2016 Hyundai Tucson Top 3 Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine, transmission and speed control issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
HELPLINE

The Hyundai Tucson is a popular entry in the competitive compact SUV segment. Sadly, since its introduction in 2005, this otherwise capable vehicle has been dogged by sub-par reliability. And the 2016 model is no exception. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), key problem areas for this model include the engine, transmission/powertrain, and vehicle speed control.

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Engine

Hyundai isn’t famous for striking designs like Ferrari, or unwavering dependability like Honda. Instead, the Korean automaker is best-known for its terrible engines –1.5 million of which had to be recalled in 2017.

Metal debris inside the engines – left over from the manufacturing process – plugs up internal lubrication holes. When this happens, the connecting rod bearings are starved of oil and fail. Chunks of bearingmaterial then contaminate the oilingsystem, causing complete engine failure.

Neither Hyundai or the NHTSA has issued a recall on theTucson for this issue – yet. But there are proposed class-action lawsuits. Two owners claim their engines failed due to lack of oil flow, just like the vehicles covered by the previous recall. Only time will tell if enough Tucson SUVs failfor Hyundai to step up to the plate.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2016 Hyundai Tucson Engine Problems

2016 TUCSON LIMITED WITH 1.6 TURBO ENGINE. I HAVE HAD RECENT PROBLEMS WITH THE CAR BOGS DOWN OR SEEM TO CUT OF WHEN I ACCELERATE FROM A STOP OR VERY LOW SPEED. THIS HAS HAPPENED WHEN I AM TRYING TO MERGE IN TRAFFIC FROM AN OFF RAMP, PULLING OUT OF A PARKING LOT AND TRYING TO GET IN ANOTHER LANE IN TRAFFIC FROM A STOP. AS SOON AS I PRESSED THE ACCELERATOR THE CAR WOULD STOP AS IF THE ENGINE HA CUT OFF. I HAVE TO TRY TO MANUALLY DOWNSHIFT TO1ST GEAR OR SWITCH TO A SPORT MODE FOR THE CAR TO RESPOND. IN HEAVY TRAFFIC TRYING TO MERGE FROM AN OFF RAMP OR CHANGE LANES OR EVEN LEAVING PARKING LOTS TO MERGE ON HIGHWAY. THIS HAS OCCURRED QUITE FREQUENTLY AND I HAVE SOME VERY NARROW MISHAPS WITH CARS SLAMMING ON THEIR BRAKES TO AVOID RUNNING IN TO ME. I AM A VERY EXPERIENCED DRIVER WHO HAS DRIVING PROFESSIONALLY FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS INCLUDING TRACTOR TRAILERS WITH MANY SAFETY AWARDS. IT IS ONLY BECAUSE OF MY EXPERIENCE THAT A SERIOUS ACCIDENT HAS BEEN AVOIDED SO FAR. EACH TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED I REPORTED IT TO THE DEALER SERVICE DEPARTMENT AND ASKED IF THERE WERE ANY RECALLS OR SERVICE NOTICES AND HAVE HAD NO RECOURSE THIS SEEMS TO BE GETTING WORSE OVER THE NEARLY TWO YEARS I HAVE THE CAR. I AM AFRAID TO LET MY WIFE DRIVE THE CAR FOR FEAR THAT SHE MIGHT BE INVOLVED IN A SERIOUS OR WORSE ACCIDENT. THE DEALER HAS ONLY TOLD ME NOT TO DRIVE IN ECO MODE ANY MORE, I HAVE DONE EVERY THING THEY ASK INCLUDING USING PREMIUM GAS, MORE SERVICE DRIVING IN DIFFERENT MODES. I HAVE DRIVEN MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF VEHICLES, CARS AND TRUCKS AND HAVE NEVER HAD THIS PROBLEM WITH A NEW VEHICLE AND THE SERVICE TECH HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO DO.

