Hyundai Sonata Brake Defect

Hyundai Santa Fe Brake Defect

Sonata Forums

Sonata Brake Defect Public Comments

Brake Defect Comments from The Web by Hyundai Sonata Owners

(name and personal information information has been removed)


Additional notes to my previous post:
So after talking to my regular mechanic, it is pretty much confirmed that it seems to be Hyundai's fault. Rear rotors were way hotter than front rotors after less than 3 miles of driving. I am in AZ so no weather related problems here. From the last brake inspection around 3 months ago, rear brakes were totally worn out while front brakes were minimally worn. That is that rear brake pads were gone from 50% to 99% in 3 months period. Total miles on the car are at 64k and total miles for rear brakes to go from 50% to 99% gone are around 4k.


I own a 2006 GL with 24k miles. The vehicle has required no repairs except that the rear pads were worn and had to be replaced at about 20k miles. The front pads are fine. A colleague with the same model also had only the rear pads replaced. Are there problems with rear pads or proportioning valves/abs/esc systems?


I'd originally posted this on Maintenence & Repair, probably better here.
Wondering if anyone else has experienced this ? I'd posted in July about the 'need' (?) to replace the rear brakes on my '07 GLS at 18,600 mi...I know . We began to hear the tell-tale metalic squeel primarily when turning the steering wheek to the right. Took it in and the mechanic and service guy indicated that the rears were worn down, mainly on the left. Being that I was hearing the noise too, which I knew to be the wear indicators and that my 19 yr old was driving the car mainly to her Summer job, I decided to have them replaced and the rotors turned. Since I'd had the car for 18 months there was little hope of having them replace under warranty. Between this and the 2 other Hyundai sites, I found a few other posts about this problem which seemed to indicate that in fact it might be a caliper or piston or rear pad issue needing an adjustment.
Today I took my '08 GLS, in service 8/15 last yr., in for the 34 point inspection, thanks HMC for the freebie coupon - and asked that they specifically check the brakes. Well...they found that the "rear brakes were sticking in slides causing glazing" they "freed the pads and machined the rotors" this time on the house
I insisted again that this wasn't normal especially for rear brakes and that there was some chatter on the internet message boards about what the problem might be.
The service guy, who seems to be a genuinely decent sort pulled up the brake job on the '07 from July, printed it out and offered to discuss the problem with the
RSM who comes in periodically to see what they "can do for me" I made sure to reiterate that I have 2 Sonatas and not just a 10 yr old Accent! He did acknowledge that the wear war on the low side of normal, I told him that he needs to look up to see the low side of normal for rear brakes.
So - has anyone experiences anything like this from either of these years ? or have another idea of what might be going on here ? On both cars the driving as about 75/25 city/hwy the 08 is garaged the 07 outside and I'm in W. PA w/4 season weather if it matters. We like both cars but this has me concerned.

My '07 GLS needed brakes at 11 months/ 21,000 miles - mostly highway driving - not a lot of stops. My Hyundai dealer says they have a chronic rust problem "in a high road salt environment" that causes the pads to stick in the corroded pad brackets. Mine were not releasing fully and were rubbing on the rotor. The dealer recommends a $130 procedure every 15,000 miles to disassemble the brakes, lube the slides and reassemble. Ridiculous if you ask me, but I've had it done twice because of noise. That costs you a penny a mile to keep your brakes functioning!
I've lived in "salty" Ohio over 30 years and never had to do this and I've driven lots of cars lots of miles. I replaced front pads and rotors on my 2000 Mazda Protege at 60,000 and 110,000 miles and rear shoes at 90,000. No lubing the slides in between, either!

I bought a Sonata GLS in November of 2007. Two weeks ago, with just 14,400 miles on the odometer, the right rear brakes began to sqeak. Of course it went away with brake application. After it got really noisey I called the dealer and was told that the brakes build up rust due to the chemicals that are put on the roads in the winter. Then the red flag went up when he said, "Call me if the rear wheels are hot." Well they certainly were as they had been dragging for quite some time. No wonder my gas mileage had been going down. I took the carin to the dealer and they took all 4 wheels off and serviced the pads. I asked if this was covered under warranty and they said "NOT." Total cost $130. I then sent a letter to Hyundai Customer Service pointing out that this was a safety issue and not normal wear and tear. Well I could have saved the effort as they won't come up with a dime. I have had at least 30 cars in my lifetime and not one of them had rear brake problems this early like this 2008 Sonata. NEWS FLASH to Hyundai; They put stuff on the roads up here in northern Ohio to melt ice and snow. If I have to go back in in another 14,400 miles and have this service done again, then this will be the first and last Hyundai I ever buy. So much for their great warranty. 

