Hyundai to Fix Sonata Steering Issue

2011 Hyundai Sonata Turbo

The fifth-generation Hyundai Sonata has won wide praise among the public and critics, but that doesn’t mean the model has been without any problems.

There have been a few recalls (here and here), but persistent complaints that certain Sonatas tend to drift to the left at highway speeds have not been addressed. 

Hyundai now says it has a steering fix for beleaguered owners, according to USA Today. Hyundai said it will inspect the suspension system on the models in question and make adjustments when needed. If the problem lingers after the adjustments, the automaker will replace the struts and reprogram the power-steering system, though the company stresses that it doesn’t believe it will need to make that drastic intervention on many models.

Owners of affected models will be notified over the next few weeks, Hyundai said. The service campaign covers Sonatas with 18-inch wheels built from September 2010 through May 2011, USA Today says. It’s important to note that this isn’t considered to be a recall; the drifting can be addressed with an easy one-handed steering correction while driving, according to Consumer Reports.

Owner complaints about the Sonata’s steering problems have been bubbling up since late last year. Consumer Reports has documented the problem well — the publication experienced the problem with its own Sonata Turbo tester and had to send its vehicle to a dealership multiple times to fix the issue.

Hyundai Announces Campaign to Fix Sonata Steering (USA Today)

Comments 

Tony

At least steering wheel doesn't come off.

Al

Now it's time to figure out what is going on with many Optima's and we're golden.

Jordan

I like Hyundai, I'm impressed with their new products, but I'm sticking with tried and true Honda and Toyota. I can't imagine dropping $25k on a new car and this happens. Youtube has many video's of owners who after the 'fix' still have the problem. Worst of all some of the dealers were denying there is a problem.

nake ryan

The REAL question is...will Cars.com issue s statement that they still "recommend" the Sonata...just to rise on CRs coattails again?

Dander

Hyundai is not perfect, and is dealing with problems that companies like Nissan and Honda worked out long ago. They still have to establish more of a track record before I'll put down my money on one.

Mike

I agree 100%. At times I'm tempted to buy a new Sonata as I'm in the market but I'll hold off. I'm now curious to test drive the new Camry V6.
What bothers me is my neighbor has a beautiful Sonata Limited and it has the steering wheel pull problem. Eight trips to the dealer and he still has the problem. I frankly don't have that type of patience.

Dander

MIke,
Have you driven the Altima? It's a bit bland in the styling department but is a great driving and riding car, IMO. I agree that the new Camry is definitely worth a look too.

michael

mike,
i have an accord and my cousin has the altima, i also had a camry. Driving wise my favorite is my v6 accord, it is so fun to drive! deffently worth the look

Tony

Both, Accord and Altima have same issue - packaging. With both you pretty much doomed into more expensive models if you want to have certain useful features, which really should be available to the entire lineup. Or mirrors only get broken on top models, ah, Nissan? (in reference to folding mirrors on Altima). Or somebody on budget doesn't need split-folding rear seat or disk brakes, ah, Honda?

highdesertcat

I have rented several 2011 Sonata sedans this year and have driven many miles on the Interstates with them. None had the steering drift problem, and I drove them at 85mph on I-15, I-10, I-8 and other high speed roads. No complaints from me. BTW, low tire pressure in one tire can cause pulling or drift to one side. I am impressed with both versions of the 2011 Sonata. I would prefer the Sonata over the Accord, the Camry and the Altima. Sonata gives you a lot more for your money.

Tony

No sedan is perfect. I'd imagine one problem doesn't necessarily the car as a whole is a problem. But all automakers need to look into these quality control issues more thoroughly.

GBZ

"No sedan is perfect" to me means being forced into buying a package of heated seats to get the sunroof I want. Having a vehicle not drive straight is a SERIOUS issue that could very well get someone KILLED.
Kudos to Hyundai for admitting to the issue but they should have done it a lot sooner. I think Hyundai is still a few years away from being a company that I can trust.

WTF

Hyundai shouldn't have done this. They are now admitting to a problem but they don't even know what the problem is or if there even is a problem. This will be a placebo fix for sure.

Miller

I rented an '11 sonata back when they first debuted for a 1,300 mile trip. I really considered buying one at first. However, mile by mile I noticed that I didn't like how the car seemed to drift at highway speeds. I didn't have to drastically correct it all of the time, but it was often enough to annoy me. I'm glad that I rented one before buying. I'm not sure I would have noticed that on a test-drive!

LC

Hyundais don't steer, Toyotas don't stop. Got it.

Thomas M.

