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Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Problems



  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    edited November 2010
    I'm wondering the same thing as well. I've even considered getting a 6-speed manual trans model that would skirt that whole issue entirely. I does seem to be a big problem for a small # of people. If it was me, I'd scream too. I did check another magazine that Reports to Consumers about these things, and the 2010 Hyundai shows a very good reliability for the transmissions. I also read a piece about Hyundai and how they are unlike other major manufacturers in that they will improve the product through the model year, instead of waiting for the year to change.

    To top that, I just drove a GLS Auto Trans model last week and it drove beautifully. Very tempting. I'd get a late-build 2010 or 2011, and be happy I got a very safe, very reliable CUV, at a good price. This thing blows my 2007 Highlander away. Smoother, quieter, better looking, much better ride AND handling, roomier, Bluetooth, and thousands of dollars cheaper. Between this and Forester for me right now.
  • dbqfandbqfan Posts: 16
    I wish the dealer would just be honest and tell us that they are aware of the problem and Hyundai is trying to fix it. I had mine in and the dealer replaced a module and now it is doing the same thing again. I call the service dept and they act like this is something they never heard of. I have contacted my states attorney general and have my attorney working on the lemon law. I feel that the best thing is to go after the dealer using the lemon law. I do not want to keep taking my Santa Fe in for a repair of the same problem. My trans is slipping even when I pass a car on the highway plus I get the big Bang noise when shifting from 1st to 2nd. gear. I feel that Hyundai is like Toyota and refuses to acknowledge the problem until someone gets killed. I would hate to be in a passing situation and loose power because the trans is slipping and get into a head on collision. I am just plain sick of the dealers BS also. They get the deer in the headlights look when you tell them about the trans problem. All I get is "bring it in and we will look at it". Why bring it in when it has the very same problem it had the last time I had it in for the so called "fix". You can be rest assured that this will be my last Hyundai and I am going to tell every car dealer in my city that they should warn there customers about the Hyundai trans problem. Naturally, the salesman did not warn me about the problem when I bought my Santa Fe but if the customer is warned ahead of time by the competition maybe the Hyundai salesmen will be more honest. I am sure if the other competitive car dealers are advised of this problem and Hyundai starts loosing sales then maybe they will do something about it. I do not like the pot luck fix that is going on right now. If is very obvious that the trans is defective and quite possibly needs a complete redesign and Hyundai is not willing to do that, at least right now - so we suffer as a consequence.
  • just got a call from Rosen Hyundai to say my issue is a computer issue or a new trans, they do want to be sure so they are test driving the car. Rosen has been great by making sure I have a loaner at all times. I have never been with out transportation. I will keep all up dated.
  • I am in the market to purchase a new car and was all set to purchase a 2010 Santa Fe AWD v6 this week...... Until I read about all the issues the car seems to have. What do you recommend, should I still go ahead with this purchase? I would hate to end up with a lemon or with a car that has known problems. The alternative to the Santa Fe would be the Forrester. Which do you think would be a better bet?
  • go with the forrester
  • geragera Posts: 13
    Go with the Forester. Although I used to love my Santa Fe ('01 model), the first year we went through 3 transmissions. Didn't have a lick of problems until March of this year at 165k miles and were out of state and had to have transmission rebuilt. Still having the same old problems every other Santa Fe has had. It's been a long-standing problem with Hyundai and I wish they would just fix it. It's a great car. We kept it up with having oil changed regularly every 3,000 miles. Everything got fixed when it was supposed to, etc. We kept good care of it. Expected it to last at least to 200k. We looked at Forester before we bought Santa Fe. In retrospect, should have bought Forester to begin with.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    edited November 2010
    One thing to do is check out other sites for info. If you go to Consumer Reports and look up the reliability record for the Santa Fe, you will find that their survey results contradict what the last few posters have reported and that the Santa Fe's transmissions are rated to be very trouble-free. I know I will get flamed for saying this, but anecdotal and non-empirical evidence may indicate that a few owners are having problems, but that does not indicate that all, or a statistically significant amount, are having problems. My two cents. Oh and I am a Santa Fe owner (2008 AWD Limited) and have had no transmission problems whatsoever. So the question is--who do you believe or trust more? Satisfied or dis-satisfied owners? The choice is ultimately yours and yours alone. ;)
  • iv6teciv6tec Posts: 14
    Consumer Reports is not always reliable with respect to vehicle reliability ratings. On my 2007 Santa Fe 3.3 V6 AWD the throttle body had to be replaced three times and both front stabilizer links once at 50,000 km 31,000 mi. These are both widely reported problems with the 2007-2010 Santa Fe and CR makes no mention of it. As well, the rear brake calipers tend to corrode and seize if not dismantled and cleaned yearly which is a very costly service that Hyundai service departments recommend for obvious reasons.
  • iv6teciv6tec Posts: 14
    The 2008 Santa Fe has a 5 (five) speed transmission. The problems being reported pertain to the new for 2010 6 (six) speed transmission
  • I know the 2010 has a 6 speed vs the 5 speed in my 08, but one of the previous posters mentioned transmission problems he/she had with an 01 Santa Fe so I thought I would chime in with my experience.
  • Consumer Reports is not always reliable with respect to vehicle reliability ratings

