2018 Hyundai Tucson Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brakes, engine and transmission issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

With so many SUV options to choose from, consumers have become pickier about the vehicle they drive. One of the popular choices has been the 2018 Hyundai Tucson. After all, the automaker promotes the newer models as “smart, modern and athletic.” What they failed to mention is that the engineers that designed this model weren’t quite as smart. That’s why there is a faulty powertrain, defective engine and malfunctioning service brakes on many of these vehicles today.

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Powertrain

When it comes to the powertrain, this system must be reliable in order to get from Point A to Point B. Otherwise, the driver faces numerous issues while traveling, which is exactly what is revealed by actual customers of the Tucson SUV.

Just look at this complaint left on Edmunds. “I really got stuck with a lemon and I can’t wait to get rid of it.  There are things I love about the car.  It is big and roomy.  The electronics are awesome.  I love Apple car play and the navigation system as well as the Infinity stereo system.  The leather seats are incredibly comfortable and you can make all sorts of adjustments to get the seat just right.  Love the extra room in the back.  The problem is that something is terribly wrong with this car.  Whenever I come to a sudden stop the car lurches forward as soon as I go again.  Sometimes it jerks and lurches when I just am sitting at a stop sign.  Sometimes it won’t go when I press the gas…it will eventually “go” but only after a big jerk and lurch.  It feels like I am driving a car with a manual transmission.  This car is brand new and I am scared to death I am going to have an accident in this crazy thing.”

Sadly, the manufacturer communications reveal that there are several defects with the powertrain. Service Bulletin #19-AT-012H discusses a transaxle clutch slipping while Service Bulletin # 5NP-F6W6P-05 talks about how specific models have trouble shifting out of Park. In Service Bulletin # 5NP-P5L7D-05, the automaker acknowledges a harsh and delayed shifting in certain models. To repair it, the technicians must measure shift engagement time. These three problems perfectly illustrate how the Tucson is anything but reliable. Where were the transmission engineers during the building of this machine? It appears they were taking an extended lunch break.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Hyundai Tucson Transmission Problems:

I PURCHASED A 2018 TUCSON IN A NOVEMBER, RECENTLY I HAVE NOTICED THAT THE VEHICLE STRUGGLES TO ACCELERATE. I WILL CONTACT THE DEALERSHIP TOMORROW BUT I SEE THAT I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT SEEMS TO BE EXPERIENCING THIS PROBLEM. IT SEEMS TO BE GETTING WORSE. IT’S A HAZARD ESPECIALLY WHEN DRIVING IN THE FREEWAY.

I PURCHASED MY NEW CAR 8 MONTHS AGO WITH 2 MILES ON IT. I AM SCARED TO DEATH TO PULL OUT FROM RED LIGHTS IF ANYONE IS EVEN INSIGHT AT TIMES. IT SEEMS AS THOUGH IT JUST DOESNT WANT TO GO AT ALL. I CAN FLOOR THE GAS AND IT HESITATES FOR FEW SECONDS AS THE RPMS ARE VERY HIGH ALL YOU GET IS A ROLL INTO TRAFFIC. IT MAKES ME SO NERVOUS AT TIMES DRIVING THIS VEHICLE. WORSE MISTAKE BUYING THIS VEHICLE AND WORSE PART IS I WILL BE STUCK IN AS ITS NOT WORTH HALF OF WHAT I OWE ALREADY. THIS SHOULD BE SOMETHING DISCUSSED BEFORE SIGNING OR NOT ON THE MARKET TO SELL AT ALL

BOUGHT NEW. VEHICLE HAS ACCELERATION ISSUES. RPMS SKYROCKET. IF ON DOWNWARD SLOPE, CAR WILL ROLL INTO INTERSECTION UPON DEPRESSING PEDAL. ON UPWARD HILL, CAR WILL HESITATE, THEN SUDDENLY JERK AND TAKE OFF. I HAVE A ROLLED INTO AN INTERSECTION TRYING TO CROSS A 2-LANE ROADWAY AND THE CAR STOPPED. I HAVE MENTIONED TO DEALERSHIP AND THEY JUST SAY IT’S THE WAY THE DUAL CLUTCH WORKS. THE DEALERSHIP HAS DONE A FACTORY RESET. I WILL BE GOOD FOR ABOUT A DAY. STILL NO ACCELERATION WHEN NEEDING TO MERGE WITH TRAFFIC. THIS IS A DANGEROUS SITUATION AND FEEL HYUNDAI NEEDS TO COME UP WITH A SOLUTION TO FIX THESE VEHICLES BEFORE SOMEONE LOSES A FAMILY MEMBER. I DON’T WANT IT TO BE ONE OF MINE! OR DO A RECALL.

DUAL CLUTCH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION STARTED HAVING PROBLEMS AROUND 5K MILES. THE CAR HAS 15K CURRENTLY. THE FOLLOWING PROBLEM OCCURS ABOUT 2-3 TIME DAILY UNDER NORMAL DRIVING 10-20 MILES PER DAY ON SURFACE ROUTS. FROM STOP TO ACCELERATING IN 1ST GEAR THERE IS A MUCH LONGER THAN SAFE LAG TIME BETWEEN THE GAS PEDAL BEING DEPRESSED TO THE CAR ACTUALLY GAINING IN SPEED. IT SEEMS LIKE THE TRANSMISSION IS IN NEUTRAL AND THEN SHIFTS HARD INTO FIRST GEAR. IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW LIGHTLY OR FIRMLY THE PEDAL IS DEPRESSED. IT IS A LARGE CONCERN FOR ME AND MY FAMILY THAT THE CAR WILL NOT ACCELERATE OR PERFORM AS EXPECTED WHEN THE GAS PEDAL IS DEPRESSED. WE HAVE TAKEN THE VEHICLE TO THE DEALERSHIP WITH NO RESULTS OR IMPROVEMENTS. THEY STATED THAT ALL HYUNDAI/ KIA DUAL CLUTCH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS HAVE THAT PROBLEM- STATING THAT WE SHOULD DEAL WITH IT OR TRADE TO ANOTHER VEHICLE.

