Nightmare 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Required $14,000 in Unannounced Repairs

Buying a used car can be a great way to find a more affordable option, but it can also be the source of some issues. This was the case for one owner of a 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid model, whose choice caused a nightmare for them. Here’s a look at that case where the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid needed $14,000 in surprise repairs.

A nightmare experience with the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

A silver gray 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid model parked next to a cobblestone walking path
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid | Hyundai Motor America

According to CarComplaints, in early 2020, an owner of the 2016 Sonata Hybrid was driving their car around when suddenly, they heard a knocking noise from the engine. According to CarComplaints, this was odd, as the warning light never turned on, and the owner had done routine oil changes. The owner thought this might have been an issue with the car’s belt, so they decided to take it into the dealership.

Unfortunately for the owner, it wasn’t long before the pandemic blew up, and the dealership ended up shuttering its doors for a while. Furthermore, since the Sonata was a hybrid, the dealership needed to bring in its hybrid technician. After the dealership reopened and the hybrid tech came in, the dealership said that the owner would need to replace Sonata’s hybrid engine.

This obviously wasn’t cheap, and the dealership gave the owner a quote priced at $14,000. To top it all off, according to the owner, the dealership said that the car’s warranty didn’t cover it and that, at best, the owner would have to pay half of that price.

A potential danger among used cars

The nightmare Hyundai Sonata Hybrid owner decided to call around to try and plead their case, but thus far, no progress has been made. In fact, according to Car Complaints, the regular Sonata model’s 2.0-liter engine is the subject of a recall, but since the owner’s Sonata is a hybrid, its engine isn’t covered. This isn’t the first time that an old Sonata model has experienced issues with its engine, either.

That owner’s story is not really surprising, as used cars are affordable, but they’re not necessarily great cars. Certainly, certified pre-owned cars will most likely be more reliable, but that doesn’t seem to be the type of Sonata the owner bought. Most used car buyers are essentially rolling the dice, as a used car could be on the market for many reasons, some better than others.

In the owner’s case, they’ve decided that if they can’t get their engine fixed under warranty, then they will let the bank take the car back. After all, even if the dealership covered half the price, that’s still $7,000 in out-of-pocket costs. The owner and many drivers can’t afford that type of repair.

The 2021 Hyundai Sonata is probably better

Like with all cars, Hyundai has made a lot of improvements over the years. The 2016 Sonata Hybrid is not only five years old, but it’s also in another generation. Hyundai redesigned the Sonata for the 2020 model year, and so far, it seems to be doing pretty well.

That said, time will tell if the 2021 Sonata will encounter similar issues to its predecessors. After all, that nightmare Sonata Hybrid had about 90,000 miles on its odometer by the time of its malfunction. 

As such, while the 2021 Sonata seems to be pretty good right now, owners will probably need to put a few more miles on their cars to be sure nothing goes wrong. 

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