Well I just left the Hyundai dealership in Streetsboro. Funny, no mention by Sheldon the service manager of this chronic problem to me. Sheldon did however want to repair the problem for $500.00. My brakes hung-up and now my rotors are scored so much so that they can't be turned. My car has 20,000 miles on it! I'll never buy a Hyundai again, and Great Lakes Hyundai should be investigated for not informing me as the customer of the ongoing problem.

Same deal here with my 2007 Sonata in NH. Took it to a dealer because it was chirping and then I smelled a burning odor back by my left rear wheel. He said road salt was corroding the brakes. They were seeing a lot of these and have been complaining to Hyundai with no response. Cost me $400 to resurface rear rotors and replace pads (they also needed to service the front brakes). They said I need to get the rust ground off every 15,000. So I started checking online and discovered a number of similar complaints. This is a safety issue. I ended up filing a safety complaint with the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI)at theNHTA. I suggest you do the same.


Let me give you an update on my experience after the previous post. I called the Hyundai hotline that the service manager gave to inform the corporation of the problem with my brakes. Another funny thing, the guy who answered the hotline told me that he has never heard of this "unique" problem of the rear brakes sticking with so little miles on them. I think both the Streetsboro dealership and the Hyundai Corporation are complicit in their criminal ways! My lease is almost up and I'm counting the days on which I drive my last Hyundai.

i have a leased 2006 sonata with the same break problem. high pitched squeeky sound that stops when the breaks are applied, then starts again when accelerating. it sometimes stops if i pulsate the break pedal a little. the rear driver side went first at 20k miles, and both were replaced. now the rear passenger side is starting to squeal with 33k miles on the vehicle. i can't wait to turn in this lease. i don't think i should get another sonata. does anyone know if the genesis has the same problem?

I think I've got a similar issue. I live in St Paul MN and just took my car to the Hyundai dealership service dept b/c I was starting to hear a whistling sound and rear wheel grinding. After a 2 1/2 hour inspection of the brakes they wanted me to pay $650 to get the break pads and rotars replaced. My 2007 Sonata only has 23500 miles. After a $44 dollar inspection I left without any services being performed. I don't feel like one should have to do such repairs on a 2007 vehicle that only has 23500 miles. While at the Hyundai shop a lady who works in sales came by and asked me what I was having done because I'd been there so long. She told me she has a 2007 Sonata and had a similar problem and strongly recommended that I contact Hyundai Customer Service.

If I were you I would definitely let Hyundai Customer Service know you are unhappy. Let them know you've read about similar incidents in online forums. And finally, file a complaint with NHTSA, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Board. From what I understand, auto manufacturers (not just Hyundai) can sit on complaints indefinitely, but if they know the NHTSA is investigating, they get a little more serious about it.
Personally, I would like to see a recall. I am NOT happy about facing expensive brake work every 15,000 miles. One reason I bought this car was because I was assured it was low maintenance and had a good reputation. Hyundai is blowing their reputation here.

The dust built in my real rotor, then the dealer said the pad was worn out and the rotor could be resurfaced. I have to spend $400 to change all my rear brake. I contact with Hyundai, they blamed I did not maintain the car and I am in the high salt area. I am in MA.

I own a Sonata that is now on its second set of rear brake pads at 32,000 miles. Having owned cars with mixed city and highway driving now for 35 years, I don't recall having replaced brakes much ever before 60,000 miles much less the rear brakes on a front wheel drive twice in 30,000 miles, it is just shocking.
There seems to be wide spread agreement that this should not be happening but not much resource.
Today when picking up my car, they said they had fixed a recall Brake Switch Recall which they assure me had no baring on the brake pad wear. Perhaps this is true? But hard to believe.
I see the one post offering a place to file a complaint. I guess that will be my next action. That I am no longer going to get my service done with Hyundai. My trust is gone.

