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I previously owned 2011 Sonata, and now I am leasing a 2015 Sonata. Being a Korean myself, I have been following the news closely regarding Hyundai's Theta II GDI engines.

This is an article from a Korean newspaper, published in October of 2016.

"Foreign matter (metal shavings) in process? Hyundai's GDI engine was a problem from the beginning"


Link to the article


"http://www.autoherald.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=20174"

With Google Chrome, you can right click -> "Translate to English"

The translation is not perfect, but you can at least get a sense of what they're trying to convey.


When Hyundai had a massive recall for engine failures in 2011-2014, they initially claimed that it was due to metal shavings not being removed properly during the manufacturing process. This article suggests that the real reason for the failures is the design flaw of the GDI engine.

They have pictures to show the damage that happens to the cylinders over time. This damage will lead to knocking, excessive oil consumption, decreased power output, engine stalls and eventually engine failure. Hyundai has tried to remedy the problem by making some adjustments. However, the article suggests that the adjustments are only a band-aid fix and will only delay the inevitable problem.

In fact, there have been reports of engine knocking in some 2.0T vehicles on this forum even at a relatively low mileage.

In my opinion, when the mileage of these engines gets above 100,000-120,000 miles, the problem will become more evident.

It is very disappointing, as I was hoping to get at least 200,000 miles out of this car like Camrys and Accords. When the lease is up, I will not be buying out this car.
 

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I previously owned 2011 Sonata, and now I am leasing a 2015 Sonata. Being a Korean myself, I have been following the news closely regarding Hyundai's Theta II GDI engines.

This is an article from a Korean newspaper, published in October of 2016.

"Foreign matter (metal shavings) in process? Hyundai's GDI engine was a problem from the beginning"


Link to the article


"http://www.autoherald.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=20174"

With Google Chrome, you can right click -> "Translate to English"

The translation is not perfect, but you can at least get a sense of what they're trying to convey.


When Hyundai had a massive recall for engine failures in 2011-2014, they initially claimed that it was due to metal shavings not being removed properly during the manufacturing process. This article suggests that the real reason for the failures is the design flaw of the GDI engine.

They have pictures to show the damage that happens to the cylinders over time. This damage will lead to knocking, excessive oil consumption, decreased power output, engine stalls and eventually engine failure. Hyundai has tried to remedy the problem by making some adjustments. However, the article suggests that the adjustments are only a band-aid fix and will only delay the inevitable problem.

In fact, there have been reports of engine knocking in some 2.0T vehicles on this forum even at a relatively low mileage.

In my opinion, when the mileage of these engines gets above 100,000-120,000 miles, the problem will become more evident.

It is very disappointing, as I was hoping to get at least 200,000 miles out of this car like Camrys and Accords. When the lease is up, I will not be buying out this car.
Thank you for a very informative article. This information will send shivers down the back of all Hyundai GDI engine owners.

It is possible that all manufacturers of GDI engines may have issues with the GDI injection system as VW and others are now using multi-point in conjunction with GDI injection. (8 injectors)

The fact that Hyundai engine design is mainly to blame does not let the GDI system off the hook.
 

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This sucks. I have a 2015 2.0T GDI sonata. These engines will be on the Genesis G70 as well and I am hoping to buy that car next. I smell another class action lawsuit for Hyundai.
 

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Yes, very disappointing article.
I fully expected to get 200k miles out of the car as I have done with my previous cars.
Looks like I may be getting rid of my 2015 when it clears 100k miles.
 

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Have they fixed the design flaw? Are they still putting flawed engines in cars in 2018?

Hope you are wrong, for the dealers sake. One dealer in my are offers 20 yr / 200K power train to original owner. Another offers lifetime power train.
 

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Before assuming that this is 'the answer', one thing needs to be considered. If this is a systemic design flaw as serious as described in the article, then why aren't more of these engines failing? Yes, its true that quite a few have already failed, but certainly the percentage is not even close to 50%. One would expect that a design flaw of this magnitude should take down most of them. So that makes me believe there must be something else going on with these engines, such as oil pressure/flow rate being too low in the failed engines. But that's JMO, FWIW.
 

