Notes: The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe apparently has a problem with the engine stalling while driving.

In a 2-page letter to Santa Fe owners from August 2014, Hyundai claims the engine stalling only occurs under a "specific set of operating conditions".

However a class action lawsuit filed around the same time details multiple claims from Sante Fe owners that claim the engine stalling happens at any time, under any conditions.

Although the model year range in the lawsuit is 2010-2012, the stalling complaint trend hasn't shown up in our data for the 2010 model year. Both the 2011 & 2012 Santa Fe model years DO show a significant defect trend of the engine stalling.

Currently we're not rating the 2010 Santa Fe as "bad" or "poor". Just be aware of this potentially serious problem.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,048 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.

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe electrical problems

electrical problem

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2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #17

Jun 012016

Santa Fe

  • 59,000 miles


Passenger rear door (right rear) lock actuator mechanism failure. Door is locked and **cannot be unlocked or opened from inside or outside the car**, whether by manual or key fob method. Manual door lock button (on right rear door) inside car difficult to actuate, door handle actuation (cable?) seems like it may be detached (very easy to actuate door handle, no resistance). Worked fine, until it failed with no warning. Tried to open right rear door and was unable to. I rarely use this door, so it may have failed prior to when I noticed it. Approx 59,000 miles when problem noticed. *serious* safety issue if door malfunctions with passengers in car--the door is 100% useless--and it could happen to any of the doors I assume.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #16

May 092016

Santa Fe

  • 40,000 miles
I bought this car with 40K miles on it and it now has 63K miles. Since I have had it, I have replaced the radio display, speaker, driver side window controls, starter and a recall on the airbags. The clear coat is also coming off all the door handles and it is fading the paint. I notified Hyundai and they did not address any issue.

- King George, VA, USA

problem #15

Feb 272012

Santa Fe

  • 30,000 miles
Purchased vehicle brand new, the rear brake lights failed and I was rear ended @ 65 mph. Vehicle suffered $14,000 in damage with a bent frame. The value of my vehicle is now diminished drastically and it is reported in car fax report. Approximately 2 years later vehicle was recalled for faulty brake lights and the brake switch was replaced at the dealership. I should not suffer financial loss due to negligent parts that were manufactured and installed on this vehicle.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jun 262015

Santa Fe

  • 50,000 miles


I was driving my 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, the blinker switch started frantically clicking, I than heard electrical sparks from the steering column and than smoke starting coming from the steering column where the blinker shaft was located. Hyundai has had my vehicle for 2 weeks, leaving me and my 8 month old carless. The dealership and cooperate has said that they have never heard of this happening before, and has not given me a courtesy call or vehicle updates. I looked on this website, and indeed, I found someone who has encountered the same issue (please see NHTSA id number 10629458). I feel that this is a major safety concern and needs to be recalled immediately with the other recalls in place.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #13

Dec 012014

Santa Fe

  • 60,570 miles
Yesterday while decelerating at about 30 mph and coming to a stop sign, the car completely shut off. The check engine light illuminated. The car was restarted and continued to operate normally. The car check engine light did not illuminate again. I took to my dealer today (next am) due to my concern. I contacted Hyundai and asked to extend my warranty and mentioned my car had similar problem description mentioned in the online 929 Hyundai campaign. The dealer said no code history or code is showing and nothing can be done but to wait and see if problem reappears. I am concerned that this car if again completely shuts off while in operation could become more of a fatal result. Would like Hyundai to extend the online 929 campaign to my vehicle which is same year and model or some other way to check this problem thanks

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #12

Aug 242014

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 64,755 miles
Santa Fe blinker switch on steering column started smoking. I have a video as evidence of the smoke and mileage of the vehicle. Hyundai refused to fix the problem at no cost even though it was a clear and present danger to me and my family. Blinkers started staying on at all times when ignition was on. Blinkers would go left and go right, but when in the center position the left turn signal stayed on or the audible part of the blinkers could be heard with no signal light. Smoke came from the steering column and the vehicle smelled and still smells of an electrical fire. I took a video that clearly shows smoke coming from the blinker switch in the steering column. Please ask if you would like a copy of the video. I called Hyundai customer service and told them and I also asked to the dealership to take care of it. Both refused and said that the vehicle was out of warranty by 4,755 miles and they would do nothing even though my family was in clear danger. They charged me $179 to fix a problem that was obviously a defect in their parts and is a danger in both being engulfed in flames and getting into an accident from faulty signals and intentions being sent to other drivers on the highway.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #11

Aug 092014

Santa Fe

  • 65,000 miles


I was slowing down to make a left hand turn, when the car completely shut down. No power steering, no power brakes. Was able to complete the turn and pull over. Put the car in park and was able to restart and continue driving with no problems. This is the 4th time this has happened since we got the car. Since it is sporadic, dealer cannot find what is wrong. Worried that incident might occur while driving on highway and get rear-ended.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #10

Jun 292014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
The air conditioning compressor shuts off when it rains. Warm air blows through the vents.