    Granted any report/survey regarding problems should always be taken with a grain of salt due to variances in methodology, reporting percentages, etc, but CR is usually "fairly" accurate. The thing to remember here is that CR's ratings are based on how a vehicle ranks with its "peers", not on some absolute scale. That means that maybe the SF transmission could have some problems but it ranks at the top of the scale compared to similar vehicles. Ergo, you could take that to mean that the SF transmission is at the top of the heap and a shining example of automotive engineering, or just merely the best of a bad bunch!
  • We've still want a Sante Fe, probably a 2011 and may take a chance soon. I'm beginning to think the trans issues are a limited thing with a vocal minority. I hope I'm right but feel bad for those with the trans problem.
    Several posts mention the Forester. We have a 2001 with 105k+ miles. It hasn't had any major transmission issues but it's had it share of problems. Eats brakes and no we're not hard on them.. Do a search for "head gasket problems". Or rusted fuel filler neck problem. Worst stereo I've ever heard. There were other problems but the car had it's good points. Granted this was a 2001 model.
    The Sante Fe looks nice overall compared to other things in it's price range. A family member has a Highlander and while nice it's had a couple of issues while costing $7k more for a similar equipped model.
  • I own an early production 2007 Santa Fe. Two of our next door neighbors have Santa Fes (one a 2009, and one a 2010). Several of our friends own them as well. What can I say ... they are popular here in Colorado. The AWD versions make good ski cars.

    None of us in our circle of owners have had any transmission troubles. That includes some strenuous driving in the Rocky Mountains.

    Our Santa Fe is the only car in the group that has had any issues at all. We had a problem with the passenger side front airbag sensor, which required two trips to the dealer. Other than that, our car has been dead on reliable over 35K miles.

    Hyundai has been really pleasant and responsive to work with. They even upgraded our front map lights for free when they redesigned and improved them for the 2008 model year, and replaced a broken interior vent as a warranty repair when really ... it was a hyperactive 10 year old who broke it. That was super nice of them.

    That said, our Santa Fe was a replacement for an unreliable, expense-prone 2000 Subaru Outback (which suffered from the typical 2.4L engine head gasket and engine seal issues). That was a car made ten years ago, and Subaru's current line of cars may be different. Or it may not be, seeing as Subaru is still using the same doggone drivetrain designs that have been having issues for years and years. But let's not assume that Subaru's cars are going to be any better or worse than Hyundai's products over the long haul. From my own personal experience, Subarus are NOT particularly reliable and can be a real pain in the maintenance department.

    So count me as a Subaru skeptic. They shouldn't get a free pass.

