really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,386 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.

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Nov 022015

Santa Fe

  • 78,000 miles
I am having the issue with the gas gauge, where a short time after filling up the tank, the gauge drops to empty and then the check engine light comes on. I believe this problem was caused by the same issue as a recent recall, where oil was dripping on the alternator. Just a couple days after I received the recall for that issue, I began having electrical issues. My radio came on and off, my windows rolled up and down very slowly. On my last drive home, my electronic brakes stopped working, the steering was hard and the transmission began shifting up and down before I was finally able to pull over and have the car towed. Upon my drive home from the dealer after the recall repair, I noticed that a headlight was newly burned out. In less than a week, the other headlight burned out. On the same tank of gas I had since getting the car back from the dealer, the gauge first dropped to empty before the tank was empty. I believe something was shorted out in the gas gauge system, just as the headlights and all the other electrical issues that resulted from the alternator not working. Hyundai should repair the gas gauge issue since it was caused by the issue of their last recall.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #19

Jun 112016

Santa Fe

  • 60,500 miles
Fuel level gauge becomes erratic and non-responsive to actual fuel levels. Most of the time the level gauge on the instrument cluster will read an empty tank with the fuel warning light lit, even after filling up the tank with gas. First symptoms occured while driving at highway speeds.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 142015

Santa Fe

  • 106,000 miles
I noticed that when I was in park, the car would just shut off. This happened three times within a few week's time. I was concerned and wondered if the car would ever just shut off while I was driving on the freeway or a busy street. To my horror, it happened! a few days ago I was turning into a parking lot and the car just shut off!...there was a car behind me that came to a screeching halt! again my greatest fear is that the car will stall on me while the vehicle is in motion and if that happens on a road where cars are travelling at high speeds, then I would probably not live to tell the story.

- Lathrup Village, MI, USA

problem #17

Nov 292015

Santa Fe

  • miles
The engine lights stays on when you fill the gas tank it still says empty when driving everything will shut off this is for the second time in less than a year

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #16

Oct 102015

Santa Fe

  • 77,450 miles
We were exiting West bound I-10 in pensacola, fl, and when turning right onto the surface road at slow speed the engine died and we lost power including steering and brakes. We were able to pull off of the road into a restaurant parking lot and restart the car, but had a close call with suddenly reduced speed in merging traffic. This is the second time this has happened to us in this car. The first incident was in Aug, 2013 and was reported as incident report #1053149. At that time, the dealer was unable to reproduce the issue, so no repair was made. We believe that this is a safety issue and should be investigated.

- Dothan, AL, USA

problem #15

Sep 222015

Santa Fe

  • 170,000 miles
This has happened on 4 separate occasions, both while driving in town at slow speeds and on a highway at high speeds. The check engine light will come on and the car will cut off, no power at all. On each occasion I put the car in neutral and restarted the car immediately and it resumed it's normal driving capacity. It is very scary to be driving along and then all of a sudden the car cuts off for no reason. The last time it happened I was in the middle of a sharp curve, so not having power steering at that point was not very safe, as I ended up in the other lane but thank goodness there wasn't a car coming in the other direction at the time.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #14

Jul 192015

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving at 60 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 09/21/15 updated 12/4/2017

- Baldwin, MD, USA

problem #13

Apr 012014

Santa Fe

  • 80,000 miles
We had a sudden loss of power while traveling on the interstate at 70 mph. Had to get over quickly as the traffic was heavy and the car had no power. The engine would not deliver any power, other than idle. Turned the car off and let it sit for about 15 seconds, then started the car and had power back for about 3 miles. Happened again and did the same for about ten miles until got home. Recently started to happen again, same codes come up each time. Took car to dealership and they told me that it was just glitches causing codes to come up and cause the ESC to go into safe mode. Since then I have seen the exact same codes and not a lot of codes, but codes that indicate an ignition/fuel/control module problem. This is not as bad as acceleration, but if pulling out in traffic or on an on ramp, could be deadly. Has now happened seven times. First date was April 2014, could not enter date in your form for some reason.