- Pleasant View, TN, USA

problem #9

Jul 032013

Santa Fe

  • 89,453 miles
Vehicle when starting from stop, hesitates then acclerates fast. Sometimes more so left turn but also straight ahead. Almost ran through garage door because of this problem. Also last night I tried to acclerarate turning left from stop sign. Vehicle scares me, the way it is working. Appears to be getting worse. Thank you. I think this is a serious safety concern.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 042013

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai sante fe. The contact stated that the interior and exterior lights failed. In addition, the front driver's seat could not be adjusted. The contact stated that the vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 41,000.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #7

Jun 062011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 18,000 miles


While sitting in crawling traffic or coming to a slow stop at a stop sign, on occasion the car will lose all electrical power (lights, radio, interior lighting goes black) and the engine then stalls out. The gas tank is typically half full or below but never on empty. I have to place the car in park or neutral and restart the engine. The engine runs fine before and after the incidents. This has happened at least three times a month since June 2011 and has almost caused multiple car accidents. The car's power also seems to dim when applying the breaks during normal driving on occasion. The headlights, interior lights and radio touch screen go dim when break is applied. I have brought it to the dealership twice already and complained but nothing was done. Since the dealership could not repeat the event, they claimed there is nothing that can be done. The dealership suggested that I leave the car stalled out and have it towed in. I explained that the car will start again once in park or neutral, therefore a tow truck will not tow it back to the dealership.

- Roselle Park, NJ, USA

problem #6

Aug 012011

Santa Fe

  • 20,800 miles
When slowing down for traffic lights, turns or merging into traffic lanes, when the brake is released and the accelerator is pushed, at random times the car hesitates and all power is lost momentarily. The vehicle seems as if it has or is in the process of stalling out. At first, it feels as if all power has been lost and that the vehicle should be steered to the side of the road. However, then the engine suddenly re-engages and the vehicle lunges forward. The engine warning light does not come on, and the engine apparently does not "die, " since there is no requirement for an ignition re-start. The problem happens sporadically (about once or twice a week--but sometimes once or more in the same day). The vehicle starts well, idles well and otherwise performs in an okay fashion. The dealer cannot find anything wrong. The car did not do this for the first 20,000 or so miles. On at least two occasions, this "stalling out" has almost created an accident situation.

- Chenango Bridge, NY, USA

problem #5

Aug 212011

Santa Fe

  • 28,531 miles
Intermittent issue where the gas pedal does not work - depressing it does not cause the engine to rev at all. This has occurred with the vehicle at 40 mph, then no power as vehicle slowed down to 15 mph before it started working. Other symptoms when this occurs are as follows: With headlights turned on, the left turn signal is stuck "on". if headlights are off, selecting the left turn signal can cause various dash lights to blink, and engine loses power in synch with the blinking lights.

- Niceville, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 062011

Santa Fe

  • 11,000 miles
When pushing the gas pedal to accelerate from stopped position there is a notable pause. (1-3 seconds??)this then causes you to push accelerator further, thereby causing a much more sudden acceleration. I am used to it because it has happened intermittently since car was new, but someone could get in trouble. Hyundai service says its because the pedal is sending a position of pedal through an electronic signal to fuel metering system.

- Heathsville, VA, USA

problem #3

Jul 242010

Santa Fe

  • 3,685 miles
A 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe was involved in a front end impact. The vehicle was taken to a local body shop for repairs. In the normal course of repairs, the shop replaced the components of the supplementary restraint system and sent the vehicle to the local dealer to check for error codes and to reset the system. One of the error codes would not clear. The dealer, in Washington state advised the repair shop and us that pursuant to a tsb,01-90-013, Hyundai recommends that the wiring harness also must be replaced in addition to the standard parts of the airbag system, when the air bags are deployed. There was no direct damage to the wiring harness and this appears to be some unique requirement designed into the harness by Hyundai. It is unclear why this is required or what unique feature was built into the harness that demands the replacement of the entire harness. This added requirement adds an additional $6,767.75 to the repair cost over and above the regular collision related cost. Whereas this requirement is unique to the new 2010 Santa Fe model and is not function required during the standard replacement of air bags in any other vehicle that we are aware of, we must ask is this a defect, is this simply a design feature to enhance profit from repairs or is there some unique feature to the wire harness design that serves some other purpose or function? any information would be appreciated.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #2

Aug 042010

Santa Fe

  • 824 miles
2010 Hyundai Santa Fe SE / owned 5 1/2 weeks / 824 miles. Started vehicle late morning, preparing to drive out of the garage. Smoke began pouring from the A/C vents. Immediately turned off the engine & got out of vehicle. Called 911 for fire department. Smoke continued for couple of minutes after the engine was turned off. Evident from the smell it was an electrical malfunction/burn. Firemen confirmed this. Firemen checked under the vehicle & the engine compartment, but no evidence of smoke, fire or burn in either location. I had vehicle towed to the dealership. No conclusion at this time.

- Navasota, TX, USA

problem #1

Jun 082010

Santa Fe

  • 5,200 miles
On Tuesday, June 8, 2010 I was on a busy interstate highway with fast moving traffic and my car lost all power while traveling at 70 mph. Fortunately, I was able to barely glide the sante fe to the shoulder and stop without incident. Follow up: 3 pm visited Hyundai service center and was told that it was not a throttle problem. They are in contact with ca service to determine cause of problem. Friday, 6-11-10 after complete testing of all circuits, Hyundai declares no source of problem. Auto was picked up at 4:30 pm Hyundai assistant service manager: Bob wood Hyundai case # 3982284 the specifics are: "SUV was purchased 8/09 and currently has 5200 miles. ?cruise control was on but not engaged. ?gas tank indicator on one-half. "with my foot on gas pedal the initial instinct was that the engine had lost all power. Opressing harder on gas pedal had no reaction. Othere was an opening in traffic and with the SUV forward inertia I was able to just reach the road shoulder. Oobserved that red indicators were on (battery, oil) ?reset transmission selector to park, turned off key. Ofirst restart-nothing happened osecond restart SUV started and I did not turn off until reaching home. Obviously, this is a serious life threatening situation that needs to be researched thoroughly and corrected.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

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