    Then there is the enjoyability-of-driving issue. I don't know about the their other models, but the brand new Subaru Legacy that I drove as a rental car last month was not very good. It was nice looking, sitting on the rental agency's lot, and I was all enthusiastic to select it from their lineup ... and then I drove it around. Holy cow ... what a underpowered, unresponsive lump. Definately not geared for people who enjoy driving.
  • So everything that could have been replaced or fixed has been but problem still persists, we are now ging after the dealership to replace the vehicle as they have no fix for the problem, if GM of the dealership doesn't replace vehicle then CAMVAMP will be invlolved since we do not have a Lemon law in Ontario, the Canadian Auto Arbitrators take over instead. will update soon
  • royh1royh1 Posts: 7
    I posted previously regarding my intermittent transmission problem because of slipping and jerking on start up. My Santa Fe was produced in October of 2009, and from what I have read the tranny problem is most likely from the early 2010 productions. I really like my Santa Fe and did research the SUV crossover vehicles before buying. I am not upset about buying and would buy again. I really like this vehicle. I have traveled across the country and quite a ways into Canada in this car and have had no problems other than the slipping which only occurs at low speed. And besides that, I would say it's only slipped about 4 or 5 times total. . My dealer, Taylor Hyundai in Perrysburg, Ohio, has been excellent. I have a loaner car while they are replacing the ECU, (computer controller). They have had only 2 Santa Fe's with this problem, but I am certain it will be corrected and be trouble free. Regarding the previous post on Subaru's, I currently own a Subaru Impreza WRX that would change his mind on being sporty and fun to drive. Subaru also makes quite a few model wagons with 250hp turbos and will beat some of the Porches. As far a reliability, I have had zero problems with my Subaru(s) over the last 20 years. The biggest difference between the Santa fe and WRX is the size. The Santa fe is much bigger and has more room for stuff and people. It will also tow my boat.
  • royh1 -

    My point is that we should not automatically categorize ALL Subarus the same way. Not all Subarus are boring to drive. But at the same time, not all Subarus are sporty. Particularly the current 4 cylinder version of the Legacy ... which seems to aspire to be an AWD version of the Toyota Camry. As a former Subaru owner, I was surprised at how much worse it drove than previous models.

    And in terms of reliability ... my 2000 Legacy Outback wasn't very good. I am glad that you had a better experience with your WRX.

