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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
52,450 miles
Total Complaints:
21 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (21 reports)
2011 Hyundai Santa Fe engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Feb 092022

Santa Fe LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,845 miles


We bought this car used in 2020 and began to have stalling problems from the beginning. Though not continuous, this stalling has occurred over 200 times during our ownership. We have had the car to the dealer numerous times and always get the same response "Nothing shows on our diagnostics and we cannot replicate it when we drive it. Sorry, we just can't do anything because we don't know if or what may be wrong".

We are so disgusted with Hyundai and with our local dealership for failing to take any kind of responsibility for selling us a lemon and for failing to make any effort to resolve the issue, to the point that we will NEVER buy another. And we certainly are telling everyone we know to stay away from this car dealership. Sad, because we have owned 2 earlier Santa Fes and absolutely loved them.

Is there anyone out there who can tell us where to go or what to do to get this car fixed? This vehicle is dangerous! Just yesterday it stalled in front of a very large truck going over 40mph. I just this morning found info online that indicates many others have had the same problems. HELP!!!

- Carol S., Joplin, US

problem #20

Dec 042018

Santa Fe GLS 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Problem has happened many times. Sometimes only once during a short trip on the highway and sometimes it stales restarts several times in succession. When I called the dealership to ask if they have had other complaints about this problem, I was told no. Also I never received a letter from Hyundai telling me about the stalling. it is very much a concern that I will be driving on the highway and it will not restart and I will be stranded.

- Joseph S., Sylva, US

problem #19

Jun 012016

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,562 miles

I bought a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe on the recommendation of the dealership manager and salesman. due to the higher miles I was skeptical but I don't drive much and thought this would be ok for me and the car was beautiful and in excellent condition. In the second week I was sitting at a light in rush hour traffic and it died and took about 3 min to start up again like nothing happened. I thought it was just a fluke until it happened again twice in the same week so I called the dealer and they said they never heard of anything like this. I scheduled the car to be brought in and they did a software update and also got me for some maintenance that I thought I better take care of while its in there ($900). Got the car back and less than a week later the car was dead when I tried to start it, called triple A and just before they got there I decided one more time to turn the key and up it started. I made up my mind that they will never fix this car and traded it in only to receive an e-mail about a law suit being settled with Hyundai regarding stalling of these vehicles. This was the most frustrating car purchase I have ever encountered, I had anxiety just getting into the car to drive on the xpressway waiting for the stall to happen again and Lauren Hyundai of Glenview is not even returning my phone call any longer, as I want my extended warranty cancelled to at least help with the down payment on my new car.

- Kathy M., Chicago, IL, US

problem #18

May 012017

Santa Fe ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


Our 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe recently began stalling intermittently, however, it's getting much worse now. 5 times driving to work and back yesterday and 4 times this morning on the way to work (a 15-minute commute). Two different mechanics have not been able to locate the problem. Planning to take it to the Hyundai dealer now. Another mechanic friend just sent this article from

- dphairas, Weaverville, US

problem #17

Dec 272016

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,160 miles

2011 Hyundai Santa Fe stalls, loses power, does not accelerate. Slows down without warning. Reported already starting to happen more frequently, so i'm reporting it again.



Frightened Driver

- Mertis W., South Bend, IN, US

problem #16

Oct 112016

Santa Fe ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I thought that I was the only one experiencing this problem. Since I purchased this car brand new, I have been having problems with it. I had an automatic starter on the car, and I had it removed because I thought it might have been the source of my problems. Every time I take the car to the dealership, they could not find the problem. They would give it back to me the same way. I keep complaining that the car stalls when I am driving, but no one seemed to believe me. Until one day when my son borrowed my car and was almost killed on the highway when the car stalled while he was driving. He refused to drive the vehicle home, and now my family understands the danger of the car. I only drive short distances with the car, and will not sell it to anyone knowing how dangerous it is. I wish the company will do a recall, and fix the problem, instead of placing people's life in jeopardy.

- Alleyne A., Brooklyn, NY, US

problem #15

Aug 242016

Santa Fe LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,217 miles


Daughter was in the car wash and the car just stalled. All lights illuminated on dash & car died. She got it restarted prior to exiting. Fortunately not driving.

- Tony M., Desert Hills, AZ, US

problem #14

Jul 162016

Santa Fe LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,089 miles

Driving 75 on I-17. Lost power heard loud banging noise, all lights illuminated on dash. Put car in neutral and restarted the car. This is very dangerous!!!

