really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
105,750 miles
Total Complaints:
26 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (25 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2012 Hyundai Tucson engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Hyundai Tucson:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Hyundai Tucson Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Jan 082022


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,460 miles


Was delivering this car from Oregon to San Diego in an attempt to help my daughter and her husband since they were traveling with their toddler. I drove less than 500 miles before the engine light came on and the engine threw a rod, stranding me & a 3-legged cat in rural California.

- Carolyn C., Bend, US

problem #25

Jul 182022

Tucson Limited 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

I am the original owner of a 2012 Tucson Limited 2.4L vehicle that experienced Engine Failure at 124k miles. OMG... kept the engine in perfect condition, all oil changes every 6k miles. Replaced the air manifold in 2020. That's the only engine repair I've done in the last 10 years. Lots of annoying (but expensive) other things had to be repaired (window actuator, door lock actuator, brakes, master cylinder, AC unit, cv boot, numerous battery replacements) over the years. But on 7/18/22, my engine shut off while driving on a side street near my home (luckily). Complete failure. AAA couldn't get it restarted.

I had it towed to my mechanic and it was a total engine failure. He told me to call Hyundai to see if it's covered under the recall. NO. Of the 2 recalls, I fixed the air bag, but did not get the oil pan leak fixed since it was never an issue. I get my oil changed every 6k miles and no problems have ever been reported. So now I have to replace the engine for $6400. Yes, $6400.

I live in the SF Bay Area where EVERYTHING is higher than average. So this may seem very high amount but it's cheaper than the dealer and other mechanics replacement cost. I've read a lot on the Theta engine recall on other models. Hyundai claims it's the plant that caused the issues and Tucson was not built in those plants. Hmm... seems suspicious with all the other Tucson engine failures.

I'm ever buying a Hyundai again. These cars aren't made to last more than 100k at max. Hahaha, their service department doesn't have an appointment for another month and a half. I wonder why they're so busy??? Crappy cars. BEWARE when buying an Hyundai, especially used. It won't last long after 100k.

- Lynn C., San Jose, US

problem #24

Jan 272022

Tucson Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

My finance's 2012 Hyundai Tucson was running great until last January. All of a sudden, this pristine machine started making a hell of a noise while my fiancé was driving home from work. Check engine light came on, the motor stopped, and she curbed it. No idea why. We just had the oil changed 2 weeks ago! Brand new tires too.

It turns out the engine died. We called Hyundai and they said there was nothing they would do. Started saying that nothing was covered because not all the service had been done at a dealership and because the recalls were not done. We had no idea there were any recalls even on it, let alone 4! We were not notified of these in any way shape of form. Until 2 weeks after we contacted Hyundai. Then we finally get a notice for a recall in the mail. The car's dead, a little too late for that.

This prompted me to call Hyundai again and be a little more insistent. I finally got a case manager and case number. We agreed to have the car looked at. The diagnostic charge would be waived it the engine was found to be faulty. Fair enough. Further diagnostic confirmed it was due to a factory defect. We were not charged for the diagnostic. We were offered a 50/50 split on a "new" motor and we cover the installation fee. I objected to this since the car was BARELY out of warranty and we were never told of any of the recalls. Plus we had to take out a $5000 loan just to get another vehicle we are STILL paying on. All of which we wouldn't have to do if the motor didn't fail.

You'd have thought I asked her mother to pay our of pocket for us, because our case worker went off! Started shouting at me that the 50/50 as their best "Good will jester" offer and that we were luck to get that. That the offer could not be changed and that there was no boss to go over her head to to even ask about changing it. Then she hung up. I did some more digging and found a reimbursement site for Hyundai. In talks with my girls dad abut helping to get the car fixed, I receive a call from Hyundai that the offer has expired and to get our property off their lot. Small claims court, here we come for the loss of the vehicle.

- Jonathan F., Elwood, US

problem #23

Mar 102022

Tucson Theta Ii 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,000 miles


2012 HYUNDAI TUCSON. After much research for a safe, reliable car w/ good fuel economy. Bought used, 1 owner ~50K, very clean. Since then, VERY well maintained (incl. oil changes). Periodic engine light off & on for no apparent reason. Dealership checked in 11/2021 when doing recall, and didn't document, but told owner it's "a short in wiring", "expensive to fix" & blamed "not tightening gas cap"?! No oil leaks EVER.

