzle into the gas refill port, the gas will cut off as if the tank is full. Only when the gas nozzle is inserted ¾ of the way into the gas refill port will the gas flow uninterrupted.”

To get the Elantra refilled, it’s necessary to put the pump in just the right way. How long does it take owners to figure this out on their own? It’s like a big mystery that the automaker threw out there to see if it could stump drivers. Of course, there’s no documentation that there are issues with the fuel system, but owners know the truth.

Problems with the Steering

Finally, it’s time to take a look at the steering, which is just another system that doesn’t seem to work the way it should.

The NHTSA wrote up a complaint from an owner. It states, “The contact owns a 2018 Hyundai Elantra. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle began to swerve from left to right. The vehicle was taken to [dealer] to be diagnosed. The dealer stated that the vehicle operated as intended. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 5,200.”

Once again, Hyundai doesn’t want to discuss these concerns with the manufacturer communications. Instead, the company has chosen to remain silent and let drivers swerve around the roads of America. With the defective brakes and dangerous side-impact revelation, this car is a death trap waiting to happen. With all of this knowledge, it doesn’t seem like such a “smart” vehicle anymore.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Hyundai Elantra Steering Problems:

WHEN ON THE HIGHWAY, SPEEDS OF 70MPH VEHICLE SWAYS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, HARD TO STEER, SEEMS WORSE WHEN CEMENT/PAVEMENT HAS LINES IN IT.

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