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Anyone experience Sudden Unintended Acceleration in a Santa Fe?



  • I just had my 2009 Santa Fe start accelerating out of control. I was going towards a light and hit the gas hard. After speeding up, I let go of the accelerator and the car continues to accelerate. I had to hit the brakes to slow but as soon as I released the brake the acceleration continued. I went threw this process 3 times in a matter of seconds. So, I popped into neutral and the engine reved up wildly. I then braked and put it into drive and it returned to normal operation. I'm contacted the dealer right now.
  • Go here and file a complaint with Hyundai USA. They will assign a case number (although they may not do anything else as has been the case with me). At least you will have documentation that they were aware of the problem and did nothing. If there's an accident and someone gets hurt sue the hell out of them. I'm afraid this is what it's going to take to get some action. Also file a complaint with these folks Last but not least go to the media.
  • So this morning on my way to work, my 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe started to accelerate uncontrollably despite my efforts to stop it. I was doing about 45 on Hwy 29, behind a guy slowing to make a left. In a hurry to get to work, I floored it and rounded him as he slowly merged off the highway. I only floored it to accelerate, then quickly removed my foot from the pedal. The car didn't start to decelerate, instead it continued to gain speed. I tapped the brake as it was acting like it was on cruise, but accelerating to over 60mph... Nothing. I stepped hard on the brake and the car slowly came to a stop despite the accelerator still trying to force the car forward. I put the car in N - it spun loudly into a high pitched rev, I stepped hard on the brake as a back up, still in Neutral, and stomped on the pedal a couple times. It released. Thank God. I cautiously slipped he car into D and went the remaining 300 yards to the parking lot at work. This evening, Hyundai Roadside Assistance came to pick up and yow my car to Vallejo to the dealership. Please help me pray that the find a problem to fix. I got on the internet and found numerous similar complaints and how the dealer can never find the problem so they won't fix anything. Especially with the baby coming, I can't have this car "as-is" in our lives. I need a new part whatever that may be or a new car. I just pray this doesn't cost us more money or headache. ;(
    I followed the advice of others here on this blog, and reported the problem to Hyundai and to NHTSA. Now just waiting to hear what they say at the dealership Monday AM :-/
  • Please keep us posted as to what the dealer's response is.
  • bettieb1bettieb1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe, and in Jan 2011 my timing chain broke and I had to replace the engine. They place a 2005 engine in my car. I have had the my car back for a month and on my way home from work (with my 4year old in the car) the car started to accelerate! With my foot, I made sure the gas petal wasn't stuck, I was breaking but that wasn't slowing my car down fast enough, It just slowed the acceleration. I placed the car in neutral and pulled the e-break. It slow the car from 60 to 40 and started to accelerate again even with the car in neutral. I ended up stopping the car by turning it off (which locked everything up and fish tailed my car) I had a angle on my side by not hitting anyone. So here is my questions.... Would changing the engine have anything to do with this? The mechanic that changed the engine is telling me its the brain of the car that caused this to happen. Did the brain of the car need to be replaced since the engine has now been changed and its a 2005 engine? Could this just be something that happened, or a defect? I'm just finding it hard to believe only a month after changing the engine, this happening had nothing to do with it. Before changing the engine there was never a issues with my car. It had always ran great.
  • How many miles were on the car when you replaced the engine? Did you buy the car new and if not how many miles had you driven it? I'm not a mechanic but I don't think this is an engine problem, especially if the car was still accelerating even after putting it in neutral. This could very well be a computer problem or a cabeling problem as someone suggested previously. Did you have the work done at a Hyundai dealer? Make sure you document this with Hyundai and the NHTSA.
  • This is an update to my post regarding my December 18, 2010 SUA experience. I called NHTSA and filed my report after never receiving a response to report I filed online back in December. I did receive a confirmation of my report this time, via mail, along with a cover letter. I checked over the report, made a few additions, made a copy for my file and will mail it in the morning. I also took my 2009 Santa Fe back to the dealership last week, for the second time since December, along with 27 pages of Blogs. They checked the car over again and said they could find nothing wrong, but have offered to keep it for one week in order to run more tests and drive it in an effort to recreate the experience I had. Upon completion, they will offer us a few options. None of which are appealing since the only comfort I will have is returning the car. The dealership's response to the Blogs was that you can find the same testimonals of SUA for many manufactuers. The underlying theme was that in most cases these experiences are due to "driver error." My conclusion is that computerization has made cars so complex these days, that it does take a rocket scientist to figure out the design flaws. I will post an update once the dealership has finished their latest inspection this coming week.
  • Thanks for the update. I agree with your rocket scientist comment. I took my Santa Fe to the dealer last week for transmission fluid flush and complimentry 30 point inspection. Everything checked out fine. All we can do is report what happens and hopefully nobody gets hurt or killed in the mean time. I have to wonder now about all of the fatal accidents out there where there is no one alive to say what really happend. It's scary.
  • Thanks for your kind response. I wish you continued good luck with your Santa Fe. No telling if there have been any fatal accidents. It would take a survivor to report the conditions surrounding the accident as in the tragic Toyota fatality. That's why we need to keep reporting and documenting these incidents to keep the pressure on. Kia just reported a recall this weekend. Something to do with a transmission malfunction. No fatalities reported so how did this recall come about? Interesting ...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Modern day engines/transmissions are a "MATCHED SET", they should be installed as if PAIRED and the correct model year and firmware revision engine/transaxle controlling ECU included.
  • This is an update on my situation that took place on December 18, 2010. After a week-long inspection and test driving, the dealership could not find anything wrong with my 2009 Santa Fe that would cause the SUA that I experienced. We were scheduled, last Friday, to return the loaner they had given us for the week and pickup my unwanted Santa Fe. After much discussion and insistence, the used car department of the dealership agreed to buy back the vehicle for what we owed on the car. We still loss some money, but I now have the peace of mind that I was hoping for. I wish anyone else out there who is wrestling with this problem, not to give up. The squeaky wheel does get the grease! Good luck!
  • ray147ray147 Posts: 1
    More Sudden Unintended Acceleration angst! I've been going around with my Hyundai dealership regarding my 2009 Santa Fe and getting no where.