My 2007 Sonata has 26K miles, and I just paid the Hyundai dealer to replace the rear pads and re-surface the rotors. The service manager explained how he believed the rear brakes wore out so soon: Corrosion on the caliper guide prevented the caliper from returning to a “rest” position once the brake pedal had been released. As a result, the calipers were applied continuously, resulting in premature wear of the caliper pads.
Hyundai subsequently denied my request to cover this repair under their warranty.
I am by no means an expert when it comes to cars, but after seeing several similar stories on this discussion page, it seems to me the premature wear of rear brake pads is a SYMPTOM of the real problem: the caliper guides are susceptible to rust. If that is indeed the case, we are talking about a VEHICLE DESIGN FLAW affecting a rather important component.
I urge those of you with similar experiences to a) Write a letter to Hyundai Motors of America; and b) file a complaint with NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigations. If anyone has another suggestion for follow-up, please share it with this forum.

Since when are caliper guides a wear item?
Those of you saying get over it's car and other stupid remarks sound like Hyundai reps or dealers.
My '95 Honda 198K miles and 2000 Excursion 137L miles have never had a caliper guide wear out (I am the original owner of both.)
I live in upstate New York where we get over 250" of snow per year.
Our 2008 Sonata with 13K miles is now squeaking because the pads are hanging on it's caliper guides.
If the brake pedal was hanging up causing the pads not to retrack, it would be a warranty repair.
I'm complaining to dealer ownership then to Hyundai if I need to.

Same problem with my 2008 Sonata. Dealer said it was normal at 20,000 to need new rear brakes.Before I looked at this thread, noone I talked to had ever heard of such nonsense. I do at least half my miles on the highway. Rediculous.
I had my normal mechanic take a look and he showed me that one of the pads was totally gone while the other pad had normal wear. The Hyundai dealership is just giving me the runnaround.

Guys I just spoke with Hyundai corporate due to the fact that my 2.5 year old Sonata with 27k miles on has the grinding noise from the rear due to gone break pads. And I wasn't surprised when they told me they never heard other complaints about this problem. So my pledge to you is : if you havent called Hyundai in California please do so at Phone : (800) 633-5151
                                         Fax : (801) 736-3561.
And if they Ask you what do you want tell them that you want to make a complaint. And after that file a safety complaint with the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI)at theNHTA at The more noise we make the better chanse we have for a fix by Hyundai so we don't have to change brake pads and rotors every 2-3 years.

I will not hire experts.
I found out my brake had defect after I bought the sonata 2 days and the dealer had to do several cut to resurface the rotor. This was the first time they tired to fix my car.
I asked the mechanic guy to check my brake on 30,000 miles, and he told me the rear pad had 70% left. At 32,000 miles, I heard the grinding noise from the back and sent the car to the dealer. The dealer told me the rear pads were gone and the rotor could not be resurfaced. So the whole real brakes were changed.
I contacted with Hyundai, they refused to do anything, So I try to seek the help from BBB, Hyundai still refuse to do anyting, BBB arranged the abitrator for me.
From the begining, Hyundai custom

Dealer called back and said the pads were gone and backing plate was rubbing on the rotor. Caused by stuck caliper. Said I was "lucky" because it did not gouge the rotors so they could resurface them and replace pads for "only" $150. Right, I feel lucky. Service Mgr said this was a maintenance item on Sonatas. I asked her to show me where it was indicated in the owners manual that this was a maintenance item, of course it isn't. She said I should have them do "brake maintenance" (for $50) approx every 20,000 miles to remove corrosion and brake dust and lube the pad slides. This is poor design andnothing but. Isn't the NHTSA interested in brakes prone to fail such as these on Sonatas? Sounds like a recall is in order here....

Tell you what targettuning, if you are really in the Army all I can say is God bless you and I hope you remain safe and thanks for what you do. As far as the brake issue, I realize all brakes are fundamentally the same, however there is something about the Sonata rear brakes that causes them to fail at a rate much higher than other vehicles in the Salt Belt. I've had enough cars in my life with rear discs and NEVER had them wear out or fail. I talked to a woman at Hyundai Consumer Relations who told me they couldn't do anything because the brakes are a wear item. I asked to speak to a Supervisor, waited on hold for 15 minutes, then she said Supv would call me back later. Still waiting. I did submit a problem report on the NHTSA site. I think a rear brake lockup is worthy of that. Hopefully everyone else with the problem will do the same because Hyundai is ignoring us.

