10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,553 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #31

Jan 072018

Santa Fe

  • 189,000 miles
While driving on a city street my rear end began to shake and continue to try to swing out from behind. My rear suspension is rusted through and now completely out of commission.

- Michigan City, IN, USA

problem #30

Jul 282017

Santa Fe

  • 127,000 miles
While driving slowly, I heard a clunk from the rear, and heard tire scrubbing noise while noticing steering wheel cocked 90 degrees in order to keep vehicle straight. Returned vehicle slowly to house driveway about 1/4 mile away. Noticed right reat trailing arm cracked and deformed. Vehicle had been serviced 4 years earlier for recall # 09V123000 (trailing arm corrosion problem.) Hyundai and local dealer claimed that recall was complete and I would have to pay for the repair. Obviously, their recall fix (drilling holes in the stamping to let water out) was insufficient to fix a potentially dangerous defect. I had just sunk $1800 dollars in this vehicle to fix other problems. Again, Hyundai claimed no responsibility to fix. I called NHTSA and have file fcc complaint #87016133 at their recommendation.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #29

Jun 072017

Santa Fe

  • 93,000 miles
Driving at 25 mph, there was a loud noise and vehicle started swaying violently in the rear. Luckily no other cars were around and I hadn't gotten on the freeway yet. After tow, discovered the trailing arm cracked the suspension. This was supposedly "corrected" during previous recall. Obviously not. Dealer won't look at it stating they have new owners. 3 people with 70 years of repair experience have never seen anything like this. Vehicle is not drivable, opened case with Hyundai, not expecting much. Vehicle also had to have engine cradle replaced (Hyundai did replace at no expense) however they screwed more up and it had to be returned to fix their mistakes. Vehicle was "inspected" front to rear and was "ok", twice. That was end of 2015. This corrosion could not happen in that short amount of time. Everything is rusted to almost beyond recognition underneath.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #28

Apr 192017

Santa Fe

  • 146,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 09V123000 (suspension) and 14V435000 (suspension). The parts for the recall repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repairs. The contact stated that the suspension was rotted through to the point that the vehicle was not able to be driven. The approximate failure mileage was 146,000. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #27

Aug 112016

Santa Fe

  • 153,778 miles
On 6/17/14 my cars front right wheel fell off. I found two recalls on the internet for the front and rear suspension system. The car was towed/repaired for $782. In July 2014, Hyundai made an inspection of the work. I asked for reimbursement for the recall but was declined as not being within a campaign. Recently, the rear brakes, rotors, and caliper were replaced (for the second time)..afterward, a noise I heard became louder. On 8/11/16 the noise was diagnosed. It was found that new shocks were needed, and "rear passenger lower control arm is starting to rot from rust and cause noise." I was told to have it repaired by Hyundai. I bought the car from national auto sales in glassboro, NJ. Hyundai apparently did not know I am the owner of the car, and I never received any recall notices from Hyundai. The vehicle has had engine and sensor problems and many others. I want to avoid another accident. Hyundai should repair recall #NHTSA 09V123000 free of charge. The front suspension is now campaign 124 as of 10/16/14, four months after the accident. I am seeking reimbursement for the cost of $782 to have my vehicle towed and repaired. Please urge Hyundai to recognize a campaign for the rear suspension for my vehicle so that I can have this additional situation rectified to prevent an accident from taking place again.I believe that almost all of the repairs to the Hyundai I own have been recalled and I should not have had to pay. I understand that it was found that cars manufactured in Alabama were all part of many recalls and obviously other plants vehicles are too. The expenses should not have been my responsibility. The repairs cost roughly $5600 since November 2011 when I bought the car.for $5000. The air conditioner as well never worked. That repair would cost another 400.00.

- Monroeville, NJ, USA

problem #26

Jul 282016

Santa Fe

  • 115,000 miles
Rear trailing arm cracked while driving, lost control of the car multiple times. Taken to independent repair shop for diagnoses. Contacted Hyundai who wants vehicle taken to their dealer, but won't say if repair is going to be covered. Part was covered under recall #09V123000, but repair wasn't sufficient enough.

- River Grove, IL, USA

problem #25

Jul 182014

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V435000 (suspension) however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Updated 04/06/16

- Minocqua, WI, USA

problem #24

Oct 142015

Santa Fe

  • 165,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving at 35 mph, the vehicle failed to drive straight. The contact stated that excessive force was required in order to drive the vehicle straight. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the driver side trailing arm needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 165,000.

- Mequon, WI, USA

problem #23

Mar 212015

Santa Fe

  • 91,000 miles
While driving at 25 mph, my wife had to hold the steering wheel at 10 O'clock in order to keep the vehicle going straight. The dealer told us that the subframe and controller arm had broke - a recall campaign which was repaired in 2010 (or so we thought). Due to this the car is not drivable and we are told by the dealership that, although the subframe and controller arm will be covered, the damage to the struts and tires are our responsibility to the sum $973.31. Our personal mechanic states that the front tires (under 4 years old and having less than 3000 miles on them) and the struts (under 5 years old) would not need to be replaced if not for the issue with the subframe and controller arm. At our recall appointment on December 22, 2014 (for a separate issue), the dealership saw no issue during their inspection of the vehicle. Our 2002 Santa Fe has 91,000 miles, and in the last 3 months since that appointment has been driven less than 300 miles, as my wife's work is less than 2 miles from home. Hyundai motors America states that they are separate issues and therefore not part of the repairs they will cover.