    As soon as I mentioned that I opened a case number with the NHTSA I received a call from Hyundai Corporate asking me to drop the car off again which was useless.

    I'm filling out the paper work now and emailing back to the them for investigation.

    The most important thing we can all do is contact the NHTSA and open up case numbers. Also, continue on with Hyundai corporate.

    I had two episodes in the same day. I may actually dump this thing which is sad because we bought it brand new and will take a $8,000.00 bath.
  • We have been having this problem with our 2010 Sante Fe and our daughters are learning to drive on this vehicle and they have experienced this surging as well. I just had the vehicle in last week to have a part replaced for the surging as well as the tie rod. We drove the vehicle on the weekend and it surged twice. I will give this a week and if it continues I will be complaining about it again. At least they didn't say there was nothing wrong or that it was driver error! We have thought about trading this vehicle in but the price has dropped so much in 1 1/2 years that we would lose way too much. Our bath would be more that $8000.00 - so sad!
  • Since you had the surge experience more than once, I would recommend that you insist that the dealership's service department keep the Santa Fe for a minimum of 3 days and have someone drive it consistantly. Insist on a loaner car for the time period. I only experienced one unintended sudden acceleration, but that was more than enough for me. After several months the dealership did agree to take the care in for several to test drive it. Of course, nothing happened so they said there was nothing to repair. But in your case, there's a good chance it would occur while it's in their hands. My husband was very insistant. We finally dealt with the regional sales manager who visits our area once a month. My surge experience happend in late December 2010. It took until March for us to get any satisfaction. I refused to drive the car or even ride in it. We armed ourselves with all of the Internet Blogs to confirm that many other people shared the same experience. They were sympathic but insisted that this condition does happen occasionally in many car model just not Hyundai's. The bottom line was that we made a deal with their preowned department. They paid off the remaining loan amount on the 2009 Santa Fe. Yes, we were out the 16 payments, plus initial downpayment, but I had to have peace of mind. I use my car for transporting people and couldn't perform my job if I was constantly worrying about a possible accident due to SUA. Since you have two teenagers driving your Santa Fe with the understanding that they will often have their friends in the car, do you want to place their lives in jeopardy? I would suggest insisting on the dealership driving your vehicle for several days; print out as many of these Blog discussions as possible; insist on a face-to-face meeting with the Hyundai regional sales manager; and finally, talk to the preowned department about a buy out. Yes, you'll be out a chunk of cash, but you can't put a price tag on the lives of your family. Good luck to you!!
    (P.S. I purchased a preowned 2002 BMW with low mileage and I couldn't be happier!)
  • When slowing down for turns or stop lights, and then the brake is released, and accelerator is pushed, vehicle moves sluggishly and then "stalls" flat for several seconds. There is no requirement for an ignition re-start, since then the engine re-engages and vehicle suddenly lunges forward. This is a sporadic problem (two or three times a week). No engine warning trouble light; dealership claims all diagnostics show nothing. Vehicle performs well otherwise (starts well, idles well, rpm's okay, etc.) Been happening over the last four or five weeks--not the gas, since am on my fourth new tank full--21,000 miles on the six cylinder 2010. Any ideas would be appreiciated, or if you have had similar problems.
  • I have had a similar problem with my 2010 AWD Santa Fe. Was your problem ever resolved, and if so, was there a fix.
  • Thanks to everybody who publish this information, I was almost buying one of this cars for my wife, but now I think I will go and try another options.
    I dont think this people from hyundai are very honest. For me this situation is the same as steal, because their are selling a product that doesn't fit with the regulations, and they dont care if people will died secondary to their mistake.
  • The dealer says everything checks out, but it still "flattens out and lunges" infrequently (about once or twice a week). I have done my own research on this and have determined it might be the throttle position sensor. I have looked into how this sensor works, and "flatten out" spots could occur due to how the resistor wears. I have also found out that some owners have had to have this sensor replaced, when it significantly failed. If it continues, I will have the dealer replace this sensor at my own expense, and then I will have the old part independently tested. If it turns out to be defective, then I will ask for a refund from the dealer. I have also found the exact problem on the National Highway Safety complaint site (ODI number 10352192), and I would like more information about this complaint, but they want $45.00 an hour plus copying expenses just to see if there is more information about this complaint.
  • Have you found any more information on this problem?--mine is "hesitation to surge." Thanks--liz
  • Hi--I noticed that your "posting" was in March 2010--do you still have the vehicle, and has the problem been corrected, gotten worse, etc.? Thanks for any help. Liz
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