Add me to the list of 08 Sonata owners with shot rear brakes at 19,000 miles. I should begin by stating the assistant service manager told me it would me cost $115 just to have them LOOK at the car, although he admitted he heard the grinding when we first drove into the service bay. The brake job cost $295 and that was only because the rotors were still okay. The front brakes still have 80% left. Later in the day the service manager gave me a lengthy speech about how the "slide pins" on the brakes need to be cleaned and lubed every 7500-15,000 miles and that if we had had the "15,000 mile routine maintenance" performed on time "this would never have happened". I asked him if this "slide pin" maintenance need was unique to Hyundai because in nearly 40 years of owning cars I have never heard of this. In fact we own a Toyota with 100,000 miles on it and it has only needed the brakes redone once...and like all our other cars, it has never needed any type of "brake maintenance". Obviously these service managers think we are all idiots.

I have an 07 Sonata, bought new from the dealer 2.5 years ago. I've always taken it to Hyundai dealers only and on time for routine maintenance. The rear brake pads were replaced in July 08. In February 09, my car had the 30K mile service done (it was actually done at 32K miles because they said with my oil change timing I could wait until then), at which time the front brakes were measured at 60% remaining and rear had 90% remaining. Fast forward to September/October and less than 7K miles later (mostly highway driving by the way, involving much less braking than city driving), and the car was making an awful noise so I took it into the dealership ASAP where I live now in MA and get this --- the front was measuring at 25-30% remaining and the rear was as follows -- ZERO% remaining on one rear side and the other side had 70% pad remaining but that is because it was IMMOBILE in the caliper... in other words, it was not functioning causing the other rear side to wear down to metal-on-metal and wearing the front pads down too. That is frightening that I basically did not have any properly functioning rear brakes for a significant period of time unbeknownst to me!!! Thank god nothing bad happened and the only thing was damage to the car. The rear brakes and rotors were, needless to say, totally destroyed and had to be replaced. This is the part you should be warned about and the reason that I am posting this message--
The dealership that I bought the car from in Pittsburgh said that Hyundai corporation is fully aware that there are two major problems with its brake systems (especially including the Sonatas) 1) like in my case, where the brakes become immobile in the caliper and do not work or 2) the pads stick to the rotors and don't release and wear down to nothing that way. The dealer said that Hyundai refuses to issue a recall or even a TSB bulletin on the issue, instead they have some crappy "goodwill unofficial warranty" that if this happens to your car in the first 2 years or 24K miles they will fix the problem for free. Can you say hush money for not reporting the problem? My car is only 2.5 years old, and the Pittsburgh dealership was upset for me about this, so they contacted their Hyundai rep who is trying to contact the rep here in MA to take care of the issue for me. It cost me $500, hopefully I will get reimbursed. I reported this problem online to the NHTSA, and if this problem has happened to you also you should report it because the more reports they get, the more likely they are to do something about it! It is just plain frightening to me that the dealers admit that Hyundai corporation knows about these brake problems, that they happen often, and they aren't doing anything about it. Regardless of a recall etc., they should at least have the decency and sense of responsibility to tell us car owners that this problem is out there so that we can be proactive and get out brakes looked at every so often to catch things while the pads can still be replaced and avoid having to pay for all new pads and new rotors. The dealership here in MA thinks that the reason they aren't doing a recall or TSB is because this might be a regional thing linked to areas that get a lot of snow (calcium chloride on the road). Regardless, Hyundai should be telling us consumers who live in these areas to be vigilant about our brake systems!! The dealership here implemented a service that they now offer to check your brakes and calipers every X-thousand of miles. Hyundai should be telling all the dealerships to do this at the very least. BE WARNED AND VIGILANT ABOUT CHECKING YOUR BRAKES!

