2008 Hyundai Tucson Transmission Problems | Recalls | Reliability

Last Updated on November 6, 2023 by Robert Wilson

The 2008 Hyundai Tucson, a popular compact SUV, faced 1 recall [NHTSA ID: 13V113000] due to safety concerns.

This recall primarily centered around Exterior Lighting Issue with the Tucson’s safety and performance features.

Today, we will dive into some of the common problems & recalls associated with the 2008 Hyundai Tucson, providing valuable information for both 2008 Tucson owners and buyers.

2008 Hyundai Tucson Transmission Problems

The 2008 Hyundai Tucson has experienced various transmission issues including rough shifting, slipping gears, and even complete transmission failure. There have been 55 complaints and 1 recall by NHTSA so far.

2008 Hyundai Tucson Specs

Features and SpecsN
Seating Capacity5
Fuel Economy17-20 City / 23-25 Hwy
Drive Type4WD, FWD
Horsepower Range140 – 173 HP

2008 Hyundai Tucson Pros & Cons


  • Roomy for four passengers, although tight for five
  • Competitive warranties


  • Sluggish base four-cylinder engine
  • Some cheap-looking interior materials
  • Road noise may disturb passengers

2008 Hyundai Tucson Problems & Complaints

Reported issues with 2008 Hyundai Tucson:

In this NHTSA complaint, the owner of a 2008 Hyundai Tucson from Stuart, FL, reported a series of concerning issues related to airbags, braking lights, and wheel fires.

Airbag WarningThe airbag warning light consistently indicated that the passenger airbag was not properly connected.
Braking LightsThe braking lights malfunctioned, remaining on even when the car was turned off. The owner had to address this issue without receiving a recall notice.
Wheel FireThe back driver’s side wheel experienced a critical issue, seizing and even catching on fire. Several parts, including the caliper and master cylinder, were replaced in response to this dangerous incident. The problem was linked to the ABS system, making the emergency brake ineffective and the vehicle inoperable.

The 2008 Tucson owner expressed a strong belief that the ABS system was the root cause of these problems, emphasizing the potential dangers associated with these issues.

Notably, there have been reports of similar Hyundai vehicles catching fire due to ABS-related issues, which raises concerns about the safety of this 2008 Tucson.

In this NHTSA complaint, the owner of a 2008 Hyundai Tucson from Oxon Hill, MD, detailed a series of alarming problems related to the power train, electrical system, and vehicle speed control.

Vehicle StallingThe owner reported a recurring and highly dangerous problem: the vehicle frequently stalls without warning. Despite numerous visits to the dealer to address this issue, no solution has been provided.
Air Flow Intake IssueIn 2009, the owner complained about the vehicle not picking up speed. The dealer identified a problem with the air flow intake value not opening properly but did not take effective action to resolve the issue.
Check Engine LightThe vehicle has experienced multiple incidents of the check engine light coming on and stalling. The dealer’s explanation, such as an insufficiently tightened gas tank, did not adequately address the ongoing problem.
Frequent StallingThe owner noted that the vehicle has stalled more than ten times without warning, with incidents occurring at varying speeds. Despite visits to the dealer, the issue remains unresolved, and it poses a severe safety risk. The potential for accidents due to sudden stalls is a significant concern.

The 2008 Tucson owner’s ongoing struggle with vehicle stalling and a lack of effective solutions from Hyundai’s customer service is a troubling issue.

2008 Hyundai Tucson Recalls

Recall Summary – Hyundai Exterior Lighting Issue

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 13V113000

Potential Number of Units Affected: 1,712,336


  • Failure to illuminate stop lamps during braking.
  • Inability to disengage cruise control, potentially increasing the risk of a crash.
  • The transmission shifter may be moved out of Park without applying the brake when the ignition is in the ‘ON’ position, leading to unintentional vehicle movement and a higher crash risk.

Recalled Vehicles: Hyundai is recalling the following models:

  • Model years 2006-2009 Accent
  • Model years 2007-2011 Azera, Sonata, and Sante Fe
  • Model years 2006-2011 Tucson
  • Model years 2009-2011 Elantra Touring
  • Model years 2007-2010 Elantra
  • Model years 2008-2011 Veracruz
  • Model years 2009-2011 Genesis
  • Model years 2010-2011 Genesis Coupe
  • Model years 2007-2008 Entourage
  • Model years 2006-2008 Tiburon


  • Originally, in April 2013, Hyundai recalled 1,059,824 vehicles.
  • In September 2013, Hyundai added more vehicles to the recall, totaling 1,712,336 units.
  • The recall is due to a malfunctioning stop lamp switch, which may lead to various issues, including brake light failures, cruise control problems, push-button start malfunctions, brake transmission shift interlock problems, and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) malfunction.

What to Do:

  • Hyundai will replace the stop lamp switch at no cost to owners.
  • The safety recall began on April 22, 2013.
  • Owners may contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai’s recall campaign number is 110.

For More Information:

  • Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or visit www.safercar.gov.

Hyundai Tucson Problems by Year

Owner Reviews

We bought a used 2008 Hyundai Tucson 4×4 with a 2.7L V-6 from CarMax last year to replace our wrecked 2005 RAV4. So far, it’s proven reliable, and the safety features like ABS, traction control, 4-wheel drive, and stability control work well. However, the Bridgestone tires show wear at 21,000 miles, and the 2.7L V-6 lacks power, resulting in a modest 19-20 mpg, making it neither powerful nor fuel-efficient. But overall, it’s been a good choice with no mechanical or quality issues.

Jake, FL, USA

Bought a Hyundai Tucson in 2008 at a year-end discount. Despite being a small, front-wheel-drive SUV, it’s proven to be highly capable on various road trips, including through snow, mud, and dirt roads. Overall, a satisfying purchase.

Neil, Tx, USA

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  • Robert Wilson

    Introducing Robert Wilson, your go-to source for automotive technical solutions. With 5 years of industry experience and a mechanical engineering background, Robert's expertise was honed at the heart of Ford Motors in Michigan back in 2010. Join him on this blog as he shares his knowledge and practical fixes to keep your vehicles running at their best.

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