From what I see Toyota (Camry's) stop fine unless they're driven by challenged individuals such as yourself.

highdesertcat

At a couple of new car dealerships owned by my relatives it was found that faulty front wheel alignment and uneven tire pressure could have been an issue with steering. By adjusting toe-in, camber and caster it corrected drift in those cars. It was found that when the driverside front wheel was pointing straight ahead, the passenger front wheel was pointing out +1 degree off center. Correcting that to -0.5 degree for both front wheels (both pointing inward), the car ran true. Adjusting camber and caster to where the front wheels were 0.25 degree wider stance at the bottom also gave a more stable ride. The front wheels will still tend to pull inward during acceleration but at cruising speed they won't be trying to point outward. You need a Bear alignment machine to make these adjustment or risk increased tread wear.

Barry D.

Tell that to my brother-in-law who's four month old Sonata has had the so-called "correction". The dealer replaced the left front strut with the "corrected" one, replaced all the wheels and tires, and now several front suspension pieces. The car still pulls to the left. He finally did what I told him to do and that was to get a Lemon Law Attorney. It's simply shameful that someone pays $28,000 for a car and it does not even track straight.
Ironically after hiring an attorney the dealer is "interested" in buying the car back. My brother-in-law said he's buying a Ford Fusion and will never again buy another Hyundai car. I can't help but say I told him so.

Gary Radziewicz

I purchased a 2011 Sonata Turbo in June, and had it back on several occasions to correct the pulling to left. It has not been corrected.My vehicle has 17 inch wheels, therefore it is not being considered in this recall, even though there is a problem. What is frustrating is how Hyundai is making me jump through hoops with excuses and failed attempts. Ive owned several Hyundai's in the past, but until now I am very disappointed with the treatment I've been getting. So buyer beware !

Gary Radziewicz

So much so Hyundai's great warranty, if they can't or won't fix a problem.

Chris

I like these complaints because it shows one thing. How many idiots are on the road....Why would you take your hand off the wheel while you are driving. If you have your hand on the wheel it wont drift. If the road crowns the sonata will pull to which ever way it crowns. There are cars that pull and it is unsafe but most the complaints are not pulling issues they are drifting issues on crowned roads which is not a problem with the car at all!

Freddie Jacobs

my 2012 Sonata drifts or wanders at highway speed. I brought it to the dealer 3X's. The first two they checked the alignment and reprogrammed the ELECTRONIC steering, which I think is the problem. This last third time, the regional tech/engineer came down, but said it was within the 8 second specs ! NOT ! So what's my recourse ?

4$Only

Check the tire on the car. My Toyota had cheap winter tires that caused it to drift, but when we got the Micheline summers back on the problem was corrected. So maybe it is just that the Sonata comes with cheap tires from the factory.☺

mark

Had the Sonata. Loved the car but the steering issue was a big problem. Took it t o the dealer 3 times and each time they said there was nothing wrong. Then the recall came out. Took it back to the dealer and they still said there was no problem. Called Hyundai and they said there was nothing there could do about it and the dealer didnt even replace the struts as they noted. After 5 trips to the dealer I just traded the car in because I was spending more time at the shop than with the car.

Alan

I had a Genesis for 3 months. It had such an uncomfortably hard and uncontrollably bouncy ride in some circumstances, it was horrible to drive. Hyundai did nothing to address the problem so I traded it for a Maxima.

I purchased a new 2012 Hyundai Sonata. MY Sonata pulls to the right, the steering does not self-center (wanders). First fix was alignment. 2nd. fix was they installed a "camber-caster" kit because they could not get the car into factory alignment specs without adding the kit. 3rd. was the kit bolts came loose. 4th. they decided to blame it on the tires and replace 2 of them. I simply cannot believe this. Would not happen on a Camry, Accord, Malibu or similar competitors car.

lane

2013 sonata , has the steering issue also has a vibration since about 10k miles , the dealers say we cant find any thing , repeated rotate and balances numerous times .
most recent the said all is fine tires, wheels ect.
I took it to another shop at 25k miles the day after dealers said its fine the new shop shows me the extremely worn tires.. wth Hyundai dealer service= liars.. so with unsafe tires I am forced to buy new ones and still have vibration . I go back to Hyundai get an alignment still vibration , the tell me they cannot find it but is there. so at check out service mnger brings invoice and it has no mention of the admitted vibration . I made them correct invoice to admit the vibration ..
no its back in shop they put new tires and wheels for a lot car and the vibration went away so now they are saying its my new tires wth.. Name brand tires I had rebalanced before the current Hyundai visit only 1500 miles on tires .. they refuse to believe its the wheels or anything else on the vehicle.. its nice having a worthless warranty and getting nothing but lies. all I have is a new car that vibrates and wanders back and forth down the road and no dealer support . time for the lemon law card.

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