Notes: The 2012 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 to owners in 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,063 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.

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe brakes problems

brakes problem

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2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #15

Apr 282015

Santa Fe

  • 35,587 miles


Today April 28, 2015, my mother, daughter and I were coming home from running an errand, when we came to are house we pulled up and went in reverse to pull into the drive way like normal so we can park the car in the garage. When we pulled in we were going just 5mph. Then suddenly when my mom was pushing the brake the stop and put the car into park. The car out of no where lurched and crashed into are washer, water heater, and caused the back windshield to shatter. An we have had this car for 3 years and its always the same routine, so were very shook up on how this could happen. Even though this happened at a resident im filing this since it could happen anywhere to another car.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #14

Sep 212014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 24,870 miles
On two separate occasions, my 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe stalled, for no apparent reason, causing loss of steering, wheel control, and brakes. On the first occasion, I was driving through a mall parking lot. While making a left turn and attempting to drive down a row of parking spots, my car stalled and I was unable to turn the steering wheel, brake or guide the vehicle. On the second occasion, I was turning left down the street to my home. Again, without warning, the car stalled, various light eliminated on the dash, and I lost complete control of the vehicle. I had no advanced warning and the car otherwise seemed to be running normally.

- Brea, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 152014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 72,917 miles
My family has a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. We started experiencing problems with the vehicle stalling while driving in 2013. The car stalled multiple times on city streets and once on the highway. When the car stalls, the driver loses power steering and brakes. It is a very dangerous situation. After the third time the car stalled we took it in for service in April of 2013 to the local Hyundai dealership. The technician ran a complete diagnostic and said he could not find anything wrong with the vehicle. We refused to take the car at that time and insisted on more testing. They did find a problem. They replaced/repaired the etc-actuator and gasket-throttle body. The car ran fine until last week when it started the same problems again. It has stalled four times in the last week. The latest stall happened today when my girlfriend was driving the car at around 30 mph. It also stalled last night when I was driving it home at about 25 mph. I was able to get to the side of the road and put the car in park. I turned the key and it started right up again. When it stalled on me, I lost power steering and power brakes. The time of the incident was 9:48pm and the mileage on the car was 72,917. It was very scary. We are taking car to Hyundai dealership today for repairs. We do not want to drive this car anymore. It is unsafe and a hazard.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 012014

Santa Fe

  • 65,000 miles


I was turning right into a parking space, applied the brakes and the vehicle surged/accelerated. It went over a curb and hit another vehicle. When it stopped I looked down and my foot was indeed on the brakes, to the floor. A similar thing happened twice before. I was turning onto another street and the car felt like it surged. Fortunately both times there was no one in the other lane or in front of me.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #11

May 122014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
After performing a brake inspection I notice deep grooves within the rear brake rotors. This is not only premature brake wear but this is due to the rear brake calipers locking up.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #10

May 242014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 12,250 miles
This is the second incident. The first was in September 2013. Both times I was traveling at 15 mph when the car engine stalled and I lost steering power and braking power. I was able to pull over to side of road and put car in park it then restarted. Engine warning light came on both times. I call Hyundai customer service and was told to have car towed to closest dealer which is over 60 miles from me. They are not sure if I will be reimbursed for towing fees this far.

- Edgartown, MA, USA

problem #9

Dec 152013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 23,000 miles


Please investigate the Hyundai line of cars. I was driving this car that I owned. I had just driven 140 miles, and I was on city streets making my way to the inlaws. I stopped at a stop sign and as I accelerated and proceeded to make a right turn on to another city street, the engine completely died. I noticed it when my power steering locked up, I had no brakes and I was headed right toward a home's front door. I was able to stop the car when it hit the curb dead on. I then put the car in to park and turned the car back on and it fired up right away. I really believe that Hyundai has the same problem as GM. There was nothing wrong with the car after that and I could not duplicate the incident. I traded the car in a few days later because I refuse to drive it. If you google the problem, I was able to trace it back at least 11 years. How can you trust a car that where the engine will just turn off sporadically. Dealership claims "they've never heard of such a thing..." lies. The know about it, they just haven't done anything about it. I seriously think there needs to be an investigation in to this vehicle. I saw stories of peoples Hyundai dying on the freeway. They could have been killed. One lady said that she was told next time it happens to leave the car as is and they will tow it and check it out. They towed it after it died and nothing. That's what leads to me believe that in this vehicle, the key can also become disengaged while driving. Similar if not exactly to the problems with the GM. I beg of you to investigate!!!

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 102014

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 43,220 miles
While traveling on state park road greenville SC, a mail truck was stopped in road. As I applied the brakes, the brake pedal went all the way to the floor. I swerved off the road to avoid hitting the truck. I side swiped several trees causing approx. $5000 worth of damage.