On freeway at high speed with no warning light, a loud "bang" noise was heard, vehicle began shaking. Initially it felt like a flat tire, barely able to control, and I lost power but able to steer off highway, engine died. Very dangerous situation. While in tow to dealership, contacted national recall center, assigned a case number & told "it's being escalated nationally..corporate case worker (CW) will call in 3-5 days". Told to "tell dealership to give loaner car". No loaners b/c waiting list. Engine pictures pristine (per dealership) "like a new engine". Corporate requested multiple exams & photos from dealership in search of "engine sludge" (shift blame technique "poor maintenance") none was found. Even asked for 1st owner records!? Diagnosis: a "catastrophic engine failure" due to bearing failure, estimate ~$7K+ for new engine.

The corporate offer: 80% of engine replacement cost w/parts warranty (1 yr/12K), no loaner unless delay due to backorder. Owner gets to counter offer or discuss w/ CW whose role (apparently)is to negotiate w/owner. 3 wks, never rec'd call from anyone. Hours, days, weeks spent chasing elusive CW. "Cust. Care" answers "hello, what's VIN & mileage?". Forced to repeat same story over & over, and finally learned CW out on PTO, no one reassigned (someone slipped w/ "we are SOO busy here"). Finally reached him. Call #1: nice guy. Call #2: lied, blamed dealership, mean, shaming, told to quit calling, wasting HIS time. Take it or leave it on 80/20 deal to replace w/another Theta II (aka the we never fixed our prob) engine. Thank goodness our dealership is NICE, HELPFUL.

- sprk_o_lite, Houston, US

problem #22

Dec 222019

Tucson 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,141 miles

Sent a email to Hyundai about rod knock engine failure, and if the latest recall number 966 would cover this. I didn't want to have it towed to dealer to have computer reprogrammed for knock sensor if the engine isn't covered. (I already know it's knocking.). I received a form letter telling me to drive to dealer for service. What a joke. I wouldn't drive it a few blocks let alone the 40 miles I would have to drive. Hyundai sent a satisfaction survey about my letter to Hyundai. I rated them zero on everything and blasted them for not even reading my email. This is my wife's car and it's been sitting since 2019. She drives a Toyota Rav4 now. I drive a Hyundai Santa Fe that I would really like to sell. No more Hyundais for us.

- Kent B., Virgin, US

problem #21

Nov 112021

Tucson GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,240 miles

I bought my Tucson used with 101K miles on it and less than a week of driving I had my check engine light come on. Code reader said cylinder 3 misfire so I took it back to the dealership. Originally the guy told me that it was fine to drive it like that until I kept pressing the issue, telling him that was B.S. and they needed to fix it. They brought it to a Hyundai dealership to have the computer updated. Then comes this year, at 138k miles, my wife was driving it to work when she heard a bang, followed by a ticking or knocking sound. I told her she'll have to "limp" home and I'll contact the dealership. Then less than a week later I get a recall notice in the mail stating that there is a recall that will help with this problem. Little late on that on Hyundai. I had it towed to the dealership and they said the rod bearings are shot and I'll need a new engine. Quoted at $8000! I said, can't Hyundai do anything for me about this. I mean a car should last 200K miles if properly taken care of. They said Hyundai won't cover it because I didn't do 2 recalls, including the one I received after the incident. I've always taken my vehicles in when I get the notice, but didn't receive anything about the first one and the second came after the vehicle was ruined. So now I'm waiting and arguing with Hyundai about this. This should have been covered with the other Hyundai vehicles that year for engine replacement. Shame on Hyundai for making crap engines and not helping their customers.

- Josh E., Algoma, WI, US

problem #20

Dec 152021


  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


I was driving down the highway on the way home from work when I heard a pop. No lights came on and everything else seemed normal so I got off on my exit and tried to make it home, I was only 15 minutes away. I attempted to accelerate off the exit and every time I hit the gas I went slower and slower. I had my the pedal to the floor and I continued to slow down. The engine light then came on as soon as I was able to get off the road. I turned my car off and it would not turn back on. My car went from 65 mph to a complete stop in traffic on a busy and dangerous road. I got very lucky that I did not cause or get into an accident, it could have been so much worse. However, from speaking with dealerships and mechanics at Hyundai, this is a notorious problem that they chose to ignore. They put out recalls for the smallest piece of the problem and (from my research) very clearly do not care about anything else unless it is "under warranty".

