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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,869 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Feb 222016

Santa Fe

  • 94,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the accelerator pedal went entirely to the floorboard and remained stuck when it was released. The contact violently depressed the brakes and maneuver to the side of the road. After few minutes, the accelerator pedal released and functioned as normal. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure reoccurred twice. The approximate failure mileage was 94,000. The VIN was not available.

- Glen Cove, NY, USA

problem #39

Nov 122015

Santa Fe

  • 80,000 miles
The vehicle so far has had two instances of uncontrolled acceleration, not just sudden but while driving and performing a passing maneuver or need to accelerate quickly the transmission will get stuck on a gear, pressing the brake or shifting to manual mode, attempting to shift up or down or back to D or N will not stop the acceleration. I just kept my foot on the brake, put hazards on, turned off the engine (left key in accessories) and then coasted to the shoulder. The minute I turned the engine off I gained stop control, prior, mashing on the brake wasn't stopping the car. Once I coasted to the side of the road, I waited a minute or so, carefully restarted the car and things were back to normal. The first time this happened the transmission seemed be stuck on 5th gear, but when I shifted from D to manual and back the acceleration returned to normal. The second time this has happened, the transmission seemed to be stuck on 3rd, the initial description above is about the 2nd instance. Taking the vehicle to dealer and will avoid rabbit starts or initiating any rapid acceleration, which seems to be where the transmission or some sensor is getting bad data. My guess it's the throttle body positioning sensor. Although I would assume that if the computer/transmission experience a bad signal or loss of signal from a sensor that the default action would be to shut off... not lock in a gear with no means to stop other than shutting off the engine.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #38

Apr 212015

Santa Fe

  • 99,617 miles
My Santa Fe AWD 2008 was bought in June 2009 and now has ~99K mileage. I had four or five similar incidents with my Santa Fe starting on 4/21/15, which led to significant power loss and speed loss of the car on the road. The first time, I was driving on a local road at ~25 mph. Suddenly I felt the car lost the power and began to slow down. I stepped down on the accelerator, but the car could not accelerate (the speed dropped to ~10 mph). I saw 3 system indicator/warning lights on: The ESC off(electronic stability control) and check engine indicators had a steady light and the AWD system warning light was flashing. I pulled off to the side of the road, shut off the car, waited ~1 minute, and then restarted the car. The check engine light stayed on, but the other lights went out. Then I drove the car to continue to my job. The 2nd incident occurred on my way home. The same scenario except that I was driving at ~40 mph at the time. The sudden power loss caused the car speed quickly dropped to ~10 mph and probably led the car behind mine to make a sudden stop to avoid a crash. Again, I pulled off to the side of the road, shut off the engine, and then restarted the car with the check engine light staying on. The other times I was on the cresent city connection (bridge) in the center lane. I had to work my way over two lanes to turn the vehicle off to restart to continue on my way to or from work. After the 5th time, I did some research online and found an article stating that this problem was on the tsb (technical safety bulletin). Maybe someone somewhere should be aware of more than one vehicle having this problem.......

- Gretna , LA, USA

problem #37

Nov 072014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles

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

The car accelerated while brake pedal was being depressed and would not stop accelerating. Car had to be thrown into neutral and key turned off. All four brakes were burnt up. Thankfully no one was injured nor was there a crash. The repair shop could not find any issue on their diagnostic machine other than the RPM's rising even though brake was being applied. So they know it happened but just don't know why. Called Hyundai to document this and their only response was there was no recall and I should take it to a Hyundai dealer for diagnostic study. Sure - spend more money with Hyundai for them to tell me nothing. This problem needs to be addressed prior to the loss of 30+ lives.

- Woodridge, IL, USA

problem #36

Jun 232014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Was on an interstate with cruise control set to 65 mph. Was attempting to pass another vehicle, thus depressed the throttle pedal. The throttle stuck wide open. Applied brakes but kept on increasing speed. Depressed throttle pedal several times but no change. Turned cruise control off, no change. Had to pull over, put vehicle in park with brake pressed and turned key off. Waited several minutes then back on, throttle pedal started to respond. Second instance, was accelerating to merge onto interstate from a ramp, had previously had cruise control set to 65 mph, throttle stuck wide open, again had to pulled over, put the vehicle into park, and turn off ignition. I checked to ensure floor mat was not interfering throttle pedal, it was not. Problem has recurred 4 times now on this vehicle all while trying to accelerate to either pass a vehicle or merge onto an interstate. All times the cruise control had been engaged.

