really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,605 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 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe:

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

problem #45

Jul 052018

Santa Fe

  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal traveled to the floor more than twice when depressed. In addition, the tachometer increased as the vehicle accelerated above 90 mph. The contact had to quickly place the vehicle in neutral to reduce the speed when the failure occurred. The dealer (huffines Kia mckinney, 1201 N central expy, mckinney, tx 75070, (888) 450-2260) was notified, but the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 88,000.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #44

Mar 312018

Santa Fe

  • 3,600 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving 10 mph into a parking spot, the vehicle inadvertently accelerated. As a result, the vehicle crashed against a building. The air bags deployed. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a broken wrist that required medical attention. The vehicle was towed to camelback Hyundai (1500 E camelback road, phoenix, AZ 85014) and was awaiting diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 3,600.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #43

Sep 132017

Santa Fe

  • 100,000 miles
My 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe 4D sport accelerated on its own while I was driving on a highway. I applied the break as hard as possible, and the vehicle would not stop or slow. Luckily, I didn't wreck. I was able to pull over onto the shoulder with my hazards on, put it in neutral, and turned the engine off. I had the vehicle towed to a Hyundai dealership.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #42

May 292017

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving approximately 15 mph, there was a loud pop sound and the vehicle failed to accelerate. The check engine warning indicator illuminated. In addition, the fuel gauge read empty. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, but the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer and the dealer were not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 08/23/17

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #41

Mar 272017

Santa Fe

  • 120,000 miles
When slowing down to make a turn the engine shuts off. Power steering and breaks are gone. The car will crank right back off but this us very dangerous. I'm not sure if weather is a factor but when it has happened which gas been multiple times, it has been in the 80's. mechanics and dealership have not been able to find anything and no codes are recorded.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #40

Mar 222017

Santa Fe

  • 42,500 miles
Unintended acceleration while turning on to a busy intersection, two other instances of unintended acceleration on city streets. Have taken to dealership could not find problem. Very leary of driving car.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #39

Oct 012015

Santa Fe

  • 170,000 miles
This has happened multiple times over the past year and has increased in frequency the last 2 months. At random times, in town or on highway with varying speeds, the RPM will jump without me using any more pressure on the gas pedal, which causes the car to accelerate quickly and without warning. Then, the RPM will go back down in the same manner just as quickly.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #38

May 082015

Santa Fe

  • 21,000 miles
We were exiting a ramp off rt 75 in Florida. Our speed was about 30 mph. Suddenly we loss power steering and braking and acceleration. We coasted to a stop. We turned off the ignition and restarted the car after about 2 minutes...everything returned to normal. It was the second such experience. The first was August 2013. The dealership replaced the throttle sensor at that time. This latest experience is the exact duplicate of the first. I am taking the car to the dealership tomorrow morning.

- Lady Lake, FL, USA

problem #37

Mar 112015

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
RPM jumped without driver increasing pedal pressure, causing sudden unintended acceleration. Dealership unable to identify issue. This is the second occurrence in the last couple months.

- Jarrettsville, MD, USA

problem #36

Feb 142015

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 65,250 miles
I was parking my car in a space at a local store. The car took off. Sudden acceleration. Went forward probably a good 15 feet before I was able to stop. I also had to have both fuel tank sensors replaced. My gas gauge would not register properly. Fluctuated up and down at random moments. Cost me $364.51! seems to be a continuing problem.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #35

Nov 092014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 62,269 miles
Vehicle slowed without warning on freeway at freeway speed, then would not accelerate. Went to idle mode. Before slowdown, had mild surging at speed. Problem was diagnosed at tps or throttle position sensor. Problem with same sensor reported to Hyundai dealership previous, diagnosed as loose connection reported from periodic surging while driving. After recent problem with alternator, which required replacement of part, within one week, tps partially failed. Failure was not diagnosed as Kia dealership (sister company to Hyundai) when underwent first repair. Failure required Hyundai dealership to be told exact problem, whereby they confirmed diagnosis. Part required replacement with software updates. Part problem leading to failure should have been able to be diagnosed under first round of testing, and under first repair a week prior. Parts unpredictable failure is believed to present a significant risk while vehicle is operating.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #34

Oct 252014

Santa Fe

  • 74,938 miles
I entered a limited access highway and began to accelerate to merge into traffic when the car began to accelerate wildly with no control over speed. I tried to brake the car but it kept accelerating. I put car in neutral and engine was over-revving frighteningly so I turned off the ignition.I felt the accelerator pedal come up off the floor and tap the sole of my right foot. At this point I was able to get to the shoulder and put on my 4 way flashers. I estimate my top speed to be about 75 mph during this incident. Fortunately I did not contact any other vehicles or objects. My wife was in the front passenger seat. After a few minutes, I restarted the car and it behaved normally. When I reached home I called the dealer and scheduled an appointment with the service department for the next business day.