I think you should read more carefully the post. The problem is not that much how fast they wore out (it is but not the big one) but the fact that one of the rear pads is gone down to metal while the other one is at least 50%. That is not normally functioning break system. And yes the same thing happened to me with brand new 07 Sonata at 2.5 years and 26k miles on it. So it happens and quite often on top of that. The 2 dealerships I went to said that this is a common problem for the Sonata and one more model. So es they know about it and I filed a complaint with the NHTSA

Please read the brake comments from everybody then think objectively. There is a chronic problem with Hyundai brakes (check out the Santa Fe brake comments, too) that Hyundai Motors is ignoring. My Service Manager acknowledges it. Hyundai dealers recommend regular disassembly and lubrication of pad slides at a cost of about 1¢ per mile (my dealer charges $130 every 15,000 miles), so they acknowledge it, too.
I was in for an oil change last week and the guy who sold me my car asked how I liked it. I told him other than the brake issue I like it. He asked if I'd buy another one and I said "I'm not sure (read: I don't think so)". He called me an honest man. I recommended that he go to and read the thread on Sonata brakes to see what he may have to defend against.
Other manufacturers don't have this problem. Hyundai and Kia do. They have made great progress with nice cars and this one problem could be easily solved and would avoid a disastrous change in customer quality perception.

I just had my 2007 Sonata rear drivers side brake pads wear out completely at only 20,054 miles in the Chicago area. Unbelievable! The passenger side rear pads are perfect and have lots of pad left on them (as they should), but the drivers side is down to the metal. I called my local dealer (Gregory Hyundai in northern Illinois) and they said it was not a warrantied repair. They also said that it is a common condition in salty (read northern) climates. They want to charge me $295 to do the rear brakes, and will not just do the one side. Plus, they recommend that customers spend an additional $300 for a 15,000 service that in part lubricates the brake pins so the calipers do not seize and cause the pads to wear out in salty climates. They also want to charge $500 for a 30,000 mile service that includes the same procedure. This is bullpoop! I am 50+ years old and have owned Mercedes, Lexus, Ferrari, Toyota, Chevrolet, etc. and actually bought into the Hyundai story. But the maintenance issues (I have had ongoing seat problems for months, as well) and costs have doomed Hyundai's reputation for me. The brake pads should not wear out at 20,000 on only one wheel.
There is no requirement in the owner's manual that specifies anything other than inspecting the brake pads at 15,000 which was done. They actually looked good on both sides at 15,000 miles when I inspected them myself. This should be a warrantied repair.

Update! I took the drivers side rear brake apart last night. The outside brake pad was worn down to metal, but the inside pad still had some meat on it. The pins were perfect and well lubricated! I pushed the piston back in, cleaned everything, put some anti-squeek on the back of each new pad, and we are operational again. I do not understand why the outside pad would be down to metal, with the inside pad being OK and the other rear side being fine. Perhaps the caliper is defective. Bad design, though.

feeling screwed also. own an 07 sonata. heard the same high pitched whining for first 11,00 miles after purchase (christmas present 06). took car to dealer 6 times and every time dealer said he did not hear whine. finally dealer found rust build up on pads and longer worn almost to metal! replaced pads and resurfaced rotors. At 17,000 miles same thing. At 33,000 miles battery was pronounced dead for unknown reasons and had to be replaced. Am now at 46,000 miles and dealer said rear brakes need to be replaced again! I have read many other postings about the same rear brake problem with the 07 sonata. Am contemplating selling car. tired of song and dance from dealer.

A couple of days ago, my Sonata (25K miles) started making an incredible loud grinding noise just driving down the road and then even louder if I applied the brakes. I literally sounded like the exhaust system had dropped out and I was dragging it under the car. Took to local Hyundai dealer where I bought the car and they say the rear brakes are completely gone -- need new calipers, pads, the whole shooting match to the tune of $600 bucks.
I simply can't believe this. I've never owned a car in my life that need major brake work before about 40,000 miles...what the heck is going on? Is this truly a design flaw? Is there any way I can get them to admit there's an issue with brakes wearing smack out at 25K miles and get them to do this under warranty?

