really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,869 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Sep 292011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 65,342 miles


Was driving on a 2 lane road approximatly 20 mph following a backhoe. As backhoe moved to berm and I was considering passing, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. I removed my foot from the gas pedal but the vehicle continued to accelerate. I placed all of my weight on the brakes and was eventually able to bring the vehicle to a halt and forcible put in park. As I turned off the ignition, the engine was revving at a very fast rate. I checked the floor mat and gas pedal and there was no problems noted. I do not believe the floor mat was a factor in this. I believe there is a problem with this vehicle that needs investigated. The vehicle is with the dealer now.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #19

Sep 142011

Santa Fe

  • 64,000 miles
I was backing out of a driveway when the accelerator began racing. I was able to stop the vehicle and put it in drive while my foot was on the brake, when the car raced forward, accelerating out of control. I had my feet on the brakes but the brakes did not work and the car continued accelerating forward crashing into a neighbors yard and demolishing their landscaping before I managed to stop the vehicle and turn it off. I was not seriously injured, but it could have ended much differently as I crossed a main highway before the car came to rest. Because I have floor mats other than those issued by Hyundai, I was told by the dealership that the floor mat caused the gas pedal to become stuck in the down position. This is not what happened and would also not explain why the brakes did not work at all.

- Wolcott, CT, USA

problem #18

May 122011

Santa Fe

  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated while driving various speeds the vehicle would surge forward. During the failure the accelerator pedal would move back and forth. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the throttle needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure continued. The vehicle was in the process of being taken to another authorized dealer. The failure and current mileages were 47,000.

- Budd Lake, NJ, USA

problem #17

Sep 022010

Santa Fe

  • 44,313 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the floors mats and holders were fracturing on both the driver and passenger sides. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that it was due to normal wear and tear. The manufacturer was contacted who agreed with the dealer and offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 44,313.

- Lamont , IL, USA

problem #16

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

problem #15

Dec 232010

Santa Fe

  • 12,000 miles
Sudden unintended acceleration. Occurred twice within two months.

- New Hartford, CT, USA

problem #14

Dec 202010

Santa Fe

  • 22,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated to 67 mph. She was trying to decelerate by applying extreme pressure to the brake pedal and the vehicle would not stop. The vehicle eventually stopped by constantly pumping the brake. After she got the vehicle to stop she then contacted the nearest dealer and they advised her to bring the vehicle in for diagnostic testing. Upon inspection of the vehicle they were unable to replicate the failure that she experienced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 22,000.

- Yorktown , VA, USA

problem #13

Jan 012011

Santa Fe

  • 28,881 miles
During the last few weeks the vehicle had a slight acceleration/deceleration. Then while moving the car lost engine pwr.acceleration was reduced to about 5mph had to stop and turn the car off then on to regain full pwr. The check engine light remaind on.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #12

Feb 152010

Santa Fe

  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving approximately 15-20 mph, the vehicle began to accelerate. The contact engaged the brakes but the vehicle continued to accelerate. The contact put both feet on the accelerator pedal but it continued. The contact shifted into neutral, reverse and park which stopped the acceleration. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer but the failure could not be duplicated. The dealer contacted the manufacturer who stated that they could find no similar failures. The failure occurred three times and other times, the problem stopped when the brake pedal was depressed. The VIN was unavailable. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 51,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #11

Nov 092010

Santa Fe

  • 20,300 miles
My wife and 2 small children were on the way to the mall when her 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe started accelerating on it's own. She tried to step on the brakes but it wouldn't slow down. It was not a busy time of day on the highway and my wife was able to get to the right lane and step on the emergency brake slowly and the car slowed down. She called the dealership and they towed to the car to the dealership and they claimed that the computer needed to be updated. She asked the service manager if Hyundai had sent out a notice about the computer needing to be updated and he said no.

- Kinnelon , NJ, USA

problem #10

Nov 282010

Santa Fe

  • 39,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated while driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The malfunction indicator, electronic stability and AWD lock warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was moved to the side of the road. The engine was restarted and the vehicle was able to resume for five minutes before the failure reocurred. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis. The contact was uncertain to the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,000.

- Lexington Park , MD, USA

problem #9

Nov 222010

Santa Fe

  • 7,400 miles
Was driving freeway, noted sudden deceleration (about 20 mph and not more), check engine lights and ESC off lights were on. Had to pull over the left side of lane # 1. a police car had to stop traffic to safely exit the freeway. Vehicle was towed to a dealer and they replaced throttle position sensor assy

- La Mesa, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 192010

Santa Fe

  • 25,000 miles
Yesterday (September 19, 2010) while merging onto the beltway, the floor mat of my 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe caused the car to continue to accelerate after I had taken my foot off of the accelerator. I pumped the brake and tapped the accelerator and the pedal must have come free from the floor mat. The acceleration lasted for between three and four seconds. After I stopped the car I looked down and saw the floor mat was partially covering the accelerator pedal. I have now removed the floor mat.

