By on September 25, 2015

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai, looking down the barrel of a class-action lawsuit, has finally agreed to recall 2011 and 2012 model year Sonatas for engine issues resulting from metallic debris.

According to Automotive News, the issue affects Sonatas equipped with both naturally aspirated 2.4-liter and turbocharged 2.0-liter engines due to debris not being properly removed from crankshafts when they were manufactured.

Hyundai will also extend powertrain warranties on the engine sub-assembly for affected models.

The recall states:

Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the vehicles and replace the engine assembly, as necessary, free of charge. Additionally, Hyundai Motor America will increase the warranty for the engine sub-assembly (short block) to 10 years/120,000 miles for both original and subsequent owners of 2011 and 2012 Sonatas manufactured at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama equipped with 2.0 liter and 2.4 liter Gasoline Direct injection engines. An interim notification will be mailed by November 2, 2015. A second notification will be mailed when parts are available.

Your move, General Motors.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

28 Comments on “Hyundai (Finally) Recalls Sonatas Over Engine Debris Issues...”

  • avatar

    Does Hyundai actually manufacture the crank, or is that farmed out? I’d be interested to know who the supplier is.

    • 0 avatar

      Hyundai could have put a magnet on the drain plug to attract ferric particles. But if the particles were non-ferric, they would not collect on the drain plug.

    • 0 avatar

      If you click on engine. They mention that the block, head, and crank come from suppliers. In the video they show the plant doing the machining work on the crankshaft on site.

      That supplier might be another Hyundai facility or maybe some partially owned supplier like Honda is with Keihin.

      • 0 avatar

        The block, head, and crank raw material probably comes from a supplier. No OEM wants to deal with casting/forging those parts anymore. It is dirty and orders of magnitude more dangerous than machining and assembly. I’d imagine that Hyundai is probably getting the cast parts from a local supplier and doing the machining at their powertrain facility.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Does this also apply to Hyundai Canada?

  • avatar

    This explains why I have seen late model Sonatas at the auction that sound like there is no oil in the engine.

    • 0 avatar

      Gasoline direct injection engines can sound like diesels. They can also emit black soot-like particulate emissions and (VW looking at you) carbon engine deposits that require walnut shell blasting to remove.

      • 0 avatar

        I still don’t understand really what DI and GDI and common rail DI mean. Why do we need these things if they’ve clearly got carbon issues?

        Does anybody make a DI that doesn’t have problems?

        • 0 avatar

          Corey it’s all referring to the same thing. It’s a super-highly pressurized fuel rail (fed by a super high pressure fuel pump) that feeds injectors that inject highly atomized fuel directly into the combustion chamber, rather than the old method of relatively low-pressure fuel pressure fed to injectors mounted on the intake manifold, injecting into the intake ports upstream of the intake valves.

          Personally, I’m of the opinion that the old method is “good enough” in the sense that the so-far fairly incremental increases in power and fuel economy do not justify the increased complexity, fragility, and long term reliability of these systems. My port injected Civic gets 38mpg, my port injected 20 year old 4Runner gets 20mpg out of its V6, that works just fine for me. As an added bonus in less developed locales, port injected engines tend to deal with lower-quality fuel a lot easier. Most recently when I was researching Monteros, I happened upon some Russian used car reviews where the more powerful GDI variants of the same 3.5L V6 are universally detested for their finicky and expensive to fix nature.

        • 0 avatar

          Toyota seemed to have found a carbon build up fix with their D4-S engines. That uses 2 injectors per cylinder: 1 port, 1 direct. The only Toyota engine that seems to have buildup is the 2.5L V6 from the IS250… and it doesn’t have the 2nd set of port injectors. It is DI only. VW has moved to 2 injectors per cylinder as well.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah the build up issue is solved with secondary port injectors, but at that point you still have the potential for fuel quality issues that come with high pressure pumps and injectors, and at this point you’ve doubled the number of injectors to worry about. I trust that at least Toyota’s solution will be a well executed and reliable one, but I’d frankly prefer to just stick with the older, perfectly adequate method.

            That’s partly what’s motivating me so much to look at new 4Runners, this might be the last generation of a torquey and simply 4.0L V6, the Tacoma’s gutless new 3.5L may be on the horizon.

        • 0 avatar

          “Why do we need these things if they’ve clearly got carbon issues?”


      • 0 avatar

        I am not talking about the valve tick noise, I am talking about loud noises like a rod.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I wonder if doing a quick oil change soon after purchase would help in this matter.

    • 0 avatar

      Doubt it. The debris is in the crankshaft oil holes. The oil path is from the block to the crank bearings through the crank holes to the rod bearings. Debris will be pushed from the crank oil holes to the rod bearings before it is pushed to the sump. There isn’t clearance between the rod bearings and the crank journals to allow the contamination to escape, anyway. If you are unfortunate enough to have this issue, the only fix is disassembly and cleaning the contamination out.

      • 0 avatar

        Quentin, about how many hours would it take to disassemble and clean out? I am a disabled 76-year-old lady who used a reverse mortgage on my little house in order to get a reliable car. Have put on around 7k miles since I got it around a year ago; right now it has around 36k miles on it; we’re not aware of any noises yet; just got the warning letter today- I am so worried!!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My son has a 2011 Sonata with the 2.4, so I’m very interested.

    These engines (2.4, 2.0T) are used widely – Sonata, Optima, Tucson, Sportage, Sorento, Genesis Coupe.

    1. I wonder if the recall will only cover Sonata because of the source of the engines.
    2. What does “inspection” look like? Do they merely check the engine block number, or do they test oil pressure, or do they pull the oil pan and bearing caps to visually check for damage?

