really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,736 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.

2002 Hyundai Santa Fe suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #14

Aug 182014

Santa Fe

  • 180,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the rear tires wobbled while traveling at any speed. Also, the steering wheel was difficult to control because the vehicle swayed to the left and right. The contact drove the vehicle onto the emergency lane and noticed that the rear wheels appeared to be turned inward. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the rear axles needed to be replaced. An independent mechanic stated that the part was not available; therefore, the vehicle could not be repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V123000 (suspension). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 180,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #13

May 082014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I have a 2002 Santa Fe that broke its rear left arm due to rusting and the left rear wheel is almost detached. This happened while my spouse was driving on a busy 4 lane street where traffic travels at 45 mph. The SUV swiveled and the driver was able to struggle to stop right in the middle of the road during rush hour. This was an extremely unsafe situation. I know there was a recall for this: NHTSA campaign number: 09V123000 and I have had it serviced at the dealer for this issue. They only added anti-corrosion and drilled some holes, as they Hyundai had given them this option. I guess this was not the right solution. Hyundai should have changed the entire arm, if they knew rust was an issue. I talked to the dealer and they mentioned that they have this happen to other Santa fes. The dealer has graciously offered to work with Hyundai to get this fixed. However, I think Hyundai did not handle the recall right. If they knew rust was an issue, they should have directed the dealers to replace the control arms. I guess they figured these vehicles would be off the road by then.

- Streamwood, IL, USA

problem #12

Jan 012013

Santa Fe

  • miles
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. Consumer writes in regards to broken steering control arm and reimbursement for repairs. The consumer stated his wife was driving the vehicle, when the left front steering control arm broke free from the sub frame due to rust. It forced the vehicle to swerve dangerously to the left onto oncoming traffic. The consumer had a mechanic to inspect the vehicle, and the mechanic stated the entire under carriage had rusted. The consumer discovered a recall was issued for the same problem. However, when he contacted the dealer, he was informed the only vehicles that were being repaired, were the ones purchased in northern salt belt states.

- Dania, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 222010

(reported on)

Santa Fe

  • miles


2002 Hyundai sante fe. Consumer writes regarding a recall issue the consumer received a recall notice in the mail. She placed a call to three dealerships to try and get the vehicle inspected for the recall. All three dealerships could inspect the vehicle within a weeks time frame. However, the consumer was informed that if the vehicle was deemed unsafe to drive, they would not be able to fix the problem until may or June due to the back-up of repairs due to the recall. The consumer inquired about a loaner vehicle for the time the vehicle would be in the shop for repair and was told Hyundai was not providing loaner vehicles. The consumer also learned the recall had been effect since July 2009 and she wanted to know why was she just being informed. She was informed the notices were sent out in waves.

- Windsor Locks, CT, USA

problem #10

Sep 062010

Santa Fe

  • 105,300 miles
I own a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe which was the subject of a recall notice based on NHTSA campaign id number 09V123000 which addressed a problem with corrosion of the rear trailing arms in vehicles located in the salt belt states. I took the vehicle to a Hyundai dealer service center on 1/18/10 where they supposedly inspected it and performed the necessary "corrective" procedures on the rear suspension (according to the dealer invoice, they inspected and applied wax to the trailing arms). On 9/6/10, one of the rear trailing arms on the vehicle collapsed due to extreme rust and corrosion. Given that only 8 months has passed, it leads me to believe that the condition of the trailing arms on 1/18/10 would have warranted a full replacement instead of a wax application. As a result of the trailing arm collapse, the right rear tire became extremely unstable to the point of nearly falling off of the vehicle. I had the vehicle towed to an independent automotive establishment who diagnosed the issue which was subsequently confirmed by the same dealer who performed the initial "corrective" procedure. The dealer did retrieve the vehicle and promptly replace both rear trailing arms. In this instance, fortunately I was able to handle the vehicle so that there were no injuries or damages to other people or property, but the outcome could have been very bad had there been a resultant accident. I wanted to file this complaint to warn other owners of other recalled Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles that Hyundai's prescribed "corrective" procedure for the recall is not sufficient!!! I also own a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe for which the same type of recall was issued. I had the same procedure performed on that vehicle, and I don't trust that the problem has been resolved.

