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Anyone experience Sudden Unintended Acceleration in a Santa Fe?



  • stannardsstannards Posts: 16
    Hi Bryancos, just wondering how your dealership resolved the issue, assuming that they have? We are also trying to identify whether anyone is looking at legal action, and how the safety authorities can be brought in to this, if you have any suggestions. The number of incidents involving this model, and the latest information from one post about a cable design fault (which incidentally ties in with what an independent engineer said about our vehicle) would seem to suggest that safety authorities should take this very seriously.
  • bryancosbryancos Posts: 282
    The Dealership never actually "resolved" the issue themselves. They could not duplicate the problem, nor find anything wrong in trouble codes from the vehicles computer, etc, so they said they couldn't fix anything.

    I asked them to replace the throttle position sensor AT MY OWN EXPENSE, which they agreed to do at their cost. (approx $170) This at least gave us some piece of mind that the likely culprit had been fixed. We have had no further SUA instances since the TPS was replaced with a new unit. In short *I* resolved my own issue, the dealer merely did the requested work..
  • January 2010 we purchased a new 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe from Herrnstein Hyundai of Chillicothe, Ohio. I drive this vehicle every day to work, athletic events, etc. In March of 2010 while driving my son to school I accelerated to pass a vehicle. I passed the car and and merged back into the driving lane and attempted to slow down. However, instead of slowing down it accelerated, I could hear the engine it sounded like I was in a high speed race. I became very panicked when I attempted to apply the breaks and they did not work properly they only slowed it down a little. I even lost the ability to steer the vehicle. I threw it into neutral and was able to get off the road a little. When the vehicle coasted to a stop the engine sounded like it would blow up. Again I was panicked I didn't know what to do to make it stop. I looked over at my 11 year old son he said mommy turn the key off. Duh!!! I turned it off, sat there a minute, restarted the vehicle and drove on to school and work. My husband took it to Herrnsteins who said they had never heard of this happening before in this area. They looked at the vehicle and reported they couldn't find anything wrong with it, it didn't show a code. I didn't have another incident until June 1st. On that day I drove to Columbus, Ohio and was in pretty heavy traffic on 315. I had to merge quickly and so I accelerated. Again after I had merged into the appropriate lane the vehicle sped up, I braked with little success, I again heard the engine roaring, I continued to hold the break down, it slowed then sped up again and finally slowed back to normal. I do not use cruise and did not have the cruise on either time. I called Herrnsteins while in Columbus and told them what had happened. This was a Tuesday they said they couldn't give me an appointment until They also asked if any dash lights came on, yeah I was paying attention to dash lights while trying not to hit the school bus beside me or the truck in front of me, God knows what was behind me. I told him that what I do remember vividly is the big yellow and black bus beside me!!! Needless to say we weren't happy with this response so my husband met me in Chillicothe and we took the vehicle to the dealership that afternoon. We arrived at approximately 5:30 and was told all rental agencies were closed and they could not provide us with a rental until the next day at 9:00 am. The salesman who sold us the car evidently heard what was going down and he called their regional manager. To make a long story short we were provided a car that night and left the Santa Fe. On Thursday the service manager phoned me at work and said they couldn't find anything wrong with it and it didn't show a code and that their regional manager looked at the vehicle. Their answer was.....the regional manager took the floor mat out and said tell them not to be using this again. I was also told that he opened the door and immediately was able to get the accelerator to stick under the floor mat. Oh, and they have pictures. Funny, my husband checked that out the first time it over acclerated. We went up to Herrnsteins to talk with them. The service manager had already gone for the day so we spoke with our salesman who tried to make us a trade in deal on a 2011 Sonata. The picture we were shown was on a digital cammera and showed only a picture of the floor mat. Upon seeing this "picture" my husband took the salesman to the vehicle and attempted every way possible to get the accelerator to stick. It did not. The service manager supposedly drove the vehicle before the regional big shot looked at it and he could not get it to over accelerate. HMMM that floor mat was there when he drove it. After the salesperson saw the way the accelerator was made and that it wouldn't stick. He backed off his story that he saw the regional manager get it to stick and said that he only saw the man taking pics. My husband then told the salesman he would be back tomorrow and that the regional manager and service manager can show him just how they get the accelerator to stick. So today is Friday, my husband took off work AGAIN, and is on his way back to the dealership. If anyone out there would like to help us a little Herrnsteins toll free number is 1-800-343-0133. The drama continues.......
  • Update: Husband visited Herrnsteins, they are now 100% in support of us. Floor mat test FAILED!!! Now working our way through the Hyundai Corp. We are currently driving a rental provided to us by Herrnsteins. Kudos to Herrnsteins at Chillicothe, Ohio for standing up for their customers.
  • madasheck1madasheck1 Posts: 3
    edited September 2011
    Update to earlier message. Hyundai Corp. has taken the stance that SUA is not a problem with their vehicles. In other words I did not wreck the ******** or get killed so I can't prove it happened. They say the vehicle is safe for us to drive. We are still dealing with Herrnsteins and hope they'll make it right. Oh and Hyundai has put a safety feature on their new models. On the new models they won't allow you to break and accelerate at the same time. Wonder what brought them to the conclusion they needed to add that safety feature?
  • stannardsstannards Posts: 16
    This is the same arrogant attitude they have shown to everyone - now about 30 incidents recorded just on this one forum about this one model in a relatively short period of time so that would seem to speak for itself. Please please report it to the safety authorities and maybe soon there will be enough ammunition to get them and the motoring press on to it.
  • My 2008 Sante Fe started accelerating on its own while I was on the interstate driving approx 65 in Georgia I had been using the cruise control off and on during the trip so thought of that first. Hit the cancel button and then the off button, but it would not turn off. The green "cruise" light stayed on. I thought of the Toyota issues and tried to put it in neutral, BUT the gear shift would NOT move into "N" instead it made a loud horrible grinding sound and just wouldn't shift in. Long story short..... by pressing super hard on the brake with both feet I slowed the car and pulled onto the rough shoulder of an exit ramp and turned the key off. The car did a really hard jerk and stopped. Service guy at the dealer said that he had never had a Hyundae come in with that complaint. Some deacceleration, but he had never heard of an SUA issue with the Hyunadais Fortunately I had printed off a few pages from this very forum to get his attention that this isn't an isolated insident . . . or I'm not some ditsy female driver who did something wrong . . . and to give him a direction of where to find the defects and possible fixes. To his credit, I saw him starting to carefully read some of the entries and seem to look concerned. He even stapled the pages to the back of my "service request form" . . . I guess for the service manager. I wish I had printed more pages because some of the later pages are even more on target to my situtation. I just randomly printed two. But now I'm just waiting to see what they say and do. I'm still very, very shaken up thinking that my daughter and I could have been killed or seriously hurt if it had happened in a heavier or different traffic situation! And everyone would have probably thought that I fell asleep driving or was using the phone or something distracting . . . which is irritating to consider that I would have been blamed for my own and daughter's death/serious injury because nobody seems to know that there is this SUA issue on a car other than a Toyota. Even when I called my husband from the roadside, his comment was that "there haven't been any reports of sudden acceleration on Hyundai's so it must be something else" Anyway, thank you for this helpful forum.
  • luxor5luxor5 Posts: 1
    I have an Altima Hybrid 2009 that while parking just accelerated and my foot was on the brake It was not on the accelrator at all? I was only about a foot from the railing when my car just "jumped" broke through the railing before stopping?

    I would be interesed if anyone knows if they are recalling any sudden acceleration problems on vehicles? I called Nissan and they did not have my car on a recall but I heard there can be problems with chips ?
  • bryancosbryancos Posts: 282
    edited July 2010
    madasheck, (and anyone else who has experienced an SUA problem)

    If you have not already done so, DROP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, AND LOG A FORMALIZED COMPLAINT WITH THE NHTSA (National Highway Safety Traffic Administration)

    Direct link to the online complaint form:

    OR BY CALLING THEM BY PHONE: Call the Hotline, Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm at
    (888) 327-4236 , TTY: (800) 424-9153.

    If a problem isn't documented with them, it doesn't really help the rest of us to force the manufacturer to take responsiblity... so speak up and ensure you get the problem in their database!
  • No one has posted here for about 6 months, but I was happy to find this thread. I was pulling my 2009 Santa Fe into a parking space in the mall, when I took my foot off the accelerator and touched the brake, the car surged, speeding up quickly and not stopping until I hit the parked car in front of me. I had my two kids in the car with me. A very scary event for all of us. A hard impact, but the bumpers took the brunt, so not much damage (a bit on mine, none on his). I called Hyundai from the car, and left a message for the service centre, asking that my car be given priority for a check-up. As it was a Saturday, I have to wait to hear back.

