2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Problems and Complaints


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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: May 5, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The Hyundai Santa Fe does not find itself in a great position for the 2018 model year. Even though rather smooth sail for this generation initially, it was only recently that it was reported to have a catastrophic failure with the ABS unit which could result in a possible engine fire. Yes, the number of problems has seen a considerable drop in these years, with it recording just 3 recalls and 38 complaints but we don’t think that’s enough to recommend this SUV to someone. With competition like the Chevrolet Equinox, the Subaru Forester, and even the Volkswagen Tiguan offering better reliability for this year, does the Santa Fe make sense for its asking price of $30,850? This section should give you a summary of all the issues that owners have gone through on the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe User Complaints and Problems

Mechanical Complaints

  • Engine- Engine has not been the strong point for the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. A variety of complaints such as stalling when driving, unintended accelerations, and even complete engine failure on the Hyundai Santa Fe have been recorded by the NHTSA for this year. While most issues were diagnosed with faulty spark plugs or wiring harnesses, we have come across owners that needed engines needing replacement under 30,000-miles which is a bit concerning.
  • Transmission- Through the NHTSA has few complaints about the Hyundai Santa Fe transmission, the TCU calibration has been a constant hassle for the users. When driven in Eco-mode, the transmission tries to roll from a standstill in second gear, which due to the deficiency of torque is said to cause a lot of jerking and buckling before it shifts down to the first gear. Though the dealers are aware of this issue, there seems to be no software update made unavailable for the TCU to resolve this issue.

Electric System complaints

  • Headlights- Trims equipped with LED headlights on the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe do have compromised visibility in partly lit conditions. The two half of the windshield do not get illuminated properly with the lights in the highest setting. Pedestrians or parked vehicles at distance only come into visibility when the car is unsafely close distance from it. No resolution for this issue is made available as of yet.

Structural Complaints

  • Steering- Loss of steering control or difficulty in turning at high speed are some complaints registered by users against the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. Even though these issues were caused by a faulty power steering motor or damaged rack, it was later found out that the steering column on the Hyundai Santa Fe had a fracture point. A recall (ID-18V118000) was initiated by the automaker later to inspect these issues and resolve complaints if necessary.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Recalls

S. No



Issues Noticed

Additional Remarks



3rd February 2022


ABS unit may cause engine compartment fire.

The Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) module could malfunction and cause an electrical short, which could result in an engine compartment fire.

Owners are advised to park outside and away from structures until the recall repair is complete. Dealers will replace the ABS multi-fuse, as necessary, free of charge. Interim notification letters, informing owners of the safety risk, were mailed on March 28, 2022.


17th February 2018.


The steering wheel may detach from the steering column.

The steering wheel assembly may break, possibly resulting in the steering wheel separating from the steering column while driving, causing a loss of vehicle control and increasing the risk of a crash.

The dealers will check the production lot number of the steering wheel assembly, replacing it as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on March 26, 2018.

Should you buy a used 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The Hyundai Santa Fe has always been a well-rounded package with an offend-no-one kind of ethos. Even though it was not the most involving or interesting SUV in its segment, its usable approach and easy-on-the-pocket nature found a lot of takers. But in recent times Hyundai-Kia cars have been stirring up a lot of controversy for multiple car fire cases that have been raising concern for users. With no remedy for the possible engine compartment fire due to a faulty ABS module currently stated available, it becomes hard for us to recommend one of the Santa Fe as well. The Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the better choices in its segment, but as far as the 2018 model year is concerned, you better wait it out for them to bring out a fix before getting a used one. For now, the Chevrolet Equinox or even the Subaru Forester should be a safer bet.

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