- Kendal S., Jacksonville, US

problem #19

Mar 232020

Tucson 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,246 miles

My daughter bought this car used from a local dealer, Auto Nation Subaru, in Denver, Colorado on 03/16/20. The mileage on the car was 96,246. Five days after purchasing the car (03/21/20) she was driving down interstate 25 and the car started sputtering, she had just enough time to take a quick exit and get to the shoulder where the car died and did not start again. We had the car towed to the dealership, the service dept. eventually told us that the engine had failed and would need to be replaced. The dealership replaced the engine under the 90 day extended warranty, fortunately at no cost to us. The rebuilt engine came with a 1 yr./10,000 mile warranty.

Yesterday, my daughter was driving to work and out of the blue she heard a knocking sound for a minute or two, then a loud bang. She had just enough time to pull onto the shoulder, the car was smoking by the time she got pulled onto the shoulder and shut it off. We had the car towed, again, to the dealership. Again we were told catastrophic engine failure and the engine will need to be replaced. The dealership will not cover the repair as the mileage is now 111,726, approximately 5K miles over the 10,000 mile warranty.

I will be contacting Hyundai customer service today to see if there is anything that they can do. Looking through other complaints and online forums, this seems to be a huge issue with Hyundai's cars, some have been recalled and some haven't. I have also found at least one class action lawsuit, but I believe it was for years 2015-2016. I am wondering if there are any next steps that we can take to hold Hyundai accountable for knowingly manufacturing cars with serious defects, and not recalling or otherwise correcting this problem. I'm also wondering if there is a governmental agency that we should be reporting this to as the car could have posed a serious risk of injury to my daughter and other motorists.

Update from Jun 1, 2021: I just checked records and the engine actually failed the first time three days after purchasing, not five, on March 19, 2020.

- Erica B., Castle Rock, US

problem #18

Jun 272020

Tucson GLS 2.4L 4 cyls

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Using car in the morning, everything was ok. Take vehicle afternoon, drive about two blocks, engine start making a noise. Stop the vehicle, turn off, starting again, still noisy, look on dashboard, no check engine light on, nothing. Look under if is no leak, check out oil level, all looks fine, but noise.

Take car to the dealer after couple days, do some checking , after couple of days, verdict.... You need a new engine. And approximately around $6000 to fixed, to change the engine. Not covered by warranty, not a first owner, even just 56000 miles on it. Really don't know what to do with that point.

Update from Jul 21, 2020: Year ago engine light was on, fixed by Hyundai dealer, don't remember exactly, but it was some small engine was changed, cost me $600, trunk door holders was replaced, by myself... Hood in front staring to rust, some paint peeled from spoiler.. So I think Hyundai Motor should do something with all off issues, but with engine failure first....

- Alexander S., Jersey City, US

problem #17

Jul 262019

Tucson 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,326 miles

I got in the car to go to work in the AM, started the engine and let it warm up for a couple of minutes. I drove about 1/4 mile and heard engine noise along with the engine light coming on. I quickly turned around and drove back home. I had it towed to my mechanic. He told me the connecting rod bearings had failed (he showed me two rods) and I needed an engine replacement. He quoted a used engine with labor for $4500. I bought this car to replace my Ford Escape which had over 150,000 miles on it. I should have kept the Ford. Anybody know of any recalls on this? I looked on line and can't seem to find anything.

- Athan S., Ewing, NJ, US

problem #16

Jul 232018

Tucson Limited AWD 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles


On July 23, 2018 I was driving back from a weekend trip to the USA. I was on a freeway in New Jersey in my Hyundai Tucson with my wife and then suddenly and without warning the engine started making loud knocking sounds, the check engine light turned on, and the car started losing power. Luckily I was near an exit so I immediately pulled over and the, the engine lost complete power. Luckily I had AAA/CAA so I got towed to the nearest approved repair shop. The mechanic did some tests and broke me the terrible news - the engine needs to be replaced and will cost at least $5000 to fix because my warranty had expired. I'm on disability, so have zero funds to cover this expensive repairs cost. I called Hyundai, told them the situation, but they told me they can't help me at all because I'm out of warranty.

My wife and I had to incur extra expenses on a credit card to stay in a hotel one night and to rent a car back to Toronto, and my wife lost a day’s pay from work. On Tuesday we had no choice but to leave my car behind at the repair shop because my wife had to go back to work the day after.

