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 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Non-crash Vehicle Fires

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP18003

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System: Battery: Propulsion System
    Electrical System: Instrument Panel
    Electrical System:Alternator/Generator/Regulator
    Electrical System:Battery
    Electrical System:Battery:Cables
    Electrical System:Fuses And Circuit Breakers
    Electrical System:Ignition
    Electrical System:Ignition:Anti-Theft Controller
    Electrical System:Ignition:Module
    Electrical System:Ignition:Switch
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly:Relay
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly:Solenoid
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Electrical System:Wiring: Rear Compartment/Trunk
    Electrical System:Wiring:Front Underhood
    Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
    Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Fan
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Hose
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Radiator Assembly
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline:Belts

    Summary: In a letter dated June 11, 2018, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a safety defect investigation into non-collision related fires on model year (MY) 2011-2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles. In a letter dated July 24, 2018, CAS requested that MY 2010-2015 Kia Soul vehicles be added to the petition. CAS stated that there is a higher number of complaints to NHTSA regarding non-crash fires on these vehicles compared to other similar vehicles. The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) had already opened Recall Queries (RQ17-003 and RQ17-004) on all Kia and Hyundai vehicles equipped with Theta II engines for engine failures that may cause stalling and fires.The queries cover most of the petition subject Optima, Sorento, Sonata, and Santa Fe vehicles but not any of the subject Soul vehicles.On August 21, 2018, ODI opened a Defect Petition (DP18-003) to evaluate whether to grant or deny the CAS petition. ODI sent Information Request letters to Kia and Hyundai (September and October 2018) requesting information on all engine and non-engine related fires in the petition vehicles.ODI performed extensive analysis on the information obtained from Kia and Hyundai. During the DP18-003 analysis, Kia and Hyundai each initiated three additional safety recalls related to engine compartment fires on certain petitioned and non-petitioned vehicles (nearly 740,000 total vehicles: Recalls 18V-907, 18V-934, 19V-101, 19V-063, 19V-120, and 19V-204). Based on ODI-s review of the applicable materials, including responses to Information Requests sent to multiple manufacturers, Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQ), and Early Warning Data, NHTSA decided to grant the petition.The CAS petition was granted on March 29, 2019. Preliminary Evaluations (PE19-003 on Hyundai and PE19-004 on Kia) have been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of alleged defects relating to non-collision vehicle fires in the 2011-2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe, and 2010-2015 Kia Soul.Attached is a list of the reference numbers for the 404 VOQs cited above.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Non-crash Vehicle Fires

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE19003

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: March 29, 2019
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System: Battery: Propulsion System
    Electrical System:Alternator/Generator/Regulator
    Electrical System:Battery
    Electrical System:Battery:Cables
    Electrical System:Fuses And Circuit Breakers
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly:Relay
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly:Solenoid
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Electrical System:Wiring: Rear Compartment/Trunk
    Electrical System:Wiring:Front Underhood
    Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
    Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Fan
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Hose
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Radiator Assembly
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Diesel
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline:Belts And Associated Pulleys
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline:Turbo-Charger
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Other Fuel Types:Turbo-Charg

    Summary: In a letter dated Jun 11, 2018, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a safety defect investigation into non-collision related fires on model year (MY) 2011-2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles.In a letter dated July 24, 2018, CAS requested that MY 2010-2015 Kia Soul vehicles be added to the petition.CAS stated that there is a higher number of complaints to NHTSA regarding non-crash fires on these vehicles compared to other similar vehicles.The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) had already opened a Recall Query (RQ17-004) on all Hyundai vehicles equipped with Theta II engines for engine failures that may cause stalling and fires.The query covers most of the petition subject Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles.On August 21, 2018, ODI opened a Defect Petition (DP18-003) to evaluate whether to grant or deny the CAS petition.ODI sent an Information Request letter to Hyundai (September 2018) requesting information on all engine and non-engine related fires in the petition Hyundai vehicles.ODI performed extensive analysis on the information obtained from Hyundai.During the DP18-003 analysis, Hyundai initiated three additional safety recalls related to engine compartment fires on certain petitioned and non-petitioned vehicles, (nearly 240,000 total vehicles: Recalls 18V-934, 19V-063, and 19V-204). In addition to engine compartment fires, ODI has received allegations of vehicle fires affecting other components, including taillight housings, taillight wire harnesses, and/or light bulbs. Based on ODI's review of the applicable materials, including responses to Information Requests sent to multiple manufacturers, Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQ), and Early Warning Data, NHTSA has decided to grant the petition.The petition is hereby granted. A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of alleged defects relating to non-collision vehicle fires in the 2011-2014 Sonata and 2011-2014 Santa Fe.While prior recalls of vehicles covered by this PE have primarily related to engine fires, NHTSA's Preliminary Evaluation is not limited to engine components and may cover additional vehicle systems or components as well.Attached is a list of the reference numbers for the 160 VOQs cited above.

  3. INVESTIGATION: Scope and Timeliness

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ17004

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: May 18, 2017
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Engine

    Summary: On September 10, 2015, Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) filed a Defect Information Report (DIR) recalling 470,000 MY 2011 and 2012 Sonata vehicles with ""Theta II" engines (Recall No. 15V-568). Hyundai's DIR described the defect as an issue involving manufacturing debris. Hyundai limited the population of recalled vehicles to those produced on or prior to April 12, 2012, stating that a process change in April 2012 resolved the issue of manufacturing debris. On March 31, 2017, Hyundai expanded its original recall to include 572,000 MY 2013-2014 Sonata and Santa Fe Sport vehicles with "Theta II" engines (Recall No. 17V-226). The DIR continues to describe the defect as an issue involving manufacturing debris.This RQ is being opened to investigate both the timeliness and scope of Hyundai's "Theta II" engine recalls, and Hyundai's compliance with reporting requirements.

  4. INVESTIGATION: Front Axle Shaft Failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13025

    Component(s): Power Train
    Power Train:Axle Assembly:Axle Shaft

    Summary: In a letter dated August 9, 2013, Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc. (Hyundai-Kia) submitted two Defect Information Reports (DIR) to NHTSA identifying a safety defect related to fracture of the right front axle shaft in MY 2013 front wheel drive Hyundai Santa Fe Sport vehicles built from July 13, 2012 through March 12, 2013 and MY 2014 front wheel drive Kia Sorento vehicles built from January 7 through March 12, 2013 (Recall Nos. 13V-355 and 13V-356).According to Hyundai-Kia, the right front axle driveshaft may develop a crack in the area of the stub at the wheel end of the shaft due to problems with the stub supplier's forging process for axles installed in vehicles built prior to March 12, 2013.When moving from a stop, the crack can lead to a separation of the shaft, causing a loud noise and loss of motive power.In addition, should the driver fail to engage the parking brake on an inclined surface, the vehicle may roll.In either case, a crash could result.ODI's review of consumer complaints and data submitted by Hyundai-Kia, identified 21 complaints alleging right-front axle shaft failure and 60 warranty claims related to right front axle replacements.All of the vehicles identified in the complaints and warranty claims were manufactured during the vehicle builds periods identified in the DIR.The Preliminary Evaluation is closed.The ODI report cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification (ODI) numbers: 10524563, 10524274, 10508727, and 10505768.