2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, fuel system and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Family-friendly SUVs come in many sizes and styles, with the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe appearing to lead the pack. Even Hyundai claims “we’ve got your back” with this model, but it seems that the automaker has let down a lot of customers with the failing fuel system, defective steering and malfunctioning electrical system.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Fuel System

The fuel system is designed to get the gasoline to the engine and create power. When this system fails, it causes hesitation, trouble accelerating and even stalling conditions.

This is indicated in one Edmunds review. “I was convinced this was the car we wanted. Then we test drove a Limited 2.0 Turbo with AWD. Everything was great until we stepped on the accelerator at a traffic light on a busy street. There is a full three second delay, even if you floor the accelerator, before the car moves with anything more than a sluggish roll. My wife and I both tried it over and over because we couldn’t believe how unresponsive it was. IMHO, it is actually unsafe. The salesman, who owns one, confirmed it and didn’t even try to persuade us to buy the car. He said he knew it was a problem.”

While Hyundai doesn’t specifically address this problem, there are other concerns. Service Bulletin #20-BD-017H talks about how the fuel filler door housing might not fully close or could be misaligned. To repair this, technicians must repair the components for a proper fit. Not only does this look strange on a new vehicle, but it could lead to trouble opening or closing the fuel door. If this is how Hyundai plans to have customers’ backs, it might be time to choose a different vehicle.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Complaint Summary

Complaint Category Number of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train
Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Engine And Engine Cooling:engine:oil/lubrication:sump/tank:drain Plug
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking

Steering Problems

While the fuel system is critical to the power of an SUV, the steering must be in tip-top shape to ensure on-road safety. Yet, this is one more area of complaints from Santa Fe drivers.

Here is a review left with the NHTSA. “Steering wheel makes noise during back up, from Stop to motion (low speed) making turns. Sometimes happens during low speed driving as well. The frequency is getting more and more, very annoying and little bit scary. Worry steering wheel will breakdown.”

Nobody wants to worry about the possibility of the steering going out on a car, yet Hyundai has nothing to say. Instead, the company has left owners to worry about this wheel falling off in the driver’s hands. While this might be humorous in some cartoons, it’s not going to be funny when it leads to someone’s accident.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Finally, a look at the electrical system of the Santa Fe shows numerous concerns that should be taken seriously.

Here is just one NHTSA complaint. “The FCA (Forward Collision Avoidance) System does not work as it should. It does not see vehicles or pedestrians directly in front while not in cruise control. The only time the system alarms is when following a vehicle, which is in the same lane on city streets, and then the target vehicle turns right and creates no hazard.”

As with the failing steering wheel concerns, this problem could lead to a serious accident. However, Hyundai doesn’t seem to want to “have anyone’s back” by fixing the problem. Instead, the communications are filled with other electrical system issues, such as Service Bulletin #20-01-022H-1. This post talks about how the power tailgate can stop operating, requiring a new tailgate spindle wire harness. From the smaller systems to the major components, this Santa Fe model turns out to be a complete disappointment that can’t even watch its own back, let alone take care of a family.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Hyundai pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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