This article was written by Brian Jones, trusted ASE Certified Master Tech and Lemberg Law Expert Automotive Contributor
Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.
The law makes Hyundai pay legal fees.
We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.
Problems with the Transmission
The powertrain consists of everything that transfers the energy of the engine to the wheels. It’s what propels the vehicle forward. In the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, this system has some serious deficiencies.
One Edmunds review says, “We bought this car a few months ago because I’ve had a Hyundai before and my car had always been really reliable. Well we’ve been experiencing issues with this one. When it goes onto Auto off mode it jerks a bit and then this past week while I was at a red light the engine turned off and this loud alarm noise came on. The dashboard said to put the car in neutral/park and to restart the car. Well since this had never happened before I freaked out (I also had my 1 yr old in the car) and I turned on my hazards so that cars could go around me. I did what the car said and after several tries if finally turned on and I was on my way again. The car kept doing that at random times and then when we would try to turn it on it wouldn’t turn on until after several tries. We took it to the dealership where we bought it and they said they ran a check on it and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. At the time they didn’t have loaner cars so we were sent home. We didn’t want to drive the car with our baby so that same day we called a different dealership and told them our issues and they were great. They said to take it in the next day asap. We took the car in and they did an update they said that might fix it. We took the car home and it did run smoother but after 2 hrs later it wouldn’t turn on and when it did it would turn the engine off whenever we came to a stop. We called the dealership and took the car in and it is currently being inspected. I would like to know if anyone else is experiencing this issues. If so please let comment! We were so in love with this car but after all these issues we’ve been experiencing we don’t know what to do next, it’s a shame especially since its brand new!”
Again, it’s evident that Hyundai understands the issues. They even stated in Service Bulletin #19-AT-013H that the transmission might experience a harsh 2-3 or 3-4 upshift during cold temperatures. The moral of the story for Hyundai owners is to avoid driving their SUV in the cooler weather or strap in real tight for a wild ride.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Problems:
I HAVE A BRAND NEW 2019 SANTA FE ULTIMATE 2.0T LEASED IN AUGUST WITH 1600 MILES AND I HAVE ALREADY HAD THE CAR IN TWICE WHERE THEY HAVE HAD TO RECALIBRATED THE TRANSMISSION. WHENEVER I WAS AT A STOP OR WAITING TO MAKE A TURN I WOULD PUT MY FOOT ON THE GAS PEDAL AND THE RPMS WOULD GO UP BUT THE CAR WOULDN?T MOVE. I WAS ALMOST REAR ENDED A COUPLE OF TIMES BECAUSE THE CAR WOULDN?T GO INTO GEAR AND MOVE WITH THE GAS PEDAL PUSHED ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FLOOR AND THEN ALL OF SUDDEN THE TRANSMISSION WOULD SHIFT INTO GEARS. THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING TO A BRAND NEW CAR! LOOKING AT DIFFERENT MODELS THIS SEEMS TO BE AN ON GOING PROBLEM WITH HYUNDAI. I HAVEN?T BEEN ABLE TO ENJOY MY CAR BECAUSE IT?S BEEN IN THE SHOP. THEY FIX IT AND IT WORKS FOR A WEEK OR SO AND THEN IT HAPPENS AGAIN. SOMETHING IS DEFINITELY WRONG! I WAS TOLD IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN THEN THEY WILL CALL THE MAIN HEADQUARTERS. THEY SHOULD BE DOING THAT ALREADY TO FIND OUT HOW TO FIX IT ONCE AND FOR ALL SO I DON?T HAVE TO KEEP COMING BACK. I HOPE YOU WILL LOOK INTO THIS MATTER.
Problems with the Electrical System
With electrical equipment running everything in modern vehicles, it’s imperative that this system runs appropriately. Yet, the Santa Fe doesn’t seem to follow these rules.
