2018 Hyundai Tucson Transmission Problems | Recalls | Reliability

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Robert Wilson

The Tucson is, at its core, a delightful and well-rounded compact SUV. However, it wasn’t until the spring of 2018 that it truly lived up to its potential.

The Tucson offers three powertrain options:

A somewhat underwhelming 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, a more dynamic 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and a traditional 2.4-liter four-cylinder.

2018 Hyundai Tucson Transmission Problems

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson has faces many transmission issues, including rough shifting, slipping gears, making noise and transmission failure. There have been 45 complaints and 1 recall by NHTSA so far.

2018 Hyundai Tucson Pros & Cons


  • Offers a plethora of features for the price
  • Achieves top safety scores
  • Optional turbocharged engine provides lively acceleration
  • Delivers a comfortable ride even on uneven road surfaces


  • Sluggish acceleration with the base engine
  • Provides less cargo space compared to leading competitors
  • Some advanced driver safety features are only available on the top trim
  • Some interior components may be underwhelming in quality

2018 Hyundai Tucson Issues & Complaints

September 28, 2020 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11361471
NHTSA ID Number: 11361471

Incident Date September 26, 2020

Consumer Location JACKSONVILLE, NC

Vehicle Identification Number KM8J33A45JU

The owner of a 2018 Hyundai Tucson reported an incident in which their vehicle was involved in a rear-end collision. While their vehicle was stationary, another vehicle traveling at approximately 55 MPH crashed into the rear of their Hyundai Tucson, causing them to collide with the vehicle in front of them. During this incident, the contact noted that the seat belt failed to retract, and the airbags did not deploy. The impact resulted in the contact’s face coming into contact with the steering wheel, and the passenger sustained shoulder injuries. Fortunately, others involved in the accident did not suffer any injuries. Both the contact and the passenger received medical attention. The damaged vehicle was towed, but it has not yet been officially declared as totaled.

November 21, 2022 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11494498
NHTSA ID Number: 11494498

Incident Date November 19, 2022

Consumer Location BALLSTON SPA, NY

Vehicle Identification Number Km8j2ca45ju****

The headlights and taillight/brake lights in my car frequently burn out, and it has been discovered that the taillights are melting in their sockets. This issue is not unique to my vehicle, as many others are experiencing the same problems. The sudden loss of lights while driving on dark, freezing roads is incredibly unsafe and not an isolated incident in my car. It’s a very dangerous situation. I believe the company should take responsibility by replacing these faulty sockets and reimbursing the costs for the bulbs, which have had to be replaced approximately six times in the span of 12 months.

July 31, 2023 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11535618
NHTSA ID Number: 11535618

Incident Date October 15, 2022

Consumer Location CRESTWOOD, KY

Vehicle Identification Number KM8J3CA41JU****

The owner possesses a 2018 Hyundai Tucson. While driving at a speed of 65 MPH, the vehicle experienced a loss of motive power, requiring the driver to pull over to the side of the road. Subsequently, the vehicle failed to restart, and no warning lights on the dashboard were illuminated. The vehicle had to be towed to an independent mechanic who identified a malfunction in the catalytic converter. Repairs were performed, but the same issue recurred. As a result, the vehicle was once again taken to the independent mechanic, who diagnosed another failure with the catalytic converter.

August 31, 2022 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11482189
Components: STEERING
NHTSA ID Number: 11482189

Incident Date August 30, 2020

Consumer Location WHITTAKER, MI

Vehicle Identification Number KM8J3CA41JU****

The owner possesses a 2018 Hyundai Tucson and encountered a peculiar issue. They found that if the steering wheel was not precisely aligned at either the 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock position, the vehicle would not start. In such instances, the steering wheel would lock up, and the vehicle would lose power. Additionally, when shutting down the vehicle, the steering wheel had to be positioned specifically at the 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock positions; otherwise, the vehicle would not restart. As a result, whenever this problem occurred, the owner had to resort to towing the vehicle.

2018 Hyundai Tucson Recalls

September 4, 2020 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 20V543000
ABS Unit may cause Engine Compartment Fire
An engine compartment fire can increase the risk of injury or crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V543000

Manufacturer Hyundai Motor America


Potential Number of Units Affected 652,024

Recall Summary:

Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) initiated a recall for specific 2019-2021 Tucson vehicles on September 4, 2020. Subsequently, on December 30, 2020, Hyundai expanded the recall to encompass particular 2016-2018 Tucson vehicles. This recall addresses a potential issue with the Anti-lock Brake Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU), which could undergo internal corrosion, leading to an electrical short circuit and the possible occurrence of an engine compartment fire.


As part of the recall remedy, Hyundai will notify affected owners, and authorized dealers will replace the HECU fuse. Furthermore, for the 2019-2021 model years, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) software will receive an update. Importantly, all recall-related repairs will be conducted at no cost to the vehicle owners.

Is the 2018 Tucson a dependable vehicle?
According to U.S. News, the 2018 Hyundai Tucson boasts an exceptional predicted reliability rating, leading its class with an impressive score of 4.5 out of five, as rated by J.D. Power.

Opt for the 2.4L, 4-cylinder engine. While the 1.6L turbo option may offer additional horsepower, it comes with acceleration hesitation, unlike the smooth response of the 2.4L engine. I’ve previously owned both a Mazda CX5 Touring FWD and a Honda CRV-EX FWD. While these vehicles had a bit more cargo space, the road noise in both was unbearable. The Honda’s CVT vibration when stopped was particularly annoying. In contrast, the 2018 Tucson provides a significantly quieter and more pleasant driving experience.

Maria, NY, 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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