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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,400 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 142014

Santa Fe

  • 32,000 miles


While driving at freeway speed, car shut down unexpectedly, and restarted. During interim 20 seconds, attempted to pull vehicle to left shoulder as I was driving in far left lane. I felt "engine drop" or a feeling whereas the car no longer felt powered, cue that the engine had went off. Power steering went manual along with other power assist devices like power steering. On dirt shoulder of freeway attempting with manual brakes and steering to bring vehicle off roadway. Vehicle restarted during maneuver. Still moving at safe speed attempted to merge back onto the freeway, having not yet decelerated enough yet to continue to pull over....clear and dry conditions in North la county. This vehicle however has always had "overly responsive" or "very tight" steering, for lack of better terminology. I leased the vehicle and did not fully realize, until some time passed, what this 'steering characteristic' would mean in the future, in an event requiring accurate and responsive steering combined with the ability to maintain control. The sudden engine power resuming, combined with, what this writer would describe as "tight steering" to begin with, made the vehicle roll. The vehicle, with what felt like a "high center of gravity" always felt like it would roll if one were to have to move quickly to avoid something in the road for example. I did not realize this feature during my test drive. Being a lessee I was obligated to keep the vehicle for 3 years. The vehicle rolled several times while crossing 3 lanes of an occupied northbound highway 14. A sudden jolt resulted in a fracture of L1 vertebrae. During roll, jack became undone from where it was factory mounted underneath lift up cover, and had never been removed. Flailing around in the vehicle now was this heavy scissor jack bouncing around in the vehicle compartment with me. I am glad to be alive.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 232015

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 56,500 miles
While stopped at a red light on an incline, vehicle did not move when gas pedal was pressed. It felt like the car had stalled out but the RPM's were still between 1 and 2. when I pressed harder on the gas the car lurched forward. This has happened several times and is now happening more often, not always on an incline or when temperature or engine is cold. Taking to dealer for repair but told if they can't duplicate they can't do anything about it. I have only owned this car 4 months and want to get rid of it because I'm afraid to drive it now. Not sure if its a problem with the transmission or fuel system but something is definitely not right. Hope it happens for the dealer so it can be fixed.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 262012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 2,700 miles
While driving I smelled electrical smoke, parked car shut off engine, opened hood and found an electrical motor of sorts on fire.

- Somerville, MA, USA

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