- Davison, MI, USA

problem #35

Jul 062014

Santa Fe

  • 44,000 miles
My Santa Fe limited AWD 2008 was bought at the end of Feb 2009 and now has ~44K mileage. I had two similar incidents with my Santa Fe today (7/6/2014), which led to significant power loss and speed loss of the car on the road. The first time, I was driving on a local road at ~45 mph. Suddenly I felt the car lost the power and began to slow down. I stepped down on the accelerator, but the car could not accelerate (the speed dropped to ~20 mph). I saw 3 system indicator/warning lights on: The ESC off(electronic stability control) and check engine indicators had a steady light and the AWD system warning light was flashing. I pulled off to the side of the road, shut off the car, waited ~1 minute, and then restarted the car. The check engine light stayed on, but the other lights went out. Then I drove the car to continue my grocery shopping (several stops, ~30 miles in total). The 2nd incident occurred on my way home. The same scenario except that I was driving at ~40 mph and going uphill at the time. The sudden power loss caused the car speed quickly dropped to ~10 mph and probably led the car behind mine to make a sudden stop to avoid a crash. Again, I pulled off to the side of the road, shut off the engine, and then restarted the car with the check engine light staying on. After got home safely, I did some search online and found several similar incidents reported on Hyundai Santa Fe SUVS before (see the attached links below). So I decided to report this serious issue. The link of websites with similar incidents reported: 1. www.justanswer.com/Hyundai/47Z2R-Hyundai-santa-fe-limited-hi-Hyundai-santa-fe-AWD-2008.html 2. forums.edmunds.com/discussion/9216/Hyundai/santa-fe/Hyundai-santa-fe-engine-problems/P2 (altosteph post) 3. www.hyundaiforum.com/forum/Hyundai-santa-fe-20/4WD-system-warning-light-blinking-loss-power-12357/

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #34

Jun 252014

Santa Fe

  • 18,000 miles

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

6/25/14, on interstate with cruise control at 65mph. Depressed the throttle pedal to pass a vehicle. Throttle stuck wide open. Applied brakes but kept on increasing speed. Depressed throttle pedal several times but no change. Turned cruise control off, no change. Turned key to acc and then back to on but no change. Turned key to acc and waited several seconds then back on. Throttle pedal started to respond. Pulled over and checked if floor mat was jamming throttle pedal. No problem, no jamming. Problem repeated again. Continued to destination and tried cruise control but it would not set. Turned cruise control off. SUV was parked overnight at destination. On return trip throttle and cruise control worked fine. 6/30/14, took SUV to ray brandt Hyundai, they found no codes set and could not duplicate the problem. It seems if both the throttle is wide open and the brakes are being applied then a code should be set.this is a major safety problem! the site below documents 3 additional occurrences:

- Harvey, LA, USA

problem #33

May 202014

Santa Fe

  • 79,404 miles
The 2008 Santa Fe traveling between 55& 60mph on divided highway would not slow down when I took my foot off of accelerator. I applied brakes but difficult to make vehicle stop. I think I slowed it down a lot but did not or would not be able to stop. It was like idle got stuck on high! after 20 seconds or so the acceleration returned to normal & I proceeded. It was scary ! first time this happened. I just had it in for service to replace to headlights & missing screw under front seat.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #32

Apr 082014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 94,049 miles
I was moving my car in front of my carport. With my foot on the brake, the car suddenly accelerated. The brakes had no effect, there was only a few seconds to react. The car was stopped by the poll. Is it safe to drive it again?

- Owings, MD, USA

problem #31

Dec 052013

Santa Fe

  • 52,000 miles
Was second vehicle at stop light with foot on brake. Vehicle suddenly lunged forward overriding brake, and hit back of vehicle in front causing damage and possible injury to other driver. Had pedestrians been in front, could easily have run over them. Months prior, twice on same day engine power died while driving. Hyundai replaced throttle position sensor.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #30

Aug 152013

Santa Fe

  • 97,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated as the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer, who stated that the throttle control sensor was defective. The dealer replaced the throttle control sensor. The failure mileage was 97,000.