Engine

When it comes to a car’s engine, there’s nothing more important than this valuable component. To provide years of service, the engine must be durable and reliable. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to figure out that the 2018 Hyundai Tucson comes with plenty of engine trouble.

Just look at this complaint left on the NHTSA website. “My car has 20,000 miles on it. 2 months ago, around 18,000 miles, my car started to hesitate during acceleration. It started as only sometimes, now it happens every time I drive it. When it is stopped and I push on the gas to go it hesitates. The RPMs shoot up to 5-6 then it goes. This is dangerous especially if you are crossing several lanes of traffic. Also when in motion and you need to accelerate it will hesitate as well. I brought it to the dealership as itsunder warranty and was told it’s the DCT and many people have complained, and it’s normal. I disagree because if it was normal then it would have done this when I first purchased the car.”

One look through the communications with the manufacturer reveals that these engines have serious issues. They even discuss how the Check Engine warning lamp illuminates with DTC P1326 in Service Bulletin # 19-01-006H-2. To repair it, some vehicles require a wiring harness, engine assembly or oil cooler pipe and hose. No one will argue that the Tucson is modern and athletic, but if the engine malfunctions, it isn’t very smart, now is it?

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Hyundai Tucson Engine Problems:

HYUNDAI 2018 TUCSON HAD A OIL LEAK ISSUE DUE TO A FAULTY OIL PAN. THE OIL PAN WAS SEALED BY THE DEALERSHIP. THIS DID NOT SEEM TO FIX THE ISSUE CAUSING THE OIL TO DRAIN ON THE FREEWAY AND SEIZE THE ENGINE. I WAS COASTING ON THE FREEWAY WITH NO POWER FROM THE ENGINE. WE WERE SCARED FOR OUR DEAR LIVES.

THE CAR STARTED MAKING A LOUD NOISE MY OIL LAMP LIGHT STARTED FLASHING, AFTER I STOPPED AT A RED LIGHT I ACCELERATED THEN MY ALTERNATOR LIGHT CAME ON THE CAR DIED. WITHIN SECONDS MY CAR STARTED SMOKING A WHITE COLOR LIGHTLY AND THEN WITHIN MINUTES THE SMOKE TURNED BLACK AND HEAVY THEN CAR CAUGHT ON FIRE.

Service Brakes

It has already been proven that this Tucson model has some significant problems, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that the service brakes have just as many problems.

An NHTSA reviewer says, “Once my brand new Tucson hit 500 miles on it, it suddenly unintentionally accelerates while my foot is already pressing firmly on the brake pedal. The first time, it happened as I was approaching the peak of a hill. I was going 25 mph. My foot was already pressing on the brakes, anticipating the decline, when my car jolted forward and took off. My foot slammed on the brakes even harder, however I watched my speedometer hit 40 mph while simultaneously, my RPM decreased to 1…(yes, down a hill). For about 5-7 seconds, the RPM and speedometer would not increase or decrease once hitting 40 mph and 1 RPM. I had to lean over the wheel and slam my brakes to the floor before I regained control of the vehicle. Once this occurred, the car lagged, struggling to accelerate throughout the remainder of the drive (all flat roads). It is now day 5 of experiencing this, and it now occurs multiple times every time the vehicle is in motion, whether brakes are being applied prior, or not, regardless of the type of road I am on (flat, hill, etc.). I was exiting a parking garage that I had a mediocre ramp to exit the garage. My vehicle was going 12 mph when I turned right to proceed down the ramp. My foot slowly pressed the brake pedal, and my vehicle accelerated to 28 mph, and maintained that speed for 3 seconds, before responding to my brakes. Yes, my foot had the brakes pressed all the way down. Another example, yesterday I was on a flat road driving at 27 mph when it suddenly accelerated to 45 mph, and the RPM dropped suddenly from 2 to 1. After a few seconds of my foot slammed on the brakes, I regained control and pulled the car over. I turned the engine off and waited about 5 minutes. When I turned it back on and began driving (3 minutes left in my drive), the car continued to lag, lunge forward and could not reach speed higher than 30 mph. This car is brand new.”

Interestingly enough, the automaker doesn’t have any service bulletins related to the braking system. It appears they’ve already said more than they wanted to between the engine and transmission. Instead, they want people to believe that this SUV is well-built without major mechanical faults. For most “smart” consumers, it doesn’t take long to figure out that’s not the truth.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Hyundai Tucson Brake Problems:

I WAS PULLING INTO A PARKING SPOT IN A SHOPPING PARKING LOT AND STEPPED ON THE BRAKE TO STOP, BUT THE BRAKES FAILED AND THE CAR KEPT GOING AND WOULD NOT STOP, ULTIMATELY ROLLING UP OVER THE CURB ONTO THE GRASS AREA AND CRASHED INTO THE CONCRETE LIGHT POST. THE CAR WAS TOWED TO THE HYUNDAI DEALER IN LAGUNA NIGUEL CA SERVICE ADVISOR

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Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

1 COMMENT
  • JMD

    I purchased a new 2018 Hyundai Tuscon with the defective dual clutch transmission. I have complained every time I have had it to the dealership since I purchased the vehicle. They just tell me that that’s the nature of the transmission. I have learned that it is fact a defect.

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