Hyundai Motor America Santa Fe

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Deceitful People
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CENTAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA -- My husband and I traded our 2003 Land Rover Freelander for a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. That was the first big mistake! When we bought the Santa Fe we chose the option of having a rear DVD player installed for our grandchildren; under the impression that the dealership (Merced Hyundai which closed for business a month after we bought the SUV) was the one who installed the DVD player. We signed the dotted lines and wrote the check for the downpayment and went on our way. The DVD player worked twice since we bought it. Now it comes on, you can hear the sound but no picture. We tried to take it to Lithia Hyundai in Fresno, and what we were told was Merced Hyundai used an outside contractor to install the DVD player and that our warranty for the Santa Fe does not include the DVD player because it was an after market purchase. We cannot find any paper work or anything for the DVD player because we originally thought it's part of the warranty but since the dealership closed we are now left out in the cold. We have contacted the Hyundai Consumer Assistance Center to no avail. They are the most worthless consumer assistance center I have ever had to deal with and so are the people at Lithia Hyundai in Fresno. I had originally made an appointment over the phone to have the player looked at and as soon as we got there we were told they can't do anything about it because blah blah blah blah, same old spiel. We drove over an hour to get to Fresno from our home in Mariposa and all I got was worthless talk from the serviceman who said he tried to call me at home. Granted we are not home because we work outside the home for a living when he allegedly said he called, we live up in the mountains but hello! we have an answering machine, he could have left a message! that would have prevented us from wasting our time driving an hour to get to our appt. with them on time.
I can only assure anybody that this would be the first and last Hyundai we will ever own in this lifetime. They have the lousiest customer service if you can even call it that. They are not really interested in settling any problem with their customers, the moment you sign those dotted lines you are hooked and any problem you might experience with your new purchase is your problem to solve regardless of their claim of "best warranty" they offer. I will make sure that every Tom, Dick and Harry out there who would care to listen will hear about our very unpleasant experience with the Hyundai customer service. This might be the "youngest car" that we would ever have to trade, I am so unhappy with it I can't see straight. So potential car buyers out there, caveat emptor, be sure you have done all your research not just on the car itself but the kind of people you're buying from.
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Anonymous on 03/29/2010:
Sounds like simply the video cable came out. Just plug it back in if you can.
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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Brake Failure
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SALEM, OREGON -- I just bought a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. At only 3000 miles my brakes failed in a parking lot and sent me into a chain link fence. I had it towed to the dealership and they could not find anything wrong and said the warranty could not be used. I have pulled other complaints about this same problem with this same vehicle off the internet. It doesn't matter to Hyundai and they want me to use my insurance to fix the Santa Fe. What if somebody died! I could have been on the freeway!

As it was I was in an Elementary school's parking lot, (would if my car killed a child)? When will Hyundai stand by their warranty? Can anyone help me?
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Soaring Consumer on 02/01/2009:
Where the emergency brakes working or did they fail too? I assume they failed too since you hit the fence.

I'd Lemon Law the car, this website may help you:
Anonymous on 02/01/2009:
Let me get this right, YOU say the brakes failed, THEY say brakes are fine. That tow truck driver must be one helluva guy to fix your brakes before he got to the dealer. If anyone believes that I have some investment advice for you.
dan gordon on 02/01/2009:
I'd be talking with the govt agency that deals with auto recalls. If you have info I'd at least start the dialogue. Not sure the agency but a google search should yield the info
Anonymous on 02/01/2009:
Out of curiosity I googled this problem and low and behold there are many similar complaints about intermittent brake problems with Hyundai. -- A brake failure followed by a technician giving the brake system a clean bill of health. Pretty scary stuff.
Anonymous on 02/02/2009:
No recalls, TSB or defect investigations of brake system failure in the gov't database.

