2019 Hyundai Sonata Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Speed control, headlights and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

There aren’t a lot of mid-size cars on the market these days as more people opt to drive an SUV instead. Yet, the 2019 Hyundai Sonata continues to be a popular option, even in the competitive segment. The automaker claims that this model is “smart from every angle,” which might prove why owners keep choosing this car. Yet, reports suggest that this car isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially with the faulty engine, poor exterior lighting and defective vehicle speed control.

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Engine

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata is no race car by any means, but it still needs to have a durable engine in order to provide reliability to today’s busy families. Sadly, the complaints suggest something entirely different.

One NHTSA review states, “2019 Sonata 2.0T with just over 11K miles on it began to suddenly shudder and want to stall at low RPM or at the stop. OBDII error code P0302. Dealership said cylinder 2 had little to no compression and needed repair. Could barely limp vehicle to dealership and smell the unburned fuel being ported out of the exhaust.”

This isn’t the only engine problem the Sonata faces. Service Bulletin #19-AT-019H suggests that there have also been troubles with the oil pressure harness and integrated oil temperature sensor. Maybe the car looks smart, but one glance under the engine simply reveals an engine that is falling apart at the seams.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Engine Problems:

I PURCHASED A 2019 SONATA DEMO VEHICLE WITH 5,020 MILES IN JUNE 2019. I REMOVED THE TEMPORARY TAG AND REPLACED WITH PERMANENT TAG ON JULY 16. ON JULY 20, WHILE DRIVING ON THE EXPRESSWAY AT APPROXIMATELY 65MPH, THE ENGINE OVERHEATING ALERT CAME ON AND THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE WAS ON HOT. I PULLED OVER ON THE SIDE OF THE EXPRESSWAY AND WAITED FOR HOURS (IN NEARLY 100 DEGREE SUMMER HEAT) TO HAVE A NEW VEHICLE TOWED TO THE DEALERSHIP. THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT ADVISED ME THAT THE WATER PUMP MALFUNCTIONED AND CAUSED THE BELT TO TEAR. THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT COULD NOT PROVIDE A REASON FOR WHY THE WATER PUMP/BELT MALFUNCTIONED ON A NEW VEHICLE. THE WATER PUMP AND THE BELT WERE REPLACED AFTER THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT HAD MY VEHICLE FOR A ABOUT A WEEK. THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY FURTHER ISSUES WITH THE VEHICLE. THE REPAIRS WERE COMPLETED ON 7/29/19. ON AUGUST 16, I TOOK MY VEHICLE BACK TO THE DEALERSHIP BECAUSE IT APPEARS THAT THE REPLACED/NEW BELT IS SPLITTING/TEARING. THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT ADVISED ME THAT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE BELT, HOWEVER, THERE IS CLEARLY VISIBLE EVIDENCE THAT THE NEW BELT IS SPLITTING ALSO. I HAVE ATTACHED A PHOTO OF THE VEHICLE PRIOR TO THE REPAIRS; A PHOTO OF THE NEW BELT THAT IS CURRENTLY SPLITTING; THE ORIGINAL SERVICE REPAIR DOCUMENT AND THE DOCUMENT OF THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT ADVISING ME THAT NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THE NEW BELT. FROM THE PHOTO, YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE THAT THE NEW/REPLACED BELT IS SPLITTING ALSO AND IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THE ENGINE WILL OVERHEAT AGAIN AND I WILL BE ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WAITING FOR A TOW. AGAIN, THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT DID NOT HAVE AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHAT CAUSED THE WATER PUMP/BELT TO MALFUNCTION AND NOW THEY ARE DENYING THAT THERE IS AN ISSUE WITH THE REPLACED BELT.

Exterior Lighting

While the engine is busy failing, we turn our sights to the visibility. It turns out that the 2019 Sonata has another serious issue that’s causing trouble for owners that want to drive at night.

Listen to this NHTSA review. “While driving my 2019 Hyundai Sonata after dark I suddenly viewed a rather large black mass and thinking it could be a person I jammed on the brakes. With the car now in Parked status I realized that the black mass was created by the headlights. A frightening event and if a car was in back of me a severe accident could have occurred.”