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Before assuming that this is 'the answer', one thing needs to be considered. If this is a systemic design flaw as serious as described in the article, then why aren't more of these engines failing? Yes, its true that quite a few have already failed, but certainly the percentage is not even close to 50%. One would expect that a design flaw of this magnitude should take down most of them. So that makes me believe there must be something else going on with these engines, such as oil pressure/flow rate being too low in the failed engines. But that's JMO, FWIW.
Mine just turned-over 145k mi...the 1st & 2nd owners put on a ton of miles! GLS "Great Little Sedan"! :wink2:
 

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Before assuming that this is 'the answer', one thing needs to be considered. If this is a systemic design flaw as serious as described in the article, then why aren't more of these engines failing? Yes, its true that quite a few have already failed, but certainly the percentage is not even close to 50%. One would expect that a design flaw of this magnitude should take down most of them. So that makes me believe there must be something else going on with these engines, such as oil pressure/flow rate being too low in the failed engines. But that's JMO, FWIW.
If one follows various design flaws with engines - and many mfgs have or have had them - you generally see some percentage of owners of the vehicles experiencing the problems, with rare exceptions far less than a majority. There are just so many variables involved - maintenance, driving habits, some variability from albeit nowadays small differences in mfg process, and so on. This is stuff like timing chain failures on gm and other engines, oil consumption on honda and subaru and so on - definately not something that all engines experience, but enough that it can be traced to some design or mfg issue and represents a common problem that occurs with some level of frequency.
So to me this circles back with so many posts seen on here gushing how much less expensive Hyundais are compared to other brands, and the appeal to the value orientated buyer - myself included. There are some readily definable reasons where European cars cost more, but with many others a lot of the cost factors are very similar, eg cost of materials, salaries paid to engineers and workers , marketing to name a few. IMO there are some areas where hyundai derives it's per vehicle cost advantage and engines that aren't designed to be as robust in construction , therefore less costly is one of them, along with suspension components that are not top of the line, there was one poster who maintained that the overall design goal of Hyundai was to hit that 100k mark without a lot of issues. As in the past I will reference a lot of industry lists where Toyotas, Hondas and Lexus are cars that last the longest and provide superior resale value.
Bottom line yes Hyundais are a solid value buy, but that sometimes come at a cost to be paid later on in the cars life.
 

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Have they fixed the design flaw? Are they still putting flawed engines in cars in 2018?

Hope you are wrong, for the dealers sake. One dealer in my are offers 20 yr / 200K power train to original owner. Another offers lifetime power train.
I view that 20/200k as a sign that car buyers are doing their homework and are increasingly aware of the potential engine issues with Hyundai/Kia.

It's a smart move to get over the engine issue concern as most buyers don't/won't keep a car 10 yrs let alone 20 yrs, but for those that do or rack up high miles it would seem to be a great deal .
 

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Does this article only include vehicles in it's country? A country that has such questionable quality fuel, oil that the manual suggest additives. Maybe this is more of a case of the engine being more sensitive to what goes in it than a major design flaw?
 

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Before assuming that this is 'the answer', one thing needs to be considered. If this is a systemic design flaw as serious as described in the article, then why aren't more of these engines failing? Yes, its true that quite a few have already failed, but certainly the percentage is not even close to 50%. One would expect that a design flaw of this magnitude should take down most of them. So that makes me believe there must be something else going on with these engines, such as oil pressure/flow rate being too low in the failed engines. But that's JMO, FWIW.
You may be on to something, with the initial price and resale price point being so low it may attract buyers that are less likely to maintain their cars properly.
Hopefully the engine failures are mostly due to the owners neglecting their oil levels and scheduled oil changes.
 

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The vast majority of people do not check the dipstick. If this car was in the 70s where people checked often, it is likely there would be less seizing since people would catch the low oil level and top up. Am curious if Hyundai maintains data around what the engine oil level was when the engines seized, and if dealers capture this as a data point when the car is towed in.
 

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If one follows various design flaws with engines - and many mfgs have or have had them - you generally see some percentage of owners of the vehicles experiencing the problems, with rare exceptions far less than a majority. There are just so many variables involved - maintenance, driving habits, some variability from albeit nowadays small differences in mfg process, and so on. This is stuff like timing chain failures on gm and other engines, oil consumption on honda and subaru and so on - definately not something that all engines experience, but enough that it can be traced to some design or mfg issue and represents a common problem that occurs with some level of frequency.
So to me this circles back with so many posts seen on here gushing how much less expensive Hyundais are compared to other brands, and the appeal to the value orientated buyer - myself included. There are some readily definable reasons where European cars cost more, but with many others a lot of the cost factors are very similar, eg cost of materials, salaries paid to engineers and workers , marketing to name a few. IMO there are some areas where hyundai derives it's per vehicle cost advantage and engines that aren't designed to be as robust in construction , therefore less costly is one of them, along with suspension components that are not top of the line, there was one poster who maintained that the overall design goal of Hyundai was to hit that 100k mark without a lot of issues. As in the past I will reference a lot of industry lists where Toyotas, Hondas and Lexus are cars that last the longest and provide superior resale value.
Bottom line yes Hyundais are a solid value buy, but that sometimes come at a cost to be paid later on in the cars life.
I view that 20/200k as a sign that car buyers are doing their homework and are increasingly aware of the potential engine issues with Hyundai/Kia.

It's a smart move to get over the engine issue concern as most buyers don't/won't keep a car 10 yrs let alone 20 yrs, but for those that do or rack up high miles it would seem to be a great deal .
Very well put.

I don't know what the average amount of miles most people keep cars and I could see if you racked up the miles driving but I would think that the average US car buyer is not keeping a car 20 yrs/200K. Maybe if you had a family and have a hand me down car. 10 yr/120K is about my limit.
 

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With the amount of moving parts in an engine, who knows where each one of these came from and/or which exact manufacturing facility created them. For example, there are many small machining shops or de-burring shops that do the final processing for various items such as fan blades, screws, blocks, pistons, crankshafts... etc. Some of these things (especially in aeronautic industry) require constant calibration and superb quality monitoring that, as mentioned above, is probably not within Hyundai's target price point.

We know the engines are seizing. Hyundai has claimed it's due to manufacturing processes restricting oil flow but they're not saying (whether they don't know or know and won't tell) exactly which component is creating the failure. There have been posts by someone who has torn the engines down and cylinder 3 bearing seems to have excessive wear and fails. So it could be poor oil flow to that specific spot in the engine during whatever operating scenario or if some person/robot had a bad day making whatever upstream or downstream component. Hyundai has obviously made a decision that it's cheaper to just replace the engine than to chase down every affected one and replace the problematic part(s).

There have been a number of posts also saying their engine fails just outside of the warranty or corporate denies replacement due to some reason. A warranty is not a guarantee so they should be taken with a grain of salt. If either/both my cars that have the affected engine make it close to 120k, I will have zero qualms about getting rid of the vehicle just before that runs out or if it starts having other major issues I can't address. Hyundai's are pretty decent value for the price and I have zero brand loyalty. At the end of the day, it's just a tool to get you from A to B.
 

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Does this article only include vehicles in it's country? A country that has such questionable quality fuel, oil that the manual suggest additives. Maybe this is more of a case of the engine being more sensitive to what goes in it than a major design flaw?
Challenging conclusions using facts and logic is a great skill. But why should one speculate and make guesses, instead of going to ... err... reading the "source" (Google Translate does a reasonable job: https://goo.gl/LkD2Ta )? That would have answered your concerns (at least within the scope of the article):
1.
"In 2010, when the GDI engine was found to be seriously loaded with serious defects, it was discovered by Hyundai Motor and several internal improvements were made. As a result, Is limited to engines manufactured in the United States for a certain period of time."
While the interpretation of this translation could be subject to discussion,
At the very least, the problem includes the cars manufactured (and hence used) in the US.
But, of course, low quality fuel can contribute too (and thus exacerbate the problem), even though it is not the primary culprit.

2.
"No.1 cylinder is almost free from scratches due to cooling flow and natural cooling. Cylinder scratches occur first in cylinders 2 and 3, and then to 4 in time. ""
There is a surprisingly clear explanation of how cylinders #2 and #3 (and eventually #4) get "scratches", but not #1 which gets better cooling (read it using the link above).

For what's worth:
Park said, "As a result of the investigation of 56 Hyundai cars equipped with GDI engine, serious scratches on the cylinder have occurred without exception." Hyundai Motor has been aware of this problem since 2010 when it started to install the GDI engine, But did not report it to the government or inform the consumer. "
-----------------------

To me, it is very interesting that several problems of the automobile industry are caused by overheating of the components. It took Nissan years to figure out the culprit for their CVT problems (after several years of denial, and then several more years of not knowing how to deal with it). A few years ago, they presumably solved (?) it by adding a dedicated CVT cooler.
 