    Watch your transmission, though.
  • I purchased my 2010 Limited AWD Sante Fe in March and have the same slipping and slamming into geart hat others have stated. It defintely happens the most between 20-24 mph and when I take my foot off the gas to coast. I started having this issue at around 4500 miles. I took the vehicle in and was told it was the computer assisted transmission being "confused" by having too many drivers. They reset the computer and I was told to be the only driver. To say the least I am annoyed. We just bought a brand new $30K vehicle and my husband is not allowed to drive it??? Fine, we have made every effort for me me to be the only one that drives it and yet, now, we are having the problem again. In my opinion this issue is DANGEROUS. Either the trany will slip or will slam into gear as if I have been rear ended and then jerk forward. It is especially dangerous because there is typically a reason for me taking my foot off the gas pedal and coasting to begin with (such as high traffic areas, or allowing someone in front of me). Yesterday at 6700, I went food shopping with my infant son. The transmission slipped once on the way there. I parked, did my shopping and when I came out, the car wouldnt start. I had it towed to the dealership. Last night I started doing some research and thats when I came across this forum. I am not at all confident now that they will be able to correct this problem. I guess I will just continue to take the vehicle in when I have the issue and then pursue a lemon law claim. I'm interested in finding out today why it wouldnt start. I will keep you posted. At this point in my ownership, I am certainly having buyers remorse and feel I should have went with the Toyota or Honda.
  • I brought my car in for "7500 mile service" last week. I have posted numerous times about the hard shift from first to second - only when the car is cold. My solution has been to let the car warm up a bit. In any case, I went told service dept of the issue, and even came prepared with specific tsb's that seem to apply (technical service bulletins posted within the hyundai tech site). Service guy says "I don't recommend doing a bunch of things to your car (per the TSB) unless we know for sure it needs that - cuz that can make things worse sometimes." Well...guess what? They couldn't reproduce the hard shift. The other perhaps more significant thing is that part of the regular service for this vehicle was a factory sponsored ECM upgrade. (that means an update to the computer that controls (among other things) shifting. Anyway..I've had the car back for 4 days and so far it seems to shift smoother than before, and I can't get it to do the hard band shift even when cold. Maybe this is a fix??!!
    I recognize from others on this message board, that some people seem to have a significantly "sicker" transmission - i never had problems at higher gears, or after the car warmed up. And certainly never got stuck on the side of the road.
    I would also like to say that yes..while i am annoyed that there is any issue at all - I still really like my car. It's comfortable, drives great, its got the best ipod interface/navigation system on the market, and serves my needs well. Good luck
  • I Would suggest anyone with any Hyundai problem go to, a web site available only on internet explorer. It apparently is the only auto web site supported by the manufacturer and not only contains all the TSBs for all Hyundai products but detailed descriptions of the fix. There is "Service campaign" for transmission or drive train noise issued on 11/17. Check it out
  • picked up my 2010 Sante Fe on the 17th and so far so good. Rosen Hyundai did install a new trans. and seems to be the fix (fingers crossed) took it out on a long toll way trip looking for any vibrations or any thing else and all is well, also no more of that jerking feeling when I first started it some times.Rosen has been good to me with top of the line loaners and calles with information updates, I hope any one who has an issue gets treated the way I did.
  • We've had our 2010 Santa Fe FWD since Aug 6 and it has just over 7500 miles and had no problems. I was driving home last night and there was a loud bang and the engine jumped up to 4500 rpms and stayed there, never down shifting. If I took my foot off the gas the rpms would obviously drop, but as soon as I stepped on the gas it just shot back up to 4500-5000 rpms. Luckily I was near my exit from the interstate and slowly drove home. I called the dealer on the way and they said bring it in and get a loaner. The dealer called this morning and the transmission is shot. The service guy said that it is a problem Hyundai knows about. I asked is it a recall and he said no since it is a sporadic problem and that he would get a brand new transmission and have it done next week. From the posts here it seems like it maybe more then just a sporadic problem.
  • i have posted on this page previously about the transmission problem, apparently there are some 2010's out there that do have a transmission problem, mine being one of them too, they already switched my transmission out in Feb of this year, but the problem came back. The Manufacturer told us there was a service bulletin out in July this year of this issue and an updated transmission was available to be put in. Since we had our's changed in February they put the same model of tranny in that was faulty but they didn't know it at the time. Check the production date of your vehicle it is found on the inside of the drivers door on the sticker, if it was from November 2009 - January 2010 production time these are the ones it is mainly affecting. Repost the production years, I'm trying to figure out if this is true what they are saying as we have been offered a new 2010 Santa Fe in return for ours as it is a continuos problem. The new one they are offering us was made inJune 2010.
