Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,018 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.

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #9

Jul 012014

Santa Fe

  • 72,000 miles


I was in a minor accident when the braking system failed on my 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. I could not stop the SUV and ran into a guardrail. I could have been hurt or killed because of this. Others could have been hurt or killed. The dealership in beaver falls, pa has done nothing for the problem and I have brought it in and they said that my model is not affected which I find that very hard to believe. I am selling the car but I also want to let someone know that I am taking it to the dealer in the morning to get the coil recalls done. If the dealer decides not to do that either and with the air bag problem someone is going to get hurt or maybe killed driving this car and I just want to do my part and I do not want a law suit on my shoulders. I will give them one more chance to do the right thing. I have not drove the car since I had the accident and want to sell it and to do so I am having it inspected too. All the work should have been under warranty at the time I had the accident ! I guess it must be to expensive to fix and a life does not matter anymore to anyone in this sick world.

- Beaver Falls, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 172015

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 118,867 miles
Today 6/17 I was driving at speed limit, everything was fine just like a regular rainy day, I was braking like a should with time and distance. I come to a stop light and then continue, I started to feel that the car would suddenly slow down by itself like if it was braking on its own, and stopped in the middle of the street, the car was stuck the brakes were engaged and would not release. The ABS and tcs off lights stayed on and my car was no longer operational. I purchased this car on 8/11/14 Santa Fe VIN#[xxx] year 2003(odometer reader 1100311) model Santa Fe gls/XL. They even sold me an extended warranty for 24 month. At hub Hyundai 17007 katy freeway, katy, tx 77094. I need to know if there has been a recall for this issue for this year model. My car was towed and now sitting in my driveway with locked breaks. I greatly appreciate your help with this issue. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 102010

Santa Fe

  • 155,000 miles
The brakes do not brake properly and the stopping distance is extended before coming to a complete stop when car is driven in early morning.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 152006

Santa Fe

  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving at various speeds, a loud abnormal noise emitted from all of the tires and the brake warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake sliders needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #5

Oct 282014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 93,294 miles
The brakes failed as I was backing out of my driveway. This vehicle was purchased and used by my son in the metro New York - New Jersey area. It is involved in the Hyundai recall campaign #124 because of a concern with corrosion since it was operated in 'the salt belt' for many years. (I obtained the vehicle from him and it has been in Florida for the past few years.) I believe that the same corrosion from road salt attacked the brake lines on the vehicle and caused this failure. This could have resulted in serious injury or death had I been on the highway. The aaa automobile club driver who picked up the vehicle for Transport to my service station noted that he has repeatedly seen this problem with the sante fe model. I believe this is an issue that NHTSA should investigate so that others in the class can be spared injury or death. Aside from the inconvenience and loss of the vehicle's use, I had a direct expense of $455.59 to make the repair.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #4

May 212013

Santa Fe

  • 112,000 miles
2003 Hyundai sante fe gls - drove through a 2 inch deep puddle. Lost power steering, battery light and brake light flashed then a rubber burning smell started. Drove the car for two additional days after the repair shop couldn't find anything. Then driving home from work, airbag light turned on, brake light turned on battery light turned on, all analog instruments failed, tach failed, braking became inconsistent and engine started missing. I drove directly to repair shop, as I made my final turn into the repair shop the power steering failed then the car shutoff. Early report from mechanic is a failed alternator - my third one in the last year. I think I have a larger electrical problem with the car, fans fluctuate in speed for the past couple of years and every time it rains I get flashing brake and battery lights. Losing the power steering twice in three days is a little unsettling... ## VIN failed ##

- Vadnais Heights, MN, USA

problem #3

Mar 082012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


At slow speeds, while lightly applying brakes, ABS causes chatter and extends stopping distance.

- Ripon, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 222013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
I had new brake pads and rotors put on my car last year 2012 because the brake shoe fell off on the drivers side. I began to have a scrapping noise in March 2013 and then on approximately March 22, 2013 when I was returning from the doctor's office my car seized when I was at a stop. It would not move forward and I could not turn. Two guys came to assist me to push me to the side of the road and the car would not budge. I had my car towed to Goodyear in schenectady. I needed to replace my brake pads, rotors, and pistons. The repair cost $476. The car is now making a scrapping noise again. I have read multiple complaints regarding the brakes for this car and I believe that Hyundai or the state authority should make a recall for the brakes, and associated parts. I would like to be refunded the repair costs for last year and this year.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 072012

Santa Fe

  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the brake light would fluctuate on and off. The brake light would only remain erroneously illuminated until the contact added more brake fluid to the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the dealer advised the contact that the ABS control unit module needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and stated that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 04V131000(service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module ), but the contact stated that the remedy for the recall did not repair the failure. The failure mileage was 91,000 and the current mileage was 92,000.

- Derwood, MD, USA

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