really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,909 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.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Feb 142016

Santa Fe

  • 32,000 miles


After accelerating from a stop light, turning left onto a two lane 35mph road, the car seemed to downshift and would not respond to the accelerator. It continued to move forward at no more than 10-15mph jerking and lunging up a hill, causing a hazard for approaching cars. The AWD light came on along with another light pertaining to the drivetrain/axle. We were able to continue a few hundred yards until a safe spot to pull over was found. The roadside assist tech suspected there may be water in the fuel system, however when loading the car onto the truck, noticed the jerking motion and insisted it should be brought in for inspection. In our first conversation with the mechanic he mentioned recalls on the vehicle. We said that we had just purchased the car after lease, 2 months prior, and during that process we asked about recalls and were told there were none.

- Mount Kisco, NY, USA

problem #20

Aug 092015

Santa Fe

  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the vehicle rolled down the driveway without being prompted. The vehicle rolled over the contact's arm and caused second degree burns. Medical attention was required. The issue recurred, but the contact was able to depress the brake pedal and stop the vehicle the second time. In addition, the contact stated that a passenger became trapped in the vehicle while it rolled down the driveway into the yard of another person's residence the first time. The vehicle was diagnosed, but the dealer could not repair the vehicle without it being inspected. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 59,000.

- Marlboro, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jan 132015

Santa Fe

  • 37,854 miles
The steering wheel vibrate in every condition of road and the vehicle some times take to the left side.

- Aguada, PR, USA

problem #18

Aug 222014

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles


I've had a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe gls for about six months (purchased new on 3/3/14). Several weeks ago around 8/22/14), when I tried to rapidly accelerate on to the interstate from the on ramp, the engine revved up to 8-9K RPM but it felt like the clutch/transmission never engaged and I could not accelerate. After letting my foot off the gas and retrying, the car ┐┐bucked┐Ł and eventually, I was able to accelerate at a slower rate. This continued to happen several times over the next week. I took the car in for service and was able to demonstrate the problem to the mechanic. I was initially told it was the high resistance fuel pump which was replaced but as soon as I left the dealership and tested the car, the same issue happened. I brought the car back and a week later, they've told me it is the low-resistance fuel pump and fuel line. I am very concerned that they keep replacing parts without any improvement in the vehicle. I have not made any changes to the way I drive the vehicle and this was definitely not happening the first five months that we owned the vehicle.

- Avondale Estates, GA, USA

problem #17

Jun 012014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 7,500 miles
Santa Fe V6 limited AWD. Intermittent clunking noise from transaxle when turning left or right. Mostly occurs on warm days. Concerned tranny might fail at high speed and cause accident.

- East Northport, NY, USA

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problem #16

Sep 032013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
When taking off from stop or traffic signal, making left turn, vehicle rear end ( sounds like rear end or AWD) makes thumping, slipping, bumping noise which can be felt through out vehicle. First noticed about 3000 miles. Thought it may be a normal condition for an AWD vehicle, but the condition has progressively gotten worse! taken to dealer 2 time now, they state they can not find any problem, they replaced the trans fluid, the rear diff fluid, but it is still getting worse! service manager went for ride with me after stating he could not feel the condition on vehicle, but he only drove vehicle in parking lot of dealership. I told him it happens when turning at lights or stop signs...he was driving straight. On our test drive together, he definitely felt what I was talking about, asked his shop foreman to get in vehicle with us, he felt the condition as well, but said he did not know what it could be. They kept vehicle for 2 days, replaced transmission fluid, read differential fluid and a few other items, gave vehicle back, and asked me to see if doing this helped rectify the problem.....it has not, contacted Hyundai, got a claim #, and was told to take vehicle to another dealership to have them look at vehicle.... vehicle currently has 9000 miles and just turned 1 year old since new. We bought this Santa Fe to replace a 2008 that had similar trans/AWD issues, that left us stranded 3 times on the side of I-95 (trans & AWD blew up on us driving to Florida keys on I-95 at 70 mph) in fall of 2012.....after dealer in jacksonville attempted repairs from first breakdown. Unfortunately, Florida does not sell AWD vehicles, and apparently they do not know how to fix these things.

- Arbutus, MD, USA

problem #15

Sep 232013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • miles


My father received a recall letter 9/23/13 from Hyundai on his new 2013 Santa Fe sport regarding the right front axle shaft and that it could fracture. Camp112. He called his dealer on 9/24/13 to schedule the replacement work. They were out of the part. He followed up again 10/17/13. My father got ill after the holidays. I found the recall paperwork and tried to schedule the repair, in March 2014. They still did not have the part. My mom called again in April. They still do not have the part. My mom opened a case number with huyndai at that time. I have just called to schedule the repair and they still do not have a part. They say it is a national back order. My complaint is how can something that is recalled with a significant safety issue associated with it, be allowed to continue with no replacement part for 8+ months" this is not a window that will not roll down. Based on the information I can find there are 20,000 vehicles that have this issue and in 8 months they can't seem to supply adequate replacement parts. While the recall has not indicated any deaths, I am concerned because of how the issue is explained. It occurs suddenly, and the driver will lose ability to steer. My mother is not someone, who while driving on the highway will be able to control this car if this occurs. I would be happy if this would just get taken care of but the service manager at red hoagland and the case worker at Hyundai just say sorry but there is nothing they can do. At this point my mom doesn't feel like she can drive the car any distance for fear that this issue will arise. Is Hyundai not accountable to get these parts and keep their customers informed and safe. 8 months of back order is not acceptable. What will it take for this issue to be addressed"