- Chesapeake,, VA, USA

problem #33

Sep 202014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I was leaving to go to work, my husband walked me out of our house saying goodbye, I was in my driveway, turned my wheel to go around our other car, when all of a sudden the Santa Fe forcefully accelerated (not by me hitting the gas on accident) hitting my husband throwing him to ground (which he is a sturdy guy) an then hitting my other car, it would not stop I had brake pedel down and put on emergency brake on put in reverse and yet nothing just going full force in the back of my other car. I even took my foot off the brake to make sure it was not the gas pedel. It was so scary I did not know if my husband was beening crushed between cars. I was so scared that my kids would come out and get ran over trying to help. I turned off the car (wish I would have thought of that sooner) and finally after pushing my other car at least 5 feet it finally started winding down and making a loud hissing sound. I found my husband lying on the ground thanking god I didnt kill him. I call the police to report what had happend, took pictures of all the damage that the Santa Fe did. We took the Santa Fe back to dealership still under warrenty just purchased 8 months ago only 63,000 miles on it, they said nothing wrong with the car did not want to hear about what happened. Only thing they said was powersteering line crush and whatever damage done from the incident, and tried to charge me $120. So now its at a Hyundai dealership, but seems no one cares what happened. I am very concerned with this problem, where I work I park in a collage campus area with lots of people walking around all the time, I"M at my kids school at lease 8 times a week, what if this happens at the schools? so worried that they will say its okay nothing wrong, ( which already heard that!) but next time might not be so lucky. Need help please!!!!

- Spencer, IN, USA

problem #32

Aug 052014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 57,500 miles
I was attempting to parallel park between two cars and as I was about to cut the wheel to the left to finish the park, my vehicle suddenly accelerated (without my doing) into the car behind me. I had no time to compensate and ultimately crushed the right headlight/frame of the car behind me.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #31

May 252014

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,956 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the accelerator pedal became stuck to the floor and was unable to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was carbon build up in the throttle body causing the throttle to stick. The manufacturer was not made aware of problem. The approximate failure mileage was 14,956. Updated 8/12/14

- Lemont, IL, USA

problem #30

Jun 022014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 8,900 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai sante fe. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated to 90 mph. The contact mentioned that the transmission was able to shift into neutral but the vehicle failed to shut off. Also, the contact stated that he attempted to engage the brakes but the vehicle failed to stop. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 8,900. Updated 09/15/14 updated 1/7/2015

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #29

Apr 292014

Santa Fe

  • 65,000 miles
I had made a left hand turn and went to accelerate and the vehicle kept accelerating and the engine revved up, I tried to push the brake to slow the vehicle down and it would not slow down or stop. The engine revved up and finally after a few moments the gas pedal came unstuck. The car slowed down and I pulled over. Later that day my son drove the vehicle and it happened twice to him when he went to accelerate he said it just kept accelerating and he said he kept hitting the brakes until the care went back to normal. I did take it to the dealership where they said nothing was wrong with my vehicle. I did do a google search and it seems that other owners of the 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe reported the same exact problem.

- Eden, UT, USA

problem #28

Dec 282013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Entered horseshoe casino parking garage and turned into parking level. As I followed Ford Taurus, Hyundai engine changed from normal speed to a roaring acceleration in an instance. I couldn't brake it to a stop and it rammed the rear end of the Taurus. Damage to the sante fe was limited to front bumper damage while the back end of the Taurus was driven forward and torn up. My husband thought the cruise might have gone on; but, he decided the acceleration was too rapid for the cruise. He was in the passenger seat. We drove home without any further trouble.

- Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #27

May 072013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the accelerator pedal would become stuck and in order to release it, the brakes needed to be engaged simultaneously. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and was diagnosed that the throttle body needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 78,000 and the current mileage was 86,000. Updated 01/07/14

- Niantic, CT, USA

problem #26

Nov 042013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Driving my wife's car around 40 mph and for no reason the car started accelerating to a high rate of speed and I had to lay on the brake but when I took my foot off the brake it again started accelerating at a high rate of speed. I put the car in neutral and the engine was racing very high I shut the car off and started it again and it was back to normal. I am concerned that this will happen again. Talked to Hyundai service and they could not give me an answer.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »