The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: REAR TRAILING ARM CORROSION FAILURE

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA08023

    Component(s): Suspension
    Suspension:Rear

    Summary: In a letter dated April 14, 2009, Hyundai-Kia America technical center, Inc (Hyundai) notified NHTSA that it will conduct a safety recall of approximately 85,000 model year (MY) 2001 through 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles manufactured prior to January 27, 2003, that are registered and operated in the following "salt belt" states and the District of Columbia:Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.Hyundai is recalling the vehicles to remedy a condition where internal corrosion of either the right or left rear trailing arms may result in fracture of the affected arm while driving, which could result in loss of vehicle control and a crash.the rear trailing arms will be inspected in the recalled vehicles using a procedure developed by Hyundai to measure metal thickness.parts with perforations from corrosion or with metal below the specified thickness will be replaced with redesigned trailing arms.if the minimum metal thickness is met, drainage holes and and rust proofing material will be added to the existing rear trailing arms.although not subject components of this investigation, Hyundai noted it would perform a similar procedure for the front subframes of the subject vehicles. ODI's analysis of complaint data revealed that 99% of all consumer complaints related to trailing arm corrosion were from vehicles either originally sold or operated in saltbelt states. Similarly 92% of the warranty claims were from vehicles originally sold or operated in saltbelt states.ODI identified 30 rear trailing arm fracture incidents through analysis of complaint and warranty information and consumer interviews.twenty-nine (29) of the fracture incidents involved vehicles in states covered by the recall.based on Hyundai's decision to conduct a safety recall this engineering analysis is closed.