definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,712 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.

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 282011

Santa Fe

  • 119,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the vehicle would hesitate to accelerate, especially when driving uphill. The check engine light was illuminated and the vehicle was taken to a local mechanic several times where numerous repairs were performed but to no avail. The failure mileage was 119,000 and the current mileage was 122,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #5

Dec 302008

Santa Fe

  • 95,800 miles
The vehicle jerked violently and then suddenly stalled several times on the highway at speeds around 60 mph, causing dangerous driving conditions. A few days later the vehicle would not start at all. The vehicle was brought to a repair facility and it was discovered that the crankshaft position sensor was cracked at the sensor end near the crankshaft and timing belt. Replacing the part was labor intensive since several engine components had to be removed to reach the sensor, therefore the repair costs were high. The dealership wanted around $1,000 to replace with the part only costing $90. I brought the vehicle to an independent repair shop and had the crankshaft position sensor replaced, the vehicle now starts. Both the Hyundai dealership and Hyundai motor America refused to cover repair costs while the vehicle was in need of repair and before I brought it elsewhere. Both dealer and manufacturer continue to refuse now to reimburse costs after I had to go to a less costly repair facility. My case # with Hyundai motor America is #3467755. I have also contacted the alternative dispute resolution line at the better business bureau. I notified the representative at Hyundai that this same part was recalled on the 2 prior years models of Santa Fe (NHTSA campaign id# 03V520000) and that numerous complaints were made to NHTSA for the same problem with 2003 crankshaft position sensors. Current NHTSA ODI complaint #'s that are near exact matches for the 2003 model are ODI id# 10238818, 10176719, 10133625, and 10115680. Similar are #10203556, 10199900, 10195530, 10183323, 10128836, and 10050501. Also see NHTSA campaign id 03V520000 and the epa recall #1791 - mfr# 49. A similar recall was done in Canada, see transportation Canada recall #2002008, campaign code R33. Apparently the part continued to defective at the point of manufacturer in the 2003 models as well. High speed stalls and violent jerking posing risk of injury and death.

- Cahokia, IL, USA

problem #4

Jul 012008

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Hyundai Santa Fe with defective airbag control module. Consumer states that the mechanic hooked the vehicle up to the scanner that came across that problem. It will cost almost $400 dollars to have the airbag control module replaced. The dealer stated there was an internal fault code causing the air bag light to illuminate. The oil pan was leaking.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #3

Jun 052006

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles


: the contact stated the engine failed without warning. This occurred while driving at various speeds and while at a stop. Upon inspection of the vehicle it was noticed the undercarriage had corrosion, the windshield was etched on the passenger side above the windshield wiper, and the vehicle vibrated. The dealership was unable to duplicate the problem. The manufacturer has not been alerted.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #2

Sep 292003

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 5,980 miles
At 5,980 miles engine started to create engine noise. Dealer said that there's a problem on the vehicle's crankshaft. The consumer began to hear noise in the engine compartment. The dealer replaced many components; crankshaft, transmission, belt tensioner and pulley. None of those repairs corrected the noise. The clock spring failed and caused the horn and cruise control to be inoperative.

- Mercedita, PR, USA

problem #1

May 092003

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 495 miles
While driving vehicle "died" and would not restart. Dealer diagnosed the camshaft gear had broken.

- Russell, MA, USA

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