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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
14,706 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #9

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 #8

Mar 252012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
Vehicle was being driven in the rain from savannah ga to jacksonville fl, outside temperature apx 80 degrees, with air conditioning on. Air conditioning abruptly ceased blowing cold air and started blowing hot, humid air, which fogged all windows from the inside. Suddenly lowered visibility causes driving hazard. This has occurred several times before with this vehicle when (1) it is hot outside, (2) the air conditioning is on, (3) it is raining, (4) the car has been driving for apx 30 to 45 minutes. Remedy is to pull off the road, turn off the engine, wait 5-10 minutes, then restart car. Air works normally for another 30-45 minutes then same problem re-occurs, but pulling to the side of an interstate also causes a safety problem. There is an online litany of similar problems from other owners of this vehicle at Hyundai customer service refuses to acknowledge the problem exists, told me this morning they had never received a complaint on it before, and local dealer refuses to repair it.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #7

Jun 202011

Santa Fe

  • 3 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the vehicle would sporadically stall without warning. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was in the process of assisting the contact with the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 3 and the current mileage was 7,650.

- North Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #6

Oct 182011

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles


In rainy humid conditions, the air conditioning compressor will shut down causing warm air to blow inside the car cabin. This immediately causes the windows to fog up causing a very dangerous driving condition. This has now happened 5 times since owning the car. If you turn the car off, let it rest for a few minutes, then turn back on the air compressor will work again but only for the short time. We have taken the car to the dealership and they cannot duplicate the problem. Again it only happens when it's humid and raining outside. After numerous searches on the internet, it seems that I am not the only person this is happening to. Hyundai has a serious problem and they should do a recall to fix this!

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #5

Nov 172010

Santa Fe

  • 3,200 miles
The automatic climate control system in my 2010 Santa Fe limited would occasionally stop running the air conditioning compressor, usually during heavy rain or humid conditions. Even with the A/C switch and indicator light on, the compressor would still not activate until the ignition was cycled. This caused the interior windows to fog up heavily and not clear, leading to a dangerous situation in which one instance my outward visibility being reduced to almost zero and could have caused a crash as I had nowhere to pull over. Eventually I was able to replicate the condition to the dealer who replaced the climate control module in the dash. The problem has not resurfaced since.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #4

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 #3

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 #2

Oct 022010

Santa Fe

  • 6,780 miles
Vehicle stopped on incline of a hill, then reversed (gear shift in drive) back down 600 feet the hill and crashed against a concrete wall corner. Have 2 witnesses that switched off the engine, inspected wreck, found no fault codes with a launch 431-reader but figured that battery was drained after 2 months. Surviving daughter suffers from memory loss but at the time of the accident claims the brakes failed.

- Netherlands Antilles, NN, USA

problem #1

Aug 192010

Santa Fe

  • 7,000 miles
2010 Santa Fe gl - about 60% of starting has a jerk/kick. It's like something engaged suddenly. Taken to the dealer twice and showed no abnormal readings. On Aug. 19/2010, while driving on the highway at 110 km/hr there was a loud bang as if something hit the car from behind. I thought the truck beside me lost a wheel and struck my car. Had to get off the highway and do a visual inspection which revealed nothing. My car had 7,000 km at that time.

- Toronto, Canada, 00, USA

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