really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,741 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 152010

Santa Fe

  • 21,000 miles


We were behind a car going approximately 5 mph in a parking lot waiting for the car ahead of us to turn into a lane and into a parking spot when our car - a Hyundai 2004 Santa Fe - suddenly accelerated once and then again hitting the car in front of us, twice. After we hit the car the first time we tried to brake but even though he had his foot on the brake the car accelerated again. We reported the accident to the insurance companies - took the SUV to the Hyundai dealership - reporting the incident to them - they did some kind of a test and told us there was nothing wrong with the car. When the car is in neutral the rpms race high - and since that accident I had the car in reverse and it started to accelerate forward again. We looked on the in internet and there are many of these same complaints so why is Hyundai denying this happens to the car?

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 112006

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75 miles
6/11/06: Upon breaking off highway, vehicle made a crunching noise, then a hard screeching stop, proceeded to idle, make a hard stop. The vehicle wasn't recognizing gears, continuing to thrust the car into hard stops, jerking repeatedly as I tried to accelerate. Heading home, it happened again. The next day took it to our dealership. As soon as I put it in reverse, the problem occurred. They replaced the ABS module, test drove it and said it was fixed. 6/25: Same problem (same distance: 75 miles). The dealership test drove, said they couldn't find problem. I told them to drive it some distance. Service advisor drove it and nothing. They drove it again, duplicated the problem, recorded data. Called their tech line, unhooked rear coupler to see if that was it. They replaced the rear coupler, test drove it and said it was fixed. I questioned if it could be the transmission. Was told they couldn't replace things on a whim. 10/26: Problem occurred (same distance). Wife phoned service advisor, he told her the vehicle was fixed previously. Towed it to a nearby dealer. They checked the fluids, reset the computer, couldn't duplicate the problem. Since this time, the following has occurred: 10/31: Wrote a detailed letter and sent it to Hyundai. 11/04: Letter was received. 11/20: Didn't hear back, I phoned Hyundai. 11/22: Representative phoned (I was unavailable). 11/27: Spoke with rep; told to contact service manager to set up appt with a factory rep next time they are at dealership. 11/28: Sent email with letter to the service manager and Hyundai, asking for a call back. 11/29: Received survey from Hyundai, I responded unfavorably. 12/06: Received email from Hyundai, again referring me to the service manager. This is a genuine a lack of service from our dealership and Hyundai itself. Most importantly it's a safety concern. I ask you to consider this information. Please assist me in any way that you can. Respectfully, brandan pierard.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #5

Apr 012004

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
We bought this vehicle 4/04 and ever since we drove it off the lot, brand new, it has had the problem of hesitation upon acceleration. We have taken it to our "service department" numerous times and they say that there isn't anything they can do to fix it as no code registers on their diagnostic machine. After reading about all of the other people with the same problem I am amazed that no one has done anything to force Hyundai into resolving this issue. If no one has been injured in an accident because of a serious lack of power upon acceleration then it's only a matter of time. Hopefully it won't be anything worse than an injury. This vehicle now has 26,000 miles on it and it has the same problem every day. It would also appear that it is common practice for employees in the "service dept." To deny any problem that can't be seen easily. This is my second Santa Fe and will definitely be the last.

- Reynoldsburg, OH, USA

problem #4

Sep 012004

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles


Few weeks after the purchase of my Santa Fe, the car began to shudder during acceleration. I have been to the dealership twice for this problem. The first time they could not duplicate the problem. The second time they duplicated but they could not figure out what was wrong before the three day rental car rule. So they gave it back to me sayings it still is bad. We are currently waiting for the service sheet from that time.

- Tyndall Afb, FM, USA

problem #3

Mar 162004

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles
On purchase of my vehicle, Hyundai sante fe, the car has had troubles. I have had it back to the dealer multiple times since I purchased the car with the same complaint. When starting the car and pulling out from a stopped position the car hesitates 3 to 4 times before driving smoothl. It feels like the car is bucking or hesitating....I have had it to the dealer atleast 5 times since it's purchase. They can not duplicate the problem. I have told them specifically how to get the car to do the problem however they do not follow my instructions. The car needs to be pulled out of the parked position with force. (as if pulling into a high traffic area out of a parking spot) it occurs more offen when the car is cold, but also makes the same hesitation if the car is warm. However, never after the intial engagement while driving. It does not happen while parked at stop light while the car is running. It occurs when initially turning the car on. This problem has not lead to an accident to date, however it could if not resolved. If pulling out into a high traffic area and the car does not engaged and get up to speed, I can see being hit by another car.

- Scranton, PA, USA

problem #2

Feb 052004

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Car shudders 3 times when go to drive after car has been off. Definite transmission problems, also, transmission does not engage correctly when trying to pass at low or high speeds. Only has 7500 miles, dealer can not find anything wrong. On doing research, found many complaints about Santa Fe transmissons.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jun 282004

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
The night I took delivery of the vehical I had electrical problems this was to be fix by dealership, well now 8/15/2004 there are more elec. Problems the fuses are blowing and the brakes are not stopping as should be.also the trasmission when appling the gas pulls to the right, and between 40/60 mph jecksing sensation to the vehicle.

- Austin, TX, USA

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