really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,660 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.

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Dec 142016

Santa Fe

  • 53,500 miles


2009 Hyundai Santa Fe limited with a 3.3 liter engine with approximately 53,500 mi. I was setting stopped on a city street with my foot on the brake when the engine suddenly started reving up as fast it could go (app 6K to 7K RPM's). It was all I could do to keep the vehicle from taking off and slaming into the vehicle in front of me. It was creaping along and tapped the truck in front of me when I got the vehicle in neutral and the engine suddenly slowed down. I have taken the vehicle to the dealer which not to my surprise cannot find anything wrong with it. After I talked to the owner of the dealership they contacted Hyundai who is supposedly looking into it. Not that I blame her my wife is very reluctant to drive it unless they can fix the problem.

- Yorktown, VA, USA

problem #25

Jul 012016

Santa Fe

  • 87,371 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving approximately 25 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle hesitated and the engine stalled. The vehicle would not restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was later towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the fuel pump failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the spark plugs were aftermarket and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 87,371.

- Burlington, NJ, USA

problem #24

Oct 272016

Santa Fe

  • 98,000 miles
After filling my gas tank, the fuel gauge on my 2009 Santa Fe would read empty and the low fuel light would illuminate. In addition, the "check engine" light came on. After driving a few miles the fuel gauge would fluctuate between empty and half full. The mechanic checked the onboard computer and the code said it was the fuel sensors. He replaced both of them, at a cost of $500, and it seems to have solved the problem. Mileage was slightly under 100,000 miles.

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #23

Oct 032016

Santa Fe

  • 72,000 miles


Vehicle recall notice. Recall states that alternator may fail on said vehicle resulting in loss of power, etc., etc. Took vehicle to authorized dealer. Almost 2- hrs. Rep came to me for 1400 est in car repairs. No information on alternator. Talked to boss and within five minutes was told it was about the valve cover gasket. Work completed. Almost 3-hrs. Recall notice is false information to bring car owners into dealer to perform multi point inspection, etc., and perform needed work. Not centered on auto recall at all. Unsat. Car was at dealership in shop for review and warranty work for recall. Because of recall work. All other cars(entailing monies) after me were completed before me. I was last out of waiting room.

- Galena, OH, USA

problem #22

Sep 202016

Santa Fe

  • 89,780 miles
When driving the 2009 Santa Fe the car will shut off without warning. Power to breaks and steering is lost. Sometimes the car will start again when the car is placed in neutral and restarted. Sometimes the car will not start again for several minutes. In both instances the car is moving on a hilly road. The most recent occurrence is 09/20/2016

- Mountain Home, AR, USA

problem #21

Jul 212016

Santa Fe

  • 129,100 miles
The engine shut down on a slow speed exit and left me with no power steering or power brakes in a curve. The vehicle started up after I was able to stop and I continued on with no more issue. July 21, 2016 at 4:45pm. This has been the only time this has occurred in the 2 years I have owned it but its a concern.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #20

Jul 142016

Santa Fe

  • 65,000 miles


Iżve taken my 2009 Santa Fe to the rick case roswell, ga on Friday, 7/1/2016 and again today, 7/15/2016, both for the same issue, my car is stalling while I drive it. On 7/1 they told me it was the battery, so had a new one installed while there. Both times, IżM been turning into a curve (it was a right hand turn on 7/1 and a left hand turn on 7/15). The first time I was lucky as it was just coming off a stop light. Last night, however, it was a curve to get on the highway with an 18 wheeler thundering behind me when my car stalled, and I lost the power steering and braking and almost became an 18 wheeler hood ornament. As I mentioned, the dealer is perplexed by the issue, nothing is showing up on the diagnostics and they canżT replicate the problem. I had to leave the dealership with the sense that IżM driving around in a ticking time bomb. As a women who frequently drives by herself in the car, and on the highway 99.9% of the time, I canżT tell you the fear that knowing that this can happen again at any moment and that the next time I may not be so lucky, instills in me. This is my second Hyundai and I have always considered myself to be a proud Hyundai owner, but I just did a little research and found out that a) not only am I far from the only person who has had this issue, B) there has actually been a class action law suit that Hyundai lost regarding the frequent stalling of Hyundai vehicles. I need Hyundai to fix this issue asap or risk being sued by my family after IżM killed in a car accident that is the direct result of your stalling vehicles.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #19