- Perry, OK, USA

problem #12

Apr 172015

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Noticed fuel gauge started to fluctuate whenever vehicle was parked for a while. Stopped at church showed 1/4 tank with a range of 90 miles, stopped at walmart showed between 1/4 & 1/2 tank and a range of 147 miles. About to take this vehicle on the road and really have no choice but to have it fixed. Drove old vehicles for years and never had a fuel gauge go bad. This is only under warranty for 5/60K so thanks Hyundai, I am crossing them off the list of my next car model. Btw $600 bill for this. People want to know if it's a safety factor. Of course not, running out of gas on the middle of an interstate can't be a safety problem. To me it's no different than having your keys turn your ignition switch off cause they're too heavy.

- Papillion, NE, USA

problem #11

Feb 062013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
When I went to start vehicle the electrical system came on but did not turn the starter, this happened maybe twice last year.so far this year it has happened about 5 times.the electrical system comes on when I turn the key to start but nothing happens, I finally found out if I put my foot on the brake and take the transmission out of park and work it thru all gears then shove it back to park it will start.we travel up to the state of Washington from home ever year and would hate to get stranded some where along the road.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #10

May 112014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 59,600 miles
While driving on the interstate at approximately 70 mph, using cruise control, the car suddenly lost power. I stepped on the gas and it would not accelerate. I coasted to a stop and pulled onto the shoulder. The engine was running, transmission was in gear, but the car would not move. I turned off the ignition and let it sit for a few minutes. I restarted it, had power, everything seemed normal, except the engine light remained lit. I drove approximately 10 miles to my destination. The car sat for six hours and I was then able to drive the 65 miles home without incident. Repair results: My Hyundai dealer indicated the problem was caused by a 'throttle position sensor'. they replaced the electronic component and reset the error codes in the vehicle's computer.

- Mount Pleasant, WI, USA

problem #9

Aug 172013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 48,186 miles
When entering an up-ramp to a limited access highway at slow speed, less than 30 mph, and turning to the right, the engine suddenly died and power was lost to steering and brakes. We were able to pull off the road and restart, but were just lucky that this didn't happen on a curve at high speed or in heavy traffic. Took the car to the dealer the next day, and they were unable to repeat the problem.

- Dothan, AL, USA

problem #8

Apr 072013

Santa Fe

  • 45,000 miles
While driving the vehicle it shut down. The warning lights came on the dashboard and the vehicle lost all functions (I.e. acceleration, steering, etc) the incident was undetected by the dealership and not able to be duplicated. The vehicle has shut down since the initial malfunction.

- Dupont, PA, USA

problem #7

Oct 202010

Santa Fe

  • 15,546 miles
Incident 1: (10-20-2010) driver side head light was fogging up constantly. Dealer replaced the head light under warranty. Incident 2: (02-22-2011) upon fill-up of the gas tank, just before it was topped off, there was a series of clunking noises. After taking it to the dealership, the gas tank was replaced. Incident 3: (05-01-2011 approx.) upon removal of the cabin air filter cover, the little plastic parts that are squeezed to remove the cover broke, which wouldn't allow the cover to go back on. The dealer replaced the part and I have not yet replaced the filter yet. Incident 4: (11-12-2011) driving 60 mph down the highway, I heard a loud banging noise coming from the engine compartment. As I was pulling over to check out the situation, the car lost power steering and air conditioning! my serpentine belt broke! after it was towed, the dealer replaced it, along with belt tensioner and idler pulley! incident 5: (07-30-2012) I was coming up to a stop light and upon deceleration, the check engine light and ESC off light came on. After coming to a complete stop, the RPM gage showed 1100 RPM and it felt like the vehicle wanted to move as if I was pressing the accelerator. When I did try to accelerate, there was no power to accelerate ( the engine was still running, etc, but when I pressed the accelerator, I could only move a few miles per hour.) I pulled over and shut the vehicle off for a few minutes. I started it back up and the check engine light remained on, and I gained acceleration power. I took the vehicle to the dealership. They determined I had a faulty throttle position sensor as well as brake light switch and both were replaced by the dealer. [current mileage on vehicle after all incidents: 48,897]

- Huntley, IL, USA

problem #6

Aug 312011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles
Recently while driving the car seems to hesitate then has a minor acceleration. It seems as if its about to stall but catches and accelerates or increases to original speed. This is concerning especially when it occurs during rush hour traffic. In addition, I had to replace the battery at 24, 348 miles as the car died on me twice while traveling. I purchased a battery from O'rielly auto parts as it was closer to my home. The dealer would only state that battery failure has occurred with less than 30,000 miles on the sante fe however since I didn't bring my car to them the battery is not covered under warranty. It is unbelievable that battery life is this short.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #5

Nov 202010

Santa Fe

  • 21,930 miles
While getting onto the highway from the on ramp the car began to accelerate on its own. The gas pedal began to depress itself without me doing it. The cruise control was not engaged and the floor matt was not the cause. Braking was difficult and the engine continued to rev. I pulled off the highway and stopped the engine. After telling my family about the incident my daughter told me that it had occurred twice before in the same manner about 2 months ago.

