7 Common Hyundai Accent Problems (Recalls & Reviews)

The Hyundai Accent has been around since 1996. Although it has high-reliability ratings and a low cost, it also has a lot of common and dangerous problems that make some people worry about buying it. 

We’re going to look at some of the common problems and their solutions.

A common problem that the Hyundai Accent has is issues with the airbags. Since this is something that is supposed to help keep people safe in a crash, this is a huge problem. Other common problems that owners encounter with the vehicle are issues with it catching on fire, rodents being attracted to the soy-based wiring, issues with the transmission, problems with the windows, and problems with it losing coolant.

Below we are going to give you a list of the common problems that come with the Hyundai accent. This list should be used to help you with fixing your car yourself if you can before you take it to your mechanic, as some of them are fixable yourself.

You have a Hyundai Accent. But now you are finding some issues with it that you didn’t expect to have.  Below are some of the common issues that Hyundai owners have discovered with the Accent.

Common Hyundai Accent Problems

1. Airbag Problems – Not Deploying & Airbag Light

One of the most common problems with the Hyundai Accent is that the airbags weren’t deploying. The model years that were affected by these problems were from 1999 to 2017 model years, along with the ones from 2020.

People have said that it didn’t deploy in head-on collisions or being rear-ended. There have been quite a few recalls for different Hyundai vehicles due to their airbags not working, which include the Accent.

Probably some of the problems with the airbag not deploying were due to the recall not being addressed for a variety of reasons. However, it’s also very likely that some incidents were with Accents that hadn’t yet been recalled.

To be safe, if you have an Accent you want to run your VIN on the NHTSA’s website to see if the model was recalled.

When the warning light for your airbag comes in, this means that there is likely a problem with the vehicle’s airbags.

If you think that your Accent has a problem with its airbags, it’s important to call your mechanic so that they can inspect the vehicle.

Another issue related to the airbag that the Accent has was the warning light coming on. This problem was reported throughout the history of the car and is mainly reported in the following models:

  • 2006 to 2009
  • 2015 to 2017

A lot of owners reported that their light will usually come on during cold weather. others have said that the light will turn off and on randomly.

What Can Be Done About That Issue?

For the models from 2015 to 2017, this problem is related mostly to a problem with its ODS. There was a recall issued for the problem. But it seems like the recall only will affect particular models from 2015. When the temperatures were very cold, the ODS may have trouble determining if there’s a child restraint seat in the passenger seat in the front.

When this happens, the car’s front air bag won’t be deactivated. This means if there’s a crash the child could be injured badly.

2. Possible Fires

A very shocking problem that people have had with their Accent is the car catches fire spontaneously. This issue was reported in the models from 2012 & 2013.

There were over 272K vehicles recalled by Hyundai due to a 12V outlet that was faulty in the car’s dashboards. This overheated and caught fire. Included in this recall were certain Accents from 2012.

Apparently, it was due to the outlets being too tightly installed during assembly, and the part made for preventing overheating was disabled.

It was stated by the recall that the happened when a tire mobility kit’s used and is plugged into the faulty outlet for fixing flat tires.

However, those complaints from owners that are online didn’t mention fixing a flat or having something plugged into the outlet.

It’s best to be safe and run a check on your VIN through the NHTSA site so you can check if your model has any recalls.

3. Rodents attracted to Soy-Based Wiring

The majority of electric wiring that’s used in home gadgets, vehicles, and appliances has been insulated using plastic that is petroleum-based. Because plastic won’t decompose easily in landfills, they’re not environmentally friendly. Soy-based insulation was introduced by Hyundai as a biodegradable and cost-effective alternative.

Unfortunately, it backfired since a lot of rodents loved this material since they used it for building nests in the hood of the vehicle. There was a class-action lawsuit filed by owners of many vehicle models, including the Accent, in California.

There haven’t been any recalls issued for this soy-based insulation as of yet, so here are some tips that you can use to keep the rodents away from your car.

  • Don’t park near natural sources of food or trash cans
  • Park in an enclosed garage
  • Don’t store food or nest materials such as rags, cushions from patio furniture, cardboard, straw, and newspapers in the garage.
  •  Look for any gaps around the garage door and windows to see if there are spaces where rodents can get in and seal them.
  • Don’t store any cans that are used for your food waste in your garage.
  •  Keep your car’s interior free from any food wrappers. The scent coming from them can attract rodents.
  • Don’t store trash cans used for food waste in the garage.

4. Transmission Issues 

Based on data from the industry, the models from early in the 2000s had problems with their transmissions. They were mostly reported in the models from 2000, 2001, and 2004.

There are a lot of complaints online, particularly from owners of the 2004 accent who experienced failure of their transmission at approximately 90K miles and the average cost of the repairs was $2,250.

Some of the owners even went through 2 transmissions in under 3 years. The problems that people experienced in their 2000 to 2001 models include:

  • Check engine light coming on
  • Intermittent shaking of the vehicle
  •  Vehicle not shifting higher than first gear
  •  Violent jerking of the vehicle
  • Transmission not shifting

In the 2004 Accent, the problem was slipping gears. Some of the other reasons why this might happen are:

  • Faulty solenoid
  • Issues with the torque converter
  • Problems with the clutch
  • Transmission has broken bands
  • Worn gears

Usually, with really severe problems with the transmission, the simplest solution was to just replace the vehicle’s transmission. However, it’s important to weigh the car’s value against the replacement cost.

5. Rusting Coils on Suspension

One of the most commonly reported issues with the Hyundai accent is that the suspension coil springs rust. This is a problem that was reported in the models from 1995 to 2010.

One thing to note is that it’s usually just an issue in those areas that use a lot of salt in the winter. for the owners who live in the states that are dryer, this won’t be as much of an issue though fading paint is going to be a lot more common.

There are recalls for the problem. so you want to run your VIN through the website and see if your model was affected.

Tips for protecting your vehicle from rust.

  • Wash & dry your car regularly. This will include the underside particularly during the winter so that you remove all of the grime, dirt, and salt that will lead to rust.
  •  Repair scratches and paint damage. When there’s metal exposed, it’s going to oxidize. If you can’t do it yourself, take it to a repair shop.
  • Store the vehicle in a garage. This is going to protect it from bird droppings and harsh weather.
  •  Wax your vehicle two times per year. This is going to help it shine and protect it from rust.
  •  If you are planning to keep the car for a while, a rustproofing treatment is a good idea.
  •  Ceramic coating is a great option when you want to give your vehicle’s paint job more protection.

6. Power Window Problems

Another common problem that owners have with their Accent is that the power windows don’t work the way that they should. Some of the common problems that people experienced were the following

  •  Windows are bouncing back midway
  •  Windows don’t go up
  • Windows don’t close fully when auto mode is used
  • Windows continue to bounce back after they close

What Can be Done About Those Issues?

Spray the cracks with lube. This might stop the windows from becoming stuck. Inspect your window tracks and see if there’s anything that needs removing or dislodging. This can help with solving the issue of the window bouncing back.

Reprogram the window. This is done by restarting the accent and then closing all the windows and doors. Press & hold the switch for the window controls for 3-5 seconds. Then close the window using your control switch. Continue to hold it for 3-5 seconds. Once these steps are taken your system should reset on its own.

If the reprogramming above doesn’t work, try repeating the procedure but don’t start your engine.

7. Losing Coolants

A very common and annoying problem the Hyundai Accent has is losing coolant. The good news is that there are a few ways that this can be fixed. Here are some of the solutions for this problem and their estimated costs.

  • New Radiator Hose – Less than $500
  •  New Head Gasket – $1,800 to $2,200
  • New Heater Core – $1,100 to $1,400
  • New Intake Manifold Gasket – $600 to $615
  • New Radiator – $1,100 to $1,200
  • New Thermostat – $500 – $550
  • New Thermostat Housing – $525 to $550
  • New Water Pump – $750 to $900

What Years Did The Hyundai Accent Have Problems         

Model YearProblems  

The most problematic years are:

  •  2012 – 0.21 PPMY
  •  2016 – 0.20 PPMY
  • 2015 & 2020 – 0.19 PPMY

And the least problematic years are:

  •  2003, 2004 – 0.05 PPMY
  • 2014, 2019 – 0.08 PPMY
  • 2000, 2001, 2002 – 0.09 PPMY

Recent Recall #s

When a vehicle has been deemed unsafe, a recall number is provided. You’ll receive an email with this 10-digit number in it and the date of the recall. This number is what helps the manufacturer identify the details of the recall. There are three recent recalls for the Hyundai Accent.

These are as follows:

  •  22V354000 – Issued on 05/18/22. When a crash happens, the front driver and/or passenger seat belt pretensioners could explode when deployed.
  •  22V311000 – Issued on 05/05/22. The steering column bolt might not be properly secured. This means that the column could come off the steering rack so that driver loses steering control.
  •   21V937000 – Issued on 12/01/21. The car’s brake master cylinder could have been made with sharp edges. These can damage the car’s inner oil seal, meaning that the braking performance is reduced.

Finding out if your vehicle has a recall is simple. Just go to the NHTSA site and put in your VIN. This can be found on your vehicle’s windshield in the lower lefthand corner. It also can be found on your registration.

How Is It Compared To Similar Cars?

This is a chart that compares it with the Consumer Reports Reliability Scale.

What are The Life Expectancy And Mileage?

Hyundai Accents are known for going more than 200K miles. If you are looking for how many years that is, it’s anywhere from 10-15 years. This can be even longer if you maintain it well. Of course, if you don’t take good care of it, this length of time can be even shorter.

Is It Worth Buying Used? 

It’s a good idea to buy your Hyundai accent used if you choose the right model year. The best options for used Accents are the ones that have the fewest problems. These would be the model years:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2014
  • 2019

However, the ones that you should stay away from buying used are:

  • 2012
  • 2015
  • 2016
  •  2020

What is Good and Bad about the car?

Based on feedback from owners, below are some of the things that owners like and don’t like about the Hyundai Accent.


  • Fuel economy
  • Quiet
  • Reliable
  • Simple to own
  • Sleek design
  • Smooth drive


  • Lack of middle console
  • No back support
  •  Small
  •  Uncomfortable

As you can see, there are more things that owners like than they dislike about the Hyundai Accent. So that is definitely encouraging.

How Reliable is the Hyundai Accent 

In 2021, it was named U.S. New’s “Best Subcompact Car for the Money”. Its reliability and quality rating was 90/100. Its versatility was loved by many drivers and it’s no surprise that the sedan model is one that many people keep going back to this model. However, how reliable the Accent is will depend on the year

What Do Owners Say About The Car? 

One owner said that it was their second Accent. They like the fact that it’s low in cost and more fuel efficient than other cars. They had their first one for an amazing 14 years.

Great vehicle for its price. They loved the fact that their oil changes were free for 3 years or 36K miles. They did mention that it’s small, but it’s doable.

Good car and a good size. Good for a small family budget. It’s nice looking outside and inside. Good for driving back and forth to work. Best value for their money. It met all of the buyer’s needs. Roomy backseat and comfortable seats.  


If you are looking for a car that is affordable and just right for your needs, the Hyundai Accent is the one to choose. It’s comfortable and has some of the best reliability ratings compared with other cars that are similar.