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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe has a problem with the engine stalling while driving. Both our data & the NHTSA's complaint data show a significant defect trend at low mileage.

In a 2-page letter to owners in August 2014, Hyundai claims the engine stalling only occurs under a "specific set of operating conditions".

However a class action lawsuit filed around the same time details multiple claims from Sante Fe owners that claim the engine stalling happens at any time, under any conditions.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,154 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.

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Apr 122013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 5,900 miles

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

This has occurred twice (5900 miles and 7000 miles). At a red light, the engine will shut off with no symptoms. It is only when the light turns green and the gas pedal is pressed do you notice the engine has stopped. I see as a dangerous situation. Dealer says with no check engine " on" there is no way to find the problem.

- Kingston, NH, USA

problem #20

May 022013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 29,827 miles
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe had complete power loss on interstate while moving at 65mph in the left most lane. Engine shuttered, check engine light came on and engine power went to idle RPM. There was no throttle responce and steering became heavy. Managed to cross two lanes and get the vehicle to the shoulder. Shut vehicle off and restarted it. Check engine light stayed on and engine appeared to function normally. Accelerated from shoulder into traffic. Drove for 1/4 mile and incident again repeated itself as described above. Fearing for my safety, I parked the vehicle and had it towed to dealer whom I purchased vehicle from. I called (on 5-2-13) the dealer and told them what was happening. The next morning (5-3-12) I called them at 9am to find status of repair. They stated it was already repaired. They stated it is related to the trottle position sensor. They stated they were well aware of the problem. They stated they were having many of the same issues with this type of vehilce. They stated there was a tsb on the problem. Does someone have to be injured or killed before a manufacture has the obligation to correct a known problem that repeats itself" look at all the other reports and complaints! I have a wife and 2 children that ride in this vehicle. What now"

- Weatogue, CT, USA

problem #19

Jan 242013

Santa Fe

  • 2,766 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning while sitting at a traffic stop. The failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed but the dealer was unable to generate a failure code. The dealer also test drove the vehicle but was unable to duplicate the failure. The dealer reset the electronic control module as a precaution. The failure was not corrected however, and the vehicle continued to stall when stopped. The failure mileage was 2,766 and the approximate failure mileage was 3,000.

- Freeport , NY, USA

problem #18

Apr 062013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 3,200 miles

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

This complaint involves the intermittent total lack of engine power with no throttle response. Please note that the engine does not stall nor do any instrument panel lights come on. For two to four seconds, there is absolute silence and then all of a sudden the engine springs to life and, depending on where you have your foot on the accelerator, the vehicle proceeds or lurches forward. All three incidents were while driving slowly in grocery store parking lots, involving several stop and go incidents through slow moving traffic. The first incident took me by surprise and I thought the engine stalled. I was going to shift to neutral for a restart, but before I could, the engine came back to life and I nearly rear-ended the car in front of me. The second incident was when leaving this same parking lot, except I was entering a divided highway, expecting to merge into 55+mph traffic, when the loss of engine occurred again. Luckily I avoided being hit by oncoming vehicles and was able to get in to the next opening after the engine again came back to life on it's own. The latest incident took place in a different market parking lot. I was in a line of vehicles stopped at the stop sign at the entrance to the market where pedestrians cross. The truck ahead of me proceeded through and when I started to come up to the stop sign, the engine died, but restarted it self as before. My foot was approximately half way down on the accelerator and when everything engaged, the front tires screeched and startled several people in the cross walk, along with myself. Fortunately I was able to brake quickly and avert a possible disaster. This situation is extremely dangerous and I can foresee the potential for serious injury due to this problem. Internet research shows many more of these same vehicles are prone to this same defect. Thank you.

- Leesburg, FL, USA

problem #17

Jan 272013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 9,805 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the vehicle lost acceleration power and did not accelerate over 30 mph. The engine had to be shut off for the vehicle to regain acceleration. The dealer replaced the throttle body and the computer system was updated. Less than two weeks later, the failure recurred. The vehicle was returned to the dealer and the throttle body was again replaced and the contact was awaiting the results of more testing. The manufacturer was notified and advised her to take the vehicle to a different dealer. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure was 9,805 according to the invoice, the check engine light illuminated several times, and each time the vehicle was taken to the dealer. Updated 02/27/13

- Fitchburg, MA, USA

problem #16

Dec 242012

Santa Fe

  • 16,800 miles
As I was driving vehicle lost all power on a highway very dangerous situation. Again this has happened a second time now with 17000 miles. Dealership said computer update the first time now throttle body I don't think there is an answer very dangerous.

- Mount Kisco , NY, USA

problem #15

Jan 202013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 11,000 miles

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

This is the fourth time since the purchase in April, 2012. The engine just shuts off while driving normally at a low speed. The dealer shop obviously could not find any issues. I cannot understand why this type of highly dangerous problem is not being addressed by NHTSA urgently. I see that there are other complaints of this nature reported. I cannot believe that I have to risk our family lives to prove that there is a serious fault with this vehicle!