- Marietta, SC, USA

problem #7

Feb 052014

Santa Fe

  • 15,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph and coming upon a red light, the contact attempted to stop the vehicle by applying the brakes. The contact indicated that while pressing the break pedal the vehicle initially slowed down but the vehicle would not stop causing the vehicle to crash into the rear of a second vehicle. No injuries were reported. A police report was taken at the scene. The contact also indicated that the airbags did not deploy during the crash. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 15,000. Jft

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #6

Jul 022012

Santa Fe

  • 4,700 miles
Engine died when slowing down - coming to a stop or making turns approximately 8 times since the time of purchase. First time was when coming down an incline to a stop sign. The next time happened when making a turn around a corner on a residential street. Since that first time, service dealer checked for recalls, but there were none., it randomly happens, normally when slowing down from traveling speeds of 45 mi/hr or slower. I have been doing more highway driving and I am starting to get scared that this could be a real safety issue. The next time I brought this up to the dealer, May 2013, the service dealer check computer for codes but didn't find any. Now, when I brought in for maintenance in August 2013, same thing, mentioned it had died 2 times since May 2013, all in similar situations and randomly/computer checked and no codes.. today, September 7, 2013. It just happened again and this time as I was making a right hand turn from a busy street (45 miles/hr when it died- no power steering. Good thing I was able to come to a stop before crossing the median into oncoming traffic and no one was right behind me. I was able to restart the engine and drove very cautiously home! plan on bringing it in and leaving it with the dealer asap.

- Elk Grove Village, IL, USA

problem #5

Jul 072013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 13,400 miles


1) historical details / event: When I bought the car (August, 2012) I noticed the occasional sticking of the throttle and when pressing the break the car would seem to want to accelerate - this would happen once every three months: The dealer said they couldn't find anything. 2) recent event: On 07/07 while driving at 45mph the car immediately started slowing down to less then 10mph and the check-engine-light came on. After pulling over and sitting for a while the car would go up to 30mph - 40mph: Over that and it would occur again. Per the dealer - drove it to them. On the way - this slow down occurred multiple times between 30-40mph, once while slowing / breaking - the car immediately accelerated (RPM over 2500) and I almost had a major accident. Dealer diagnosed it as a known issue related to tsb: 13 fl 002 (throttle body bore carbon fouling / P2106/P2110 limphome mode / P0638 throttle actuator control range and that the break issue was due to excessive break booster air causing the throttle assembly to lock open. Dealer claimed issue was known but not seen often and never repeated. Had car all day to fix (finished: 07/08). Asked dealer about other tsbs in the database and was told none of them applied or were applicable. 3) recent event: On 07/08 after leaving the dealer, got 9 miles of driving when it occurred again after making a 25mph right turn and accelerating to 40mph [almost was read-ended by a truck]. dealer now closed for the evening. Will be contacting dealer first thing on 07/09 and demanding fix and/or replacement - as this is now multiple times with the dealer denying the severity of this.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #4

May 022013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 29,827 miles
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe had complete power loss on interstate while moving at 65mph in the left most lane. Engine shuttered, check engine light came on and engine power went to idle RPM. There was no throttle responce and steering became heavy. Managed to cross two lanes and get the vehicle to the shoulder. Shut vehicle off and restarted it. Check engine light stayed on and engine appeared to function normally. Accelerated from shoulder into traffic. Drove for 1/4 mile and incident again repeated itself as described above. Fearing for my safety, I parked the vehicle and had it towed to dealer whom I purchased vehicle from. I called (on 5-2-13) the dealer and told them what was happening. The next morning (5-3-12) I called them at 9am to find status of repair. They stated it was already repaired. They stated it is related to the trottle position sensor. They stated they were well aware of the problem. They stated they were having many of the same issues with this type of vehilce. They stated there was a tsb on the problem. Does someone have to be injured or killed before a manufacture has the obligation to correct a known problem that repeats itself" look at all the other reports and complaints! I have a wife and 2 children that ride in this vehicle. What now"

- Weatogue, CT, USA

problem #3

Nov 202012

Santa Fe

  • 5,000 miles
I was stopped in a left turn lane and I believe I was the 8th or 9th vehicle in line. I had my foot on the brake pedal and the pedal went to the floor! I turned my steering wheel to the left as far as I could, but I tapped the bumper of the vehicle in front of me. There were no injuries and very minor damage to the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of me, and very minor damage to my front bumper. No other vehicles were involved. I called the Hyundai dealership and told them that my brakes had failed and had caused an accident. I was told that it was probably not the brakes, but the master brake cylinder. I had the vehicle towed to the dealership (carl gregory Hyundai, at northlake, columbus, ga) this morning I called to check on the status of the vehicle and was told that they had driven the vehicle for 200 miles and could not reproduce the problem. I had already told them that I was stopped in a turn lane when the brakes failed!! I was told that the Hyundai representative told them to replace the master cylinder.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #2

Sep 242012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 2,850 miles
Stopped at a red light the brakes failed to work.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #1

Jul 252012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 3,323 miles
I pulled into a parking lot, in front of a bakery, and stopped to allow a car to leave a parking spot. I then proceeded to pull into the vacant parking spot and when I applied the brakes, the vehicle sounded like it was actually gunning into a higher gear, and as I was pushing harder down on the brake with my right foot the vehicle jumped the sidewalk in front of the bakery. I proceeded to apply both my feet to the brakes in hopes that the vehicle would stop, and it did. Thankfully no one was injured and the vehicle stopped before entering the bakery window. I called the dealership and arranged for them to tow it to their mechanics department.

- Elma, NY, USA

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