tokarn on 08/06/2010:
This is happening to us right now. The brake pedal did not respond to slowing down until we slammed the pedal all the way to the floor. It is at the dealership now and they cannot make the brake problem occur again. It happen 4x - once when my husband was driving and 3x when I was. You don't think your brakes are going to fail. They said they could change the master cylinder but because they cannot make the problem occur for them they will not cover it under warranty. We do not feel the car is safe to drive.
Cnamngrl88 on 01/08/2012:
My folks have a 2008 Santa Fe. With only 16,000 miles, the rear drivers side brakes were shot. Needed a new rotor, calipers and pads. At 21,000 the rear passenger side brakes went bad. Same deal
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Lousy warranty and customer service
Posted by on
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA -- My 2003 Hyundai quit running. It has 64,000 miles. It was towed to the dealer who "inspected" it and told me it would cost $1,628 to repair. I complained and asked that they have the "factory" review it for warranty coverage. The Hyundai DPSM agreed to replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor ($99) but would not cover any other costs for labor or materials. I was advised that my repair bill would be $1,628 less $99. I complained and was told to call Hyundai Consumer Affairs. I did and, after being placed on hold for quite some time, was told by a very unpleasant young woman that she had spoken with the dealer and I was "lucky" the DPSM had agreed to cover the part. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told she would put in a request for one to call me within 24 hours. I called back to the dealer and got the voice mail of Mike McElroy. I was told he was the General Manager. I left a detailed message and asked him to call me. The next day I called other dealers in the area. Two dealers had "given up" their Hyundai franchises and could not help me. I got estimates from three others that were $330 + parts, $400, and $600 including the belts. Mr. McElroy from the dealer returned my call, I explained the problem. He said he could not help personally but would speak to the Service Manager, Jim Sams and ask him to call me. When Jim Sams called me I asked him to explain why I'd never received a written estimate and why there was a $1,000 difference between the price of the other dealers and his dealer. He told me there was additional maintenance that needed to be done in order to make the repair. When I questioned him further he told me I could take it to another dealer. He would have it prepared and I could pick it up any time. I told him he was ridiculous. It's a motor vehicle, not a portable tv. He became extremely hostile so I told him I was not going to continue to speak to him and asked him to have the owner, Richard Michaelson call me. When Mr. Michaelson called he mirrored the hostility of his Service Manager. I asked him to explain the same question and he told me to "get your car out of my dealership. We are not going to!
work on your vehicle." I said "thank you" and hung up. I have tried to contact Hyundai Motors, USA which is approx 30 miles from my home. The telephone has been busy continuously. The supervisor from Consumer Affairs finally called and told me, again that I was lucky the DPSM was willing to cover the part. There was nothing further he could do to help me but he would make a report that I was not satisfied. I did a more extensive internet search, found an alternate number and called Hyundai Motors USA. The person I reached took a message and said he would have a Consumer Affairs Representative call me. I told him I had already been through that and he said there was nothing else he could do. I called the owner of the dealer back and he told me I would have to get my car out of there right away because it was "taking up space he could used to generate income". I told him I would have to make arrangements and he said to give him the number of a tow company and he would make the arrangements. I do not understand how a company the size of Hyundai Motors manages to HIDE from their consumers. I know there are people in responsible positions at Hyundai. DON DEES is the Vice President of Service. WHERE IS HE???? Why are these situations allowed to continue with consumer after consumer and NO ONE is doing anything about it. RIVERSIDE METRO was certainly happy to deal with me when they were taking my money and selling this vehicle to me.
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Sparticus on 03/22/2007:
Doesn't Hyundai's have a 10 year warranty??? Supposed to be the best in the business? This goes to show that a manufacturer's warranty can only go so far... You still have to deal with independent dealership and service shops...
Anonymous on 03/22/2007:
A message from the Hyundai marketing department:

"More than 100,000 miles in 90 days. After which we disassemble the cars and examine their parts under a microscope in our Materials Specification Lab. Giving us the confidence to offer a 10-year/100,000-mile power train warranty on all of our vehicles, not to mention 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage. Rethink durability."