Dec 282015

Santa Fe

  • 129,500 miles
Vehicle inspection performed by manufacture certified technician. Two issues were recommended by the technician: A) new tires. All 4 tires currently on the vehicle are around 5 years old (based on the dot date of manufacture), and have been driven for over 100,000 miles (based on odometer readings from 2010 and current). B) new rear brake pads and rotors. The inspection revealed rear pads around 3 mm, and rotors showing rust. These are safety issues, which should be addressed before selling the vehicle. Regular maintenance has been performed on this vehicle, but existing records do not specify that recommended fluid/timing belt replacements were performed.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #18

Dec 142015

Santa Fe

  • 106,000 miles
I noticed that when I was in park, the car would just shut off. This happened three times within a few week's time. I was concerned and wondered if the car would ever just shut off while I was driving on the freeway or a busy street. To my horror, it happened! a few days ago I was turning into a parking lot and the car just shut off!...there was a car behind me that came to a screeching halt! again my greatest fear is that the car will stall on me while the vehicle is in motion and if that happens on a road where cars are travelling at high speeds, then I would probably not live to tell the story.

- Lathrup Village, MI, USA

problem #17

Nov 292015

Santa Fe

  • miles
The engine lights stays on when you fill the gas tank it still says empty when driving everything will shut off this is for the second time in less than a year

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #16

Oct 102015

Santa Fe

  • 77,450 miles


We were exiting West bound I-10 in pensacola, fl, and when turning right onto the surface road at slow speed the engine died and we lost power including steering and brakes. We were able to pull off of the road into a restaurant parking lot and restart the car, but had a close call with suddenly reduced speed in merging traffic. This is the second time this has happened to us in this car. The first incident was in Aug, 2013 and was reported as incident report #1053149. At that time, the dealer was unable to reproduce the issue, so no repair was made. We believe that this is a safety issue and should be investigated.

- Dothan, AL, USA

problem #15

Sep 222015

Santa Fe

  • 170,000 miles
This has happened on 4 separate occasions, both while driving in town at slow speeds and on a highway at high speeds. The check engine light will come on and the car will cut off, no power at all. On each occasion I put the car in neutral and restarted the car immediately and it resumed it's normal driving capacity. It is very scary to be driving along and then all of a sudden the car cuts off for no reason. The last time it happened I was in the middle of a sharp curve, so not having power steering at that point was not very safe, as I ended up in the other lane but thank goodness there wasn't a car coming in the other direction at the time.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #14

Sep 022015

Santa Fe

  • 77,000 miles
This vehicle has been had a fluctuation idle for over a year. It has been to the dealer for service on this issue many times. No codes are every thrown. I brought the tsb about idle issues to the dealer's attentions. They said this was only for certain error codes. Hyundai usa was directly contacted about this issue. No repairs were made for this issue. The vehicle has the 3.3L V6 engine. SE trim level. The engine stalled when decelerating from a highway speeds to a stop. It stalled before the car stopped. It restarted and drove after that. No check engine light. I stopped at the dealer that same day. I had them check the electrical system jsut to be sure that was not the issue. Battery, charing, etc all tested fine. I have the printout. So the vechicle did not show a check engine light the dealer offered no other assistance. It is clear from searching the internet that many many people have an issue with Hyundai vehicles around 2009 stalling. Most all of these people report the issue with no codes. So the dealer is limited in what they can do. They talked about ECM updates (firmware), and a fuel system sensor, and the crankcase senor. This is clearly a large issue putting people at risk. The NHTSA and ntsb should launch a full investigation, and find a real solution. Issue a tsb at a minimum, or a recall if needed.