- Godlesville, TN, USA

problem #29

Jul 312013

Santa Fe

  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai sante fe. The contact stated while driving 20 mph, the vehicle accelerated without manual force causing the front driver side to crash into a tree. The contact sustained a broken neck, stomach and chest bruising, as well as lacerations. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Mocksville, NC, USA

problem #28

Oct 092009

Santa Fe

  • 56,000 miles
See attached email updated 06/04/2013 the occupant classification system (osc) does not consistently recognize small-statured adults, causing the passenger side air bag to deactivate when such person occupy the front seat. Also, there were problems with the transmission, a knocking noise coming from the front of the vehicle, the vehicle shutting down, an issue with the throttle cable, and a whining sound upon acceleration.

- Ririe, ID, USA

problem #27

Apr 172013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the engine rpms increased excessively as the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. The contact stated that the brakes failed to respond and the vehicle was placed in neutral in order to stop the failure. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the failure was unable to be replicated. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 95,000.

- Anaheim , CA, USA

problem #26

Jan 042013

Santa Fe

  • 58,000 miles
As I was driving at approximately 35mph going up a hill, my 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe accelerated at a very high rate of speed and pushing the brakes at full pressure only slowed the vehicle it would not stop and the engine revved. I was in a panic because vehicles were in front of me and I almost slammed into them. I managed to pull to the side and travel on the side of the road trying to stop my vehicle. I finally shifted from drive to neutral all the while pushing the brakes and got the vehicle in park. I have never been so scared in my life and fortunately did not hit any other vehicle. I called a tow truck to tow the vehicle to my garage because I was to afraid to drive it. I am awaiting diagnosis.. unfortunately it was late Friday afternoon and the garage was closed. They will not be able to look at until Monday.

- North Waterboro, ME, USA

problem #25

Sep 142012

Santa Fe

  • 35,000 miles
The are three layers of floor covering on this vehicle. The first is the wall to wall carpet. The second is a floor mat, made of carpet material which is securely anchored to the floor of the vehicle. The third layer of floor covering is a thick rubber mat. The rubber mat rests atop the carpeted floor mat unanchored. It slides around on top of the carpeted floor mat and prevents a severe hazard because it occasionally lodges itself under the accelerator pedal, causing the pedal to jam. This danger can be extreme because when the gas pedal jams in an intermediate throttle setting, it lengthens the stopping distance and has been known to cause a traffic accident.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #24

May 092012

Santa Fe

  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the check engine light was illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the throttle body sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The contact then experienced a failure in which there was an increase in the engine rpms, but the vehicle did not immediately accelerate. The vehicle then jerked forward and began to accelerate. The dealer inspected the vehicle and stated that they could not duplicate the failure or diagnose the cause. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #23

Aug 012010

Santa Fe

  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, she attempted to accelerate further but the vehicle would not accelerate. There was an increase in engine rpms, but the vehicle would not accelerate. The failure recurred on an intermittent basis. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired yet the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the throttle sensor was replaced but to no avail. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 20,000.

- Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #22

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 #21

Sep 282011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 68,775 miles
While driving on the freeway I accelerated and my car continued to accelerate rapidly by itself. I was going approx. 65mph, and within a few seconds my car was accelerating on its own to 80 or more mph. I applied my brakes but they couldn't counteract the acceleration very well. I was able to pull over to the side of the freeway and put the car into neutral. When the car eventually slowed down, the gas pedal made a loud sound like it had released itself. This is the second time I have had this very scary event in two months, both on the freeway. The first time I was so shaken and shocked that I felt I hadn't had time to observe what was happening at the time. This last time I was able to pay close attention to what was happening. There was no interference with my floor mat. It was pure and simple: My gas pedal was dangerously accelerating by itself. I took my sante fe into the dealership and gave them a copy of many complaints from other sante fe owners that have experienced the exact incident, some resulting in accidents. In all cases the problem could not be duplicated by the dealership and could not be repaired nor explained. Sure enough, in my case the dealership could neither duplicate, explain, nor repair the problem. I am now fearful to drive my car, and I will sell it soon.

- Lansing, MI, USA

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