Powertrain, engine, and electrical system issues are among the top complaints reported from vehicle owners
Hyundai boasts strong sales for the 2021 Santa Fe, which carries over into the 2022 model year. They call it the “adventurous family SUV” and say they are sure that sales will continue to rise. They just don’t mention that the problems experienced by 2021 owners have also carried through to the 2022 model. This is not the adventure that some 2022 owners were expecting. The real adventure comes with the possibility of transmission failure, engines shutting down, and SUVs that frequently stall. There are also complaints about the fuel system.
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The Most Common Problems
Available in the U.S. since August 2021, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe has been attracting complaints from owners since September 1, 2021. By February 2, 2023, 55 people had lodged formal complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Most people blamed issues with the powertrain and/or the engine. There were also a large number of complaints focused on the electrical system, with a large number of other components and systems targeted as problem areas. Often more than one component or system is thought to be the problem.
While some of the 19 powertrain complaints about the 2022 model involve transmission control system problems and transmission failures, most relate to the fact that whatever is needed to fix the recall problem isn’t available.
The 15 engine problems are also varied, but most relate to loss of motive power and inability to accelerate. Some people say that the Sante Fe just stalls and shuts down. Four of the engine complaints are also listed as being electrical problems. The other 5 electrical problems are varied and include issues with sensors not working and possible battery failure.
While relatively minor in terms of numbers, 3 owners reported that their panoramic moonroofs had exploded and 2 said their windshields had cracked without any impact.
Additionally, between July 2021 and October 2022, Hyundai announced 4 recalls for the 2022 model. Of these, 2 of these were motivated by the fact that problems with the SUV expose consumers to serious fire risks. The third was introduced because of a loss of drive power that increases crash risk. One that warns of a faulty instrument cluster display is only relevant to hybrid 2022 Santa Fe SUVs.
2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Vehicle Speed Control|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Lane Departure: Assist|
Complaints about the 2021 Santa Fe to February 7, 2023, amounted to 82. Of these, there are 31 listed as powertrain problems, 21 as engine problems, and 15 that say the electrical system is to blame. All the same problematic components found in the 2022 model. As with the 2022 model, complaints are often listed in more than one category.
This model has had 5 recalls, only 2 of which are the same as those issued for the 2022 model – including loss of drive power.
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Problems with the Powertrain
The most recent recall relevant to the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is NHTSA Campaign Number 22V746000 and it’s dated October 6, 2022. It states that as many as 56,148 Hyundai vehicles, including 2022 Santa Fe and others, are at risk of losing drive power. The recall explains that the vehicle has a “fail-safe” limited mobility drive mode that may be impaired. This happens if there is a transmission oil pump malfunction. It can result in a complete loss of drive power, which is exactly what so many 2022 Santa Fe owners are experiencing.
While many Santa Fe owners are complaining about transmission failure and other related issues, there are 12 complaints that state the recall parts aren’t available. The most recent of these was filed on February 2, 2023.
An owner from Pennsylvania crashed 5 days before the recall was announced. The complaint states that the Santa Fe didn’t accelerate at first but then “abruptly accelerated at a high rate of speed.” Depressing the brake wasn’t enough because the driver crashed into a pole. The same thing happened in a parking lot when the same Santa Fe crashed into a handicapped parking sign, damaging the sign.
On November 30, 2022, an owner from Texas states that she wasn’t able to shift the Santa Fe into Drive. Hoping the recall would sort out the problem, she discovered that the parts needed for the repair weren’t available.
A Washington owner who probably didn’t even know about the recall had problems on a 60 mph highway zone on October 13, 2022. While attempting to accelerate he couldn’t get the Sante Fe to do anything more than 30 mph. “This was VERY dangerous, I was lucky to not be rear-ended while trying to merge onto (the) highway.”
The acceleration issue crops up in complaints about the engine as well as the powertrain. Owners complain that they lose motive power when trying to accelerate. Some say that the SUV jolts and the engine is non-responsive. Others say that the engine stalls and then just shuts down.
