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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,310 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #9

Feb 012016

Santa Fe

  • miles


The steering wheel makes a "scraping" noise when turned. Hyundai says this is "normal"; however, up until a few months ago, the car never made this noise. My wife and I do not feel safe driving the car anymore; however, Hyundai refuses to address the problem. My wife and I own a second vehicle that is the exact same make and model and it does not make this sound. Since the steering column is critical to the safety of the vehicle -and includes the air bag components, etc., we are very concerned that this could cause premature detonation of the airbag and/or some kind of steering failure. Hyundai refuses to fix the problem and we are concerned not just for our own safety but for the safety of all Hyundai owners driving with this problem. Also, when I tried to escalate the complaint to Hyundai's customer care, the supervisor (Mr. Julio O.) refused to escalate the complaint -which causes me grave concern that Hyundai is obstructing the complaint process in an effort to protect profit margins.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #8

Jul 162014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 44,332 miles
When making a right hand turn at slow speed the cars stalls out. Today 7/16 is the 3rd time this has happened. The same event happened twice in the same week about 6 months ago then not again. This sounds too similar to the problems w/ GM cars.

- Colts Neck, NJ, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Mar 202014

Santa Fe

  • 22,985 miles


1st of many total engine de-powerments happened at a stop sign, going approx.15 mph. I had filled the gas tank and at the first stop sign I came to, the engine check light came on; and it died, powerless. I coasted to my destination (less than a block away) and called my service rep at danbury Hyundai (ct). She told me it was due to an incorrect gas cap replacement, to undo the gas cap and start the car. It worked. After the first episode, this absolute powering down of everything, brake, steering, control; happened so often, it became routine. Gas tank filling had no bearing-but it happened at stop lights or stop signs, so I was able to coast to the side of the road, put the car in park and restart it. All that confidence evaporated yesterday. I was due to get on the highway and drive about 45 minutes on a combination of highway and thruway to my daughter's. I was on a busy local road that passes through danbury when the car's engine light came on, without me being at a stop sign or red light, or even braking for any reason, and I lost all control of the vehicle. This happens so suddenly, I might add, that you have no time to even activate the emergency flashers, or do anything besides grab the wheel with both hands and try to get over as far to the right as possible to avoid being hit from behind. I narrowly escaped being rear ended by a dump trunk directly behind me. I put the car into park, started it up, and called my service dept. At Hyundai. I explained that this happened again, since I had originally told them when I had the car serviced in may of 2014, and they had told me then, that they couldn't duplicate it, so they couldn't fix it. I explained that had I been already on the thruway I would be dead instead of on the phone. I came home called my lawyer and found his advice so helpful, I'm sharing it. Go to, auto line. They offer arbitration at 0$.

- Bethel, CT, USA

problem #5

Jun 082014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 10,628 miles
Vehicle driven shopping center (approximately 15 mi.) upon leaving vehicle stalled going approximately 15 mph. Steering cut out and difficult, but was able to get to the side of the road. Was able to restart vehicle after approximately 3 minutes. Gas was purchased approximately 1 week prior and vehicle ran fine. Will take to the dealer, but based on other reports I do not expect them to find any problems.

- Manorville, NY, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Dec 122012

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 18,982 miles


Driving aprox 20 mph, with no warning engine shuts down, unable to steer. Second time was driving at 40 mph. This has happened three times. Dealer cannot find or reproduce problem.

- Ludlow, MA, USA

problem #2

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 #1

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

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