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The vast majority of people do not check the dipstick. If this car was in the 70s where people checked often, it is likely there would be less seizing since people would catch the low oil level and top up. Am curious if Hyundai maintains data around what the engine oil level was when the engines seized, and if dealers capture this as a data point when the car is towed in.
If the oil level were the primary culprit, you wouldn't have had cylinders #2 and #3 getting all those scratches first (and preferentially).
See the article translation (see the link above) and see the images there.

With the amount of moving parts in an engine, who knows where each one of these came from and/or which exact manufacturing facility created them. For example, there are many small machining shops or de-burring shops that do the final processing for various items such as fan blades, screws, blocks, pistons, crankshafts... etc. Some of these things (especially in aeronautic industry) require constant calibration and superb quality monitoring that, as mentioned above, is probably not within Hyundai's target price point. [\QUOTE]

The same as above, it were a problem with the processing, you wouldn't have consistency in which cylinders fail.

We know the engines are seizing. Hyundai has claimed it's due to manufacturing processes restricting oil flow but they're not saying (whether they don't know or know and won't tell) exactly which component is creating the failure. There have been posts by someone who has torn the engines down and cylinder 3 bearing seems to have excessive wear and fails. So it could be poor oil flow to that specific spot in the engine during whatever operating scenario or if some person/robot had a bad day making whatever upstream or downstream component. Hyundai has obviously made a decision that it's cheaper to just replace the engine than to chase down every affected one and replace the problematic part(s).
Read the article provided by the OP (see the direct link to the translation). It gives very useful insights in what is happening.

Challenging conclusions using facts and logic is a great skill. But why should one speculate and make guesses, instead of going to ... err... reading the "source" (Google Translate does a reasonable job: https://goo.gl/LkD2Ta )?
Once again, thank you @ranelari17 .
This article provides much more solid information then non-systematic anecdotal accounts (even though those also contribute to the pictures).
Of course, it is what has been figured out so far... It might not be the last word in this story though... There could be more things that would become apparent on the engines where the overheating issue is fixed.
 

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Keep in mind there is a certain degree of consistency with respect to the problems reported as well as with the testimony of the whistle blower and the Korean article:

- issues predominately with the internal cylinders and crank bearings, a number of years back (pre recall) there were engines failures caused by heat in the internal cylinders causing the spark plugs to break apart. Heat in the CC above a certain level can cause pre-ignition, in some cases so called super knock with devastating results.

- Whistle blower also claims engine issue are a result of a design defect, and claims to have been in meetings at Hyundai where concealment measures were discussed.

- Hyundai is currently being investigated by the NHTSA for failure to disclose a known safety defect. Opened close to a year ago but these investigations can take several yrs to conclude.

And Hyundai to me is being very tight lipped, but that is to be expected in the midst of an investigation, save for execution of the recall there have been to my knowledge no advisory to owners to check oil more frequently, recommend premium gas, use the latest overpriced ngk plugs or recommend use of syn oils. To do so could be possibly interpreted as an admission of engine issues beyond the cleaning process explanation - which at this point - well draw your own conclusion.
 

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Yes... And we are all trusting a "world renown" source called Autoherald to provide an expert analysis on why these engines are failing. I really don't know whom to trust less now; Hyundai or Autoherald.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
 

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Yes... And we are all trusting a "world renown" source called Autoherald to provide an expert analysis on why these engines are failing. I really don't know whom to trust less now; Hyundai or Autoherald.

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Yeah good point - I certainly have no idea regards the credentials of Autoherald and how credible a source they are - but I did read reports from credible journalistic sources that a good number of South Koreans were/are pretty irate at Hyundai and some of the reported missteps and attempts and problem denials for vehicles S Koreans were driving and the result was Korean court orders to recall and fix defects.

In the USA with the engine issues classified as a safety issue and requiring a recall - Hyundai would appear to be in a precarious position if it turns out that they misled as to why the engines have failed and a number of cases seized. But if the Autoherald article is accurate in that several fixes were implemented that hyundai thought would fixed the problem - they took a big risk in sticking to their cleaning process story - sometimes engineers can say -" oh yes this later revision absolutely should fixes the issue" only to see failures, albeit to a lesser degree continue.
 
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