- canadian, Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #15

Oct 172018

Tucson GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I bought this vehicle with 81k miles which appeared to be in mint condition, ran the case fax and was satisfied with he purchase price (high end of KBB). Drove it for 40 days and 2k miles before the engine started knocking horribly. The dealer warranty was for 30 days or 1k miles, so they were not listening to anything we said.

Had it hauled to the dealer who said that we needed a new engine, the main bearings failed. No warranty existed (beyond 60k and 2nd owner) nor was there any recall. The quote for a long block was $4500 plus labor, but the engine was on nationwide back-order. I owe nearly $8k on a POS that will cost another $6k to repair. WTF Hyundai? The more research I do leads me to the same conclusion as everyone else, why isn't this motor included in the Sonata recall?

I have been calling all over the US for a used or remanufactured motor and the reman unit is $3500, with a used (76k) motor running $3200 with labor being additional. My co-worker just had her 2014 Kia Sorento motor replaced for the same issue by Kia (130k miles) at no charge, aren't these the same company??

- Donald D., Pennsville, US

problem #14

Jan 032019

Tucson GL 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,954 miles

Car developed knock and lost power on the highway. Our mechanic said: connecting rod bearings failed. Hyundai dealer mechanic confirmed the engine had failed and required replacement: $5600 Canadian for a used engine installed. We asked Hyundai to pay for it and they said no (car out of warranty). We have written a formal appeal. We also lodged a formal safety complaint with Transport Canada. They called me today to follow up because they have received similar complaints about the Tucson. Their mechanics are going to look at the car, which is encouraging.

EVERY CANADIAN READING THIS NEEDS TO LODGE THEIR ENGINE FAILURE ONLINE WITH TRANSPORT CANADA. This is a major opportunity for us to be heard and a case in which the Canadian government appears to be ahead of the U.S..

- Clifford M.,

problem #13

Jan 242019

Tucson Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

2012 Hyundai Tucson Limited. The engine has started knocking. Stupid Hyundai has given me problems the last 5 years I have owned this stupid vehicle. First, it was a guessing game if it was going to start, fixed that. Then the transmission went out completely, and that left me stranded. NOW... the engine is knocking. Do NOT get a Hyundai.....ever! Worst freaking car.


problem #12

Dec 252018

Tucson LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

On Dec 25, 2018, my 2012 Hyundai Tuscon with 88000 miles started rattling in the engine. Checked the oil and anti-freeze, no issues. After traveling about 3 miles, as I tried to accelerate, the gas pedal on the floor, the car just coasted to a stop. It was still running but not able to accelerate. After pulling over, I turned the car off. Lights and radio still worked but would not crank.

Towed it to a mechanic and was told the engine froze. Cost in excess of 6K. Still owe close to 9k on the car. A total waste. Car is well maintained, new tires, interior spotless, but engine gone. Because its used, the 100k engine warranty doesn't apply. WILL NEVER BUY A HYUNDAI AGAIN!!!

- Cathy S., Alpharetta, GA, US

problem #11

Jul 292018

Tucson Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

On July 29, 2018 I attempted to pass a car at about 40 mph (speed limit on the road was 50 mph) and as I accelerated my Tucson stopped accelerating right around 50 mph. I gradually pushed the gas pedal more and more to get past the car, until I had the pedal all the way to the floor… and nothing! My vehicle was making this awful winding noise like it was trying to shift gears but couldn't, and at this point I’m panicking because I can’t get past the car I was attempting to pass in the 1st place… I'm basically playing chicken with this other car. On top of that there's another car coming towards me while I was in the passing lane (2 lane road, and yes I was in a passing zone). I had my daughter in the car with me, so needless to say I am more than freaking out at this point, because I could get past the other car.

I finally did get past the other car (mainly because he slowed down away from me), and I started pulling over on the side of the road. All of my dashboard lights came on and everything started dinging. Even after slowing down and moving to the side of the road the engine was still revving like it was accelerating, but I was slowing down…. So that was scary. I turned the car off, waited a few minutes and tried to restart. It sputtered at start, but did come on and all the lights went away. I went straight home and didn’t touch the car, but the next day while going into work the engine was making awful winding and clanking noises. I brought it into the dealer, and after being there for several days, they said it was the engine bearing and I needed a NEW ENGINE.