THE TUCSON LURCHES AND HESITATES WHEN IN STOP AND GO TRAFFIC, DRIVING AT A REDUCED SPEED (I.E., IN RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS) OR WHEN TRYING TO ACCELERATE FROM A COMPLETE STOP (I.E., RED LIGHT TURNS GREEN). SEVERAL TIMES, I’VE BEEN STUCK IN AN INTERSECTION FOR 5 – 10 SECONDS TRYING TO GET MY CAR TO GO AND COMPLETE A LEFT HAND TURN. I’VE EXPERIENCED LURCHING DURING RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD DRIVING. I’LL BE GOING 25 MPH, AND COME TO A STOP SIGN. I STOP, AND WHEN I DEPRESS THE GAS PEDAL, THE CAR DOES NOTHING. ABOUT 5 – 10 SECONDS LATER, IT WILL LURCH FORWARD. WHENEVER IT BEGINS ACCELERATING AFTER A HESITATION OR LURCH, THE RPMS SKYROCKET TO 5 – 6K. THIS HAPPENS WHETHER I PRESS THE GAS PEDAL TO THE FLOOR IN DESPERATION, OR I’M GRADUALLY DEPRESSING THE PEDAL. THE LURCHING IS SO BAD AND SO APPARENT THAT MY PASSENGERS COMPLAIN ABOUT IT. THEY THINK I’M DOING IT ON PURPOSE. I’VE COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS BEHAVIOR TO HYUNDAI SINCE DAY ONE OF OWNING THE CAR. THEY’VE EVEN SENT ENGINEERS TO MONITOR THE ENGINE AND RIDE WITH ME WHILE I DRIVE IT. I KNOW 5 – 10 SECONDS DOESN’T SOUND LIKE A LONG TIME, BUT WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO TURN LEFT AND TRAFFIC IS APPROACHING FROM THE OTHER DIRECTION, IT’S A NIGHTMARE.

UPDATE TO COMPLAINT 10876205… THE DAY AFTER I POSTED THE COMPLAINT, I WAS TAKING A LEFT HAND TURN PULLING AWAY FROM A STOP SIGN, IT SLOWLY SLIPPED INTO 1ST GEAR AND AS THERE WAS A CAR COMING CROSSWAYS RAPIDLY, I STEPPED ON THE GAS PEDAL A LITTLE MORE, THE ENGINE REVVED UP ~ 4000 RPM IN 2ND GEAR BUT WASN’T MOVING ANY FASTER, JERKED INTO 3RD, WAS ALMOST HIT. I TOOK MY TUCSON BACK TO THE DEALERSHIP THE NEXT DAY (06/24/16) AND THEY STILL HAVE IT (06/28/16). IS ANYONE GOING TO STEP IN BEFORE SOMEONE GETS KILLED?

Transmission / Powertrain

Some Tucson models(those equipped turbocharged 1.6L engine) come with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. This design (referred to as a “clutch-less manual transmission”) uses two clutches to manipulate a pair of gear sets. High-tech electronics and hydraulic pressure control the system.

Many modern vehicles are equipped with dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The design works flawlessly in most applications – but not the Hyundai Tucson.

A computer known as the transmission control module (TCM) is to blame for SUV’s problems. The TCM ships with faulty programming that prevents it from managing the transmission properly. As a result, the vehicle hesitates and shudders. In some cases, it may not accelerate at all, putting occupants in a potentially dangerous situation.

An owner from Burlington, Massachusetts, complains, “THIS IS COMPLETELY UNPREDICTABLE AND SCARY AS HELL! I have lost confidence in this car, and am totally unhappy with this car! I have filed a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and anyone having this problem should also. Someone is going to be seriously hurt or killed.”

According to Hyundai, the problem only happens when the vehicle is hot. Oh, and the driver must be pressing the accelerator pedal repeatedly – something everyone does while driving. The Korean automaker has issued a recall for the dual-clutch transmission. Approximately 41,000 Tucson SUVs are affected and require repair. Dealers have access to a related technical service bulletin which instructs them to reflash the TCM to cure the problem.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2016 Hyundai Tucson Transmission Problems

IN NOVEMBER 2017 I PURCHASED A 2016 HYUNDAI TUSCON. APPARENTLY, THE VEHICLE HAS A “DUAL CLUTCH TRANSMISSION” DCT. RECENTLY WHILE BACKING OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY AND THEN PUTTING THE CAR IN DRIVE AND PUSHING THE ACCELERATOR THE VEHICLE LUNGED JERKING MYSELF AND MY DAUGHTER. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS OCCURRED. IN ADDITION WHILE IN TRAFFIC THE VEHICLE WILL BEGIN TO SHUDDER UNTIL NEAR STALL. THIS IS BOTH SCARY AND ALARMING. THE SHUDDERING OCCURS WHEN EITHER ROLLING FORWARD, ACCELERATING THE GAS, OR SITTING IDLE. THIS HAS BECOME A SERIOUS CONCERN AS MY CAR JUST DOES NOT RESPOND TO THE ACCELERATION AT ALL AT TIMES. THIS IS BECOMING INCREASING SCARY AND UNSTABLE IN MY OPINION. I HAVE BEEN TO THE DEALERSHIP TWICE NOW AND GET NO REAL ANSWERS EXCEPT THAT THE CAR CHECKS OUT FINE AND THEY CANNOT DUPLICATE THE ISSUE. I HAVE SEARCHED FOR RECALLS ON THIS ISSUE AND FOUND ON “CAR COMPLAINTS” THERE IS A RECALL ON THIS YEAR, MAKE AND MODEL YET HYUNDAI HAS NO INFORMATION ON THIS. I WILL BE CALLING THE MANUFACTURER TO COMPLAIN. I AM SICK TO MY STOMACH ABOUT THIS. PURCHASED THIS CAR FOR STABILITY AND SECURITY ON THE ROAD AND NOW I AM STUCK WITH IT. SELLERS SHOULD HAVE TO DISCLOSE THE DUAL CLUTCH TRANSMISSION TO BUYERS. PERIOD!.

