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

Brakes, electrical system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson is a sleek compact SUV that remains popular with drivers. The automaker claims it is “always ready, even when you aren’t,” but there are some systems that clearly aren’t refined yet. The glitchy electrical system, malfunctioning engine and defective service brakes make this SUV dangerous to drive.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Hyundai Tucson

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train
Service Brakes, Hydraulic
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Unknown Or Other

Problems with the Electrical System

It’s impossible to enjoy the road ahead with a faulty electrical system, yet many Tucson drivers are forced to deal with problems.

One NHTSA complaint states, “Vehicle was running exceptionally well until a software update was applied at the dealership. Hyundai has no recalls / safety campaigns on file for my vehicle make and model and was adamant that no updates should have been applied. On or shortly after this time, vehicle performance became really poor. mpg per tank dropped to around 22 / 23 mpg highway (normally 27-29 mpg), acceleration performance was reduced, and it felt as though vehicle had issues accelerating at time. Shifting on hills became an issue as well as the vehicle did not appear to properly shift into the next gear when necessary. I was notified after purchase of the vehicle that it should be parked outside of my garage due to possible fire concerns even though my vehicle was supposedly not affected. How was your safety or the safety of others put at risk? Lack of power / acceleration when needed affected getting onto the highway and shifting lanes. Vehicle rode almost like brake was being continuously applied and slowing down the vehicle at times. Lack of power and improper shifting almost caused an accident or two. Has the problem been reproduced or confirmed by a dealer or independent service center? No, dealer was unable to reproduce after a quick 10 minute test drive on flat land. I started keeping records and screenshots afterwards. Has the vehicle or component been inspected by the manufacturer, police, insurance representatives or others? No. Hyundai refuses to contact me back regarding these issues. During this time, an email was sent globally indicating that Hyundai BlueLink would no longer support a feature that independently slowed / stopped vehicles in case of theft. Were there any warning lamps, messages or other symptoms of the problem prior to the failure, and when did they first appear? No warning lights have appeared on this vehicle.”

While Hyundai hasn’t addressed a lot of electrical problems, there’s one that caught the eye. Service Bulletin #20-BE-014H points out that the Wireless CarPlay system might auto disconnect on its own. The solution given by the manufacturer is to reconnect it. That’s it. There’s no fix in sight or offer to make the problem right. It’s only a matter of time before the system disconnects on a driver for the gazillionth time and creates a road rage incident. After all, you don’t want to get between a driver and the latest Ed Sheeran tune.

Problems with the Engine

More importantly, the Tucson engine seems to be a dud. Customers continue flocking to the internet, looking for some answers.

Here’s one complaint on the NHTSA website. “Severe hesitation when attempting to accelerate from a stop. Car does not move, requires several attempts to press the accelerator before the car responds, extremely dangerous when entering an on ramp, merging onto a highway, or in heavy traffic. This has been an ongoing problem with this car, has not been rectified, Hyundai refused to acknowledge the problem.”

Sadly, previous Tucson models have been the subject of class-action lawsuit investigations because of poor engine builds. It wasn’t that long ago that some Tucson models were burning through oil at unusual rates. It wouldn’t be surprising if there were new lawsuits opening over the latest Tucson lineup too. After all, this engine clearly isn’t “always ready.”

Problems with the Brakes

One final look takes place at the service brakes on the Tucson. There’s no reason for a modern vehicle to have faulty brakes, considering this system has been a staple on vehicles for decades.

Yet, here’s another NHTSA complaint. “Hyundai dealership won’t perform recall on dangerous ABS issue that causes engine compartment fires. They say to park outside and away from structures, but dealership say they are only allowed to perform 7 recalls a day because they take ‘4 hours’ but the recall paperwork says it should take less than 1 hour. So they are booked for months and months, leaving us without a way to get the dangerous fire causing issue fixed. This is a serious enough issue that should be priority even before their sales. It’s disgusting what Hyundai has been getting away with concerning their faulty vehicles.”

Point well made. The recall in question, NHTSA Campaign Number 2V543000 says that more than 650,000 vehicles could have an Anti-lock Brake Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) that is susceptible to corrosion and a short. When this happens, an engine fire can occur. Since dealerships aren’t fixing the problem fast enough, customers are left worried about a fire breaking out. If the dealerships are telling people to park elsewhere, maybe they should open up the showroom to house these defects and give customers rental cars. However, that won’t happen because they don’t want the dealerships burning down, just customers’ homes.

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.

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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.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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