- Tony M., Desert Hills, AZ, US

problem #13

Jul 092016

Santa Fe Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,300 miles

Since we purchased the vehicle, brand new, the engine has stalled three times with no indication of hesitation. Most recently, it stalled on July 09/2016. It is like all sources of electricity are cut-off. Though it has only happened to my wife, it is a serious concern, given her understanding of the mechanics of the car. Fortunately, when it has happened, she has been able to drive the car to a safe stop but now is afraid of driving the vehicle considering that her commute to work is 75% on highways.

We love the car and appreciate the decision from the manufacturer to address the issue. That is an indication that they are concerned about the problem. We understand the time they have taken in settling the matter; it appears to be a challenge to replicate the reason of the engine stalling, but it is obvious that something is wrong with the electronics of the car. When it stalls, it is like the gas has been cut-off and the electricity for ignition is non-existing. For the next 5 to 10 minutes the engine does not crank but the dash is illuminated because the ignition is in the "on" position. After that time, the car starts like nothing has happened (possibly an indication of some overheated electronic component.)

We love the car and plan to keep it for a longer time. Up to this point, the engine stalling and the leaking oil pressure switch (which I fixed myself) have been the only issues with this car. We most likely will take the repair of the car from the manufacturer, The car is solid/comfortable and elegant.

- cristiansegura, Newark, NJ, US

problem #12

May 092016

Santa Fe Sport 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,496 miles

We just purchased this 2011 Santa Fe at Bolton Hyundai April 2016. This morning May 9th 2016 my wife called to let me know it stalled on her 2 times when she arrived at work. She was idling for approx 1 minute in a parking space and she noticed the rpm gauge starting moving on its own and than it stalled. she started it again immediately and it stalled after 10 seconds. after that it started and hasn't yet stalled a 3rd time but she is currently at work. After reading about others 2011 Santa Fe owners stalling issues I am terrified, I have 2 girls in car seats and I am now scared this may stall on us while driving as well. I called Hyundai Canada who gave me a case number and told me to contact my local Hyundai dealer to update the computer for free as there is a service complaint.

Update from Jun 1, 2016: Brought vehicle into the local hyundai in Huntsville ontario and they knew about the recall or more specifically called a "service complaint" and completed a free software update to solve the problem. On May 29th 2016 the santa fe stalled while making a right hand turn on a busy intersection. Called Hyundai Canada again and was told to once again bring the santa fe in to the local dealer... How am I to feel safe driving this with kids in the car now that I know this vehicle does stall while operating?

- mattirvine, Huntsville, ON, Canada

problem #11

Nov 182015

Santa Fe V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


I have a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe purchased new. This problem has repeatedly occurred over the last 3 years. As I was driving to work this morning (on the freeway), it happened yet again, luckily I was in traffic strolling no more than 5 mph, my car suddenly loses power steering and the power dies (almost as if the battery was drained). I struggle to pullover with what residual power remaining. Both engine and oil lights come on. I am also unable to change into any gear. Then I power off the ignition and it restarts again as if there was nothing wrong. This happened 6 months ago and I took it directly to a mechanic. He ran the diagnostics, however, nothing showed up on the computer leaving it irreparable issue that's more than concerning This is not only a potential danger to myself but to other commuters around me!!! Any idea what the solution could be or what I should do?

- Sarah T., Hawthorne, CA, US

problem #10

Oct 042015

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,209 miles

In October 2015, my 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe lost acceleration while going 70 mph in the left lane. We could have been killed, but were able to flag cars to slow down so we could coast to the right side of the highway to stop. This is the second time this has happened. There have been a couple of recalls but they haven't fixed the problem. I see that others have been scared out of their wits by this, but Hyundai appears to want to wait until someone dies before fixing it. Hyundai won't do a buyback for me. I am very upset, stuck with a car that I am afraid to move out of the right lane while driving. I read that there was a class action lawsuit regarding the stalling in CA, but don't know it's status.

- carprob, Strawberry Plains, TN, US

problem #9

May 312014

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

Various times it has stalled/turned off while coming to a stop or slowing to turn. This is my second Santa Fe and I love this car but the dealer cannot find any problem! The main tech even took it for 24 hrs. Fed up, I emailed Hyundai USA to see if they can help. A few weeks later they called and offered me to do a buy back. No questions asked. So if anyone else is having this problem that no one seems to think is a problem, contact Hyundai USA direct.

- Julie L., La Mesa, CA, US

problem #8

Nov 152013

Santa Fe LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,852 miles

This is the FOURTH time this has occurred. Dealer and National seem incapable of solving the problem.

Car has been in the dealership for THREE weeks with very little communication and no solution. This car needs to be removed from the road. Each time they return the car to me, they assure me that it has been repaired and the situation will not happen again. I need help!!