DOUBLE-CLUTCH TRANSMISSION HESITATION WHEN THINKING ABOUT STARTING OUT OR SHIFTING OF 1.5 TO 2 SECONDS. THIS ALLOWS AN ONCOMING VEHICLE TO BE 2.5 CAR LENGTHS CLOSER AND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING A LEFT HAND TURN AGAINST ON-COMING TRAFFIC THIS IS LIFE THREATENING. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN ALL THE TIME AND YOU DON’T KNOW WHEN IT WILL HAPPEN. IT ALSO HAPPENS WHEN MOVING STRAIGHT. THE HYUNDAI DEALER TOLD US TO KEEP THE DRIVE MODE IN SPORT – IT HAPPENED ONCE IN THAT NOT NEARLY AS SEVERE. HOWEVER IN SPORT WE GET FAR LESS MILES PER GALLON (5 MILES ON AVERAGE) AND THE FUEL ECONOMY WAS WHY WE BOUGHT THE VEHICLE. WE ALSO CONTACTED CORPORATE AND THEY INFORMED US THE COMPANY THAT MADE THE TRANSMISSION SAID, “IT WORKS AS DESIGNED.” THAT MEANS IT WAS DESIGNED TO PUT PEOPLES’ LIVES IN DANGER.

WHEN ATTEMPTING TO ACCELERATE FROM A COMPLETE STOP, THE CAR HESITATES AND DOES NOT MOVE FORWARD. I THEN TRY IT AGAIN AND THE CAR MOVES AS EXPECTED. AT THIS POINT, MY WIFE AND I VERY FRIGHTENED THAT WE CAN NOT PREDICT THE ACTIONS OF THE CAR WHICH COULD LEAD TO AN ACCIDENT AND POSSIBLE INJURY/DEATH. IT APPEARS A LOT OF OTHER HYUNDAI TUSCON OWNERS HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS PROBLEM AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE.

Vehicle speed control

Most of the complaints listed under “vehicle speed control” on the NHTSA website aren’t anything different from what’s in the “transmission/powertrain” category. Instead, they’re just more accounts of the Tucson’swidespread transmission problem. Presumably, messages end up in this catch-all “vehicle speed” category when the driver doesn’t know what’s wrong with their vehicle. They just know it doesn’t accelerate as it should.

One owner from Townsend, DE, complained, “I thought I was imagining things. I would be stopped at a light, a stop sign, etc. But when I try to accelerate I wouldn’t go anywhere. This has happened since I bought the car in 2015.”

Another from Boerne, TX, writes in,” When the vehicle is stationary, then I try to move again, the car won’t move and there is a lull when I give it gas. This is a dangerous problem with the dual clutch transmission. The engine revs but the car wouldn’t move after coming to a stop. I have had a few instances where I become stuck in the middle of the road for a minute.”

Everywhere you look online, there are accounts of poorly-engineered Hyundai Tucson SUVs dying and putting their owners in harm’s way.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2016 Hyundai Tucson Speed Control Problems