What’s interesting is that Hyundai has not posted any service bulletins regarding this problem on the Sonata. Yet, they have talked about it with other vehicles in the lineup. Other than offering a solution to this problem, the engineers express that the headlights were explicitly designed this way to increase visibility. They confirm that there is nothing wrong with them and basically tell owners to get used to it. Is it smart then to drive this car at night? That’s one angle it doesn’t look good from.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Headlights Problems:

THE LEFT HEADLIGHT HAS A LARGE BLACKOUT AREA THAT CREATES A SHADOW ON THE ROAD. WHEN DRIVING ON ANY STREET AND ESPECIALLY ON WINDING ROADS IT’S VERY DISTRACTING AND MAKES US THINK THAT THERE IS SOMETHING MOVING ACROSS THE ROAD. I AM DISTRACTED WHEN THIS HAPPENS AND SOMETIMES HIT THE BRAKES. THE RIGHT HEADLIGHT HAS A SIMILAR ISSUE BUT NOT NEARLY AS PRONOUNCED. IT’S AN ASYNCHRONOUS SITUATION WITH ONE HEADLIGHT DISTORTED LIKE THAT. IT’S DANGEROUS IN OUR OPINION. WE DON’T DRIVE AT NIGHT MUSH AND NOTICED THIS RECENTLY BUT WERE WAITING UNTIL THE FIRST OI CHANGE TO GET THIS ADDRESSED.

THE LOW BEAM HEADLIGHTS ILLUMINATE AN AREA UP TO ABOUT 1 TELEPHONE POLE IN FRONT OF THE VEHICLE (APPROXIMATELY 100 FEET). WHEN DRIVING AT NORMAL HIGHWAY SPEEDS AT NIGHT, I CANNOT SEE FAR ENOUGH AHEAD TO OPERATE THE VEHICLE SAFELY. IT IS ONLY WHEN THE AUTO HIGH BEAMS TURN ON THAT THE ROAD AHEAD IS SUFFICIENTLY ILLUMINATED. I CONTACTED THE DEALER WHO CHECKED OUT THE HEADLIGHTS AND WAS TOLD THAT EVERYTHING WAS ACCORDING TO HYUNDAI SPECIFICATIONS.

HEADLIGHTS PROJECT BRIGHT LIGHT ABOUT 20-30 FEET OUT ONLY UP TO ABOUT HOOD LEVEL THEN CUT OFF IN A STRAIGHT LINE COMPLETELY DARK ABOVE THAT AREA AND TO THE SIDE. TWO BLACK OUT SPOTS IN LINE OF VISION MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE WELL ENOUGH TO DRIVE SAFELY IN THE DARK. AFTER MUCH ONLINE RESEARCH HAVE DISCOVERED HYUNDAI CLAIMS THIS IS NOT A DEFECT AND NEEDS NO REMEDY. SO VERY SAD TO SEE TONS OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS OVER THE PAST COUPLE YEARS BUT NOT A SINGLE CONSUMER RATING RECOGNIZES THIS IN ANY REVIEW. HAS NO ONE DRIVEN THIS CAR AFTER DARK UNTIL PURCHASING – WHICH IS TOO LATE. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!

Vehicle Speed Control

Another vital system in any vehicle is the speed control. After all, if a driver isn’t able to moderate the speed, anything could occur.

This NHTSA review expresses this dangerous situation. “I have leased this car since 1/16/2019 until 4/14/2019. Start first with lower the speed and power just a little bit. Then 4/14/19, the car lower the speed by itself, start shaking up, limp, shows the engine light and the speed control light in conjunction with slippery control light. Then stay at ‘Temporary Engine Protection Mode’ losing speed and can’t drive safely. Just park the car at the safe parking lot to tow it to the nearest Hyundai dealer for inspection or repair. It can be dangerous for other drivers.”

This is a dangerous situation that Hyundai would undoubtedly want to address but guess what. There’s nothing from their camp regarding any trouble with the vehicle speed control. This owner’s problem could have been an engine malfunction, transmission fault or electrical failure. There’s no telling what happened, but it’s likely occurring for other owners. It would have been helpful to receive some guidance from the company that put this defective car together. In order to be considered a vehicle with a “smart” design, it would require that the automaker pay closer attention to the major components. After all, this Sonata can’t seem to drive at consistent speeds, illuminate the road ahead or run on all cylinders.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Speed Control Problems:

THE CAR LOWERS THE SPEED BY ITSELF,START SHAKING UP,LIMP,SHOWS THE ENGINE LIGHT AND THE SPEED CONTROL LIGHT IN CONJUNCTION WITH TRACTION CONTROL LIGHT THEN STAY AT “TEMPORARY ENGINE PROTECTION MODE” LOSING SPEED AND CANT DRIVE SAFELY. JUST PARK THE CAR AT THE SAFE PARKING LOT TO TOW AT THE NEAREST HYUNDAI DEALER FOR INSPECTION O REPAIR. IT CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR OTHERS DRIVERS. WHEN I GET THE REPORT OF THE ISSUE AND RECEIPT I WILL SUBMIT SOON AS POSSIBLE. IF ANY RECALL HAPPEN.

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