One NHTSA complaint explains the electrical problems. “My new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe from the time I bought it had the yellow Check Engine Light come on. It said the BSM system wasn’t working. Then the engine would not start on 4 separate occasions. I had to wait to get it to start. There have been 3 occasions when it did start it sounded like it was going to die, very sluggish and didn’t want to accelerate. The RPM would not increase. It also started 2 separate occasions it loses steering wheel power and the A/C stopped blowing cold air. I had to turn it off and wait to restart it. It is currently at the dealership waiting for the blind spot monitoring modules. The first time they replaced the module it still showed it not working. So now it is undrivable at [dealer], they say it’s not safe to drive so I am driving a loaner. They say they can’t determine why the engine did the described things above. These things happened while in motion and parked.”
It’s clear to the automaker that there are real issues with this vehicle. Service Bulletin #5NP-T3D4X-01 addresses some of the Engine Control Module and Electronic Stability Control software updates that must occur in order for this vehicle to function correctly. With troubles like these, it’s incredible that Hyundai has earned the reputation it has. This lemon is anything but functional and safe.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Electrical Problems:
ON A BRAND NEW 2019 HYUNDAI SANTA FE, THE ENGINE STALLED TWICE WHILE DRIVING THE VEHICLE AT LOW SPEEDS INTO/OUT OF A PARALLEL PARKING SPACE ON A VILLAGE STREET. I HAD TO RESTART THE ENGINE IN ORDER TO CONTINUE MANEUVERING THE VEHICLE. THIS WAS VERY DANGEROUS AS I COULD HAVE BEEN HIT BY ONCOMING TRAFFIC.
AT AROUND 5014 MILES, WHEN I CAME TO A STOP LIGHT IN DC, THE VEHICLE SHUT OFF AGAIN AND WOULD RESTART. THE COPS CAME AND PUSH ME OUT OF THE ROAD AND I WAS THEN ABLE TO RESTART. I DROVE TO THE NEXT STOP LIGHT AND THE VEHICLE SHUT OFF AGAIN AND WOULD START. EVENTUALLY, THE VEHICLE STARTED AFTER APPROXIMATELY 10 MINUTES. I DROVE THE VEHICLE BACK TO THE DEALER AND WAS TOLD THAT THERE WAS A PERFORMANCE RECALL ON THE VEHICLE. THE VEHICLE WAS SERVICE AND GIVEN BACK TO ME. THE FOLLOWING DAY DRIVING ON GERMANTOWN ROAD THE VEHICLE SHUT OFF AGAIN AT A STOP LIGHT. I CALL THE DEALER AND THEY ASKED THAT I TAKE IT BACK THE NEXT DAY. ON MY WAY TO THE DEALER IN BUMPER TO BUMPER TRAFFIC THE VEHICLE SHUT OFF AGAIN. I TOOK BACK THE VEHICLE TO THE DEALER AND TOLD THEM THAT I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE VEHICLE ANYMORE AND THEY SHOULD REPLACE IT
Problems with the Engine
No one expects the Santa Fe to come with the most powerful engine on the market, but it should at least run correctly. Again, we see that’s not even close to the truth.
Another NHTSA complaint states, “On a brand new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, the engine stalled twice while driving the vehicle at low speeds into/out of a parallel parking space on a village street. I had to restart the engine in order to continue maneuvering the vehicle. This was very dangerous as I could have been hit by oncoming traffic.”