- Harper Woods, MI, USA

problem #22

Jun 232013

Santa Fe

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while coming off an exit, the front driver side coil spring fractured causing the contact to lose control of the vehicle. As a result, the vehicle crashed into a metal guardrail and the vehicle drove over to the passenger side and crashed into a median. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained injuries to the right arm and the right rotator cuff which required medical attention. A police report was filed. The contact was later notified of NHTSA campaign number: 14V435000 (suspension). The vehicle was not inspected or diagnosed to determine the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #21

Feb 022015

Santa Fe

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving 35 mph, the lower control arm failed. The vehicle was unable to be controlled and crashed into a curb. The contact did not disclose if a police report was filed. There were no injuries sustained. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 09V124000 (suspension); however, the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Glenrock, PA, USA

problem #20

Dec 102014

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V435000 (suspension). However, the part needed to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacture exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The contact stated that the manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #19

Nov 262014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Tire blow out service tech found rotted out engine cradle.

- Coventry, CT, USA

problem #18

Sep 012014

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that after the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 09V123000 (suspension), the steering wheel was difficult to turn and excessive force was required. The contact also mentioned that the suspension was unstable. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the vehicle was aligned and all four tires were replaced but the failure recurred. The vehicle was then taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the underbody, the front strut frame and the coils springs rusted which needed to be repaired. The vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 14V435000 (suspension) and pending repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #17

Mar 262014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving approximately 27 mph, the contact heard an unusual noise inside and outside the vehicle. The brake, traction control, and ABS warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was diagnosed by two different private mechanics. Both mechanics offered different opinions of what caused the failure. The front brakes or the front driver side coil springs could be the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V435000 (suspension) because the contact did not receive the second recall notification. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The failure mileage was unavailable...updated 11/12/14

- Medford, MA, USA

problem #16

Oct 092013

Santa Fe

  • 151,736 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that both the driver and passenger side trailing arms fractured. The dealer replaced the driver side trailing arm, but the failure recurred on the rear passenger side trailing arm. The dealer stated that the passenger side trailing arm needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V123000 (suspension). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 151,736.

- Tega Cay, SC, USA

problem #15

Jul 182014

Santa Fe

  • 150,191 miles
After having new shocks, struts, cv axles, and new toyo open country tires put on 02 Hyundai Santa Fe when accelerating vehicle would pull hard to the right when letting off the gas car would pull the left. Was informed it needed ball joints in the front end, I had them replaced was also informed the vehicle was still doing that but worse. Vehicle was given a wheel alignment per mechanic, car was still pulling hard. Mechanic inspected 02 Hyundai Santa Fe and reported that it needed a new steering rack. After I had that installed vehicle was still pulling hard to the right during acceleration and left when breaking or letting off gas. Mechanic said vehicle was unsafe to drive and had me leave it with them to figure out the problem. They reported and fixed a rotted out front end sub frame. Vehicle drives as if brand new now. A year prior to the above incident I also had to replace the rear passenger side control arm. Hyundai would not acknowledge the recall on those parts for me.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #14

Mar 192014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 100,002 miles
While driving to work, all of a sudden it felt like the body of the car was swaying away from the frame; there was complete loss of control so I pulled over to the side of the road; this scared the daylights out of me. A few minutes later, I drove the car to my mechanic and he told me later after he'd examined the vehicle that there was so much corrosion in the rear trailing arm that there was no place to weld anything on to. Complete corrosion of the rear trailing arms. I couldn't drive the vehicle any further. I was told it was a total loss. I had to buy another vehicle, which I could not afford, being on unemployment.

- Rhinelander, WI, USA

problem #13

Jun 172014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,246 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated while traveling at a low rate of speed around a U-shaped drive way, the vehicle made a loud noise and abruptly stop. The contact noticed that the front passengers side right wheel had fallen off. The right ball joint had detached and the contact was not able to put the vehicle in park. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the right ball joint, power steering hose and axle needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 151,246. The VIN was not available. Updated 1/23/15 updated 03/03/15

- Monroeville, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jul 222013

Santa Fe

  • 194,865 miles
This is the second time we have a near serious accident with my wife driving the truck. 6/26/12 the left steering control arm broke off the total rusted out sub-frame causing the truck to steer dangerously into oncoming traffic. This was caused from the sub-frame being rusted through. This time on July 21 the right rear trailing arm, that secures the right wheel in position, broke off. Forcing the truck to swerve right almost carrying my wife and the truck into a ditch. Both of these breakdowns are included in a recall for my year and model of car, however, my vehicle is not included because I purchased it in Florida, not in a northern salt belt state. So I guess what Hyundai is saying is, that they can build a defected vehicle and if you buy it in the South, they don't have to take responsibility for our safety. I was never informed that there was a possible safety hazard. We are very lucky that there wasn't a car coming the opposite direction on the first incident. That would not cover the repairs and it ended up costing me over $3,500. How do I get Hyundai to stand up and take responsibility for not telling me that we were risking our lives for driving a possible dangerous vehicle and pay for repairs this time. I guess the salt air blowing in South Florida 24/7 don't qualify.

- Metter, GA, USA

Read the next 11 complaints »