The 6 Most Common Santa Fe Problems

We've pulled together a list of the problems Santa Fe owners.

  1. Rodents Chew Hyundai's Soy Wiring

    The wiring in cars used to be coated in a petroleum-based plastic, but recently automakers, including Hyundai, have switched to a soy-based material. The soy is biodegradable and helps keep plastic out of the landfill (yay!). Unfortunately …

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  2. Blue Link Standard Feature?

    Messages that self-destruct and dastardly extortion – it all sounds like the plot to Mission Impossible, right? But it’s actually the story of Hyundai’s Blue Link systems. Pay up, or it’ll blow up ... or at least shut off.

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  3. Hyundai Theta II Engine Knocking, Seizing, and Sludge

    The Theta II is a gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine that is well known for a lot of things and none of them are good. Bearing failure, metal debris riding on contaminated oil, piston ring defects, siezing, knocking, crying.

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  4. Santa Fe Engine Stalls

    The Santa Fe has an engine with a nasty reputation of stalling at any speed, any time, without any warning. That means no acceleration. No power steering. No power brakes. And one change of pants.

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  5. Panoramic Sunroof Explodes

    Hyundai refuses to acknowledge that their sunroofs have been exploding under normal driving conditions, but they’re offering plenty of coverage to owners if (or when) it happens thanks to a 2019 lawsuit settlement.

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  6. Hyundai's Self-Peeling Paint

    Hyundai’s self-healing paint is advertised to heal minor scratches using a chemical compound called scratch recovery clear. However, owners content over time that same compound allows the paint to come off in large sheets.

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What Santa Fe Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

Santa Fe Generations

The Santa Fe has 4 generations, each with their own issues. Using the same PainRank™ system we've determined that you're better off avoiding the 2nd generation (2007–2012).

  1. 4th Generation Santa Fe

    Years
    2019–2020
    Reliability
    18th of 50
    PainRank
    1.81
    Complaints
    8
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Santa Fe
  2. 3rd Generation Santa Fe

    Years
    2013–2018
    Reliability
    46th of 50
    PainRank
    19.69
    Complaints
    270
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Santa Fe
  3. 2nd Generation Santa Fe

    Years
    2007–2012
    Reliability
    48th of 50
    PainRank
    21.52
    Complaints
    559
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Santa Fe
  4. 1st Generation Santa Fe

    Years
    2001–2006
    Reliability
    33rd of 50
    PainRank
    5.71
    Complaints
    151
    Continue

Santa Fe Key Numbers

  1. 988 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  2. 433 service bulletins

    Documenting the process of troubleshooting common problems.

  3. 29 recall campaigns

    Time-sensitive, free repairs for widespread safety problems.

Recent Santa Fe News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. Tagged
    #investigation
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    More than 1,300 Hyundai vehicles have burst into flames, now the government wants to know why. It’s about time.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was petitioned to look into these non-collision fires last June. The fires are responsible for 26 injuries in Hyundai vehicles and over 100 if you include Kia. The investigation will focus on the Theta II engine, but the NHTSA plans on looking into tail lights and other potential combustion sources as well.

  2. Tagged
    #investigation
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    What are the odds that your car will set itself on fire without ever being involved in a collision?

    Much higher than you’d think, especially if you’re one of these 3 million Hyundai and Kia owners.

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) has put together a list of vehicles that they say should be taken off the road until a pending government investigation ends with a comprehensive recall.

    CAS says Kia and Hyundai have done nothing but provide empty statements about working directly with vehicle owners who report fires. In addition, both automakers seem to be waiting for NHTSA to conclude its investigation to determine if additional actions should be taken.

  3. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    The 2018 Santa Fe Sport already has an airbag recall.

    The side curtain airbag probably won't deploy properly to be able to protect an occupant. In addition, Hyundai says it can't guarantee the detached diffuser will remain in the airbag, and if it doesn't, occupants could be harmed by the projectile.

    This is the same problem affecting Kia and Ford vehicles. The affected SUVs were built between 09/05/17 and 11/30/17.

  4. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    **Hy

    ndai has announced a recall of certain 2017 Santa Fe SUVs with 3.3-liter engines. The automaker says the crankshaft assemblies may have been manufactured with irregularities in the crankshaft pins, something that can cause the engine bearings to wear down. If the SUV continues to be driven with a worn engine bearing, the engine could become damaged to the point of stalling.

    Hyundai is blaming the problem on a heat treatment coil that wasn’t in the right place during manufacturing from January 26, 2017 to February 13, 2017. This led to insufficient heat treatment on the pins.

  5. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    A peeling paint lawsuit has fallen apart after a judge’s recent dismissal.

    The judge said this dismissal is with prejudice because the plaintiffs keep repeating the same allegations that were already dismissed.

    In other words, the plaintiffs had their chance and blew it. The original lawsuit alleged that Hyundai’s paint falls apart as the polymers break down and make the paint susceptible to peeling and flaking.

  6. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    Hyundai is being sued for using soy-based wire insulation that attracts rabbits, mice, squirrels and other creatures.

    The Hyundai lawsuit alleges the automaker denies there is a problem by using the soy-based wiring and since no defect exists, any replacement parts will also consist of soy products.

    The soy-based materials are more biodegradable and generally cost less than their plastic counterparts.…

  7. Tagged
    #news
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    **Ou

    of 37 SUVs tested, only 2 earned the “good” badge during the IIHS’ headlight test, including the 2017 Santa Fe. IIHS found that all the headlights that were rated good and acceptable have projector lenses and the three good-rated headlight variants are HID. However, researchers say having HIDs and/or projector lenses doesn't guarantee good or acceptable ratings.

    The 2017 Santa Fe Sport, meanwhile, received a “poor” rating.

