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Hyundai Santa Fe Quality Control

skagwaypilotskagwaypilot Posts: 18
edited March 2014 in Hyundai
We've had our Santa Fe for almost two months. It's now in the shop to fix the following:
1) A noticeable paint defect on the driver's door. At first, I thought someone had left some greasy fingerprints on the driver's door so I I'd just wipe them off when I arrived home. It turned out that the defect was below the clear coat. The dealer informs me that the entire door must be repainted. We'll see how well they match the paint.
2) There is a large gap between the right passenger door sill and the carpet. The original part looks like it was fitted with a pocket knife and some rough edges remained. The dealer has ordered a replacement.
3) The lower body molding has some black paint missing where the molding attaches to the body. They said that they will touch it up.

Before we accepted that car, we found scratches on the shifter console (replaced) and an indentation on the steering wheel air bag cover (also replaced).
So far, my dealer has been great! We have a 2007 Sonata Limited as a loaner.
I'll update this post with the result of our repair requests.


  • gllundgllund Posts: 29
    Wow, that's not good. I wonder if that car was in an accident before the dealership received it? I've had my Santa Fe for 6 months and can't find a flaw anywhere. I've been very happy with the quality, fit and low wind noise when driving on the freeway.
  • slateblueslateblue Posts: 110
    Skagway, no complaints here, everything is top notch. I spent a lot of time looking at the Santa Fe's before I bought and I was very impressed with their quality from the start. It sounds like your dealer and Hyundai are doing everything to be sure your satisfied.
  • jimsistjimsist Posts: 62
    i,ve had my santa fe sence feb and have found nothing wrong. ihad followed the santa fe from the time it was just a drawing untill it was sold in kora first then when it was in thusa. now you might have one of the early ones where they had some fit probleams while they were just makeing and trying to get every thing right.i looked at one in june of last year and the fit was poor.sence then they have came a long way baby.i just love my sants fe. i was a die hard ford fan untill i started ahve problems with paint on the dash ,breakes at 14500 ford would not fix and so on. so i bough a 2005 santa fe liked it until the 07 came out now i,m in love good luck jim :blush:
  • canuckercanucker Posts: 19
    Well maybe it’s because I’m getting older and less observant than I used to be but I have a number of fit and finish issues that I have noticed upon closer examination since purchasing. The vehicle was produced in December 06 and purchased in January.

    1) Both rear doors are not perfectly flush with the body of the vehicle, particularly the rear driver’s side (noticed the same problem on some other vehicles since).
    2) Rear hatch door was installed slightly crooked which results in an uneven gap at the bottom and where the hatch door meets the top of the rear taillights.
    3) One taillight at the side has a noticeable gap where it meets the body while the other one does not.
    4) Alignment of front fenders where they meet the headlights is not the same on both sides.
    4) Small vinyl indentation on the top center armrest.
    5) Air bag component imprint on the steering wheel air bag cover. (Notice all covers are all like that).
    5) Excessive wind noise at speeds on windier days.
    6) I have stopped looking for other defects.

    Overall I find the interior of my vehicle to be put together better than the exterior.

    As a side note, one of my neighbors recently purchased a 07 Elantra. After looking it over I must say that I’m impressed with the body alignments, tight door and body gaps of his vehicle, its way, way better than my SF.
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    Nope. None. Perfect alignment of doors and trim. No gaps. Flawless paint job. No indentation on air bag cover. I must have one of the better ones (or perhaps one of the ones in the upper half of the bell shaped curve). Mine was built on 8/1/06 and purchased at the beginning of October. I absolutely love it.

    2007 Santa Fe Limited AWD with Premium and Touring packages
    Dark Cherry Red with beige leather interior
  • lv2drvlv2drv Posts: 132
    I've not noticed any fit and finish issues yet. Regarding the wind noise, I've noticed the same thing. I'm not an expert, but if the wind is blowing 20 or 25 mph and you are going 65 or 70 mph wouldn't that be close to hurricane force? In other words, won't there be some wind noise?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    In other words, won't there be some wind noise?