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #14

Sep 302013

Santa Fe

  • miles
My 1 year old Hyundai Santa Fe started making faint knocking sound coming from the front end of the vehicle about 6 months ago, which has now become more noticeable and persistent when cornering at slow speeds (parking lots and winding roads), or going over a dip in the road at higher speeds. It sounds like a single clunk with slight feedback in the steering wheel, when turning the steering wheel, and I have recently discovered that right front axle can be moved side to side by hand with wheels on the ground which also produces knocking sound. Car taken to two different dealership on three separate occasions, but each time unable to locate the source of the problem even after duplicating the knocking for technicians. Vehicle looked over each time with front suspension and steering found to be in good condition with no apparent damage, and tightening both front axle bolts, but the knocking still persists. Dealership advisors and mechanics are always very helpful, and assured me that vehicle is safe to drive and axle side to side movement is normal, but since knocking is becoming very apparent even when cornering on level roads, I am very concerned about vehicle safety. I have driven number of different vehicles and have never experienced issue like this, which makes me feel uneasy when driving the vehicle in fear that something may go terribly wrong, and at this point I am simply not sure which action to take.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #13

Feb 032014

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Car seemed to buck while driving in low gear. Took it to dealer and they replaced the differential. 4 days later the symptoms have reappeared. Concerned about recalls and bad transmission. Car purchased Aug 19, 2013.

- South Charleston, WV, USA

problem #12

Sep 152013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated the recall under NHTSA campaign number: 13V355000 (power train) had surpassed the reasonable time for repair. The manufacturer and dealer were contacted and stated the parts were not available for repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- The Villages, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 102013

Santa Fe

  • miles


The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 13V355000 (power train) however, the part needed to repair the vehicle was unavailable. The dealer was unable to provide an expected date for the part to become available. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Winter Haven , FL, USA

problem #10

Oct 242013

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number 13V355000 (power train) however, the contact was not able to have the vehicle serviced under the recall because the part needed for the repair was not available. The manufacturer was notified but could not provide an expected date for the remedy part to become available. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #9

Oct 072013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 18,981 miles
I scheduled an appointment with fitzgerald lakeforest Hyundai in gaithersburg, md on 10/7/2013 for the campaign 112 recall, along with an oil change and tire rotation. When I picked the car up, I was informed that the part for the recall had to be special ordered and they would call when the part came in. A couple of weeks later, I received a call from [xxx] in the service department that the parts were in for the recall and for some switches they replaced in my console under a warranty repair. I took the car in again on 10/17/2013. The dealer talked me into a loaner car (as I was already late for work again for the second time in 2 weeks due to these appointments). They said the loaner car would be faster. The guy inside said I wouldn't have to put gas in the car, but the guy outside that went over the car said that I was responsible for filling the car back up. I ended up spending $8 in gas for the loaner. I received a call around noon on the 17th that my car was ready. I returned the loaner and picked up my car. I went outside and read my paperwork and realized they still did not do the safety recall. No one ever told me that the work wasn't done. I went back inside and all they could say is "sorry." The part is on a "nationwide back order" and they will call me when it comes in. I explained that I would have never brought it back in if they didn't have the part. I was advised for the second time that they did have the part. I still have not heard from the dealer. Hyundai and lakeforest fitzgerald Hyundai better hope that I am not involved in an accident due to this negligence. I've never had such a problem trying to get recall work performed. I've now missed hours from work and had extra fuel expenses for something completely out of my control. I still have not been contacted. I really don't trust lakeforest fitzgerald Hyundai anymore. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #8

