The Most Common 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Problems

An urgent recall due to fire risk is just one of a handful of problems for the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. Learn more here!
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
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The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe is subject to an urgent recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) due to a risk of engine compartment fire. The problem is rooted in a faulty component in the car’s anti-lock brake system. 
That’s in addition to one other recall for the 2018 Santa Fe and four other recalls for the
Santa Fe Sport
. Those are in addition to 53 registered customer complaints to the NHTSA for the Santa Fe and 171 about the Santa Fe Sport. 
If you drive a 2018 Santa Fe and are concerned it may be subject to a recall, or you’re considering buying one and want to know what
car repairs
you might face, this guide will cover all the model’s main problems. 
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The most common 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe problems

Although it may not be the most commonly-reported problem for the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, its ABS system fire recall is probably the most important. That’s because of the risk to drivers, passengers, and anyone nearby. 
Four fires have been attributed to this specific defect, which may cause the ABS system to catch fire in the engine compartment when the vehicle is parked or being driven. No injuries related to the defect have been reported. The recall applies to both the Sport and regular 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. 
If you’re concerned your car might be affected by this recall, you can check using the VIN number on the
NHTSA website
The Santa Fe’s other recall—which also affects the Santa Fe Sport—is almost as alarming as the ABS system fire potential. Unfortunately, there have been some cases in which the steering wheel detached from the steering column during driving! That caused a major recall in 2018, so if you’re shopping for a used 2018 Santa Fe, you’ll want to make sure the previous owner complied with the recall. 
Besides those two recalls, the Santa Fe Sport has been subject to three others, including:
  • A second ABS system fire potential recall
  • A potential problem with curtain airbag components detaching and not properly inflating
  • The possibility of front coil springs fracturing and damaging the tires
Recalls aren’t the only problems reported for the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. The NHTSA has compiled a list of consumer complaints, too. The most frequent issues reported for both Santa Fe types include:
  • Engine problems
  • Issues with the service brakes
  • Fuel propulsion system defects
  • Electrical system components
  • Steering issues
It’s important to note that several of the consumer complaints listed by NHTSA are regarding problems with the recall process, itself. 
MORE: How to check car recalls by VIN

Is the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe reliable?

Despite the complaints and ongoing recalls, the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe has a reputation for above-average reliability. According to RepairPal, the midsize SUV is second in its class for reliability. RepairPal gives it a 4.0/5.0 rating, putting it at above average and beating the rest of the midsize SUV class average by a half-point. 
J.D. Power rates the 2018 Santa Fe at 82/100 for quality and reliability, which reflects the flaws, manufacturing defects, and malfunctions that drivers have encountered. The overall vehicle score hits just an average 79/100 with J.D. Power, due to other issues related to
resale value
, dealership experience, and driving experience. 
The bottom line is, if you own or are buying a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, you need to make sure it has been repaired according to any applicable recalls, especially those related to the airbags, steering wheel, and fire potential. And if your vehicle starts acting up, get it repaired as soon as possible before the problem gets worse. 
MORE: Are Hyundais expensive to maintain?
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