Again, the automaker isn’t attempting to hide any problems they are having. Service Bulletin #19-AT-019H talks about the Check Engine Light coming on stemming from trouble with the oil pressure harness and integrated oil temperature sensor. Aside from the electronic equipment not working right, owners also can’t rely on this engine to get them home safely. So much for being a leader in safety.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine Problems:
THIS IS A REPORT ON A 2019 HYUNDAI SANTA FE 2.0L TURBO WITH LESS THAN 1600 MILES. THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF FUEL IN THE OIL. ALLOWABLE LIMITS ARE LESS THAN 2.0% FROM NORMAL CAUSES. THIS ENGINE HAS 3.3%, ENOUGH TO BE A PROBLEM.THE OIL LEVEL IS RISING ON THE STICK. THE 5W/30 OIL HAS BEEN THINNED TO THE CONSISTENCY OF 20W OIL. DEALER SHRUGGED IT OFF AND CLAIMED THAT DRIVING A 100 MILE TRIP WOULD RETURN ALL TO NORMAL
ENGINE BEGAN TO SKIP ON ACCELERATION ESPECIALLY GOING UP HILL. VEHICLE WAS TAKES TO DEALER AND ACCESSED. DEALER DIAGNOSED OWNER HAD VEHICLE IN INCORRECT DRIVE MODE FOR ACCELERATION. OWNER EXPRESSED TO DEALER, SUSPENSION OF SPARK PLUG OR COIL PROBLEM GIVEN OWNER EXPERIENCE IN BUYING OWNING HYUNDAI VEHICLES. 1 MONTH LATER, VEHICLE WAS DISABLED AND DELIVERED TO DEALER BY ROLLBACK. DEALER DIAGNOSED VEHICLE. SPARK PLUG SPLIT IN HALF, SHATTERED PORCELAIN PLUG. FRAGMENTS OF PLUG FELL BETWEEN PISTONS, WARPED PISTONS. NEW ENGINE RECOMMENDED BY DEALER. NEW ENGINE ORDERED. ONE MONT WAIT TIME.
Problems with the Air Bags
While discussing safety, it makes sense to look at the air bags next. After all, they are considered to be one of the most essential safety features.
Check out this report posted on the NHTSA website. “The contact owns a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while driving at 75 mph and was about to switch over to the left lane with the left signal indicator light on, the warning left indicator alert sensor light failed as a result, the contact collided side by side with another vehicle. The contact stated that the other vehicle was driving between 75-80 mph and crashed into the driver front side door, the rear end and the front end bumper and tire of the vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy, the contact stated that she was able to coast to the side of the road. The contact sustained left arm, neck, back, whiplash and a concussion. The contact also stated that half of her body was numb that required medical attention and was informed by her doctor that she had nerve damage and posttraumatic stress disorder. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was taken to [dealer], but was not diagnosed or repaired and informed the contact that it was not their problem since the vehicle was in an accident. The contact informed the dealer that the safety feature was not functioning. The dealer informed the contact that the safety features were turned off.”
While it might be true that this owner turned off the safety features, the air bags still should have deployed at those speeds. But, it looks like Hyundai knows that as well. There is a recall related to the side curtain air bags being damaged by the mounting bolts. When this happens, they won’t deploy. If the company can’t get the basic safety features down, how can they claim to be the best?
Problems with the Brakes
The brakes are designed to stop a vehicle and help occupants avoid an accident. It’s another basic safety feature that Hyundai seems to have trouble perfecting.
Another NHTSA report states, “The contact owns a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving 80 mph, the brakes applied on their own and the BCA brake system activated warning message illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure recurred two weeks later. The vehicle was taken to [dealer], but they were unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 1,656.
In this case, it appears the Santa Fe is overcompensating for being so terrible at keeping people safe. Now, it just wants to stop whenever it can and avoid any more trouble. Maybe it’s decided to quit. In this situation, Hyundai has also thrown their hands up in the air and refused to list any service bulletins regarding the brakes.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Brake Problems:
TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 HYUNDAI SANTA FE. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE VEHICLE’S SMART SYSTEM CAUSED THE VEHICLE TO BRAKE ON ITS OWN. ALSO, THE LANE CHANGE WAS NOT READING CORRECTLY AND PUSHED THE VEHICLE INTO THE WRONG LANE INTO A BARRIER. IN ADDITION, WHILE DEPRESSING THE BRAKE PEDAL, THE VEHICLE FAILED TO SLOW DOWN WHEN MAKING A RIGHT TURN. AFTER COMPLETING THE TURN, THE CONTACT WAS ABLE TO BRAKE. TWICE WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT THE SYSTEM WAS NOT CALIBRATING PROPERLY AND THE EASY PASS INTERFERED WITH THE SMART SYSTEM. THE EASY PASS WAS MOVED AWAY FROM THE CAMERA, BUT THE FAILURE RECURRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE AND PROVIDED CASE NUMBER: 16086926. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 3,000.
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.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm
Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today! There is no charge unless we win.
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.