Sep 102013

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe sport. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number 13V355000 (power train) and stated that the part needed to complete the repair was unavailable. The manufacturer was notified and they were unable to provide an expected date for the remedy part to become available. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Ocean, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 022013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 1,018 miles
Below is the report sent to Hyundai on July 15, 2013 re: Hyundai Santa Fe SUV being probed for sudden power loss -- reported by associated press July 10, 2013. We purchased a Santa Fe sport at the end of November 2012. On January 2, 2013 with only 1018 miles on vehicle, our Santa Fe experienced essentially the same problem as described in the referenced article. A loud noise occurred (as if running over an obstacle), the engine lost all power and died. Upon restart, the vehicle would not move either forward or backward in reverse. After setting awhile, we were able to very slowly drive the car about 500 to 1000 feet to the dealership. Ruddell dealership was unable to repeat the experience. I now do not trust the vehicle and want it thoroughly inspected to determine if it too has a cracked axle as noted in the newspaper article. We have a road trip planned in early August and do not want to drive this car until it is thoroughly inspected. I took the car to ruddell auto on July 10 and showed them the associated press article but they did not offer to do anything about it. Ruddell said they would have to wait until Hyundai issued a campaign or recall but that is not satisfactory or acceptable. The car now has about 7400 miles on it. The dealership from which we bought the car is ruddell auto in port angeles, Washington 98362, usa. Please contact me and inform me what Hyundai intends to do regarding this serious issue. If I do not receive an acceptable reply from Hyundai, then I, too, will report it to NHTSA.

- Port Angeles, WA, USA

problem #6

Jul 142013

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 823 miles
I was coming off the highway on the off-ramp and coming to a stop at a stoplight. When the light turned green, the car wouldn't not accelerate pass 10 or 15 mph. It seemed like it wouldn't shift to a higher gear but would be stuck on 1st gear to accelerate. I had to pull off the side of the road and get it towed back to the dealership. Before getting a tow truck, I attempted to turn it off and on several time. The check engine light would come on and any attempts to restart and accelerate the car would produce the same results; the car wouldn't accelerate. Also, after turning off the car, the car would not come on without a lot of engine cranks. The car only as 823 miles on it. I've only had it for 2 weeks. Extremely disappointed with the car and the company. Will try to return it. Not worth the risk of it causing inuring to my family.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #5

Apr 082013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 5,428 miles
Sitting at a red light. Light turned green and I put my foot on the gas. Car made a loud clunking noise and wouldn't move. 2 policemen pushed us out of the traffic and called aaa. We were towed to the local Hyundai dealer (where car was purchased). Car was in the shop for 22 days. It was determined that there was a crack in the right front axle. Not the end of the problem........the dealer had a hard time getting the replacement part. Finally located one in so. Calif. And had it shipped 400 miles to carson city, nv. Part was removed from another 2013 Santa Fe. According to Hyundai, there are potentially 50,000 vehicles that could be affected by this problem. So, since our replacement part came out of another 2013 Santa Fe, we are concerned this may re-occur. We may be one of the two cars mentioned in the online article of 7-9-13. But, not sure if we are so.......you may have more than just two vehicles with this problem so far. We would like to be kept informed. Thank you.

- Dayton, NV, USA

problem #4

Jul 092013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 4,800 miles
I was making a right turn out of a shopping plaza onto a main highway when the traction control engaged because of fresh wet roads, a loud boom came from the passenger side front. Right after the boom the SUV revved up and the SUV had total loss of power and wouldn't move forward at all. I coasted to the side of the road. I put the SUV in park, shut it off. After restarted SUV had full working power with drive and reverse5X. Vehicle is now at dealer for inspection for damage/(safety).

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 272013

Santa Fe 4-cyl

  • 75 miles
What I am about to describe happens randomly. The only discernible pattern is that it happens when accelerating from rest or from slow speed. It has happened about 15 times in the first 800 miles of driving. When I begin to accelerate slowly forward from rest or from a slow forward roll there is no response. It feels like the engine has stalled, but hasn't. continuing to push down brings no result. After approximately a 2 to 5 second delay, the rpms begin to build up rapidly. The first two or three times it happened I suddenly surged forward in a very dangerous manner. The real problem, however, is that with following traffic expecting me to accelerate and continue to accelerate and I suddenly stop accelerating without having applied brakes, thus activating brake lights, there is a rear end collision waiting to happen. Here is an example from last night. I was rolling slowly in a left turn lane, foot off the gas, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear. It did and I begin the turn simultaneously pressing down on the pedal--no response. Let up and pressed down again--no response. I let up again, rpms came up, I pressed down again and proceed normally into a parking lot. I was perpendicular to 3 lanes of oncoming traffic and dead in the water for maybe 3 to 5 seconds. Essentially the same thing has happened while accelerating out of a U turn and also coming out of a slow right turn. It happened while accelerating slowly through an opening security gate. I have left the car with the dealer overnight so they could drive it and hook it up to their error code machines. They could not observe the issue or diagnose the problem. Nonetheless, it is real and very dangerous. It has been a matter of pure luck that no one has been close behind me during any of these power losses. I hope this report is useful. I would be happy to talk to anyone who might want more information.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 072013

Santa Fe

  • miles
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. Consumer states issues with hesitation and stalling when accelerating. The dealer informed the consumer the problem was caused by electronic fuel injection, which was common among several brands of automobiles and there was no fix for the problem. The hesitation at acceleration occurred at slow speeds while turning and the engine would momentarily stall.

- Houston, TX, USA

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