    Nice to see that I'm not alone in this problem. Hopefully the dealership will address the problem quickly. We'll see. For now, I'm a bit hesitant to use the car, and may have to get a rental.

    I'm not sure where I send the safety information/report here in Canada, but I will follow up.
  • I want to give you a little advice. Print out the reports that you find here and elsewhere on the web . . . and take them with you to the dealership. When I took my car in, the service mgr said that he had never heard of any sudden acceleration issues with the Hyundais. He said, "I've been here for a lotta years and we once had a sudden DEacceleration, but I haven't heard of any sudden acceleration problems If there were, I would have heard about it." After picking my jaw up off the floor, I happened to have in the car 6 or 7 pages of printouts from the internet about people's testimonies with this problem in Sante Fe's. Frankly, I could have printed more, but didn't think that I would need to. SO, it was very satisfying to be able to immediately hand him the stack of papers and basically tell him that if he is a Hyundai service manager and hadn't heard of it, then he has been living under a rock because it didn't take me long to find these testimonies online . . . and that given time . . I could find alot more. ALL OF A SUDDEN, they took me a little more seriously, paid for a rental car for me for ten days because I considered this a warranty issue. .. while they contacted the mfr to look into it. Well, that turned out to be a little of a joke. Long story short, they sent a dude out to drive my car for several hours and since the car didn't malfunction for him, they still claim that they don't believe that the incident ever happened. I'm must be mistaken or lying. Said they ran tests on the car per the Mfr instructions and found no problem. I insisted that they change the Throttle Pressure Control anyway . . . and at a minumum, I'd pay the dealer cost (300ish I think) on the part and no labor . . .or I'd have no choice than to trade the car in immediately because I couldn't put my kids in that car ever again. The incident scared tha pants off me, and given different driving conditions, could have killed us. (and the irritating thing is that maybe people would have thought I was distracted driving or fell asleep or something. geeeesh) Finally, the owner of the dealership, out of respect for a good customer who was very unhappy, paid to replace the TPS himself. Although he had to tell me that the mother company, Hyundai, would not allow him to admit that there was anything wrong or even acknowledge that the incident happened ("people lie about this kind of stuff to get free service or try to set us up for a lawsuit")

    So, my advice to you in to walk in with documented information in-hand. And don't expect them to be co-operative or sympathetic.

    Also, I typed out in second by second detail what happened, how I reacted, how the car reacted and sounded, etc. . . and asked them to staple it to the back of the service order. Otherwise, they just write on the little line something like "check accelerator" or something lame like that. Then the service technicians won't know the extent of seriousness of the problem When I typed out my incident in detail, I did it that same day while it was very fresh on my mind because I thought that maybe in some of the details, the service people could see clues about what went wrong mechanically. I never occured to me that they would not believe me or take the incident seriously!. . . . and when I saw them write "check accelerator" on the service intake form as if that's the only problem, that's when I insisted that they staple the detailed incident report to the back and instead write, "see attached" on the service report form.

    Let us know what happens. And I'm so glad that you and your family didn't get hurt.
  • My dealership hasn't called back yet, but I'm taking your advice. I've copied all the posts on this Forum, and will write up a synopsis of the event. Hopefully the Service Manager will call me soon (I've just left another message).