2016 TUCSON LIMITED WITH 1.6 TURBO ENGINE. I HAVE HAD RECENT PROBLEMS WITH THE CAR BOGS DOWN OR SEEM TO CUT OF WHEN I ACCELERATE FROM A STOP OR VERY LOW SPEED. THIS HAS HAPPENED WHEN I AM TRYING TO MERGE IN TRAFFIC FROM AN OFF RAMP, PULLING OUT OF A PARKING LOT AND TRYING TO GET IN ANOTHER LANE IN TRAFFIC FROM A STOP. AS SOON AS I PRESSED THE ACCELERATOR THE CAR WOULD STOP AS IF THE ENGINE HA CUT OFF. I HAVE TO TRY TO MANUALLY DOWNSHIFT TO1ST GEAR OR SWITCH TO A SPORT MODE FOR THE CAR TO RESPOND. IN HEAVY TRAFFIC TRYING TO MERGE FROM AN OFF RAMP OR CHANGE LANES OR EVEN LEAVING PARKING LOTS TO MERGE ON HIGHWAY. THIS HAS OCCURRED QUITE FREQUENTLY AND I HAVE SOME VERY NARROW MISHAPS WITH CARS SLAMMING ON THEIR BRAKES TO AVOID RUNNING IN TO ME. I AM A VERY EXPERIENCED DRIVER WHO HAS DRIVING PROFESSIONALLY FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS INCLUDING TRACTOR TRAILERS WITH MANY SAFETY AWARDS. IT IS ONLY BECAUSE OF MY EXPERIENCE THAT A SERIOUS ACCIDENT HAS BEEN AVOIDED SO FAR. EACH TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED I REPORTED IT TO THE DEALER SERVICE DEPARTMENT AND ASKED IF THERE WERE ANY RECALLS OR SERVICE NOTICES AND HAVE HAD NO RECOURSE THIS SEEMS TO BE GETTING WORSE OVER THE NEARLY TWO YEARS I HAVE THE CAR. I AM AFRAID TO LET MY WIFE DRIVE THE CAR FOR FEAR THAT SHE MIGHT BE INVOLVED IN A SERIOUS OR WORSE ACCIDENT. THE DEALER HAS ONLY TOLD ME NOT TO DRIVE IN ECO MODE ANY MORE, I HAVE DONE EVERY THING THEY ASK INCLUDING USING PREMIUM GAS, MORE SERVICE DRIVING IN DIFFERENT MODES. I HAVE DRIVEN MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF VEHICLES, CARS AND TRUCKS AND HAVE NEVER HAD THIS PROBLEM WITH A NEW VEHICLE AND THE SERVICE TECH HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO DO.

INTERMITTENT ACCELERATION ISSUES. UPON TRYING TO ACCELERATE FROM A STOP OR VERY SLOW ROLL, THE CAR STARTS TO GO BUT WILL NOT ACCELERATE OR WILL SHUTTER UPON ACCELERATION. THIS IS A DANGEROUS SITUATION IF ONE IS TRYING TO MERGE INTO TRAFFIC OR CROSS AN INTERSECTION. THE TRANSMISSION HAS BEEN REPLACED BUT THE PROBLEM CONTINUES.

I AM FILING A COMPLAINT REGARDING THE HYUNDAI TUCSON 2016. I PURCHASED THIS VEHICLE IN MAY 2016. I NOTICE THAT IT OFTEN REVVED UP TO 5000 RPM AT 2-5MILES AND WOULD NOT MOVE THEN SUDDENLY LURCH. THIS HAPPENED FOR MONTHS, I CALLED THE DEALER AND THEY BRUSHED OFF. TWO WEEKS AGO WHILE TRYING TO MERGE ON THE HIGHWAY, I PRESSED THE GAS BUT THE CAR WOULD NOT MOVE ONLY REVVED THEN OUT OF NOWHERE IT LAUNCHED AND ALMOST HIT ANOTHER CAR. THEN TODAY, IT LITERALLY WENT DEAD?DEAD! WHILE DRIVING AT 25 MPH ON FORDHAM RD (A BUSY STREET THE BRONX) THE CAR SLOWLY LOST POWER AND STOPPED FOR 2-3 SECONDS. THEN START UP AGAIN. THIS CAR IS A DEATH TRAP!!! SOME ONE COULD HAVE RUN IN THE BACK OF MY CAR. I HAVE BEEN TO THE DEALER TWICE AND THEY CLAIMED TO FIX THE DCT BUT THAT’S CRAP. HYUNDAI WHO HAS DONE NOTHING AND THEY KNOW THIS VEHICLE IS UNSAFE. I CANT EVEN DRIVE MY 2 YR GODDAUGHTER IN THIS THING. I THINK HYUNDAI IS WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO DIE. THEY NEED TO STOP SELLING THIS CAR IMMEDIATELY AND REFUND EVERYONE’S MONEY.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Hyundai pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Lemberg Law are Lemon Law experts and can help you get Lemon Justice – absolutely free! Fill out our form on this page for a no-obligation case evaluation, or call toll free 877-795-3666