    Typically, there will be. However, the intensity depends on the streamlines of the air flowing past the vehicle. Ideally, wind noise produced by airflow around the vehicle would be inaudible or drowned out by other noises (engine, tire, etc.). Unfortunately, even the slightest imperfection on the surface of the vehicle can produce "excessive" noise depending on your tolerance threshold.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • jimsistjimsist Posts: 62
    mine was built on dec 12th 06 bought in feb 21 07 i do look for defects to found none so far pint great finsh inside great.body fit found nothing out of shape even took a tape masure and did the gaps between the door and bumper and all was the same none was bad.the seats are great the dash is good . you know for the money the suv is a great buy and the ride is great. talking about defects compare a ford chev or even a toyoa and you will find defects. :)
  • dezman1dezman1 Posts: 16
    Hey Folks,

    I actually is one of the few that have a 07 Santa Fe model built in Ulsan, Korea. Stamped Aug/23/06 on the plate. I had to double and triple check and verify it wasn't built in Alabama. The VIN numbers also verify its country location so maybe the first vehicles arriving in Honolulu, Hawaii was shipped directly from Korea instead of the Mainland. At first, I was bothered by it but thinking now, the car maybe be better off built from the Korean plant with all the seasoned workers building Hyundais the past 10 years or more.

    I do not see much of any inperfections and really scrutinized the fit each time I wipe it down and wash this baby. I am a detail freak and take notice of small things most guys would not bother to question. The interior detail and fit is fabulous too.

    I just had the mud guards put on the other day and am searching for side step bars to buy. The ride is awesome and quiet too. My other SUV is a 98' Pathfinder which also runs smoothly and quiet which has always impressed me except the lousy gas mileage. Nissan is a well built vehicle and it made it difficult to turn the other way and pursue Hyundai in this case. I hope it gives me a good 9-10 years of quality ride like the Nissan.

    I have the GLS 2WD model in a Platnium Silver color. Figured did not need the 4Wd as in Hawaii, we rarely fall into the need for it. Plus I hardly ever used the 4WD on my Pathfinder.

    Have a Good One.

  • Our experience with warranty work on our 2007 SF:
    1) There is a noticeable paint defect on the driver's door. At first, I thought someone had left some greasy fingerprints on the driver's door so I I'd just wipe them off when I arrived home. It turned out that the defect was below the clear coat. The dealer informs me that the entire door must be repainted. We'll see how well they match the paint.

    Our SF spent 5 days at the dealer getting the paint on the driver's door repaired. When we went to the dealer to pick it up, My first question to the salesman was "Did they repaint both doors?"
    His reply was "Yes, so that the paint would match. How did you know?"
    "Easy, there is poor masking and overspray on the lower molding of both doors. Also, the molding was loose on one end and would not reseat." We also found that the left rear reflector had been removed and improperly replaced so that it was ready to fall off. So, now, instead of one defect, we have three. The car is still at the dealer and they PROMISE that it will be done right this time.

    2) There is a large gap between the right passenger door sill and the carpet. The original part looks like it was fitted with a pocket knife and some rough edges remained. The dealer has ordered a replacement.

    They replaced the door sill... looks great!

    3) The lower body molding has some black paint missing where the molding attaches to the body. They said that they will touch it up.

    They repainted the black on the lower molding. It now looks very good.

    So, we continue to drive our loaner, a very nice 2007 Sonata Limited.
    Stay tuned.....
  • Regarding Item Number 1 in the preceeding post:
    Here is why I recommend a full service dealer such as our present Hyundai dealer. The repair work on the second try was excellent. And both the Sales Manager and the General Manager personally inspected the work to make sure that we would find it satisfactory. In our previous 2004 SF's 'discount' dealer, the GM shrugged his shoulders and said that the body and paint repair work was the best that they could do. That was because they subcontracted all body and paint repairs to the lowest bidder - a paint contractor who operated out of the back of his truck.
    That dealer is no longer selling Hyundai. And our present dealer seems to really care that we are satisfied.
    Hyundai has come a long way from the bad old days.. and I am once more a satisfied customer.
  • jimirljimirl Posts: 31
    I have had my new Santa Fe for 2 months now. I have checked high and low and I can't find any defects on my vehicle. It seems to be very up to standards and I am happy with it.

