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1.4

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
118,211 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Hyundai Santa Fe steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #12

Jun 112014

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 184,500 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Took vehicle in for a normal oil change, and when technician was under the car, he took some pictures of the frame in the front right corner by the front right tire. He was showing me the frame was rusting very, very badly. He warned us that if we hit a small pot hole/bump or the curb at even 5 mph the frame could bust and we could crash. The steering would shake and made chugging feeling when trying to turn, was looked at and power steering looked to be fine and fluid was full. After July 7th it made it very hard to drive and not safe for our family.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Sep 282014

Santa Fe

  • 137,390 miles
Power steering became harder (with a shimmy feel in steering wheel), and noticed a loud whining sound when steering wheel was moved. Stopped car, and checked P/S fluid level, and it was lower than normal (checked on a regular basis). This morning (9/29/14), noticed a large puddle of oil on driveway below car. Again checked P/S fluid level, and it was well below the min. Mark. Went to store and bought P/S oil, and filled up the reservoir. Returned home and saw P/S fluid dripping onto the driveway, refilled the reservoir, and went to the local Hyundai dealer to have it checked out. The dealer inspection revealed rusted metal lines leading to and from the P/S cooler (below radiator), and quoted $540 for replacement of the metal lines and cooler (& 2 days lead time to get parts). There is no recall notice for this corrosion issue. Later went to the local aaa repair center, and they confirmed the Hyundai dealer's findings. Both indicated this is a common problem for this car if they had been driven in the northern states (this car was purchased new in northern Ohio, & garaged there for 8 years). This is a safe driving issue if the P/S pump fails due to insufficient P/S oil for cooling & lubrication due to fluid loss from corroded metal lines.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #9

Aug 202014

Santa Fe

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the power steering failed. The contact stated that excessive force had to be used in order to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician informed the contact of recall NHTSA campaign number: 09V123000 (suspension). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Orleans, MA, USA

problem #8

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 #7

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

problem #6

Nov 262012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 230,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving my 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe, there is pulling of the wheel causing the vehicle to turn sharply to the right. There is significant wear on the front tires and the vehicle will not stay in alignment. There is a screeching noise coming from the rear. After having the timing belt replaced, I was informed by the mechanic there was a rust problem in the front part of the vehicle toward the front right tire. He told me the car is unsafe to drive and the rust on this vehicle is more like rust of a vehicle that is 50 years old not ten years. He also said the frame could break at any time to contact a Hyundai dealership. I contacted the dealership and was told there were no recalls for this problem for my vehicle. I called Hyundai's 800 number only to be told the same thing.

- Cumberland Gap, TN, USA

problem #5

Oct 152012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 120,012 miles
While driving on expressway I noticed the steering wheel went out of center and the vehicle began to wander. An inspection found that where the right front lower control arm attaches to the subframe was completely rotted out on the front bolt. Ordered a new sub frame and lower control arms to remedy the condtion.

- Mokena, IL, USA

problem #4

Sep 182012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 160,022 miles
Took my car for an alignment and tires. Frame where the lower control arms bolt up has serious rust issues. I see in some notes that the rust and corrosion has been an issue for the Hyundai's. is there any way I am eligible to get this repaired by Hyundai or at least at some discounted rate?

- Leonardo, NJ, USA

problem #3

Oct 262011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 72,500 miles
I bought a used 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe with 71,500 mile, seemed in good condition when I paid for it, don't know much about the previous owner's maintenance history. About 1000 miles later this hiss/rattle sound came from the engine as I was driving it, I also noticed when making turns a rubbing sound came from the steering that got worse as the turning angles got more acute, and I began to notice a small leak of reddish fluid I thought may be transmission fluid (turns out to be powering steering fluid). Took it in to the local Hyundai dealer who told me that the power steering return hose line was corroded/leaking. They charged me $250 to fix it. The fix corrected all three observations...

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #2

Jun 072010

Santa Fe

  • 78,000 miles
Power steering failed due to rusted fluid lines.

- Clarendon Hills, IL, USA

problem #1

Mar 172007

Santa Fe

  • 90,000 miles
Premature rusting of powerstering 2 (5 year), & transmission 2 (6 year ), & brake (7 year), steel lines. And ABS, traction control sensor ring on front drive wheels shaft, rust & split, needed to replace axles as the only fix. Right front axle to transmission case seal slips out and leaks oil has been repaired 5 times under warranty & still need to be put back in a oil changes (3000miles) on 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe.

- Schoharie, NY, USA

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