  8. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    The bad news: the Santa Fe (and Sport) have hoods that can fly open and need to be recalled.

    The good news: this is an issue with the secondary latch, which is basically your safety net in case the primary latch fails.

    Hyundai says the 2013-2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport SUVs have secondary hood latch actuating cables that can corrode and bind, causing the secondary latch to stay unlatched when the hood is closed.

  9. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    A pe

    ling paint lawsuit has been dismissed by a California district judge. Whether Hyundai knew the paint was defective was a question because the automaker said third-party websites talked about the problems, but customers weren't complaining directly to Hyundai. In other words, if customers don't complain directly to Hyundai, no one can prove the automaker had prior knowledge of alleged problems.

    This is a terrible argument. Third party websites, like CarComplaints.com, are not only useful for venting. Complaint data is collected, compiled, and shared to other owners who might be having the same problem. Seeing how many others are facing a similar issue can be a catalyst for action.…

  10. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    Federal investigators are taking a look at Hyundai’s handling of Theta II engine recalls to make sure there’s no funny business going on.

    NHTSA says it took action to "investigate both the timeliness and scope of Hyundai's Theta II engine recalls, and Hyundai's compliance with reporting requirements.

    Timely and compliant? Not if you ask this lawsuit. Or this former Hyundai engineer. To date, nearly 1.7 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been recalled.

  11. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    A Santa Fe engine settlement for a lawsuit filed way back in 2014 has finally been approved by a judge.

    The class-action lawsuit was filed by lead plaintiffs Julia Reniger and Greg Battaglia who claim their SUVs kept stalling without warning, causing problems with trying to steer and stop the SUVs.

    For years, owners have been complaining that their engines can stall at any speed.

    With the 2010-2012 Hyundai Santa Fe engine stall class-action lawsuit finalized by the court, the automaker agrees to reimburse customers on a claims-made basis for out-of-pocket costs if the customer's SUV experienced a documented stall. In addition, a software update will be available for free for 10 years after the date the SUVs were sold as new.

  12. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    Hyundai motion to dismiss a panoramic sunroof lawsuit has been denied.

    The 2015 lawsuit says the sunroof glass can explode without warning. The judge previously threw out some claims concerning unfair profit but allowed fraud claims to continue. Hyundai then asked the judge to whittle down the lawsuit even more by throwing out claims based on unjust enrichment, a request denied by the court.

    Hyundai also argued claims of an owner who said the vehicle was unmerchantable within the warranty period should be tossed, but the judge denied the request.

    Hyundai has had problems with sunroofs dating back to a 2012 investigation for the Veloster.

  13. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    Hyundai’s motion to dismiss panoramic sunroof lawsuit was denied, at least partially.

    Hyundai filed to dismiss the shattering sunroof lawsuit and the judge agreed to dismiss almost all the lawsuit except claims based on fraud…

    The judge said the plaintiffs can move forward based on claims of fraud and can amend the complaint if they want the judge to reconsider violations of consumer protection laws and unjust enrichment.

    The lawsuit Billy Glenn v. Hyundai Motor America et al. still has life, but it’s up to the plaintiffs now if they want class-action certification.

  14. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    A class-action lawsuit accuses Hyundai of failing to meet industry standards with their paint in the 2006-2016 Santa Fe, Sonata, and Elantra.

    The plaintiffs say the self-healing process won't work if the scratch is deeper than a surface scratch, such as a chip in the paint caused by a rock flying off the road and hitting the car. Further, there is a concern that if the self-healing process does not occur, the scratch or chip may cause further breakdown of the paint’s molecular structure, in essence triggering the technology to operate in reverse.

    Hyundai’s “self-healing” paint is advertised to heal minor scratches. A chemical compound called scratch recovery clear contains a polymer which, when exposed to ultraviolet light, becomes molten and fills gaps in paint.

    That sounds great, but the plaintiffs claim that long-term exposure to ultraviolet light eventually breaks the polymers down, turning the paint into an ever-molten state that allows it to peel off in sheets.

  15. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    Hyundai is being sued for permanently disabling Blue Link systems if a subscription has been inactive for more than one year.

    The plaintiff claims on or about January 7, 2015, Hyundai notified owners of its Blue Link vehicles whose Blue Link subscriptions had been inactive for more than one year. Hyundai told owners, “If you do not reactivate your Blue Link services by January 28, 2015, your current Blue Link system in your vehicle will be permanently disabled.

    Except, permanent didn’t mean forever if you’re willing to pony up the cash. The Blue Link handbook mentioned that disconnected services could be easily restored for a “nominal reconnection fee.” They just didn’t say what it was.…

  16. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    For

    ears, owners of 2010-2012 Santa Fe have been saying their engines can stall at any speed. Now the issue has found its way to court.

    The lawsuit claims the dealer notification letter admits the SUVs can stall because a heavy load on the alternator can cause a drop in engine rpm. The letter says even if the engine stalls it can be restarted immediately. Furthermore, the dealer letter says a "specific set of operating conditions" must occur before the Santa Fe stalls, but the lawsuit says that is false because Hyundai owners complain the problem can happen at any time.

    The “dealer notification letter” was part of a service campaign by Hyundai which owners say did nothing to fix the actual problem.

  17. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    **Hy

    ndai has been sued because their sunroofs can explode without being struck by an object. Plaintiff Billy Glenn filed the exploding sunroof lawsuit after the glass in his 2014 Santa Fe Sport exploded just months after purchasing the Hyundai. The sunroof was replaced, but Glenn claims the replacement sunroof also shattered and sent glass into the vehicle.

    This is a Hyundai-only lawsuit, but not a Hyundai-only problem. Glass is heavy, temperamental, and doesn’t bend when you go over potholes. So until automakers stop replacing their roofs with glass, I don't see this problem going away.