- Kensington, MD, USA

problem #7

Aug 112010

Santa Fe

  • 46,700 miles
Twice I have experienced sudden unintended acceleration (sua) in the past few weeks. The first time I was traveling on a primary road going the speed limit 45 mph. While my foot was steady on the accelerator, the car just suddenly accelerated without me pushing down on the accelerator pedal. I tried putting on the brake and that didn't seem to help any. I thought it could be my sandal stuck under the accelerator.....after moving my right foot around, that did nothing; then attempted to move the mat with my right hand, that did nothing, and I put on the brake and that slowed the car down and I continued to drive as if nothing had happened. Fortunately, there were no cars near me to crash into. The second time I experienced sua, I was traveling on a major highway at the start of rush hour traffic traveling at approx 65 mph (the speed limit) when again the car just suddenly accelerated. I put on the brake which did nothing, then tried the brake a second time, which did nothing, and then I was able to gradually depress the emergency brake and get the car to come to a stop on the right shoulder of the highway after crossing two lanes. Again, I was fortunate to be able to make these maneuvers without causing an accident. Since this was the second time the car had sua, I didn't think it was a good idea to drive it anymore until I could have the Hyundai dealer take a look and find out what why this was occurring. After two days at the service center at the dealership, they have been running diagnostic tests as well as trying to reproduce the sua without any success and have deemed the car acceptable to drive with nothing showing out of the ordinary.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #6

Aug 082010

Santa Fe

  • 17,500 miles
While driving on the highway, the accelerator died (I.e., gas pedal would not work), causing car to lose speed. Check engine light came on at same time. Car only had 17,000 miles on it with no prior issues. Pulled over to shoulder, turned off car. Re-started car and took it to a service station, which identified (via computer hook-up) a "throttle position" sensor issue.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #5

Jun 202010

Santa Fe

  • 17,345 miles
While driving on highway, gas pedal stop responding. I was able to go to the curb and put car into parking, then I had problem to shut engine off, only second or third attempt was successful. After couple of minutes I start the ignition and engine warning light come on. Car is drivable, but it hesitates when I push the pedal.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #4

Sep 022009

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles
2008 Hyundai sante fe. Consumer states unintended acceleration. The consumer stated the accelerator pedal became stuck, which caused the vehicle to accelerate at a high rate of speed. The consumer stated he applied the brake with so much force, that the brakes began to smoke. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer and they knew right away that problem might have been the throttle sensor module. The throttle position sensor was replaced.

- East Northport, NY, USA

problem #3

Feb 172010

Santa Fe

  • 25,400 miles
While driving my 2008 Hyundai santa on the highway on two separate occasions last week my Santa Fe decelerated unexpected to ~ 20 mph. The first time the car was on cruise control and started to lose power, the second time I was also using the cruise control and the same problem occurred. At the same time the ESC warning light came on followed by the check engine light. The temperature was cold but the road conditions were dry the vehicle failed to accelerate. I took the car to the dealer and the they were able to fix it by replacing a sensor. This could have resulted in a very dangerous situation on the highway. The SUV failure and current mileage is ~ 25,400 miles.

- Auburn, ME, USA

problem #2

Dec 302009

Santa Fe

  • 12,300 miles
I have twice experienced a dangerous occurrence during acceleration. I press the gas pedal but when I take my foot off to decelerate, the car continues to gain speed and braking has no effect. In each instance, the only way to make the car slow down or stop was to put it in neutral and find a safe place to allow it to coast until I could turn the engine off. The last occurrence I was going 75 mph on I-35, had to swerve to left shoulder to avoid being sideswiped. My 5 year old granddaughter was in the car with me. I took my vehicle to the dealership for repair and was told both times that the pedal must be sticking on the floor mat. After the second experience, I looked for similar stories on the internet and found 5 recent postings of the same issue happening to other people. If more than a couple of people report the same issue, shouldn't Hyundai make a dedicated effort to identify and correct it immediately or recall the vehicle altogether" I do not believe the mat is causing the problem because the second time it occurred I visually checked the mat and even pulled it backwards with my feet while trying to find a way out of traffic. In addition, if the pedal was sticking on the mat, why would the only corrective action be to place the car in neutral or to turn the engine completely off ? theoretically, wouldn't the accelerator still be "stuck on the mat" in this instance? last and most importantly, even if the claim of the mats being the problem is accurate, these mats are the same that came with the vehicle when purchased. I assume they are produced and/or approved by the manufacturer as part of the finished product and, therefore, Hyundai is still the liable party for any accidents caused by this issue. I have removed the mats entirely from my car but I am petrified to drive it. Does Hyundai really want to wait until a tragedy occurs before considering corrective action"

- The Colony, TX, USA

problem #1

Sep 292009

Santa Fe

  • 8,452 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving approximately 60 mph on normal road conditions and applying pressure to the accelerator pedal, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact was able to coast with caution into a parking lot. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the failure was contributed to the throttle sensor assembly. The vehicle was repaired. The contact had concerns of the safety risk involved. The failure and current mileages were 8,452.

- West Babylon, NY, USA

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