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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,055 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 engine problems

engine problem

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

problem #35

Dec 252016

Santa Fe

  • 72,150 miles


2011 Hyundai Santa Fe stalls, loses power, will not accelerate, gives no warning. This could cause a major accident and multiple deaths. This happens suddenly while driving along city streets and highways and while turning.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #34

Sep 062016

Santa Fe

  • 101,000 miles
Multiple times the engine just shuts off. This has happened at idle and at speed. Full loss of power, all lights on dash illuminate, loud bang when at speed. If you put in neutral and re-engage ignition car will start. This has happened multiple times. Last was 9/6

- Desert Hills, AZ, USA

problem #33

Oct 012015

Santa Fe

  • 71,187 miles
While driving the motor locked up with no warning. No oil left in the pan but no lights came on.

- Wellsville, OH, USA

problem #32

Aug 012015

Santa Fe

  • 64,000 miles


On 3 separate occasions my vehicle would rev up the RPM's and then slow way down and vehicle paused for about 5-10 seconds then reengaged. Also, the engine seems accelerates and slows down on its own, doesn't feel like taking fuel at times. My complaint sounds similar to NHTSA id# 10744564, however, my vehicle did not make a loud sound from underneath. I have had my 60000 mi service completed and issue presented afterwards. Luckily, these 3 incidents happened on low volume traffic streets. I have had service after at different Hyundai dealers without explanation.

- Ft. Myers, FL, USA

problem #31

May 302015

Santa Fe

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving at high speeds, there was a sudden increase and sudden decrease in engine rpms. The contact stated that the electrical functions of the vehicle failed and a loud noise emitted from underneath the vehicle. The contact stated that the engine stalled briefly, but was able to resume normal operation. While driving at low speeds, the failure recurred; however, the engine stalled completely. The contact maneuvered to the emergency lane and was able to restart the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed for hesitation of the motor. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was not available. Updated 09/18/15

- North Port, AL, USA

problem #30

Oct 152014

Santa Fe

  • 60,000 miles
I was stopped at a red light with my foot on the brake, when the engine suddenly revved very quickly and lurched forward towards the car in front of me. I turned the engine off and the car stopped. Fortunately there was enough room between my car and the one in front of me that I didn't hit it. When I restarted it, it worked fine.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #29

Dec 052014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 56,128 miles


We own a 2011 hynudai Santa Fe and had an incident last night pulling into a parking spot, which appears to be something others have experienced: Sua sudden unintended acceleration. I was pulling into the parking space with my foot on the brake and the motor just started racing full throttle for no apparent reason. I mashed on the brake and felt it fade out under the force of the increased motor RPM. I quickly shifted into neutral and the engine continued to race but I had my foot completely removed from the brake or accelerator pedals. I then shut the engine off. My wife and I were shaken but uninjured. After completing our reason for the stop, the vehicle started normally and we returned home with no further incident. But our confidence in the vehicle has gone to zero. This was the first and only time this has occurred so far on this vehicle.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #28

Nov 252014

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
Vehicle stalled when leaving stop light lost speed would not accelerate have read other complaints on line some are afraid to drive vehicles I agree saftey is an issue dealer or manufacture cannot find solution to problem.

- Elmwood Park, IL, USA

problem #27

Aug 202014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 38,550 miles
Driving on interstate 1 hour East of asheville, nc in heavy traffic. At approximately 230 pm on 8/20/2014 the check engine light came on, the car shuddered and lost all acceleration. Complete loss of power managed to coast to the side of the road and turned car off. Restarted and drove to Hyundai dealership in asheville, nc about 30 miles away. They performed a software update and stated problem was resolved. Continued driving on highway (traveling back to dayton oh), and within 1 hour check engine light came on, at about 700 pm, a complete loss of power and no acceleration, and had to coast to the side of the road, restart the engine, etc. Again, incredibly dangerous situation on a busy interstate. The same exact situation happened 2 more times on our way home on the interstate, until we could finally take it to our dealer where they replaced the throttle control assembly and did another software update. This was incredibly dangerous, could easily have resulted in a very bad accident and merits investigation. Please contact me if I can provide additional information. Thank you for your consideration.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #26

Jun 192014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
Engine shuts off after taking foot off gas, slowing down and then applying gas to accelerate. After a short pause aproximately 15 to 20 seconds, the engine will restart and resume normal operation. No check engine light appears. The engine has three times in the last 14 months. Car was brough to dealer after first time and no codes or issues could be found. I will bring car back to dealer now after the third time. This is last stall resulted in a close call in heavy traffic.