    I do hear people mention here and there about wind noise on the highway. I am a bit confused as to why. My Santa Fe rides very quiet at all speeds. So much so that on the highway I can keep the radio on a low volume and hear it fine. I have talked to a few people that own the Lexus crossover truck and they commented on how similar the interior is in regards to a quiet ride. I got this vehicle after trading in my Toyota 4runner and to me, there is a world of difference in road noise on the highway. I am very satisfied overall. But one of the things I do not like as much is the material they used in the cloth seats and the carpet that lines the rear cargo area. I am not sure why, but it just feels a little on the cheap side to me. I have not had any tears, holes or stains on it but every time I touch or look closely at it I can almost wince thinking about what could happen over time.
  • aldoaaldoa Posts: 3
    We have our 2007 for about 4 days and the only thing we have
    a problem with is the Auto-Headlight is not working.
    Anybody else??
    It is a very nice suv and as in all revamped models there are going to be some cliches.
  • jcwsbltdjcwsbltd Posts: 167
    Just a couple - on close inspection I found the edge of leather on the bottom of the right side rear seat loose - a clip had come loose and there was an elastic strap with a clip inside the housing that had come off. I eventually got it re-attached.

    The other one was the cup holder in the center rear armrest - if i pull the armrest down hard onto the seat the cup holder will open on it's own. I put it down to the Phoenix heat (already 100 deg.) I'll get the opening mechanism adjusted on my first oil change.

    I was annoyed by a rattling sound coming from the rear, and then realised it was only since putting on the new number plates. When I checked, sure enough, the plate was buckled and vibrating against the rear door when I went over a bump. I put some soft rubber packers in and all is quiet and peaceful once more.

    I also found alittle knick in the clearcoat on the edge of the drivers door - that can be touched up on oil change too.

    By the way, whoever is reading this post, DON'T DROP ANYTHING BEHIND THE REAR SEAT BACKS AND THE TRUNK CARGO AREA. A CD and some other stuff slipped out of a bag when I transferred the old stuff over from my old car, the night I got my new S.F.

    The rep. took it for a car wash and they fell out of a bag and slipped down thru a small gap between the rear of the rear seat and the cargo mat. It took me ages to figure that one out, and it's hard for a guy to get a hand down behind the seat back to fish out the items. A WORD OF CAUTION - GET A MAT THAT CAN CREATE AN UPSTAND BETWEEN THE BACK OF THE SEAT AND CARGO AREA-If small grocery items fall out, you may end up with a problem like mine.

    I believe there was another post about M&M's faling into the floor air vents, too, but I believe that was fixed with a mesh cover.
  • lv2drvlv2drv Posts: 132
    I thought the auto headlights didn't work either. They won't work if it's just cloudy; it has to be at dusk before they come on.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    It does have to be fairly dark for the auto headlights to come on. I just have the headlights on all the time as this vehicle does not have running lights (one of my few complaints). One nice thing is you don't have to remember to turn off the lights as they go off when you turn the car off. One not so nice thing is you can turn on just the fog lamps, you have to have the headlights on to use them. Not that big a deal though.
  • jcwsbltdjcwsbltd Posts: 167
    After 3 attempts have finally persuaded the Service Rep . and the mechanic that when I pull down the rear center armrest and it taps on the seat, the cupholder springs open on it's own. They have ordered a new cupholder and will replace it.

    While at the dealership, I tried several other Santa Fe's rear armrests to see if they are the same - and found that 3 out 5 that I was able to open and check had the same problem !!!. Some of the lids were warped and the closing mechanisms on some were looser than others - just a bad design I guess.
  • and now, Chapter 3 of our quality problems...

    On April 26, I posted:
    3) The lower body molding has some black paint missing where the molding attaches to the body. They said that they will touch it up.
    They repainted the black on the lower molding. It now looks very good."

    Well.. my June 10th update...
    The black paint the dealer applied to the lower molding is now peeling off. Looks like crap again. We still love the Santa Fe, but we do get tired of taking the car back for things that should have been caught at the factory or by the dealer. The car has fewer than 3000 miles on it and has spent more than one week at the dealer for quality issues.
    I'd like to get the dome light updated but I'm afraid we'll open a new can of worms and have quality problems with the installation, especially if they have to run new wiring. :confuse:
  • gogregogogrego Posts: 15
    I also have a slight paint sag on the drivers door (Deepwater Blue pain). Not worth fixing since you can only see it if you squat and look real close...and only when the car is clean. The red Air Bag light came on soon after I picked it up. 3 months later it is still on. I'll get around to taking it in someday soon. I now have 4k miles on it. We're real happy with it.
  • kjk411kjk411 Posts: 6
    I have a 2007 SF that is only 2 weeks old. The only
    defect that I can find is the parking brake. It does
    not hold the car when applied and the vehicle is in
    reverse or drive. Otherwise, so far, so good!
  • drwoodrdrwoodr Posts: 88
    A parking brake is not going to stop a car moving in reverse or drive, it's designed to keep a stationary car from moving. Any car can be driven with the parking brake on. The SF has a warning signal if you drive with the parking brake on.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    A parking brake is also known as an emergency brake and the terms are interchangeable.

