hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,846 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.

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #13

Jul 032015

Santa Fe

  • 20,000 miles


After several hours of normal highway driving, the vehicle experienced a sudden loss of power as the engine computer entered "limp home" mode. Pressing the accelerator had no effect. Diagnosed as throttle position sensor failure. This problem occurred several times, with an engine restart clearing the problem temporarily. While these incidents did not result in a crash, they could easily have, depending on traffic circumstances.

- Perry Hall, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 152015

Santa Fe

  • 200,157 miles
This vehicle has developed a speed sensitive "whirring" sound while the transmission is engaged. We initially thought it was a tire noise, but did not go away when new tires were installed. The dealership told us it was the drive belt rubbing against the cover, but further investigation by another repair facility found no excessive wear on the belt, and no indication of contact with the cover. The noise is actually coming from the transmission, and is exactly as described in recall 102 which applies to 2010 models. I plan to start a fight with Hyundai over this repair as the transmissions are the same on the 2008 models as the 2010.

- Bossier City, LA, USA

problem #11

Sep 192012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 48,600 miles
9/19/12 valve cover gasket leaked oil on the alternator resulting in alternator needing to be replaced. 10/2/12 new battery needed due to being worn down from bad alternator. 10/3/14 76,589 miles valve cover gasket leaked oil on the alternator resulting in alternator needing to be replaced again!! new battery needed since could no longer hold a charge. Also multiple times the lumbar switch on driver's seat replaced: 2/3/10, 3/15/11, 9/19/12, 1/19/13, 10/3/14.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #10

Sep 142014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


My vehicle experience a malfunction indicator lamp illuminated with the etc (electronic throttle control) system related dtc P2135 ( forced limited power) or dtc P0638 (power management).

- Highland, IN, USA

problem #9

Aug 182014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 169,748 miles
While driving on I-95, the charging system warning light came on followed by a loss of engine power and then engine stopped completely. Was able to safely make it to the road side. Dealer diagnosed a defective valve cover gasket allowed oil to leak which dripped on and into the alternator causing it to fail. Second identical failure on vehicle in two years. V-6, automatic, 2wd. Found manufacturer just issued a recall on veracruz model which shares the same platform for identical symptoms and failures.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

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problem #8

Apr 052014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 61,700 miles
The Santa Fe gas gauge behaves erratically! as you drive, the fuel indicator needle moves up and down so that you do not know accurately how much fuel remains in the gas tank. The needle may also indicate a very low fuel level by illuminating the "low fuel" warning light on the dashboard as well. The problem appears to be getting worse as drive time goes on as the needle movements increase the longer time the SUV is driven and the volume of fuel decreases in the fuel tank. After a period of time the check engine light will also illuminate to warn of a vehicle engine / drive-train problem. In my case I have reset the check engine manually and after a number of trips the check engine light will reappear. This low fuel warning cycle has been repeated numerous times and may cause a driver to be distracted to see the low fuel warning light, when in fact there may be sufficient fuel in the gas tank. I find that this problem is very disconcerting as you don't know whether you may be running out of gasoline.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #7

Apr 092014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


Throttle accelerated by itself and was stuck wide open. Could not get the throttle to disengage. I tried tapping the gas pedal several times and this did nothing. Managed to hold both feet on brake and downshift into low. I got vehicle onto shoulder and put it in neutral and the engine continued to run full throttle. I shoved it into park and turned the key off. The engine did not disengage until the key was turned off. Very bad for transmission to shove it into park but I had no other options. Very scary. I have been told that there is no recall. I called Hyundai and filed a report but they have not called me back yet with repair options.

- Fairbanks, AK, USA

problem #6

Dec 252013

Santa Fe

  • miles
I went to put my car into reverse and it got stuck and wouldn't allow me to shift into drive or any other gear for that matter. The whole shifter is now being removed.

- Ludlow, MA, USA

problem #5

Oct 092009

Santa Fe

  • 56,000 miles
See attached email updated 06/04/2013 the occupant classification system (osc) does not consistently recognize small-statured adults, causing the passenger side air bag to deactivate when such person occupy the front seat. Also, there were problems with the transmission, a knocking noise coming from the front of the vehicle, the vehicle shutting down, an issue with the throttle cable, and a whining sound upon acceleration.

- Ririe, ID, USA

problem #4

Jun 112012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
2008 Hyundai Santa Fe will not go over 20 mph. After pressing on the brakes several times it starts to move again. I took the vehicle to the Hyundai dealership because the check engine light also came during this ordeal. The dealership said they fixed the problem, but it has rear its ugly head again. The check engine light is on and it will not go over 20 mph. I am not the only owner of a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe who has experienced this problem. Please contact the Hyundai manufacturer to solve this problem, because it can lead to a serious traffic accident if it's not fixed. Let's be proactive this time instead of waiting until someone is in a fatal accident.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 222011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 58,797 miles


The rear differential caught on fire. I heard a clunk on entering reverse in the morning. After 35 miles other drivers alerted me that my car was on fire. After pulling off the road us 90 in newton MA the fire dept was called after the fire went out on it's own. The vehicle was not destroyed.

- Bellingham , MA, USA

problem #2

Mar 072011

Santa Fe

  • 22,000 miles
In November 2010, vehicle at est. 29,000 mi. Car lost all acceleration. Was able to pull of on side of shoulder on highway. Car would not regain acceleration despite being turned off, etc. Throttle sensor changed. March 2011, vehicle at est. 31,000 mi. Same problem. While on highway, car lost all acceleration. Rpms jumped high, engine roared in response but car would not accelerate. Again, taken to dealership.

- Jefferson Twp, PA, USA

problem #1

Feb 012011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I have a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe with 35,000 miles on it. Last week I was driving at 25 miles/hr and it suddenly accelerated. I tried to brake multiple times but the car would not stop. I put the car in park and turned off the ignition and it stopped. Over the past two weeks I have had multiple incidences of sudden acceleration while pressing lightly on the gas and at other times while letting up on the brake. I brought my car to ther dealer in reisterstown, Maryland. They tested the car and drove it and insist that the computer says that everything is fine and they drove it and of course it did not happen while they drove it. I was told there is nothing to be done. I am scared to death to drive the car and don't know what to do. I see online there are many people with the same complaint that have not gotten any help from their dealers or from Hyundai.

- Owings Mills, MD, USA

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