- Prosper, TX, USA

problem #13

Apr 012014

Santa Fe

  • 80,000 miles
We had a sudden loss of power while traveling on the interstate at 70 mph. Had to get over quickly as the traffic was heavy and the car had no power. The engine would not deliver any power, other than idle. Turned the car off and let it sit for about 15 seconds, then started the car and had power back for about 3 miles. Happened again and did the same for about ten miles until got home. Recently started to happen again, same codes come up each time. Took car to dealership and they told me that it was just glitches causing codes to come up and cause the ESC to go into safe mode. Since then I have seen the exact same codes and not a lot of codes, but codes that indicate an ignition/fuel/control module problem. This is not as bad as acceleration, but if pulling out in traffic or on an on ramp, could be deadly. Has now happened seven times. First date was April 2014, could not enter date in your form for some reason.

- Perry, OK, USA

problem #12

Apr 222015

Santa Fe

  • 112,833 miles
I was driving my white Hyundai Santa Fe limited, 3.3L, 6cyl SUV home from work at approximately 4:30 pm eastern standard time. I was driving on the expressway at 70 mph when the engine suddenly shuts down and I lose steering control and brakes, veering onto a narrow shoulder and into a slope that sent my SUV into a swamp ditch, submerging the SUV up past the floorboards. My insurance claim specialist notified me that the vehicle was a total loss, and paid a claim payout and settlement far less than the amount still owed on the vehicle. It is my opinion that a cyber-attack signal sent to the SUVż's engine immobilizer switch, shut down the engine without warning, electronically. This can be accomplished from any hand held device, mobil phone, lap top computer, satellite feed, etc. All that is required is a VIN number, and any signal to the engine immobilizer switch can shut down the engine dangerously at highway speeds. This has happened at lower speeds of 20mph, where I would just turn the ignition key, the SUV would start the engine, and I would proceed. However, at highway speeds, I did not have this option.

- Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #11

Dec 032013

Santa Fe

  • 94,000 miles
Engine light came on and then fuel warning light came on even though I had a least 1/2 tank of gas. Filled up my gas tank, all lights were out. When I had approximately 1/2 tank again, the engine and fuel lights came on. I brought my car to my mechanic and was told the 2 fuel sensors need to be replaced at a cost of over $350. Upon online researching, I learned that there are many others who are experiencing the same problem. I feel that because this is happening to other Hyundai owners, it is a problem that Hyundai needs to repair at no cost to the owner of these vehicles. In my case, I need to be reimburse the cost of the repair.

- Langhorne, PA, USA

problem #10

Jul 272014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Upon take off from signal light, at about 10-15 miles an hour, vehicle engine had a total loss of power. At the time we were only able to coast to the side of the road. Turned key off. Waited a few minutes and then restarted engine and vehicle started up as if nothing happened. This is the second incident with this vehicle in the past 2 years. Online research reveals similar problems with Hyundai vehicles along with no resolution from manufacturer.

- Sebring, FL, USA

problem #9

Jan 032014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 65,231 miles
The vehicle looses all power. It also surges and stalls.

- Kingsland, TX, USA

problem #8

May 112014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 59,600 miles
While driving on the interstate at approximately 70 mph, using cruise control, the car suddenly lost power. I stepped on the gas and it would not accelerate. I coasted to a stop and pulled onto the shoulder. The engine was running, transmission was in gear, but the car would not move. I turned off the ignition and let it sit for a few minutes. I restarted it, had power, everything seemed normal, except the engine light remained lit. I drove approximately 10 miles to my destination. The car sat for six hours and I was then able to drive the 65 miles home without incident. Repair results: My Hyundai dealer indicated the problem was caused by a 'throttle position sensor'. they replaced the electronic component and reset the error codes in the vehicle's computer.

- Mount Pleasant, WI, USA

problem #7

Jul 172013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 49,400 miles
I was driving approximately forty (40) miles per hour, in traffic, when the engine shut-off. I quickly turned the ignition to "off" and then back on. The engine started immediately. I am extremely concerned about being in an accident. This happened again, when I was driving through a parking lot. I quickly turned the ignition to "off" and then back on. The engine started immediately, on both occasions. I took my vehicle into planet Hyundai in las vegas, Nevada, on August 7, 2013. They could not identify the problem with their systems check and could not produce the same engine shut-off event, while operating the vehicle.

- Englewood, CO, USA

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