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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,648 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.

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #12

Jan 312014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


The fuel gauge on my 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe at around 67K miles started reading empty and then it started reading normal and then empty. Finally it has only read empty for the past couple thousand miles. I was hoping that it would fix itself which it never did. Wishful thinking. I ended up bringing my Santa Fe into the local Hyundai service department to troubleshoot the problem plus replace the front and back brakes, and perform existing recalls. They told me that one of the two fuel pumps located in the gas tank had failed. The fuel pump that failed was the one with the sending unit which provides the signal to the fuel gauge. They told me that I was fortunate that the other fuel pump did not fail as my Hyundai Santa Fe will stop running.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 102011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
I was backing up and as I turned the wheel the car engaged in a sudden acceleration as the motor started to rev. I applied the brakes, but the car would not stop until it plowed through a brick wall at my school.

- West Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #10

Sep 142011

Santa Fe

  • 64,000 miles
I was backing out of a driveway when the accelerator began racing. I was able to stop the vehicle and put it in drive while my foot was on the brake, when the car raced forward, accelerating out of control. I had my feet on the brakes but the brakes did not work and the car continued accelerating forward crashing into a neighbors yard and demolishing their landscaping before I managed to stop the vehicle and turn it off. I was not seriously injured, but it could have ended much differently as I crossed a main highway before the car came to rest. Because I have floor mats other than those issued by Hyundai, I was told by the dealership that the floor mat caused the gas pedal to become stuck in the down position. This is not what happened and would also not explain why the brakes did not work at all.

- Wolcott, CT, USA

problem #9

Nov 112010

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 22,918 miles


Rear brake lock atlow ( 21,000) miles rotor grooved, excessive heat potential fire hazard, out of control steering Hyundai says the brake slides must be lubricated..however, their maintenance schedule does not mention lubrication of brake slides as part of schedule.

- Alban, NY, USA

problem #8

Dec 192010

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 25,300 miles
We have a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. Several times now it had unexpected brake failures. Last time on December 19 2010. I tried to stop the car in the intersection on red light. The brake went to the floor and the car entered the intersection. Second time I hit the pedal and it stopped. Then when I arrived home I tried to park and it happened again. There were similar problems also in 2009. The dealership cannot duplicate the problem. I drive my car in school zones. And this thing happened in the school parking lot too. I do not feel safe driving the car.

- Edinburg, TX, USA

problem #7

Jun 292010

Santa Fe

  • 30,731 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving approximately 55 mph a noise was coming from the rear passenger side wheel. Upon examining the vehicle, the contact noticed that the wheel was very hot and smelled as if it was burning. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the brake calipers were covered with rust. He was also informed that he would be responsible for the repair cost. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 30,731.

- Princeton, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 282010

Santa Fe

  • 20,000 miles


I have experienced brake failure on 2 occasions. I took my 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe to the dealer on Monday, March 1, 2010. The brakes were checked completely, and the vehicle was taken on several test drives. The service tech was unable to duplicate the failure. Therefore nothing was replaced or repaired. The first occasion of brake failure was on Wednesday night, February 24th, I was slowing down and getting ready to make a right turn, as I approached the driveway I put my foot on the brake pad, and it went to the floor, and I coasted past the driveway. Went up turned around, with no brake problem. The second incident was on Sunday February 28th, as I pulled into the church parking lot, I tapped the brake to slow down and turn to park, as I hit the brake, my foot went to the floorboard, and I again coasted past where I wanted to turn. Luckily there was no one walking or stopped in front of me. I am concerned that the next time this happens someone will get hurt. And, I no longer feel safe driving my car.

- St. Peters, MO, USA

problem #5

Feb 242010

Santa Fe

  • miles
The brakes on my 2008 Santa Fe seem to rust excessively. I had lost almost all braking ability last summer when the calipers froze requiring a complete brake job. Lately the rotors are rusting so bad each night that the brakes almost fail to stop the vehicle for the first mile or so of driving.

- Brewerton, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 082009

Santa Fe

  • 11,500 miles
My driver side rear brake started squealing. I pulled over and realized the brake was scorching hot. It happened two more times after that. I called the dealership, they said bring it in. It was frozen pads in caliper slides. I was also told I should have the brakes cleaned once a year?! I was also charged $89.95.

- Marlboro, MA, USA

problem #3

May 122009

Santa Fe

  • 3,731 miles
This failure occurred on two separate occasions. After starting from a stopped position the brakes were applied and the pedal went right to the floor with no braking action. Within one to two pumps the breaking returned to normal operation.

- Westerly, RI, USA

problem #2

May 082009

Santa Fe

  • 1,095 miles
I purchased a brand new 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe gls AWD on 4/13/2009. On Friday, May 8, 2009 at approx 5:20 pm I was driving to my sisters who lives 5 minutes away with my son in the car. I had just turned onto the street and a red light was 1 block away. I was slowing down, when I was about two car lengths from the next vehicle I applied the brake it went all the way to floor. I pumped the brake several times with no response. I immediately turned the wheel toward the side of the road to go in a ditch when the brake finally engaged and I stopped. I slowly drove into a nearby parking lot. Tested the brakes and continued to my sisters. Four hours later we were driving home. Still cautious and leaving room between me and other cars. I was completely stopped. The brake let go and my car shot forward. Luckily I hit the brake again and it caught. My son and I both were pulled back and hit the seats by the seat belts. I drove the few blocks home and called a tow truck the next morning. My vehicle has been at the dealer since. They are insisting that I pick up the vehicle tomorrow even though they have not found the cause. They refuse to repair anything because they are unable to duplicate it. I am not comfortable driving a vehicle just waiting for the next brake failure. I may not be lucky next time and may fine myself in an accident where myself and others could be injured. I have seen many reports from others online with the same issues. There must be some defect on the brakes in this vehicle and I hope someone will make Hyundai be responsible and fix their vehicles and back their product before someone is seriously injured.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #1

Jul 192008

Santa Fe

  • 1,500 miles
I have a new 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe with 1,500 miles. After driving on an interstate and driving a short distance after stopping for the exit ramp, I attempted to stop again. The brake pedal went to the floor with no action whatsoever. I tried again and it stopped. I checked the brake fluid level and it was still full. I checked for any visible signs of liquid leaks around the wheels, but observed none. Two hours later the same occurrence and the next day the same occurrence. There were no injuries or accidents as I kept driving slowly and checking the brakes frequently. I've scheduled an appointment with the local Hyundai dealer.

- Canton, OH, USA

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