- Succasunna, NJ, USA

problem #25

Dec 072011

Santa Fe

  • 50 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure could not be diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 50.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #24

Aug 012013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
While driving the engine died suddenly, I was able to restart the engine. This has happened multiple times and is very dangerous for a rear end collision, I have taken the car to Hyundai dealerships but they are unable to duplicate the problem and say that they can't find anything wrong with the vehicle. I have notified Hyundai of the problem and they just tell me to take it to a different dealership. I have researched this issue on the internet and there seems to be many Hyundai owners having the same issue with the same year and make of vehicle. There doesn't seem to be a fix for this problem that Hyundai is aware of. Please help! thank you

- Dyer, IN, USA

problem #23

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 #22

Apr 022013

Santa Fe

  • 38,800 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or independent mechanic. The manufacture was not notified. The failure mileage was 38,800 and the current mileage was 38,920.

- Notrhridge, CA, USA

problem #21

Jan 192014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • miles
This is a follow up to the complaint I made on 5/13/2013. At that time my vehicle was at the dealership to try to duplicate the problem I had been having which was that my car would randomly stall while making a turn, whether left or right. When this happened the panel would light up like christmas and everything including the brakes would cease to work. I have to coast to a safe location (if possible) to turn off car and then restart it. I have been very fortunate that me or my family have not been hit when this happens. Update to last report: My car stayed at the dealership for 3 weeks however the problem was not duplicated. Their solution (Hyundai usa and my dealership) was to replace the throttle body. Everything was fine until the same problem occurred on 1/19/2014. I don't think hyndai usa will be satisfied until there's fatalities unfortunately.

- District Heights, MD, USA

problem #20

Jul 132013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 44,012 miles
While accelerating from a traffic light, vehicle dropped speed while I accelerated. It coasted along at 1-2 miles an hour. The check engine, antilock brake and 4 wheel drive 'skid' indicators all lit up on the dash board. I had to guide the vehicle to a safe stop by the side of the road after clearing a dangerous intersection. This has occurred four additional times after the dealership assured me this problem had been rectified. It is presently at the dealership after having been towed in for the fifth (5th) time. This car needs to be replaced by the dealer.

- Dix Hills, NY, USA

problem #19

Oct 022013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
While driving at slow speed 10-15 mph and braking the car completely stalled, once while turning left and once while going straight. Loss of power steering and power brakes and narrowly avoiding hitting another vehicle. No check engine light came on and no codes stored.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #18

Apr 012013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
My engine has stalled at several occasions beginning around April 2013. The first 2 events happened as I was stopped at a red light. I put my foot on the accelerator and nothing happened I had to restart the car to get it moving again. The car has also stalled twice while I was reversing into a parking spot and once as I was turning a corner I lost control of the steering function in the middle of the street. As recently as October 2013 the car stalled again while stopped at a red light. All of these events happened as I was stopped or moving at a low (less than 10 mph) rate of speed.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #17

Sep 262013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 37,237 miles
9/26/13 - while going up to the next level of a parking structure at a slow speed, the vehicle stalled. Put it into park and restarted it and drove it to a parking spot. Later that day was able to drive it to the dealership; they have had it for 4 days (2 of which were over the weekend). No codes registered in the computer system; they are waiting to hear from a Hyundai tech. According to research online, this is a common (and dangerous) problem with the Santa Fe. Prior to this episode, on 2 other occasions (9/13/13 and 8/3/2012), was driving the vehicle at 70mpg and 50mph respectively and lost power and the ability to keep or increase my speed and had to pull over and get towed to the dealership, both times. This too appears to be common among online forums for Santa Fe's.

- Hartland, WI, USA

problem #16

Aug 152013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 22,300 miles
For the second time this summer the engine has just shut off while driving slowly down hill. This time I barely missed causing an accident and hitting a pedestrian.

- Arlington, VA, USA

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