2021 Hyundai Palisade Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, structure, and visibility/wiper issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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The 2021 Hyundai Palisade is a three-row SUV that’s supposed to offer premium style at an affordable price. The company claims that every seat provides “all first class,” but many customers can’t wait to get out of it instead. The defective electrical system, combined with the poorly built structure and malfunctioning wiper are causing quite the stir.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Hyundai Palisade

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Trailer Hitches
Electrical System
Seat Belts
Lane Departure: Assist
Power Train
Lane Departure: Warning

Problems with the Electrical System

In a modern car, the electrical system is a big deal and much more complicated than in years gone by. Yet, the Hyundai Palisade just can’t seem to keep up with the times.

One Cars.com review states, “The biggest issue, and it’s a big one is the awful usability and lack of flexibility with the entertainment system. Yes, you can plug in your iPhone and use CarPlay, but if you want to use Hyundai’s native system, you are going to hate it. It is so very limiting, with so much wasted real estate in the large display. For example, one cannot control the placements of radio/satellite preset stations. Although this ability has been in place since cars had 8-track players, it’s not the case here. The presets are ordered by frequency of station or channel number. So if my 4 favorite XM stations are, in this order, 88,9,33,and 1, The preset order would be 1,9,33,88. These would also fall behind whatever FM stations I may want as a preset, as FM stations come first. So if I had 4 FM stations I somewhat like, but XM ones I like more, I would be forced to have my most favorite station as #5 in presets. Additionally, one cannot view the song or radio station on the main dashboard. You are stuck viewing the worded description of the weather, so it will read “partly cloudy” for an entire car ride instead of showing me the radio or song playing in the large dash.”

Hyundai isn’t hiding electrical system concerns either. Service Bulletin #21-BE-002H talks about how the radio can disconnect on its own, requiring an update from the dealership. Come to think of it, “disconnect” would be the appropriate term to use when defining this Hyundai SUV. It seems there has been a disconnect between what the user wants and what the automaker provides.

Problems with the Structure

The structure itself hasn’t even been made as a normal vehicle should be, as seen by numerous complaints.

Here is one left on the NHTSA website. “The design of the shifting mechanism is backwards so that drivers meaning to put the vehicle into Drive (and go forward) will easily confuse the buttons and put the vehicle into Reverse (sending the vehicle backwards). Thinking about a shift knob on a standard vehicle, one thinks of the knob in ‘reverse’ as being back toward the rear windshield. Same with a motorized wheelchair: to go forward, you select the position in the front, and to go back, you select the position in the back. The confusion happened to me often enough that I always look at the buttons carefully before going forward to make sure ‘D’ has lit up. My husband, who usually drives another car, drove this vehicle and pressed ‘R’ by accident twice and the car obviously went backwards when he meant to go forwards. Everyone I ask has agreed with us that the natural (and therefore most safe) orientation would be to have the most forward button be Drive and the bottom towards the back be Reverse. Although we avoided crashes, I think this design creates the real possibility of many accidents.”

What a confusing situation Hyundai has created for drivers. However, this is only the start of what is happening with the SUV that people are relying on. Service Bulletin #21-BD-002H also discusses how some seat headrests have a putrid odor emitting from them. Maybe it’s to serve as a reminder that this SUV literally stinks.

Problems with the Visibility/Wiper

Seeing out of the SUV is essential, especially when traveling with a car-load of kids. Yet, the visibility seems to be the top complaint with the Palisade.

One NHTSA user stated, “Twice this has happened. My windshield wipers lock up and will not clear the window. It seems like there may be snow or ice below them where they tuck in when this happens, which is hard to clear out anyway. While I am driving, if any snow or ice comes down from the roof, they will lock up as well, and this has left me absolutely not able to see the road. It is a major hazard. Luckily, I have been able to pull off the road both times to clear the window manually.”

Beyond this, there are other concerns with the auto glass. Service Bulletin #21-01-001H states that the side view mirror requires a special foam pad to alleviate wind and whistling noises while driving. It seems that the Palisade is a true gift to the senses. The nose enjoys the foul odors, the ears get to hear road noise galore and touch is felt through an accident when this defective SUV isn’t in the right gear. What a way to take riders on a “first class” journey.

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Brian Jones

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.

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  • AY

    2021 Palisade SEL. Vibration between the speeds of 65 and 75 mph. The dealership has replaced almost everything on the drivetrain of the vehicle, To include axels, differentials, drive shafts, transfer case and now the transmission. The problem still exists. I am working on a buyback from Hyundai now and will let you know how well they stand behind their product. By the way, I must mention that the dealership, which I will mention in my up-date, has done everything in their power to fix the problemđź‘Ť

  • Ray

    Jeff, Brandi. Are you left foot brakers? Some newer cars will not allow acceleration if the brake pedal is being depressed at the same time you are accelerating. The computer senses the light pressure of your left foot resting on the brake pedal and it is designed to shut down acceleration resulting in engine jerking, coughing, or stalling… Left foot braking on a vehicle with this system installed in its computer can also result in messed up transmission shifting, which over time will also damage the transmission.. Safety and computer smart driving systems on newer passenger cars will not tolerate left foot braking because a left foot braker cannot perfectly synchronize braking with acceleration.. The newer computer aided driving systems are so sensitive that they can also sense the lightest pressure on the brake pedal.. Hope this is the cause of your problems…BTW most manufacturers will not tell you this because it is taken for granted that people drive in a conventional manner with the right foot being used to both accelerate and to brake the vehicle..

  • Brandi i

    I am at 4000 miles and the transmission has failed. Jeff, I have a feeling that is what is happening to you as it started at 2000 miles and went to jerking while moving up to each gear during acceleration and soon went to the RPM’s bursting up while not accelerating nor going forward but slowing down because the car would not go up in gear ….until finally on the highway going 50 mph the transmission just went out and could not go into gear at all.

  • Jeff

    The car has only 2k miles, on it and it like hesitates, it scared me today when I went to make a left turn with traffic quickly approaching, my foot pressed the accelerator and it hesitated, like it was going to shut down, I feel it’s something electrical with that start/stop feature,. Very dangerous!! And, I’ve also had windshield wiper issues, as well

  • Jeff

    The car has only 2k miles, on it and it like hesitates, it scared me today when I went to make a left turn with traffic quickly approaching, my foot pressed the accelerator and it hesitated, like it was going to shut down, I feel it’s something electrical with that start/stop feature,. Very dangerous!!

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