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    amazing.. don't they realize that a recall would make them seem more responsible. I hope everyone is not just returning to the dealer but also reporting to Hyundai - this is the only way it will get to recall status as well as reporting it to other institutions/entities.
  • iv6teciv6tec Posts: 14
    edited December 2010
    The only way to force a recall is to report your vehicle's transmission problem to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at this web address:
  • I also have a new 2010 Sante Fe. the day after I bought it the "phantom" clunking when start up began. I took it back to the dealership thinking it might be a loose suspension component but alas nothing was found. two weeks later the slamming into second gear started. At this point it was still drivable but very annoying. As the temperature started to fall ( I live in Alberta Canada) the clunk at start up and harsh shift began to worsen. I have mad about 10 visits to the dealership to try and come up with a fix but Hyundai Canada is not helping at all!!!! After much persuasion, I finally got Hyundai to replace the transmission. They put in a rebuilt trans ( only 12,000 KMs on the vehicle) on a thursday and I went to pick it up on a Friday after work. I never got out of the parking lot without a major slip in the transmission. Hyundai Canada said they would try another re manufactured transmission but I called them to task on doing that. they have now agreed on a new transmission but it will take until mid to late January to get it. This will mean that I will be without my vehicle for over TWO MONTHS. Hyundai Canada has declined to give me a rental because I have requested a new transmission instead of a rebuilt one. By the way... this is my 4th new Hyundai since 2004. So much for looking after their customers. The dealer is doing all he can to rectify the problem but Hyundai Canada will not stand behind their product!!! I am seriously looking at going to CAMVAP ( Canada's equivalent to US lemon laws).
  • Reply to Alberta Post:
    I also had the same problem as posted previously with my 2010 Santa Fe and they replaced the transmission last February, and it never did get fixed, ultimately if you go through CAMVAP they too will agree with the manufacturer to replace the Tranny again, my dealership gave me the same option to change the tranny again and since it had so many issues the damage was already done to the vehicle. My dealership offered to take the vehicle back as a trade for another 2010. So far so good, you should see if they are willing to take it back as a trade and get another one.
  • royh1royh1 Posts: 7
    edited December 2010
    I posted regarding my problem and it has since been fixed. I have not had any further problems in the last 6 weeks. They had the car for 3 days in order to send the ECU back to the factory for reprogramming. All is fine and I would not let them keep replacing transmissions because they told me that is not the problem. The factory is well aware of this problem and I don't understand why all these other dealers do not have the correct procedure as per the factory TSB. I do like my Santa Fe and believe it's by far the best value in SUV crossovers.
  • dbqfandbqfan Posts: 16
    I have had the ECU reprogrammed on the original transmission and the replacement transmission and that does not fix the problem. I now have 2 defective transmissions. Some guy from Hyundai called me and said I should bring it in and they will try the ECU reprogram again. I am sick of this problem and Hyundai seems to totally ignore it. They will have to wake up on this as I have authorized my attorney to sue them under the Lemon Law. I am tired of a unresponsive dealer who could care less and Hyundai seems to be the same as the stupid dealer. I can't believe these dealers. They fall all over themselves trying to sell me a car. As soon as I have a legit complaint they treat me like I am some kind of weirdo. I have filled a complaint with the NTSB and they have contacted me for more information. They are more concerned about this than Hyundai.
  • cccdunncccdunn Posts: 1
    edited December 2010
    I bought my Santa Fe in April 2010 and in October it started to shift into gears roughly. When it started to get colder in South Carolina, the gear shifting started to be more and more noticeable. I figured it was because it didn't like the cold. Well three weeks ago when I put it into drive, it would take its sweet time to go into drive. It would take less time when it warmed up? I called the dealer ship and they wanted to see it. I took it in and the man drove it around the shop and told me he would order a transmission for it. I thought, wow, that was good, then I thought, Oh No, this is not the first time this has happened. I started researching it and its a problem. Christmas Eve the car would not go into drive. I couldn't call anyone.... I had to wait till today. I called Road Side assistance like the service tech told me and I had to get a ride in there to get a rental car. The rental car they authorized was a COBALT.... I drive a SUV???? I was not happy at all! The transmission was suppose to be in last Tuesday and it still is not in, they said it was on back order? I am really worrying now about this issue.

    It started around 5000 miles and now it has 13000 miles on it.
  • I am surprised Hyundai has not had a recall around this transmission issue. Bought my 2010 Sante Fe in May, 2010. The trans had hard shifting problems at low speeds and the dealer blew me off until the mechanic happened to drive it after several visits. They replaced the transmission ASAP. Hyundai still does not acknowledge a problem with the vehicle. My advice is to stay on them until you are satisfied.
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