really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,597 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.

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #9

Dec 182015

Santa Fe

  • 161,516 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while exiting a parking lot, the steering wheel and brakes seized as the vehicle veered to the left without warning. The failure caused the contact to slightly go over a curb however, the contact was able to apply force and pull the vehicle to the side and park. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 161,516.

- Columbia, IN, USA

problem #8

Nov 022008

Santa Fe

  • 28,000 miles
Car shuts off while driving, losing power steering and brakes, while traveling at highway speed or braking down a windy canyon road. Problem includes intermittent jerking, jumping, hiccupping - whatever you want to call it, it's not safe to drive. First month, after brand-new NY dealership purchase, I replaced my throttle position sensor 3 times. Trouble with my current problem began at 4 years, well under 30,000 miles. For a year I had to fear for my life every time I drove, never knowing if this trip would kill me or other motorists. Why did I have to drive it" because the Hyundai dealerships in los angeles couldn't diagnose the problem if they couldn't cause it to happen and there is no error code when tested. A year of fear. Just the hesitation jerking is scary enough while driving, but when it actually shuts down" when your RPM indicator drops from 2,000 to 0 and you're fighting for your life turning the stuck steering wheel and pulling up the emergency brake hoping you don't careen off a winding cliff or coast head on into unsuspecting traffic or clicking your hazards on and praying no one hits you on an oily rain slick pavement at night on the 101 freeway - that is when it really makes your heart jump out of your chest. After 11 months of shutting off, it got so bad it wouldn't turn on again and finally my check engine light came on and they were able to diagnose the crank shaft sensor. In the process of fixing, they made a leak in my power steering hose and damaged my pump. Because it was days after my warranty, the van nuys dealership charged me for the crank shaft sensor and other damage! 33,000 miles on my car. Well, that was November 2009. It's now 2015 (70,540 miles) and once again, I'm okayed to drive my unsafe car. The performance of these vehicles put drivers at an unreasonable risk of accident and since there is no error code, Hyundai will do nothing.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 262015

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
This vehicle was driven approx. 1/2 mile from home when power steering and brakes failed. It was pulled off of the road and stopped with the emergency brake. Immediately flames shot up the windshield. The entire interior was completely destroyed as well 3/4 of the exterior.

- Lawrenceburg, KY, USA

problem #6

Dec 312012

Santa Fe

  • 160,000 miles


On 12/31/2012, the coil spring on my 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe fractured and punctured the right front tire of the vehicle. I paid upwards of $2000 on 1/7/2013 to have this repaired. I have since traded in the vehicle and no longer own it. I recently received a recall notice from Hyundai usa describing the same coil spring fracture that I experienced a couple of years earlier. This recall is called 'campaign124' by Hyundai. Today (11/4/2014), I called to inquire about the possibility for some reimbursement for the repair I had performed after my incident. I was informed that this was not possible since I no longer owned the vehicle and the repair could not be inspected by Hyundai, I don't feel that this is right and I should be entitled to some reimbursement. If requested, I would be able to provide detail of the work performed by the mechanic who performed the service.

- Millis, MA, USA

problem #5

Sep 212014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
For a long time I kept hearing this clunking type noise but we couldn't figure out what it was. Then on sun. Sept. 21, 2014 I noticed some extra play in the wheel. When I made a turn I had to turn the wheel twice as much as normal and then it locked and I had to really pull hard to get it back straight. We very carefully drove it to the auto shop only a mile away. They said my power steering line was ripped open. They said the bolt that attaches to the power steering gear rack sheared off of the subframe. I have pictures. Also since there is a recall on the coil springs for cars sold in the salt belt I thought this also could be a corrosion issue because the mechanic said he has never seen this before. The bolt didn't come loose, the actual subframe tore apart and the steering rack was just hanging there by one bolt and over time it ripped the rubber to shreds. This could have cause fatalities. We had to purchase a new subframe and steering rack to get the car drivable. It seems to me it was faulty manufacturing or a rust corrosion issue. The subframe is a huge thick iron frame where you would think nothing could break it, but in this instance it actually ripped. I would like some compensation for the repairs. I wanted this complaint out there because it could become a safety issue for other drivers.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #4

Jul 082012

Santa Fe

  • 56,700 miles
It had just rained and in some places on the city street there was standing water. The water was probably between 1 and 2 inches deep at the most. As I drove in the water no more than 30mph the steering without warning locked up. It stayed locked up for around 10 seconds. This is what almost caused a crash at the intersection. I could not budge the steering with both hands. Then after the 10 seconds give or take, there was a small squeal and the steering unlocked. This happens every time I drive in any standing water.

- Paris , KY, USA

problem #3

Jul 282008

Santa Fe

  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving at low speeds, the contact stated that the power steering would deactivate. The dealer was notified, but denied any assistance with repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 80,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 08/31/11 updated 2/21/12

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #2

Apr 222009

Santa Fe

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact heard a noise similar to liquid touching a hot surface. An independent mechanic confirmed that the air conditioner was leaking onto the pipes, the rack and pinion, and the fuel tank cover, which has also caused them to rust. The contact has an extended five year warranty; however, the dealer stated that they would only make repairs when the steering fails completely, which could result in a crash. She informed the dealer that a mechanic changed the fluids and stated that the crankshaft could have seized due to the rust and caused a loss in steering control. The mechanic performed regular maintenance checks per the mileage requirements. The transmission fluid, serpentine belt, timing belt, air conditioner belt, and power steering fluid were replaced in April of 2009. In March of 2009, the vehicle underwent frequent oil changes and tire replacements at the dealer. At that time, she was never informed of any rust being present. The independent mechanic confirmed that the rust occurred over time. The invoices for all repairs and maintenance work is available. The contact asked the dealer to speak with the mechanic for specific details, but was unsuccessful. She is familiar with the magnusen-mofact 1975 title 15, chapter 50, sections 2301 -2312 of the U.S. federal code, which authorizes her to have repairs performed by a repair facility other than the dealer. The current mileage was 61,000 and failure mileage was 60,000.

- Port Richey , FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 092004

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153 miles
While driving in traffic between 10-15 mph, the steering wheel suddenly pulled hard to the left, without being motioned to. When this occurred the vehicle crashed into a pole. This resulted in the driver's sustaining a stress line fracture to his left wrist.

- South River, NJ, USA

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