Why Are Hyundai So Bad? Let’s Find Out

When it comes to choosing a car, opinions can be as diverse as the models available on the market. One question that often surfaces in discussions is, Why is Hyundai so bad? It’s a statement that has lingered in the automotive world, creating a cloud of skepticism around this South Korean automaker.

But is this reputation deserved, or is it simply a product of outdated perceptions?

In this article, we’ll explore deep into the reasons behind the misconceptions and uncover the truth about Hyundai vehicles.

The Reason Why Are Hyundai So Bad?

Hyundai, a prominent player in the automotive industry, has long been the subject of debates regarding its reliability and overall quality.

While outdated perceptions may still linger, Hyundai has evolved into a reliable and innovative automaker, offering vehicles that provide excellent value for money.

With a commitment to quality, cutting-edge technology, and an exceptional warranty, Hyundai is a brand that deserves a second look.

Why Are Hyundai So Bad

Many wonder, “Why are Hyundai cars so bad?” The answer, in reality, is that they aren’t.

1. Engine Woes: The Achilles Heel?

One of the primary factors contributing to Hyundai’s reputation is engine troubles. Engine knock, a prevalent issue in many models, has been a persistent complaint among Hyundai owners.

Furthermore, the problem of engine slaps or piston slaps has plagued numerous vehicles, leading to substantial repair costs.

The infamous jumping timing chain issue has also tarnished the brand’s image.

In 2022, Hyundai, in conjunction with Kia Motors’ U.S. units, faced a staggering $210 million civil penalty for failing to promptly recall 1.6 million vehicles due to engine-related concerns.

This incident only intensified the belief that Hyundai vehicles were prone to engine troubles.

Simultaneously, a recall of over 7 million vehicles for fire risk raised further questions about the brand’s manufacturing standards.

Read Also: Most Reliable Hyundai

2. Reliability & Safety: A Critical Factor

Why Are Hyundai So Bad

Reliability and safety are paramount considerations for car buyers. Hyundai’s perceived lack of reliability, particularly in models predating 2008, has led to a noticeable impact on its market share.

Since 2010, over 3,100 Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been involved in fires, causing injuries and, tragically, a loss of life.

These incidents have drawn scrutiny from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

3. Interior Quality: The Fine Line Between Flash and Durability

The interior quality of Hyundai vehicles has been a subject of criticism. Components are often cited as more prone to cracking, fading, or tearing compared to competitors.

While post-2008 models exhibit improvements, they still fall short of rivals in terms of interior durability and aesthetic longevity.

Read Also: Most Expensive Hyundai

4. The Waiting Game for Spare Parts

Prompt availability of spare parts is crucial for vehicle maintenance. Unfortunately, Hyundai has had a history of delays in providing replacement parts.

Instances of customers waiting for months after full payment underscore the frustration that comes with Hyundai’s spare parts supply chain.

5. Steering Wheel Woes: A Common Anomaly

A common problem in Hyundai vehicles is the steering wheel going loose, attributed to a circular shredding inside the steering wheel.

This issue, though not universal, has contributed to the brand’s perceived lack of quality.

6. EPA Estimates: Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Reality

Customers have voiced discontent with Hyundai’s EPA estimates, which often differ from real-world performance.

This discrepancy in gas mileage can lead to financial miscalculations, leaving owners dissatisfied.

7. Historical Stigma: Lingering Shadows of the Past

Why Are Hyundai So Bad

Hyundai’s historical issues continue to shape public perception. Despite strides in production quality, lingering memories of past problems persist, influencing how consumers view the brand.

8. After-market Depreciation: Impact on Resale Value

Hyundai faces criticism for its after-market depreciation compared to other car brands. This aspect may dissuade potential buyers, despite the initial affordability.

9. Airbag Light Anomalies: A Safety Concern

Issues with airbag lights intermittently turning on and off have added to Hyundai’s perceived reliability issues. While efforts have been made to address this through software updates, it remains a concern for some owners.

Hyundai’s history may have contributed to its less-than-stellar reputation, but it’s important to acknowledge the brand’s efforts to address these concerns.

Recent models, particularly those produced after 2008, have shown improvements in various areas.

Do Hyundais have a lot of problems?

Yes, Hyundai vehicles are commonly reported to have engine problems, ranging from ticking or unusual noises to stalling, cutting out, or seizing.

Why does Hyundai have a bad reputation?

Historically, Hyundai vehicles have had a reputation for low build quality and reliability compared to other brands like Maruti and Toyota. Additionally, some of Hyundai’s cars have experienced issues with engine and transmission problems, further damaging the brand’s reputation for quality.

Is Hyundai bad quality?

No, Hyundai actually boasts a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 according to RepairPal, ranking 4th out of all 32 car brands. Additionally, Hyundai ownership tends to be on the less expensive side, with only $468 in annual repair costs for scheduled and unscheduled repairs.

Why buy a used Hyundai?

Buying a used Hyundai can be a smart choice for several reasons, one of which is the transferable warranty. Since 1999, Hyundai has offered a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty that can be fully transferred to a second owner, providing added peace of mind for used car buyers.


Hyundai has grappled with historical concerns surrounding engine problems, interior quality, and perceived reliability issues, it’s important to recognize the strides the company has made in recent years.

According to RepairPal, Hyundai now boasts a commendable reliability rating, and its ownership costs are relatively affordable.

Some older models may have faced challenges, but post-2008 Hyundais have demonstrated significant improvements in quality and durability.

The brand’s transferable warranty for used cars provides an added layer of assurance for potential buyers.

The question of “Why is Hyundai so bad?” doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s crucial for consumers to consider their individual priorities and needs when evaluating any car brand, including Hyundai. With careful research and consideration, a Hyundai may well be the right choice for many drivers.

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