    One function of the ebrake/hand brake/foot brake/parking brake/emergency brake is to keep the car from rolling when parked in case it slips out of gear.

    But if your hydraulic brakes fail, the parking brake can be used to (hopefully) stop the car.
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    I had the same problem on mine when I bought it a month ago. I took it to the dealer service department, they adjusted the parking brake cable, and it now holds the car tight when the transmission is in gear. The adjustment took only around 20 minutes to complete.
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    If the car is in gear, the parking brake (if working properly) should be able to hold the car stationary if the gas pedal isn't being pressed.
  • 007al007al Posts: 1
    Mine was also built in AUG/06. Where on the plate does it say WHERE it was built?

    I have a GLS FWD Black.
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) indicates where it was built. Cars built in the USA start with '5'. The letter just before the serial number indicates the plant (H for their plant in Montgomery, Alabama). For a complete description of the VIN see this earlier message here .
  • skcliskcli Posts: 1
    I have my SF V6 GL premium a week ago. The CD player refused to accept a CD. The dealer said he will replace it but the new CD player's arrival date is "Not Sure". I live in Calgary Alberta. Anyone has similar experiences and advise please.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    I had the same problem with my parking brake. The dealer adjusted it and it is now fine.
  • btrbtr Posts: 1
    Traded my 02 SF for the 07 - big mistake. 3 days after I drove off the lot, the front stablizer went out. Took 3 weeks to replace. CD player has gone out - dealer scratched the dash replacing it. Driver's door panel started coming apart, replaced it with the wrong one - finally the right one in.
    Paint is peeling off the front bumper - transmission slips noticeably around 40mph if you have to let off and reaccelerate. So unhappy with the dealer am now having to drive 40 miles to another one to get the paint fixed which they do not do at that dealer. Tired of wasting vacation days on this car - anyone want it? Its my 4th Hyundai and my last!
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    Sorry to hear of your terrible experience, btr. Not that it minimizes what you've gone through, but I don't recall reading a single other example here of a 2007 Santa Fe with so many problems. I hope the other dealer can get everything taken care of to your complete satisfaction.
  • Two of the reasons I haven't made a decision on the SF are the poor gas mileage as well as the poor fit & finish.

    Although I only observed this in a few SF’s – at two different dealer lots - I was a bit surprised at the poor fit & finish on the SF’s, specifically on the paneling near the back lights and above the rear bumper area . Several of the SF’s had paneling that was poorly aligned and uneven. Additionally, some of the paint had been slightly removed where the gaps between the paneling was too tight. Granted, these are minor flaws from a small sample...
  • gizzer777gizzer777 Posts: 335
    I guess there is quite a variance from car to car....My fit and finish are quite good and at least as good if not better than the Honda I had (a 2005 Element). With ANY vehicle these must look closely at the one you are buying! That goes for BMW too!!

    I need the AWD where I live and with the 3.3L engine has been averaging about 22mpg ...about 60% hwy and 40% stop and go.....Not bad for the type of vehicle it is...heavy too!
  • pongspongs Posts: 14
    I just got a Santa Fe Limited AWD 3 weeks ago. So far it's been doing fine except for some minor problems, including the dome light which can be fixed.

    My concerns right now is the trip computer. When I test drove a Santa Fe 3 months ago, it's trip computer has TRIP A and TRIP B, but mine right now does't have TRIP B. I've checked the manual, it has both TRIP A and TRIP B and there's nothing there that says that other models doesn't have TRIP B. Is this a defect? The vehicle's build date is Oct. '06.