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #14

Nov 012012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
At 2 times in the last few months the car engine has suddenly stopped while driving slowly on level ground. Lost power steering and power brakes. Car restarted immediately. So far dealership unable to reproduce or help with problem.

- Nacogloches, TX, USA

problem #13

Jan 042013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 6,300 miles
In stop and go traffic, I took my foot off the brake to coast towards the car in front of me. This pattern had been going on for several miles. I was not touching the accelerator and in fact, my foot was not on the brake either, and the car suddenly accelerated full throttle. I had just a couple of seconds to try to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of me. I swerved to the right, towards the shoulder, but I hit the truck in front of me. I was braking the entire time, but it was not enough to stop the sudden unintended acceleration. My left bumper hit his truck on the right hand side of his bumper. My radiator was damaged and leaked all the fluid out onto the highway. The car was not drivable because of the radiator.

- Hudson Oaks, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 122013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 5,177 miles
Just got out of a shopping center and onto mira mesa blvd, san diego. Car stalled! I was going @ 30 miles/hour or so. Total miles on the car when this happened were 5177 miles. When it stalls, it behaves as if key is moved to on position but car has not been started. This is the 4th time car has stalled since I bought new in August (yes, in 5 months and within @ 5,000 miles). Prior two times were just a before christmas on 12/23/2012 (on the same day, @ 1 minute apart). At this time I was going slow speed @ 25 miles/hour on a windy down hill road. Fortunately, there were no fast moving cars behind me in all 4 cases. I am afraid that someone may hit me from behind when car stalls like this. Car has been to dealer twice for the same issue. They seems to have no clue. Last time I went, just after christmas, that changed throttle body. I was hopping that it will fix the issue but I am not that lucky as it came back in just 3 weeks! I have opened a case with Hyundai already right after the first incident, will have to follow up with them again.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 042013

Santa Fe

  • 6,300 miles

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

In stop and go traffic, I took my foot off the brake to coast towards the car in front of me. This pattern had been going on for several miles. I was not touching the accelerator and in fact, my foot was not on the brake either, and the car suddenly accelerated full throttle. I had just a couple of seconds to try to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of me. I swerved to the right, towards the shoulder, but I hit the truck in front of me. I was braking the entire time, but it was not enough to stop the sudden unintended acceleration. My left bumper hit his truck on the right hand side of his bumper. My radiator was damaged and leaked all the fluid out onto the highway. The car was not drivable because of the radiator.

- Hudson Oaks, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 212012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 8,500 miles
Without any warning, the engine shut off while driving normally. This is the third time since the purchase, and please advise any way to take action on this dangerous issue. I just know that the dealer will just say that they will look into it, and they will not be able to fix this. Do I have to go through all the visits to the dealer and build a case for a lemon" where can I get help"

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 312012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
While turning into a parking lot, engine died without warning. This is the third time the engine has died without warning while driving at low speeds. When the engine dies, the car loses steering and brakes and is very unsafe.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #8

Oct 312012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 2,600 miles
Vehicle stalled as turning into driveway of shopping complex. The steering wheel froze as I was trying to turn left. In the dashboard, no lights on except "malfunction indicator" light was lit. Restarted car and drove on, the "malfunction light" got turned off, came home and then called dealer. Drove to dealer but they could not diagnose the issue since the light was not on and so no code can be found. Car is less than 3 months old and not even 3000 miles on the car. I feel this car is not safe unless Hyundai takes care of the problem. Not diagnosing and addressing the issue makes me concerned. If car stalls while driving then that is very dangerous as it can cause an accident such as car hitting from behind. I am very much concern with such a problem for car as new as mine.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 262012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 7,600 miles
Without any warning, the engine shut off with the gear in D - driving on a flat road normally. This also happened around 3500 miles around July 20, 2012.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 172012

Santa Fe

  • 2,600 miles
Engine would intermittently run rough, sputter and choke while driving.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #5

Sep 172012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 3,562 miles
This is the 6th engine stalling during driving. The engine light, engine oil pressure and charging system lights were on. The dealer could not diagnose or fix it.

- Wynnewood, PA, USA

problem #4

Aug 272012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 3,160 miles
The engine stalled the 5th time during driving! almost caused another accident!

- Wynnewood, PA, USA

problem #3

Aug 062012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 2,500 miles
The engine stalled the 4th time. Dealership could not reach a diagnosis and unable to fix it..

- Wynnewood, PA, USA

problem #2

Jul 262012

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 3,041 miles
I was driving on the freeway, and noticed a ticking sound. Over 2 miles it became progressively worse until it was a loud knocking. I had to exit one freeway, and merge to another, before I could get to an actual exit. Upon trying to accelerate to speed to merge, the knock became severe, I lost compression, and the SUV died. There was a puff of smoke out of the exhaust and I rolled to the shoulder. After being towed to the dealership I found out that the #4 rocker arm had shot through the engine block causing a hole in the engine.

- Des Moines, WA, USA

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