    I'll keep you posted on my outcome.
  • I am soooo glad I came across this blog! I was driving to work last Thursday morning and I accelerated to switch lanes to pass a driver who was more interested in her cell phone conversation than where she was going. I was going at about 45mph(the posted speed limit) and I passed the driver and went back into the left lane. Since I was approaching an intersection, I put my foot on the break in order to slow down because I knew the light was about to change to yellow and then red. I know the intersection well since I drive this road daily. I put my full force on the break (the breaks had just been done by the dealership that will be referred to later in my blog) yet was not able to slow or stop. To my horror, I had to run the red light (thank God the cars awaiting their turn had not yet entered the intersection). I continued to try stopping with no success and just in a sheer panic I was able to put the car into neutral and it stopped very abruptly. So much so that it smelled as if something was burning. I was stopped in the middle of a 4 lane road and made the decision to try to start the car and slowly made my way into a side street. The street I turned on had a group of young children waiting for a school bus. I was mortified that if I had the same issue, I could run into the children of into on of the houses on either side of the street. I called the dealer and they had me call a tow truck and told me not to attempt to drive the vehicle. The first words that came out of the technician were and I quote, "It's pretty common" I have had this happen before! I about fell off my chair as I asked had there been a recall. He said no, no one has been killed and recalls are too expensive. About an hour ago, I listened to a voice mail telling me that I can pick up my vehicle. They drove it and were not able to duplicate my problem. As far as they are concerned, there is no problem. Nothing has been fixed. They think it is perfectly OK for me to get into this vehicle and drive. I asked for a written document stating that they guarantee that this will not happen again and since they checked the vehicle out and gave it the "safe to drive seal of approval" that they will be personally held liable if this happens again. That is if I live to tell the tale. We have started looking for another vehicle and I will be contacting the NHTSA and my attorney. I think that anyone who states that there is nothing is wrong and that because they cannot duplicate the problem in this kind a a situation should be held criminally liable. It is a shame that a high body count is needed for something to be done.
  • Hi Wogg. I recently purchased a 2002 Santa Fe that seems to be in really good shape. I'm still on my first tank of gas. I have experienced rapid acceleration twice now. Both times I was approaching an intersection at less than 5 mph. when all of a sudden the engine went crazy and the car lurched forward. Fortunately I was able to stop it. Do you have any pics. of the cable you are talking about? I am not a mechanic but would like to fix this asap. I have contacted both Hyundai and the government agency that monitors this stuff. Any help would be appreciated.
  • I`m really glad to found this blog. Last week I was driving with my Sante Fe 2002 on a highway with app. 100km/h, when suddenly the engine gone wild. The engine was rotating itself with 4.000 to 6.000 rotations per minute and it was really loud. I put the gear into neutral and park the car on the side lane. The next moment the car was full of smoke and I saw fire coming out from the exhaust in the mirror. I instincively turn the key, pull it out and run away from the car. The most creepy thing is the machine was still going for about 2-3 minutes, evethough I turned the key and pull it out. The smoke screen was so big, that the cars stopped on both motorway lanes and waiting. The mechanics told me, that car does that when the "smut filter" is full, so the car pushes the gas into the exhaust and clear the smuts out. Ironicly, the process is called "regeneration". I didn`t feel "regenerated" at all, it was a really scary experience. The car will help itself, no matter the human victims. Nice, huh?
  • I experienced a sudden exceleration with my 2009 santa fe back on December 18, 2010. It was terrifying to say the least. It also happened as I was slowly pulling into a parking space. The engine rived at a high rate, the suv lurched forward at an alarming speed. All I could think of was that the only way I was going to stop was if I plowed into the car facing me. I applied the brakes nearly to the floor before coming to a stop just an inch from the other car's front bumper. The dealership towed the car, looked over and proclaimed there was nothing wrong with it. I haven't driven the car since. My husband now drives it and says he'll just throw it into neutral if it happens to him. We still have 3 years of payments on a car I won't drive or ride in. I'm so disappointed in Hyundai. After reviewing all these online complaints, I can't believe no one is taking any action. I filed a complaint, online, with the Department of Transportation when the incident happened and never received a response. I just CALLED the Department's phone number given on this website and registered the complaint again. The agent said there's no assurance that I will ever receive a follow up from their department unless there is more documentation. She said no one can file 2 complaints. I don't understand their system. I guess until someone is fatally injured, our complaints won't be taken seriously. Look what happened with Toyota.
  • I just posted my Santa Fe experience on this Blog. My horrible experience happened on December 18, 2010. I have not received any resolution from ANYONE, including my dealership or the Department of Transportation or the Florida Lemon Law department. After reviewing all these blogs this morning, I'm as mad as heck!! How much longer is Hyundai going to bury their head in the sand? Until someone is killed, no doubt. I see in the news that another Toyota slammed through a restaurant over the weekend. Driver said the accelerator stuck. I don't want to settle on experimenting with various "band-aid" approaches; I want them to acknowledge there's a serious problem, take back the piece of junk and give me a refund. I don't want another Hyundai since they don't stand behind their product.
  • How do we dissatisfied customers begin a class action suit? I'm ready! Anyone in the group a lawyer??
  • It looks like the only way anything is going to happen here is if the media gets involved. I strongly urge everyone to contact not only the local station but also the major networks such as Fox, CNN etc. If enough people do this then someone will take notice at some point. Once that happens it will be more difficult for Hyundai to ignore this very serious problem.
  • I'm seriously considering making the call to a local station or national network. I'm waiting for a call from the new service manager at my dealership. He told me this morning that he was going to do some "research." He's new and didn't know anything about my December 18, 2010 complaint. If I don't get any satisfaction, I will take the next step and bring this to the attention of the media.
  • 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.
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