really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
25,861 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.

2005 Hyundai Santa Fe engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Feb 212007

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I am the owner of a 2005 Santa Fe w/a 3.5L engine. I've recently taken my vehicle in to have some warranty items taken care of. I asked that my car also be fixed in regards to an acceleration concern. For example: 1. while departing from a stopped position, the car will violently jerk your head back. This occurs while barely touching the accelerator. 2. when the car is in motion I can feel it surging forward and back. I have had several people drive the car to make sure it wasn't me, and they all experienced the same results. When the service manager at a Hyundai dealership drove the car, he at first said he didn't feel anything. Then, after further complaint by me, he admitted that, "well, there was a little bit of surge, but that's just because it's the type of engine". I asked what could be done about it and he told me, "nothing, that's just the way it is. They've had several complaints and now they don't use that engine anymore." I said it felt like it was getting worse over time and he said, "it probably is, but there is still nothing they can do about it". Hyundai was apparently aware that there is a concern of safety with this engine since they no longer use the engine and are manufacturing their Santa Fe's with an improved, safer engine. I am at the point where I no longer feel as if I am driving a safe vehicle and I am getting tired of people asking me why my car jerks forward. (the car snaps your head back and I do not want to be held accountable if someone gets hurt.) there are numerous complaints to the NHTSA and I do not want to be killed or kill someone on the road because my car concerns were not addressed by the appropriate administration of Hyundai. If the NHTSA has yet to formally force Hyundai into fixing this issue, I am requesting that now is the time to do so. Hyundai's lack of interest in the safety of their customers and the general public is unacceptable.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #11

Nov 142006

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,114 miles
: the contact stated the engine light illuminated, and the vehicle was taken to the dealership. The ECU was replaced, and the float in the gas tank was replaced twice, but the problem persisted.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #10

Sep 132006

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,991 miles
The contact stated while stopped at a red light, the vehicle lurched forward without warning. The vehicle stopped after applying brake pressure, placing the vehicle in park, and turning off the ignition. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who was unable to duplicate the problem, but suggested that the contact should not use floor gear shift of the automatic transmission as though it were a manual transmission while driving. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 042006

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8 miles


My wife and I are experiencing a problem that threatens our safety every time we drive the vehicle. The problem has to do with delayed acceleration when applying the gas pedal, which causes fear when entering traffic or making a turn as opposing traffic approaches. The delayed acceleration is then followed by a lunging acceleration which reduces the feeling of control over the vehicle. I took the car back to the dealer in elgin, il a few days after purchasing the vehicle, but they brushed it off as a common characteristic of Hyundai vehicles with the 3.5 liter engine. They claimed that after some time the vehicle would "?adjust?" to my driving habits and the symptoms would go away. Their cavalier attitude did not sit well with me. After driving the vehicle for a month, I made an appointment for service to have them check the vehicle over. The problems that I had described previously had not subsided at all. The service manager and I took a ride so that I could demonstrate the acceleration and other problems that I was experiencing with the vehicle. He acknowledged the symptoms as they occurred and told me they would do a very thorough check of the vehicle. To my chagrin, when I returned to the dealer service department to pick up the vehicle, the service manager told me that they could find nothing out of the ordinary with the vehicle. I was assured that the acceleration characteristics that I complained about were normal for this vehicle and that I would just have to get used to it. I have driven the vehicle for almost three additional months, but the acceleration is still erratic and makes me very uncomfortable when accelerating from a stop or even when accelerating on the expressway. This vehicle is compromising my safety, and I cannot accept the explanation that this is normal. This problem needs to be addressed before my wife or I get injured or killed due to the performance problems of this vehicle.

- Elgin, IL, USA

problem #8

Dec 072005

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
To whom it may concern: We are writing to you concerning a safety problem with our Hyundai Santa Fe SUV that we purchased in September 2005. We have returned to the dealership on several occasions as well as contacted the Hyundai corporate usa headquarters, but to no avail. The problem relates to the gas pedal and its acceleration. When the car is at a stop and you apply your foot to the gas pedal, it hesitates and then lurches forward. This in itself is dangerous enough, but if the roads are wet or snow covered, the car tends to slip and skid. By way of explanation, the dealer claims this delay in acceleration is due to the fly-by wire acceleration system. Interestingly enough, the dealership and the head quarters acknowledge the problem, but state that it is merely a function of the vehicle and there is nothing that can be done. We would like to see this problem corrected before a serious accident occurs and would appreciate any assistance that you could provide. Thanking you in advance for your concern and help. Sincerely, bruce and lynne blatt.

- Langhorne, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 012005

Santa Fe 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The throttle hangs up when going from a dead stop. This causes the car to lurch ahead so fast it spins the tires. This will cause you to rearend a car in traffic, or to pull out in traffic to late which could also cause an accident.

- Sebago, ME, USA

problem #6

Dec 272005

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,400 miles


While the contact was pulling into a parking place the vehicle surged, causing the engine to rev above 6500 rpms. The vehicle accelerated and took off on its own. He reported having no problems with the vehicle prior to the above incident. He has not taken the vehicle to a dealer.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #5

Oct 302005

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
The contact complained about several problems. The first problem was the traction control, which allowed the front wheels to slip in the snow. The electronic accelerator cut in and out when the traction control was on. The dealer was contacted, and they suggested turning the traction control off. The contact tried the dealer's suggestion. And now, only one wheel will turn in the snow, the engine idled low, and the vehicle did not move forward. The second problem occurred on normal road conditions the vehicle lurched forward after a complete stop. The last problem was the check engine light which intermittently illuminated. The dealer replaced the dps valve sensor and reprogrammed the computer software. The contact had only driven the vehicle once since the repairs were completed, and did not notice any difference in the performance of the vehicle.

- Jefferson, NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 062005

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
When put into reverse 2005 Santa Fe engine roared. The consumer had no control over the vehicle. With the vehicle still in reverse, the consumer crashed into a neighbors deck causing a considerable amount of damage to the vehicle and the deck. The consumer had a left foot accelerator installed on the vehicle and wondered if that was the cause of the sudden acceleration.

- Narragansett, RI, USA

problem #3

Aug 052005

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6 miles
Accelerator pedal. Vehicle hesitates when taking off from a stop, then suddenly accelerates sometimes much to quickly causing some loss of control. Mechanic at Hyundai tried to reset computer but informed us that it is set to manufacturers standards problem has so far been un-fixable and the vehicle remains unsafe.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #2

Aug 252005

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25 miles
Complaint is about a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LX with 3.5L engine. There is a problem with the accelerator that there is a delay in response when the accelerator is pressed. This delay is over a second long, and causes the driver to keep pressing down on the accelerator. When the sensor finally reacts, there is more acceleration applied than is desired, causing the vehicle to start out faster than intended, or not starting out when the driver wanted to. This is dangerous as the driver does not know how much acceleration will be applied to the engine, or when the car will start moving, thus making it difficult when to apply gas, and not knowing how the car will react.

- Pen Argyl, PA, USA

problem #1

Apr 292005

Santa Fe 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vehicle experienced delayed acceleration. Contacted the dealer and manufacturer. They said it was a characteristic of the vehicle. If at a complete stop and consumer pushed the gas pedal it took a few seconds before vehicle will accelerate.

- Varnegat, NJ, USA

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