really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,002 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 212007

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,598 miles


I was on my way home from work 1/21/2007 @07 :40 am down I 75 South @70-75 mph with no traffic on the road no items in the road and my drivers side airbag went off. I was driving in the slow lane and kept my hands on the wheel and pulled over to the side. The airbag hit my arm. I have a left upper arm contusion and left neck/shoulder sprain per my doctor. Nothing hit my car. The next day my car was towed to the dealer in ann arbor automotive. When the man put my car on the tow truck he noticed a dent under the car at the gas tank. That did not happen on 1/21/07 I did not hear or see anything. That should not set a side airbag off. The dealer statement is that what caused it. Which they are full of it. The told me it is going to cost $5500 to fix. I contacted Hyundai Consumer Affairs and awaiting to hear back from them. This is very unsafe and this car should not be allowed on the road if airbags deploy from a rock ect hitting under the car. I find it heard to believe that they are that sensitive.

- Newport, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 302004

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,309 miles
On March 30, 2004 at 5:52 am while on my way to work, my Hyundai Santa Fe was hit on the driver's side door by a man who ran a red light. As his vehicle made impact, my Santa Fe was sent into a roll-over, with approximately three to four flips. My side airbags did not deploy, and as a result, I hit my head on the driver's side window. I suffered from a concussion and daily headaches, that at times were debilitating. The driver's side of the car, from front to back, was destroyed. I was unable to exit the vehicle this way, and had to get out of the car through the passenger's side with the help of a passer-by. Both vehicles were totaled as a result of the accident. I contacted Hyundai and sent them all of the required paperwork. I received a reply that stated they felt the airbags had functioned in the manner in which they were designed, and this was their final decision on the matter. I fail to see how side-air bags, not deploying in a roll-over collision, are functioning at all. When I purchased the vehicle, the dual side impact airbags were one of the selling points that the dealer used. Included in the owners manual was a pamphlet that also described the airbags, along with pictures of a car being hit in the driver's door and roll-over accidents. According to this pamphlet, the side airbags would protect you in crashes such as these.

- Canfield, OH, USA

problem #1

Feb 032004

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,100 miles
On February 3, 2004, thomas ashfield, my husband, was driving to the high school to pick up our daughter. While driving southbound toward the high school two vehicles were traveling North. The first car was traveling at a higher rate of speed than what the elements called for, hitting the second car and shooting the car into ours, broadsiding tom on his driver's side. Tom immediately heard a snap. He sustained broken ribs, a torn meniscus, and a herniated disc in his C5/C6. (his first surgery is complete, we are awaiting the second.) the damage to the car was enough to require approximately $8,400. During the accident, the side airbag did not deploy. The insurance company wanted a rapid repair. We never thought to get engineers out to look at the damage or to take pictures. We did learn that there had been a problem with the airbag and sensor from the body shop and they said they would retain the components so that Hyundai could view them. I wrote to Hyundai on April 14, 2004. A representative contacted us the first time in June and then on June 22, 2004, he called again asking for the name of the repair shop. Tom gave him the information. The representative called us back and told tom that the repair shop had gotten rid of the parts. That was a shock to us because up until two weeks ago, they told us they would retain it. (we confirmed this with them when the representative first made contact with us.) in addition, from what the representative told tom, the story changed about the defective parts. I do not have the slightest idea of what occurred. Something is happening. I want answers. I want to know why the malfunction happened. Was this the first time or is it something that is ongoing and nobody is paying attention to. My husband sustained major injuries. We paid for safety features on a new vehicle and they did not work. What will it require for us to receive answers...a death?

- Cortland, NY, USA

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