Luckily I do have an extended warranty that is covering it, but after doing some research I see that this is a huge issue for Hyundai vehicles. Apparently the Sonatas had a recall for this same issue with the 2.4 L engines but not the Tucson. As of today, my car is still at the dealer, and Hyundai has pushed the ETA of my motor out to November due to a “National Parts Back Order”. I was supposed to get my engine originally on 9/10. Then it was pushed to 10/10, then to 11/11, and as of the email I received from Hyundai Corporate this afternoon, it is being pushed out again to the 3rd week in November. There are others that have been waiting for engines for 8 months, so I’m not stupid enough to think that I will get my engine before them.

Also, the dealer did have me in a loaner until they realized I wasn’t getting my engine anytime soon, and said that they couldn’t let me stay in it, because I was depreciating the value. I’m currently in a rental for the last 2.5 weeks, and with a call to Hyundai Corporate they said they will reimburse me the rental fees every 30 days. Also, once I get my car back, they will reimburse my car payments for all of the months that it was sitting at the dealer waiting for my engine. Very kind of them!!! I’m assuming they are trying to play nice, since they know there’s a HUGE ISSUE with their cars.

- Heather L., Biddeford, US

problem #10

Jun 062018

Tucson 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

In early June of this year I was driving on I-35 and my 2012 Tucson died in the middle of the road. It was as if it had stopped getting gas. I was able to maneuver to the service road where I called my insurance co. They provided me with tow service and I towed the vehicle to Ovilla, TX. The truck driver was able to get the car started and drove it off the tow truck. For the next couple of days my grandson drove the Tucson trying to recreate the problem. While he was on I-35 in the Lancaster/DeSoto TX area, the car emitted a puff of smoke. He stopped and found fire coming out of the tailpipe. He grabbed a bottle of water to put the fire out. That time I had the vehicle towed to the Hyundai dealership on I-20. Jeremy White, Lic# 2364, ran some type of diagnostic test on it and declared the motor dead. But, there was still no information as to what caused the problem. I have been reading where this is becoming more common with the Hyundai and Kia vehicles. I want it noted that I believe the problem is due to a manufacturing problem and would appreciate Hyundai replacing the engine for free.

- vmccalla1216, Waxahachie, US

problem #9

Jul 192018

Tucson Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles




- Nitin A., Southampton, PA, US

problem #8

Jul 302018

Tucson GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,800 miles

Purchased this used Tucson about 10 months ago, put 8000 miles on it since then. On my way to Arizona from Kansas at 130 in the morning I thought I ran over something as the engine and car jerked all over, then I heard the rod knocking. Seemed to have spun a rod bearing but lucky for me I was going about 70 mph and rather than kill the engine it spun the bearing as I was about 5 miles from the closest town in New Mexico....Logan. Found out there isn't much in New Mexico when it comes to getting stranded....beautiful state. Finally ended up spending $850 to rent a U Haul 20 foot truck and trailer to tow the car back home at 9 miles per gallon.

I have driven vehicles for 44 years and never had an engine destroy itself. Come to find out Hyundai is repairing the Sonatas but not the 2.4 liter engine in the Tucson or Santa Fe. What in the world is going on here. Long story short, I will never buy another Hyundai again. And yes, I had Mobil 1 and a Mobil 1 filter and the engine was to the full mark! Read that the issue was caused when machine work on the crankshaft was done on the oil passages. All the metal wasn't cleaned out. Still owe $2300 on this thing. Buyer beware!

- Mark M., Canton, US

problem #7

May 192018

Tucson GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I purchased a 2012 Hyundai Tucson in July 2013. It is barely 6 years old. As I was driving down the highway, my engine blew, almost causing an accident. I sat on the side of the road for over an hour waiting on a tow truck. Of course there is no "recall" for this but as I am seeing with several lawsuits online, there SHOULD BE!! There is no reason for engine failure for a vehicle this new.

Shame on you Hyundai for putting peoples lives in danger with faulty engines and doing nothing to make things right!!! I still owe on this vehicle and it is still in the shop for repair and has been for 3 weeks. My mechanic said he has never seen a motor blow on a vehicle this age. I am having to pay $4500 for a motor on top of the loan I already have on a vehicle I cannot even drive!!! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!

- Heather T., Brasstown, US

Read the next 6 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?