    My other concern is the Miles to Empty. The first time I filled the tank the miles to empty was 321. From the second full tank up to the fifth, which is just this afternoon, it's still 329. So far the average miles per gal. is 20.8. If I divide 329 miles by 19.8 (tank capacity), the average miles per gal. is 16.61 which is much lower than the computer stated 20.8 miles per gal. Is there a defect on the trip computer or I just have to press some buttons to repair this?
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    My '05 Sonata, which does not have a trip computer, has Trip A and Trip B for the odometer. There are 2 buttons; "reset" and "mode." Mode is the one that switches from A to B (both not displayed at the same time).

    If the "329" miles to empty reading was BEFORE you filled up, something is wrong.

    Don't divide the miles you have driven by the capacity of the fuel tank; divide it by the number of gallons used (number to bring the tank to full). When you calculate your milage you are comparing the number of miles you drove to the amount of gas you used.
  • pongspongs Posts: 14
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Every press of the mode button, it just goes from average miles per gal., miles to empty, then to just TRIP. Not even TRIP A.

    Sorry, I mean 329 miles to empty after I filled up the tank. I put on 17.2 gal. this afternoon and it was 44 gal. to empty before I filled up. So using your computation, it's 329 (miles to empty at full tank) less 44 (miles to empty when I filled up) which brings it to 285 divided by 17.2 gal that I filled up today brings it to 16.57 miles per gal. 70% of my driving is interstate and 16.57 mpg is just too low for me. Current mileage is 1,800
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    You must have taken your test drive in a GLS model - it comes with 2 trip odometers. It does not have the "Multi-function trip computer". On the SE and Limited models, you get a single trip odometer, average miles per gallon indicator, and miles to empty indicator. In addition, the GLS includes a toggle position for outside temperature in the display. (Limiteds have this feature in the A/C display.) The 2 different odometer configurations are described in the owner's manual, beginning on page 1-72. The set-up for SEs and Limiteds (single trip odometer) is described on page 1-74. (The part that you read, where it describes Trip A and Trip B, is for GLS models only.) Hope this helps.
  • pongspongs Posts: 14
    Yup, you're right, I checked the manual and its illustrations, the Limited model does not have the Multi-function Trip Computer.

    Thanks mpuzach!
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Hi Pongs. Remember also, that "miles to empty" is a function of your car's current average mph.

    If you drive locally for a 20 miles and then get on the highway for a 60 mile trip, not only will your average mpg improve but your miles to empty might actually increase, depending upon how much better mpg you're getting on the highway. Flip side of the coin: if you fill up and get on the highway for 60 miles and then drive 20 miles locally, you'll notice a big drop in miles to empty. For manual calculations of mpg, pay no attention to what it tells you "miles to empty" are. Miles to empty are approximate. They are "off" just like fuel tank guages. Take the miles you drove divided by the gallons used.
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    Actually, pongs, it's the other way around. The Limited has the multi-function trip computer in place of the dual (A and B) trip odometers. Only the GLS has dual trip odometers; it does not have the multi-function trip computer unless the optional Premium Package is ordered.
  • pongspongs Posts: 14
    I mean the Limited has the Multi-function trip computer. Thanks for all the help and clarifications bhmr59 and mpuzach.

    With these things figured out, my remaining concerns now are the dome light, which the dealer will look at next week. He'll also program the auto door locks for free.

    I now have peace of mind that I made the right decision getting the Santa Fe over the Outlander and CRV.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Have been looking at the santa fe 2007 and have a hard time finding one that did not have scratches on the paint. Noticed that where the paint was scratched there was white primer showing. Unlike my Toyotas when they get scratched it mostly effects the clear coat and can be buffed out. These scratches on these santa fes look like they are not that deep yet appears to have no clear coat protection.

    I could be wrong here but am not used to seeing so many scratched new cars. I guess I have to make sure I buy in the daylight to check out the car. Just concerns me that the clear coat does not seem to exist. Also will check for metal alignments. I refuse to pick up a new car with scratched that they try to cover with repair paint.
  • slateblueslateblue Posts: 110
    I looked at alot of Santa Fe's before I purchased mine and I did not see any flaws or scratches in any of them. :confuse:
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    are you sure they are scratches/ or are they scuff marks or swirl marks?
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Yeah they were scratches, heavy ones. They just didn't look like the type of scratches a customer could make. But hey I would go over it with a tooth comb before purchashing.
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    I can pretty much guarantee you that they didn't leave the factory with those scratches.
This discussion has been closed.