Just took my 2010 Sonata in for a 24,000 km check and was told I need new rear brake pads! Couldn't believe it. I have driven cars for 50 + years in Ontario, Canada and have never had to replace brake pads, rotors or the like until at least 60,000 km and frequently beyond 80,000 km. They said it was dirt that wore it down from winter driving - all on pavement. Obviously this is a design flaw in the vehicle or the pads itself. Hyundai seems to think I should pay $200 for a complete brake cleaning every year - ridiculous. Never had to do it on Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, VW or Volvo and brakes lasted long on all those cars. 

At the very least, Hyundai should issue TSB's to all dealers, and offer a discounted service every 25000 miles to clean the pad clips. This service would take about 10 minutes, and would cost the dealers very little. I believe the problem is due to positioning of the pad clips, which accumulate dirt and crap. This however is a DESIGN fault. This should NOT occur at 25000 miles. If the front pads are lasting 70000 miles, the rear pads should not wear out at 25000 miles.

I just posted a complaint with the highway safety administration about the rear brakes on the Sonatas wearing out prematurely while the front brakes seem to be just fine. I am waiting for their reply, everyone with this problem should contact them to register their complaint. I also had great difficulty removing the rear rotors, which seemed to be stuck to the car. I actually never did get them off, so I left them on. They were not in bad shape, so I replaced the pads and left the rotors. Everything is working just fine for now. My pads wore out at 30000, actually a little better than some of the posts about this have described. This is a DESIGN flaw that Hyundai is eventually going to have to address. Right now they are in denial mode. Also the 08 and 09 Honda Accords are having an even worse problem with wearing of the rear brake pads.

At 30000 miles the rear pads had 0/32 left on the pads. The front pads had 9/32 left. If both front and rear pads are doing equal work, they should wear at the same
rate. The rear pads are wearing faster because the pads are hanging up in the gunk that accumulates in the pad clips. They need to be cleaned every year. But this is a DESIGN flaw in the car. It is a safety issue and needs to be addressed by Hyndai.

Somebody needs to contact Ralph. He's a man of the people. This is just crazy that we're spinning our proverbial wheels out here on Edmunds. How many complaints have to be posted out here before someone realizes there is a big problem? And again, do we need to wait until someone is actually killed to make sure the manufacturers do the right thing? Toyota just finally did a huge recall. It's time for a call to arms against this junk.

The size and number of Hyundai Sonatas involved is unknown at this time. Hyundai is not going to do anything about this unless an AG from one of the states begins to file suit. Everyone involved needs to contact the AG in the state they live and the NHSTA to complain. Once the numbers start to add up, they will respond.
Otherwise you will be replacing your rear brakes every 25000 miles at your own expense. Now if you can do the work yourself it is not too bad, you can buy lifetime pads at Autozone or Advanced Auto and just replace them every two years or so. But this is a design error and a potentially fatal flaw in the braking system design and operation.

I've driven other many cars well over 100,000 miles with no similar problems. I don't know if you've followed the whole thread from the beginning, but it first happened to me when the Sonata was eleven months old after 21,000 miles of highway driving. The rear brakes were dragging. In a fwd car the front bears most of the burden but my front pads still have 50%+ after 67,000 miles - lots of highway driving. These posts show consistent recurrence of similar problems - all northern climates - so it's apparent that it is not a normal phenomenon. My last car, a Mazda Protege, was driven the same way in the same climate. My first pads were in the front at 60,000. The rears were drums and for what it's worth they were first replaced at 90,000. My Sonata's front brakes have outlasted the Mazda but it's the back brakes that have the defect.

I own two 2006 Sonatas up here in northern Minnesota. Each time it snows, the brakes stick after it is driven and then parked. The snow does not even need to accumulate. Afterwards, I have difficulty getting the car to move - even on dry pavement - once it has been parked. I have to rev the engine a little, and then "BOOM" from the brakes(or wheels) and then the car moves fine. There was one exception though: After a blizzard, the brakes barely worked even when the Sonata was operating (driving down the road) Scary! Since both Sonatas behave exactly the same, there definitely is a defect, and it is definitely unsafe. I have been thinking about writing the Attorney General's office in our state; hopefully they will know what to do with information about "unsafe" cars, etc.

To visit the Edmonds Forum website dealing with this link:


Copyright © 2013 by All Rights Reserved.
This website is sponsored by Kantrowitz Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.