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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,552 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.

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #8

May 142007

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles


I am suspicious of the braking system of the 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. Once, when driving in wet conditions and approaching an intersection, I tried to stop quickly and the brakes made a strange clumping noise and did not slow the vehicle. I ended up in the middle of the intersection with crossing traffic coming at me. In another incident, while simply driving along the road, one of the tires ran over a shallow impression in the road, not even the size of a pot hole, and the braking system immediately lost hydraulic pressure with the brake pedal depressing to the floor without resistance. The vehicle was traveling down a hill and lost braking ability for approximately 3-5 seconds. Luckily nothing more serious occurred.

- Gales Ferry, CT, USA

problem #7

Jul 282006

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles
: the contact stated the brakes failed while parking which caused the vehicle to hit a building. The vehicle was traveling 2-3 mph. There was damage done to the front end of the vehicle. While driving to the dealership, the brakes failed again. While the vehicle was at the dealership, they could not duplicate the brake problem. After leaving the dealership, the brakes failed again.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #6

Feb 252006

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
ABS brakes engaging prematurely. 1st instance after heavy rain stopped at stop sign on slight slope ABS engaged and kept moving vehicle out onto road. Dealer could not find any problem, however there was a recall to adjust brakes. 2nd instance on snow covered down grade vehicle in front stopped to make left turn and I put my foot on brake, immediately the ABS brakes engaged causing my vehicle to slide into the other vehicle the engaging of the ABS brakes increased the stopping distance of my vehicle and caused the accident ABS brakes are worthless in slow stops on slippery roads and there should be a switch to shut them off.

- Proctorsville, VT, USA

problem #5

Dec 162005

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,008 miles


10/11/2005 - breaks failed at low speed at traffic signal - managed to coast to stop before hitting vehicle ahead of me. Brought vehicle to dealership service department on 10/12/05 - they indicated that they "could not reproduce concern. Operates normally" : on 12/16/05 the problem re-occured resulting in my vehicle hitting the vehicle ahead of me at traffic light intersection (again I applied breaks at a speed of between 5 & 10 miles per hour. Breaks initially seem to grab then dissappear with pedal going to floor board with no affective breaking.

- Greenville, MI, USA

problem #4

Aug 012004

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles
The consumer owns a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. The consumer was having problems with the brake system ever since she owned the vehicle. When the consumer pressed the brake pedal half way down the brake will start to stop the vehicle, but instead of coming to a complete stop, the vehicle will gradually come to a stop. No warning lights illuminated, indicating that there was a problem with the brakes. The service dealer stated that it was the brake design on this vehicle. The contact contacted the manufacturer.

- Bethel, CT, USA

problem #3

Feb 222005

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,400 miles
Three months ago, while I was fully stopped at an intersection with my foot on the brakes, my 2004 Santa Fe suddenly revved up and surged forward, colliding with the car in front of me. This had happened once before (without a collision) and the dealer stated "no problem found." It has now been in the shop three months, and the dealer still states "no problem found." I contacted Hyundai Consumer Affairs who wrote me back stating they had concluded that there was no defect which caused this problem (they never inspected it, however). The car is being traded in; the dealer is being generous on the trade allowance. However, Hyundai still maintains there is no problem and I am told the car will go to auction. Hyundai motor America has taken no action to investigate this serious safety defect.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #2

Feb 232004

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When applying brakes, the vehicle would not stop accordingly. When taken to get serviced, it was determined to be due to the vacuum hose and dirt on the ABS sensor.

- Ahwahnee, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 302004

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My wife had entered a small parking lot and was comming up to a curb about 6" high. When she applied the brake, the vehicle jumped over the curb and into a tree. She is sure that she applied the brake and not the accelerator.

- Davenport, IA, USA

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