A Florida owner experienced engine failure at 7,042 miles after taking the SUV in for its first oil change at a third-party location. The owner was told by the mechanic that “there were significant metal pieces in the oil filter, which was abnormal for a brand new car but I was told it should be okay so I continued driving the car.” But it wasn’t okay.
The next day the engine started making knocking noises and then it wouldn’t accelerate any more. Even though the dealership said that the engine had failed, they said “the engine has failed but it would not be covered under warranty because they do not deem this to be a manufacturer’s defect. The car is not drivable and Hyundai is unwilling to replace the engine on a car with less than 8,000 miles on it. There is no reason my engine should have failed on a brand new car.”
An owner from Connecticut tells the NHTSA that he was “petrified” when, for the fourth time, the Santa Fe “stalled and shut down and locked up completely” while driving. “I called (the) service (department) at the dealership and they wanted to charge me. The car isn’t even a year old! What is Hyundai going to do about this?”
Another engine issue highlighted by an owner in Texas is the SUV jolting when changing gears. When she tried to accelerate, it jolted into gear and then slowed down to a stop. Same issue with a different scenario.
The 9 electrical complaints range from the horn not working to battery issues that indicate it needs to be replaced. There are also complaints that relate to sensors not working properly. Several electrical system complaints are also listed as engine issues. There is no pattern to the complaints.
An owner from New York couldn’t start a vehicle with only 209 miles on the clock. And the towing company couldn’t jumpstart it, so it was towed. Even though the dealership couldn’t replicate the failure, they replaced the battery. But the failure recurred. When the complaint was filed the problem had not been resolved.
Another complaint from an owner in Virginia states that the power steering has stopped working twice while driving. There were lots of error messages and the dealership made “corrective action.” This included fixing loose connections and clearing software codes. But when the owner picked up the Santa Fe, after leaving the dealer’s parking lot at slow speed, the power steering stopped working again. Eventually, they replaced a coolant line in the engine compartment because of rodent damage.
“I reminded them of that occurrence and requested that they consider possible rodent damage to (the) electrical system as a cause of the steering issue. They did not notice any such damage.” Clearly, dealerships know best, even when they can’t diagnose problems the first time around.
A complaint that is listed under Forward Collision Avoidance is clearly an electrical system problem. It states that when the weather was 20 degrees at the time and the front sensor wasn’t working. This caused a collision. The dealer said, quite simply, that the sensors don’t work in the cold. “The owner’s response is “I want this repair under warranty, (because the) dealer never stated they don’t work in the cold.
Problems with the Fuel System
The fuel system provides the gas to the engine, so it keeps running. When this system fails, it can lead to a lot of trouble. Again, there are recalls that confirm that this is an issue. One of the recalls states that there may be a leak at a pipe connection between the high-pressure fuel pump and the fuel rail. This could be a fire risk for as many as 15,752 vehicles. So too could a turbocharger oil supply pipe that might leak, although only 16 vehicles have been identified as being at risk.
While there haven’t been any fires, there have been plenty of issues. One complaint that does mention a fire risk was filed by an owner in Tennessee. “The engine has had an oil leak since (it was) purchased new in 2021. This is a 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe with (the) 4 cyl turbo engine. The air filter housing is also saturated with engine oil and the air filter is about 1/3 covered in engine oil, resulting in minimal protection. The possibility of fire is very realistic.”
Your Lemon Law Legal Rights
The percentage of vehicles that are labeled lemons is small. But for those consumers who buy lemons, the issue is huge. If you think you may have a lemon, it’s a good idea to contact an expert who can help you. The law makes Hyundai pay legal fees, so you don’t have to worry about costs. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of lemon owners.
If you think that your 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe might be a lemon, Lemberg Law will be happy to assess your case for you free of charge. Call our Helpline or fill out a contact form. We want to help you get justice.