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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,042 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #6

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 #5

Jan 062016

Santa Fe

  • 86,064 miles
Dashboard seat belt light didn't go off after normal start up. Diagnostic completed at local service center. Determined it was a faulty air bag module. Mechanic purchased module from local Hyundai dealer. Dealer parts employee stated that this was the third module purchased that week.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #4

Jun 212013

Santa Fe

  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving at any speed, the driver and passenger side air bag lights remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician reset the air bags sensor. Within ten minutes of resetting the air bag sensor, the passenger side air bag light illuminated. A week later, the driver side air bag light illuminated. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the seat sensor or the seat belt latch may need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 71,000.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #3

Feb 042013

Santa Fe

  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the driver of the vehicle crashed into a telephone pole head on. The air bags did not deploy upon impact. The driver sustained face and head injuries. The vehicle was towed to a salvage lot. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000.

- Dousman, WI, USA

problem #2

Aug 042010

Santa Fe

  • 8,500 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. While seated in the passenger seat, the contact noticed the air bag off light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technicians stated there was nothing that they could do and the problem was related to the contact's weight. The manufacturer was contacted and provided the same response. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 8,500.

- Valdosta, GA, USA

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problem #1

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

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