Hyundai Santa Fe Stalling, Throttle Body

Hyundai Santa Fe's have a severe stalling problem. Hyundai first thought the problem was related to the throttle body. Later it admitted it did not know whether the issue is "mechanical or electrical". Presumably "electrical" means software related. Hyundai has attempted the software fix before, see TSB 10-FL-010, and TSB 12-FL-004. The stalling is often accompanied by loss of power (power steering and brakes too), complete failure to accelerate, and the Check Engine Light comes on. Hyundai refers to this as "limp home mode". The condition is often accompanied by various data trouble codes, most often, P0 638. Numerous complaints have been made to Hyundai and to NHTSA, but so far there does not appear to be a fix. Hyundai's Technical Service Bulletins have not solved the problem. If the Santa Fe stalls while in motion, it creates a very dangerous situation for you, and everyone else on the road. Owners of Kia Sorrentos, the Kia version of the Santa Fe, have reported the same problem.

Recently Hyundai has attempted a partial fix or service campaign" called Campaign929.  It is another Engine Control Module or ECM software update, and not a recall. Campaign929 addresses only the "low speed" stalling and loss of power even though there have been reports of this problem at all speeds. See the NHTSA website at There is also a link on the page so you can tell NHTSA that 'yes this is a safety problem'. 

Hyundai does not say what "low speed" actually means. Does it mean 5 mph, 10 mph, 20 mph? Hyundai says the stalling and loss of power is not safety problem and does not intend to issue a recall. The Hyundai Santa Fe weighs approximately 3900 pounds, or two tons. If the engine stalls or shuts off in a two ton moving vehicle and you lose power to brakes and steering, many people consider that to be an unsafe condition, if not downright dangerous. Federal law requires the manufacturer to notify NHTSA, dealers, and owners if it "learns the vehicle or equipment contains a defect and decides in good faith that the defect is related to motor vehicle safety". 

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San Diego Lemon Law Center | The Law Office of Michael E. Lindsey
Tel: (858) 270-7000 Fax: (858) 270-7710 | 4455 Morena Blvd., Ste. 207 San Diego, CA, 92117 (see map)

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The information in the San Diego Lemon Law Center pages is for general information only and is not intended to be taken as legal advice. If you have a specific legal question or problem, please feel free to contact us or you should promptly consult with an Attorney handling such matters in your area for advice.