- Oakdale, PA, USA

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problem #9

Aug 122010

Santa Fe

  • miles
I currently own a 2002 Hyundai sante fe. There is a recall on the rear trailing arms of some of these vehicles. A defect in manufacturing causes the trailing arms to rust and over time weaken. According to two Hyundai dealers this recall does not apply to my vehicle. While driving down the road at 65 mph the rear trailing arm broke causing the vehicle to enter a skid and almost complete a 360 degree spin. This is exactly what the recall states could happen if the trailing arm issue is not addressed. Both left and right rear trailing arms have been replaced at owner's expense.

- Jackman, ME, USA

problem #8

Jul 132010

(reported on)

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles


2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. Consumer express discontent regarding recall repair the consumer stated she is still waiting for the repair to be made to her vehicle. The consumer attempted to make two appointments, and both times she was told the parts were not available.

- Greeley, PA, USA

problem #7

Feb 282010

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe recall in late February, prior to receiving the recall notice, the sub frame failed while the vehicle was being serviced for an unrelated issue. The consumer had to pay to have the sub frame replaced. The consumer stated the ball joint was being replaced at the time of the failure.

- Savoy, IL, USA

problem #6

Oct 242009

Santa Fe

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving at speeds of 25 mph, she heard a squeaking noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where a diagnostic test was performed. The failure was contributed to corrosion on the rear suspension arm. The contact verified that she had previously received notification of NHTSA recall campaign id number 09V123000 (suspension: Rear) and was advised by the dealer that the failure was directly related to the recall. The dealer stated that the parts needed to make the recall repairs were not available and that the vehicle was deemed as unsafe to operate. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000 and the approximate current mileage was 160,000.

- Brockton, MA, USA

problem #5

Apr 092010

(reported on)

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. Consumer writes to express thoughts that recalls were not handled properly and that further action is necessary. The consumer stated there was a loud creaking noise coming from the rear of the vehicle.

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #4

Mar 012010

Santa Fe

  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the vehicle would pull to the right while driving at various speeds under 25 mph. He received a recall notice after the failure occurred, NHTSA campaign id number 09V123000, suspension rear. Upon contacting the dealer, he was advised that they would not be able to perform the recall repairs until May 28, 2010. This would be two months after receiving the recall letter. The contact stated that two months after the recall notice was received was not within a reasonable amount of time when dealing with a safety issue. No repairs were made to the vehicle. He attempted to contact the manufacturer; however, there was a two-hour wait before he could speak with someone. The failure and current mileages were approximately 60,000.

- Oak Creek, WI, USA

problem #3

Jan 252010

Santa Fe

  • 137,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving, the rear end began to slip as if it were on ice. He was unable to control the vehicle while driving 20 mph. The vehicle was towed to a repair facility. The mechanic told him that the rear trailing arm was corroded. The entire rear end fell down due to the rust. He called the manufacturer to find out if there were any related recalls; he was informed of recall 09V123000. The vehicle has not been repaired to-date. The contact wanted the manufacturer to pay the towing fee so that the vehicle could be repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 137,000.

- Newbury, NH, USA

problem #2

Oct 302009

Santa Fe

  • 62,000 miles
My 2002 Hyundai sante fe control arm rusted through causing the wheel to come off. I understand this was a recall which I was not notified about. Because of this dangerous situation I am not comfortable driving this car. Not only did the control arm rust, we had to change to hub, bearing, and the axle and have the car towed to a repair shop at my expense. I am asking Hyundai to pay for the labor and parts to repair my car. Luckily, I was not on a highway driving since this would have resulted in a major accident or possibly a fatality. I now have to bring the auto to a Hyundai dealership to have the parts and car inspected and then wait 6 to 8 weeks for them to decide on how I will be reimbursed. Failure to notify me aswell as thousands of other Hyundai owners is unacceptable. I should not have to go through all this redtape on something they are totally responsible and liable for.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 102008

Santa Fe

  • 145,000 miles
We found that both rear trailing arms we completely rusted through. We had to get them both replaced by the dealer for $650 a piece. The old parts were discarded by the Hyundai dealer. The dealer thinks this is normal ware and tare on an 2002 vehicle. The problem that I have is that the rear trailing arms are a major suspension component. Fifty percent of the vehicle weight resides on these components. Hyundai should have build them with highest quality in mind. My opinion the rear trailing arms should have lasted longer then the fender on the car. Their was no event leading up to the suspension problem. One day the car felt like the wheel alignment was out. The vehicle was very hard to handle on the road. We then arranged for the car to get a wheel alignment. They said that they couldn't do a alignment because their is a suspension problem with the rear trailing arms. They also informed us that the car is not safe and to bring it to a dealer to get fixed. I feel this could have been a fatal accident!!!

- Godeffroy , NY, USA

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