Well, Hyundai can talk-the-talk but when they refuse to walk-the-walk then I WILL rethink durability sans Hyundai. Hey gobet thanks for taking the time to post this most excellent review! Good luck!
Hugh_Jorgen on 03/22/2007:
Looks like the poster is outside the 5/60 bumper to bumper warranty period - that's why they are charging for some of the repairs. The 10/100 warranty most likely only covers things like internally lubricated engine and tranny parts, all the belts, hoses, sensors, etc are not covered past the 5/60 period.
gobet on 03/22/2007:
Thanks, Sparticus. You're right, Hyundai is supposed to have a 10year/100,000mile warranty that covers the "powertrain". The problem is definition of the powertrain. It is supposed to be defined as engine and transmission but only certain components of the engine and transmission are covered. I'm not a mechanic and have only limited knowledge about this stuff but, when the dealer tells me they have to "take the engine apart" to get to the malfunctioning part, it makes me think the warranty should be in place. Then, the factory agrees to pay for the part, not labor and the dealer is still giving me a hard time. I can't talk to anyone in the Hyundai "arena" so, I'm supposed to go away and leave them alone????

Stew, thanks for the quote from Hyundai. I will save it and, I'm sure, use it many times before this is all over. The sad part of this mess is that I really like my car. I knew when I bought it that I was buying a Hyundai so things like having to turn the A/C off to get on the freeway were just reasons to chuckle. I had some pretty intense issues in the beginning but, once I found a good dealer, those things seemed to ease off. If I had a problem they took care of me. But, that dealer, and others in the area, have given up their Hyundai franchises. I am left with the original dealer and no help from the factory. Now, as I research the problems with Hyundai I find that these complaints are typical, the part I have a problem with was recalled in 2002 (mine is a 2003, built in 2002) and the dealer issue seems to be very common in the Hyundai "family". I'll keep you posted as things unfold.

And, Hugh. You're absolutely right....64,775 miles. Again, not being a mechanic, I don't get the distinction between an internally lubricated part and a part that's inside the engine and makes the car run. I know, of course that belts, hoses, brakes, batteries, etc aren't covered but the sensor surprised me. The big surprise has been the actions and attitudes of the dealer and the factory. You sound like you may be an "auto professional", maybe you can help me understand what I missed.
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2008 Sante Fe Brake Issues
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WEST SENECA, NEW YORK -- I googled today and found other reviews. I see I am not the only one who has a brand new 2008. Only 3 weeks old to me and it is at 1100 miles. Lost the brakes twice this past Friday. Once I was trying to stop and they were not there but, finally at last moment as I tried to steer to a ditch they finally grabbed. Then on my return trip I was fully stopped but, still not confident. I left two car lengths in front of me. Good thing the brake let go and my SUV shot forward. Luckily as I quickly hit the brake it grabbed this time. Got the vehicle home and called the tow to go back to the dealer. Dealer did give me a used 2007 car to drive. The salesman told me the service department narrowed it down to the master cylinder. But, today when I called with a suggestion my brother had they insisted they couldn't get the problem to duplicate and at this moment don't think theres anything wrong. I am uncomfortable and do not want to drive it waiting for it to happen. I will not be happy if they do not replace what would be the cause just because they can't duplicate. Do we have to wait until I hit a car or worse yet have an accident where someone it injured or killed before they consider this issue to be real? Will post more as I continue with this saga. So much for buying new and not having anything to worry about.

Maybe Hyundai is not the best choice in vehicles. It's great warranty but, not if I am going to have accidents because of inferior quality of parts they use.
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NofriendofAX on 05/11/2009:
Probably a good thing you're documenting what happened somewhere. I had a problem with my FORD vehicle last year when my gas peddle stuck to the floor and I was going over 100 mph - good thing no other cars on the highway that morning. I was able to call my Father who told me to turn off the ignition. Saved my life! So, I can relate, it's really hard to get back in a vehicle that you do not feel safe in. I would suggest when you get your car back to make sure a mechanic tests drives it with you - so if anything does happen.. Good luck!
BokiBean on 05/11/2009:
And don't drive 100mph!
Soaring Consumer on 05/11/2009:
Contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about this. Their website is
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