pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
92,750 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. repaint the vehicle (12 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Hyundai Santa Fe body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #14

Aug 012019

Santa Fe GLS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


The Paint on the hood and roof of the car is begin to fade. Clear coat is completely gone and the silver paint below is clearly visible. This is growing across the car. Car was not garaged until recently and Utah has strong sun but it should not be fading this rapidly.

- Martin S., Draper, US

problem #13

Feb 012017

Santa Fe LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

paint peeling all over car back sides hood doors needs to be repainted.

- William D., Oak Lawn, US

problem #12

Jul 012013

Santa Fe V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I bought my car new and I still love it! The paint began going bad in less than 10 years. I was not aware of how bad it was for a few years. But then I started seeing other Santa-Fe's with the same problem. Looking it up on line, I saw that this was a problem with the cars because bad paint was used in the early 2000's. The paint is not peeling, it is wearing off.

My car and most of the other cars I notice with this problem are dark colored and so it is very obvious. My car looks awful outside but still runs great. It just went over 100,000 last year, 13 years old. It would be great if Hyundai would re-paint it. I am not in the position to buy a new or newer used car. I will take some pictures and upload them as soon as I can.

- Janet B., Springfield, PA, US

problem #11

Nov 072009

Santa Fe GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


Serious problem with clear coat peeling off about 30 percent of the vehicle now.

- Gary C., Milton, FL, US

problem #10

Feb 052014

Santa Fe V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I bought this car from the Hyundai dealership with very little problems, I have only had it for 3 years and ive had nothing but problems since ive had it. when I took it back to the dealer they said they cant help because the warranty is out.... My paint is horrible its embarrassing but have no choice but to drive it.... Ive seen other cars the same year and they look just as bad....

what kind of paint did they use on these cars..... HORRIBLE!!! I've had engine problems, brake problems, wheel alignment numerous times (twice in one year) I don't think that's right but who knows..... all together a piece of sh*t car!!!!

- hawaiiannani, Mission Hills, CA, US

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problem #9

Dec 182012

Santa Fe 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Car should be worth about $2100 for the miles and mechanical condition it is in. However, I won't be able to get over $1250 now because the paint is completely fading and peeling away.

- Aaric P., Topeka, KS, US

problem #8

Oct 102006

Santa Fe LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


This makes the car significantly less valuable. I would like it fixed! The vehicle looks like crap because of it.

- Dawn S., Minot, ND, US

problem #7

Jul 012014

Santa Fe GLS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

click to see larger images

paint is wearing off paint is wearing off paint is wearing off

The paint on this vehicle is terrible. I have never seen paint just peel and wear off. This is only one of the multiple problems I have had with this suv. I will never buy another Hyundai product again.

- Steven S., Crestwood, KY, US

problem #6

Jan 012012

Santa Fe LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

The clear coat basically turned white and began flaking off on all of the car surface. This looks horrible on a black vehicle. I had most of it repainted by the dealer in April 2012 but the rest of it needs repainting now.

I've never had this happen to a car that I've owned before. From 12/2004 to 6/2008, I resided in Michigan where the sun isn't really a problem for cars -- only rust is. From 7/2008 to the present I've been in New Mexico where rust isn't a problem but the sun is. For most cars, this just means a faded finish but for the Santa Fe, it meant destruction of the clear coat.

I think it's a defect but Hyundai disagrees. The car hasn't had much go wrong with it though besides the paint and I'm at 108K miles.

- carsonnm, Sparta, TN, US

problem #5

May 012010

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

The problem has gotten worst over time. The paint looks awful but I can not afford to get it repainted. I have talked to other owners of the same model and color and they too have the problem. I feel this was a manufacturing problem that they did not recall and fix. I will not buy from them again. I also had to have a new A/C compressor a month after my warranty expired, about 60,000 miles. At 65000 miles both my front windows would not work. Estimated cost about $1000 for parts and labor. This seems to be a huge amount of high cost problems that should not have happened at 65000 miles.

- Myra P., Vinton, LA, US

problem #4

Apr 022008

Santa Fe LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


The paint job on my Santa Fe is ridiculous. The only place on the car that the paint has stayed on is the back hatch. Everywhere else it is pealing off. Mine is not the only. I see other Santa Fes driving all the time with the same problem. I really think the company should have to fix this. It makes it so hard to resale and the value drops with a bad paint job. I really wonder if their is any chance a new paint job is in my future for my car.

- Ashley T., Ozark, MO, US

problem #3

Apr 032012

Santa Fe 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I recently traded in my 2004 Santa Fe, but I wanted to let people know the paint had oxidized all over the vehicle....in large areas. I started noticing it about 3 years ago and it steadily got worse. It was embarrassing to drive around in, but I noticed all the other older Santa Fes I saw on the roads were having the same issue. Other than that, she was a very good car for me...I put 205K miles on her. Miss her, she was comfortable to drive but the paint problem was a major issue with me. 8-(

- Joanne P., Whitinsville, MA, US

problem #2

Jun 012013

Santa Fe 2.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

click to see larger images

paint is wearing off paint is wearing off paint is wearing off

I bought this car new in 2004 with a $1200 "lifetime" guaranteed paint and clear coat protection plan. About 2 years ago I noticed the paint beginning to flake and it now covers about 40% of the body.

So far Hyundai has failed to be of any help at all.

- setheridge, Nanaimo, BC, canada

problem #1

Aug 012012

Santa Fe V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I first noticed the paint on the roof was wearing thin. Gradually the paint has failed on the fenders, hood, and the upper part of the doors. It shows up as white dots and now has completely oxidized. My car is garaged when not in use and has been waxed often.

- dunnegan, Cedar Hill, MO, US

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