    No matter what, this will be very costly for Hyundai. They sold a pile of these cars in 2011 and 2012.

  • avatar

    Interesting, I’ve never encountered nor have I heard of any widely spread problems with these. Maybe I may have come across a TSB involving the wastegate actuator arm, but that’s about it. I thought the theta or global engine (or whatever they call it) was rock solid.

  • avatar

    Hyundai has the worst customer support of any brand. They let the customer pay for everything, even if the car is under warranty.

    • 0 avatar

      Could this be that there’s a huge misunderstanding that the warranty is NOT 10 years 100,000 miles bumper to bumper? Probably. I’ve known a few people that claim they bought a new Hyundai with a 10 year bumper to bumper warranty AT NOT COST to them. Either the dealer was shady in their explanation or people honestly can’t read.

      Our 2012 Soul has had 2 claims so far.

      1. Backup camera became cloudy at 44K. The dealer replaced under warranty–no charge.

      2. Drivers seat felt loose at 50K. Dealer replaced the seat under warranty at no cost.

      Any other manufacturer would have charged for a new camera and seat at this mileage.

      Could it be that the dealer is “being good” to us? Probably not—we didn’t buy any cars from them, but we do have them serviced there. They’re rated fairly well but they’ve messed up once or twice—one being on a recall where the tech damaged the B pillar trim on the driver and passenger side, and the other where they scratched a wheel when doing a rotation and balance.

      I will say that I’ve never before had a manufacturer that will send you an email asking for feedback on the car. Squeaks, rattles, other issues—report them on that survey. Every single time I get service done I get a corporate survey asking on how was my experience. Any red flags get sent to the service manager to make it right with the customer—-I know first hand as I complained and the dealer made things right.

      I don’t disagree there are some pretty lousy dealers out there as I’ve owned Hondas, Toyotas, Fords, Chryslers, Hyundai and KIA… find one that works the best. I buy from who can give the best deal and have them serviced elsewhere.

  • avatar

    If this were a General Motors issue, GM would deny, deny, deny…delay, delay, delay.

    That’s the GM Way.

    These owners of affected Hyundai vehicles are fortunate that they chose Hyundai rather than General Motors.

    As Jack Baruth so efficiently and correctly stated in his review of the new, 2015 Sonata:

    ” It doesn’t need to be said, but in this respect the Malibu isn’t even a competitor — which is perhaps why the press materials accidentally showed the previous-gen Malibu. HYUNDAI’S LONG PAST HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT FIGHTING GENERAL MOTORS.”

    • 0 avatar

      My wife and I traded her 2011 Sonata (bought new) last December on a 2015 Oddy. The Sonata was bought new, dealer serviced, and about a 70/30 mix of highway/city miles. We traded it after the aftermarket warranty (which I thought a waste of money when she bought in the F&I department during the initial purchase) replaced the entire short block. The reason for the replacement? It stalled on the way to the grocery store in November. It would not crank when requested to restart. Towed to dealer. According to the dealer receipts, the Hyundai rep said it was due to a “low oil condition” which I contest to be untrue. The car was dealer serviced for most of its life with us, with receipts and CARFAX to support.

      DW, big fan! I think most folks get your message. Mission accomplished. Fo shizzle my DWizzle!


      Most likely, somewhere, there is an up-and-coming lil’ DW waiting to catch a break and be discovered for his/her/xe mad hate of Hyundai. Don’t CB them with your anti-GM riffs here.
      Less likely, maybe there are some folks that are about to drop some scratch on a H/K and might like to know about, well, this pesky engine failing thingee.

      Curiously, the new short block did ~not~ show on the CARFAX at trade in. It still hasn’t.

  • avatar

    First, for people like me, who do not put a lot of miles on a car per year, the change of warranty to 120,000 (an additional 20,000) because of the potential engine problem, but with no additional years on the warranty, isn’t much compensation, especially if I decide to sell the car. The 2011 model will soon be five years old.

    Second, although I received a notice about the potential problem, Hyundai said they had not come up with a solution, and I never received notice that I should take the car in to be inspected. My car has been in for maintenance in recent months and not a word from the dealer about this inspection. So, back to the shop I go—or perhaps I’ll wait until I can have the protective sleeves installed on the coil springs at the same time.

    That said, so far Hyundai has been pretty good about recalls, at least, compared to VW. All of my Jettas had head gaskets replaced with fewer than 10,000 miles on their engines. I don’t remember receiving a recall notice. Lucikly, the repairs were covered by warrant. With my Wolfsburg, I had to replace the pricey BSI alloy wheels because of a flaking problem that made it impossible to create proper seals with my tires (thus, air leakage and repeated flat tires). VW repeatedly denied that there was a problem, adding that if there were, it was up to BSI to fix it. Unfortunately, owners did not file a class action. We should have.

    Then again, if I had experienced one of the problems related to the recalls, my impression might differ.

  • avatar

    What they are doing now when they test them if it fails then they add an extra 1/2 quart of oil and put in a new dipstick with a higher full line for the extra oil

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Jeff S: I have a hybrid Maverick and I am glad I got it.
  • dal20402: I rented a Durango R/T recently. It was nice enough (though the wife took one look at the black/red...
  • dal20402: Around here, we don’t have deserts to fly across. Off-roading is slow, bumpy, and often technical....
  • tylanner: The last gasp cash grab of the oil industry…
  • Jeff S: Wasn’t too long ago that you could get whitewalls on new vehicles and some tire makers like Hankook...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber