Hyundai Santa Fe brake problems have led to recalls in 2004 and 2009. According to the manufacturer and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 500,000 vehicles were affected.
Stop Lamp Switch
In 2009, Hyundai recalled 532,633 vehicles, including the 2007 Santa Fe, due to brake problems that could lead to a crash. Some brake lights did not illuminate when the driver pressed the brake, while other brake lights remained lit when the driver's foot was no longer on the pedal. This problem also sometimes caused the brake-transmission shift interlock feature not to shift out of the park position; or failed to deactivate the cruise control when the driver hit the brake.
Anti-Lock Brake System
In 2004, Hyundai recalled 17,401 SUVs, including 2003 and 2004 Santa Fe models, to fix a defect in the anti-lock brake system's electronic control unit. If the driver hit the brake at speeds between 3 and 12mph when the brake pad surfaces were wet, an extended stopping distance sometimes occurred and caused a crash.
Registered Santa Fe vehicle owners affected by the recall should have received notice from Hyundai by mail with instructions on where and when to bring the vehicles for free repairs of the stop lamp switch or reprogramming of the anti-lock brake system electronic control unit. Concerned drivers or prospective buyers may contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with questions about these recalls.