7 COMMENTS
  • JOSEPH H

    The Same as all of the above comments. I have had the Issues and been Brushed Off at the Palm Springs Dealership. The latest that has happened to me for the a while is When I park in a parking lot I come up the Concrete bump stop and put the vehicle into park and it slips out of park into drive. On 5-8-2019 I put the vehicle into park at the Concrete Bump stop in a parking area it Slipped into drive and went over it up to the curb ( about 7 inches) which stopped it. On 5-9-2019 I parked in Handicap area, pulled up to the Concrete bump stop. My caregiver open the door latches and the Vehicle slip out of park into Drive. Lunged over a small curb, across the sidewalk into a Patio of Coffee shop ( no one was present). I tried to put the vehicle into park to no avail. It went about 15 feet to building wall and bounce back and stopped. The police came. No body was injured. The Police declared that I lost control of the vehicle and now I have an Issue with DMV. could possibly lose my License. I have had to take a test at DMV and go thru an Interrogation. I will be having have a driving test in San Bernardino, Ca., An area I am not familiar with. Quite unfair I am trying to Contest this. I live in Rancho Mirage. An hour an a half away on a good traffic day, Usually more than that. I feel I need an attorney.

  • Antoinette M

    I just purchased a 2016 certified Tucson Sports and less than two weeks I almost had an accident when merging into traffic and the truck just stopped for a second. It’s starting to act like a transmission is hesitating

  • Emmanuel OB

    I was on the highway on the outskirts of a town. As soon as I pressed the accelerator the car completely slow down to 30km as if the engine has cut off. I thank God that there was no car driving behind me.

  • Kerri Miller

    I have a 2016 Hyundai Tucson SE AWD.
    I am a traveling nurses aide, so I put a ton of miles on my vehicle. My Tucson has 133k on it! I must say, overall, I have been pleased. Aside from oil changes, front brakes, a battery, and new tires, I haven’t had any real issues until now. It seems to consume oil at an alarming rate now. Literally several quarts in just a few thousand miles. Engine sounds fine, but the oil light has begun to flicker so quickly I can barely catch it doing it. Appears maybe the oil pressure sending unit may be going bad possibly.
    My Tucson never had the transmission issues everyone speaks about, although, I guess it was in the recall. Now I looked up my VIN under the recall, and it says it’s not in it. Hmm…not sure what to think about that.
    Anyway, I can’t really complain, but the oil issue is quite bothersome to me.

    I work hard taking care of the sick and disabled, and my vehicle is paramount to my ability to do so. I pray this vehicle last a long long time.

  • Matt B

    Hello,
    My engine just went out at 21000 miles. Oil burning out the turbo. I Missed two maintenance oil changes so the dealership and Hyundai are not covering warranty and insisting I pay for the new engine. Oil lights and engine lights never indicated an issue and the engine didn’t show signs of overheating and now has sludge in the turbos, rendering it useless and dangerous on the road.
    Have been back and forth with customer service but there is nothing they can do. I don’t think I should be responsible on a technicality of there is known issues and faults that have caused engine failure.

  • Michelle Smith

    Good afternoon.

    I have been contacted by a few attorneys regarding this issue. I really didn’t pay attention to the solicitations until now due to the fact I have almost been in two major accidents due to the vehicle “slipping into neutral” and then slamming into gear. I reluctantly addressed this issue when I took vehicle in for service. We were told to “just drive the vehicle in sport mode it doesn’t seem as bad, that his (service tech/mgr) wife has same issue”. The fact that I have had nothing but problems with Hyundai (3 inch thick folder documented) this is what one would call the “icing on the cake”. I pay $592 for a vehicle that has major issues that were originally just alarming, more of a don’t take a sip of your coffee because your vehicle will cause it to be dumped violently down the front of you, but now have almost caused me to be in two near misses for a major accident.

    I’m NOT here for money compensation, but rather to turn this lease in, leave the Hyundai parking lot and NEVER return. If a monetary settlement was part of whatever law suit, great it certainly would help the monies I’ve lost this past two years, and assist in down payment for another vehicle, but not my ultimate goal. I simply want to wash my hands of any dealings with this company.

    Thank you in advance for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Laurie Haslam

    I also have the same problem with my 2016 Hyundai sport turbo 1.6 engine. I noticed it not long after buying it in November of 2016. I read the reviews on the car and saw lots of complaints about the sputtering upon trying to excellerate. This happened to me and my car has a small mark from someone hitting me. They we not insured and I wasn’t paying my deductible to fix it. It’s been a continued problem but as a divorced, and now disabled single female I figured I’m stuck with this car. It’s cute but that’s about all it is.

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