- jaybarry1946, Huntington Station, NY, US

problem #7

Oct 252013

Santa Fe LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,011 miles

Car is inoperable for the third time with the same complaint. Neither the dealer nor Hyundai Motor America seems capable of diagnosing or fixing the problem. I am frightened to drive this vehicle after they have failed to repair the problem THREE times.

- jaybarry1946, Huntington Station, NY, US

problem #6

Apr 262014

Santa Fe GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles

The car stalls while in motion. I was going 30miles/hr and the car gave no warnings, it just stopped, it did not respond to brakes or wheel. I ended up on the other side of the road against traffic, thankfully the other drivers were able to deviate, as it was not rush hour. The 2nd time the car did it in the evening, I was lucky both times that no cyclist or pedestrians were near by or I could have killed someone as the car does not respond to brakes or the wheel.

The Hyundai dealership said we can't recreate the problem so sorry, just continue driving. The days the car was being "tested" Hyundai did not offer any loaner or reimbursed my rental car. When I bought the car brand new the sales people raved about Hyundai Assurance but as soon as something goes wrong no response. I hope that Hyundai gets busted for this issue, similar to how Toyota had to be publicly humiliated to be responsible for their products. The sad part is lives are lost in the process and no money will return those loved ones.

I feel unsafe driving this car, in fact I have stopped driving it, it is not safe for the public nor for me.

- nancywa, Sammamish, WA, US

problem #5

Dec 092013

Santa Fe LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,312 miles

This is the FIFTH (5th) time my vehicle is in service for the same repair. I was to hear from the dealership's Technical Team Leader by last Thursday, 12/19/2013, AT THE LATEST to hear what solution the whiz kids at Hyundai Motor America's Field Service Engineer has come up with.

I lack total confidence that this vehicle can be repaired properly. Five times is outrageous and more patience than I should be expected to show under such a dangerous situation. I have a loaner from the dealership which I refuse to return until I receive a replacement vehicle comparable to my inoperable one. I don't feel I should be the guinea pig to see if they were REALLY able to make the necessary repairs this time. Let the "Technical Team Leader" or the "Field Service Engineer" drive my car for a month or two WITH THEIR families inside to see if it happens again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- jaybarry1946, Huntington Station, NY, US

problem #4

Feb 082013

Santa Fe 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

this is the second time this has happened and like everyone today your car is a must. I do not feel confident in taking this car out on the road for fear this will happen again. the first time I was on a very busy road and when I made my turn after the light had turned it completely stops. I was very lucky that I was not hit by another car. very scary. now I am in the same situation and I can only say I am afraid of this car. what a shame as I was enjoying it. I can only hope that Hyundai will take notice and fix the problem for this is not funny and I consider it very serious. I did let the service gentleman know that I was not happy and being afraid to drive your car is not a pleasant feeling.

- Sandra L., Ballwin, MO, US

problem #3

Feb 092012

Santa Fe Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,850 miles

Has stalled three times in the seven months we've had it. Bought it new. Completely dies- no engine lights or anything. If I turn the car off and then back on, it seems fine. I've taken the car back in to the dealership where it was purchased (and serviced) and they've held it for at least a week each time, claiming they've done everything Hyundai reps have told them to do. They're telling me the car is ready to be picked up, and that they can't find anything wrong. Has happened when I was driving (accelerating after a red light), while my husband was driving (going over a speed bump), and once in traffic- accelerating. Really dangerous, especially with two little kids in the car, and the power steering goes out. Dealership has told me they have no reason to hold the car, and if I want to I can call the 1-800 number for Hyundai. Should I be looking into the Lemon Law?

- coejo, Bethesda, MD, US

problem #2

Dec 012011

Santa Fe Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles

2011 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited. Has stalled three times in the seven months we've had it. Bought it new. Completely dies- no engine lights or anything. If I turn the car off and then back on, it seems fine. I've taken the car back in to the dealership where it was purchased (and serviced) and they've held it for at least a week each time, claiming they've done everything Hyundai reps have told them to do. They're telling me the car is ready to be picked up, and that they can't find anything wrong. Has happened when I was driving (accelerating after a red light), while my husband was driving (going over a speed bump), and once in traffic- while accelerating. Dangerous, especially with two little kids in the car and the power steering goes. Glad i wasnt going faster. Have read psts where others haven't been as lucky. Dealership has told me they have no reason to hold the car, and if I want to I can call the 1-800 number for Hyundai. Should I be looking into the Lemon Law? While searching for info, I'm finding a lot of stalling issues with these newer Santa Fe models!

- coejo, Bethesda, MD, US

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