- Kingston, PA, USA

problem #4

Oct 092009

Santa Fe

  • 270 miles
Continuation of complaint 10302521. Since last service dept visit, dvd player worked fine for approx. 2 months. Now in July 2010, dvd player is back to switching to xm at random at least 1 X wk and up to 1 X day. Mostly after bumpy rds. But service dept refuses it is a loose wire. They have continually stated they do not want to tear apart steering wheel even though that and the actual player are the last areas not replaced. Srvce dept stands by intertwining radio signals, then why is it switching to xm and not picking up the random signal. Feel like I have to live with it. Srvc dept again suggested I leave car so they can search again but no guarantees. Does anyone know if there is a fix.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #3

Feb 192010

Santa Fe

  • miles
(intermittent issue)radio stays on after shutting off ignition and removing key. It shuts off briefly when car door is opened, but when you shut car door, the radio and clock come back on. I am concerned of electrical issues in my vehicle, which could potentially start a fire by remaining on. Also, my power windows, by pushing the button after the key is removed can also move up and down(intermittent issue). To try and correct the radio issue, I have removed the cable from the usb port (for ipod usage) while the car is on, turned off the engine, removed the key and the radio & clock are still on. I have reviewed websites and have not found that there are any recalls or issues. I don't know if this is part of the vehicle's features that are normal, it just doesn't seem right.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #2

Oct 092009

Santa Fe

  • 1,370 miles
Hyundai Santa Fe purchased on 12 Sept 2009. Dvd screen not functioning, could hear movie not see it. Dealership replaced screen in October 2009. Since then, the dvd rse system has intermittently changed from dvd to xm or cd at will. Rear passengers are not able to reach the dvd buttons due to age and child safety seats. Rse is locked from front controls. Dvd system continues to switch from dvd to xm or cd at least once per day causing the passengers to be blasted with high volume music. In October 2009, the internal electrical control system (for doors and windows and such) was replaced and the alarm system was reset (it kept arming itself randomly). In November 2009, the alarm system was reset again and the dvd problem was brought to mechanics attention again. Alarm system was fixed but they could not replicate the dvd problem. Took car in again 16 January 2010, was told intertwining outside radio signals and the fact I work on a military base were causing the dvd to switch. Ft sam houston, tx is mainly a medical training military base. Mechanic replicated problem but later told shop manager that he couldn't replicate the problem with out driving in town where I normally drive. Mechanic and repair shop manager stated it could not be a loose plug or wiring it was the radio signals. This occurs at random and I thought it was from bumps in the road until it continued to happen when driver was not touching the steering wheel or radio controls, at stop lights, and on smooth roads. I researched this problem and found a blog on edmunds stating Hyundai has know about this and audio problems since 2007 but nothing will fix dvd problem.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #1

Sep 042009

Santa Fe

  • 1,200 miles
My 2009 Hyundai sante fe just purchased with 50 miles on in 07/29/09, blew up on me while I was driving and totally burned the front and engine. I have an evaluation from 21st century appraisers required by geico whom diagnosed a total loss. Valuescope geico claim services market report report reference number: 42157015 adjuster: Huffman-parent, brad claim reference: 0180834550101087-01 geico C-code: Cag605 loss incident date: 09/04/2009 date submitted: 09/10/2009 insured: Lawson owner: Cleo lawson policy number: 0311588404 appraiser: Huffman-parent, brad introduction geico has conducted an inspection of your 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe 4X2 gls 4 door sports utility located in Oklahoma city, ok. The inspection information was then used to conduct research in your local market to determine the market value of your vehicle. The local market value of your vehicle was defined by the zip code 73114 -- Oklahoma city, ok the recommended settlement amount based on the loss vehicle description provided by geico is $18,369.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA