Notes: The 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe has a problem with the engine stalling while driving. Both our data & the NHTSA's complaint data show a significant defect trend at low mileage.

In a 2-page letter sent August 2014 to Santa Fe owners, 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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,832 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.

2011 Hyundai Santa Fe electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #9

Oct 262016

Santa Fe

  • 102,000 miles


Center information console (radio/navigation) console screen is black in cold weather until it thaws out. Make radio and navigation unusable until it thaws. This is a safety issue because if someone is travelling and the car gets cold they'll be unable to navigate. Imagine getting up for an emergency to go somewhere and the screen is black preventing you from travelling or you're travelling and stop for a rest and the vehicle gets cold preventing you from continuing until it thaws out. If someone had an emergency and needed to find a hospital or in case of diabetic needed to find somewhere to eat and they couldn't because the navigation screen was frozen.

- Opp, AL, USA

problem #8

Apr 112014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. When starting the vehicle, the air bag warning light flickered and remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the wiring was reconnected, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 15,500. MA 10/15/2015 the consumer stated the passenger seat belt assembly was replaced. Updated 01/05/16.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #7

Feb 262015

Santa Fe

  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the battery in the vehicle died multiple times after replacing it. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed the starter needed to be replaced. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Manalapan, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 112014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 55,369 miles


On June 11, 2014 my 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe ( 55051 miles) started making a whining sound when the car is first started. I took the car into a Hyundai dealer and they discovered that the pulley idler needed to be replaced. Fortunately my car is still under warranty. On June 27th, 2014 my Hyundai Santa Fe (55376 miles), check engine light came on. The car did not want to accelerate. Above 20 mph. I took the car back to the dealer and they discovered the 55376 PO638 lost communication and had to replace the throttle sensor. Coming home today July 17th 2014, the car was a little hesitant when accelerating after coming to a complete stop and trying to step on the gas pedal. Has anyone reported these problems?

- Missouri City, TX, USA

problem #5

May 232014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 26,893 miles
Car is stopped and in the garage but the fan will not shut off without disconnecting the battery. Car was not overheated.

- Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 012014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles
2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. Consumer writes in regards to while driving vehicle engine shut off and car died. The consumer stated when he slowed down to go around a curve, the vehicle shut off. He could barely get the vehicle to the side of the roadway, because there was no power steering or power brakes. Tech support, recommended replacing the throttle body, since the dealer could not find a problem. However, on March 1, 2014, while driving in a parking lot at 10 mph, the engine shut off again. The power steering and brakes were not operable. He let the vehicle sit for several minutes before re-starting it. The consumer returned to the dealer, and after a thorough examination, they were unable to duplicate the problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 162012

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


Note: It is at pretty much all speeds and not just 55 that the variation can be seen between devices and the vehicle. I purchased this used with 29K miles on it. I noticed on the drive back from md to pa that the speed on the speedometer was different than my tomtom gps. A friend was driving in a separate car and so I called them and tried to identify their speed to mine and it seemed off to theirs as well. I took the car into the Hyundai dealer in the next month or so to ask them to adjust the speedometer to which I was told it cannot be altered. Well here I am over a year later and every single gps based system I have put into my car, another tomtom, my sons garmin, my wife's garmin, my new garmin and my phone all are in synch with each other. The problem is that my Santa Fe is always stating I am traveling about 3 mph faster than all these other devices. If this is the case then this would show a higher number of miles being driven that what is actually occurring. I drive 20-25K miles a year and this would most definitely add up over the life of the vehicle thus showing me to be out of warranty sooner than would be expected. Why does every electronic device show the same speed but my car is telling me I'm going faster?

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #2

Aug 032012

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 31,345 miles
I was showing my new/used 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe to some friends when we heard a pop and the rear windshield shattered. No one else was around the vehicle and where it was parked there was no where someone could have shot the window with a pellet gun or something like that. Earlier in the morning I had the rear window defogger on to clear light fog off the rear windshield. It was only on for approximately 5 minutes until I shut it off while driving.

- Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #1

Mar 262012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 12,377 miles
I have had the same problem with my 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe reported in other ODI complaints. Specifically, my vehicle stalls randomly while traveling at low speeds. ODI id #10460671, #10453272, and #10412636, all seem to report the same problem I have. Occasionally, while braking or allowing the car to stop, it will stall out. When it does, accelerating, power steering, and power braking are all disabled. Once the car gear is shifted to park and the ignition is turned off, the problem resolves after re-starting the car later. The dealership service department had worked on this car for the same problem four times without being able to 1. diagnose the problem and 2. come up with an adequate remedy. Even though the technicians have not been able to reproduce the stalling, the first three times it was in the shop, three different repairs were made. They have all involved computer fixes, including changing out the contacts, replacing the junction box, and updating software. Hyundai is aware of my issue and the pending lemon law arbitration claim that I have made. Hyundai has currently made the unilateral determination that this vehicle does not qualify as a lemon, which I dispute because 1. this determination is not capable of being made unilaterally, and 2. this is a serious safety defect and more than a "reasonable" amount of repair attempts have been unsuccessful. A managing engineer has examined the vehicle without finding any problems, and I'm currently working with Hyundai to have a "flight recorder" installed to record data when the car stalls next. The most recent occurrence was while I was driving in heavy traffic without a shoulder on the freeway--a life-threatening situation. I consider this car to be an unreliable safety threat on the roadways and have communicated this to Hyundai, but its representative do not have the same sense of urgency I have.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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