Haunted 2016 Hyundai?

The liftgate on my wife’s 2016 Tucson Sport opens spontaneously overnight. Not every night but often enough to be a pain. I’m usually the last to go to bed and I normally look out and check the liftgate, before bed but after I’ve taken my keys–including the fob for the Tucson–out of my pocket. At that point, the fob and I are in different rooms so nothing is pressing on the fob, and neither it nor I are within 30 feet of the Tucson. But when my wife gets up, so is the liftgate. Once, the police closed it and left a note. It has the “Smart liftgate” feature turned on, meaning if you stand behind it with the fob, the liftgate will open but that shouldn’t happen without the fob being present, i.e., a random stray dog or even a passing person shouldn’t trigger it no matter how long they stand behind the vehicle. I’m at the point of saying, “It just does that,” since I have no other explanation. Our various nearby neighbors drive a Subaru, an Infiniti, a couple of BMW’s, a Jaguar, a Toyota, but no other Hyundai’s that I’ve noticed, so it seems somewhat unlikely–granted, not impossible but unlikely–the Tucson is responding to one of their fobs. Would it help to disable “Smart liftgate”? Is it actually a “dumb liftgate”? Is there perhaps something in the Owner’s Manual that I’m missing? Do we have a car-tergeist? Should I call an ex-car-cist? Thanks.

It sounds like the “smartest” liftgate is the kind I had on my 1995 Caravan. It released with the turn of a metal key, or the push of a remote unlock button on the dash, and operated with spring loaded struts. Once unlocked, it would not open by itself–that required lifting the door past a certain point, after which the struts would push it open the rest of the way. To close, you lower the hatch past a certain point, then the struts push it closed the rest of the way. What a brilliant design! So simple and reliable!


The lift gate can be disabled until it’s figured out what’s going on.

To disable / enable Smart rear door feature (2016 Tucson);
-Go to your dash display.
-Click the Catalog button on steering wheel.
-Click Catalog button until User Settings is displayed.
-Toggle down arrow button until Door is highlighted. Click OK button
-Toggle Down button until Smart Lift Gate is displayed. Click OK button to remove check mark / disable feature.
-Click Catalog button to exit out.



Such liftgates worked well until the struts went bad, which happened with both of her Escort hatchbacks. Nor are they much good when your hands are full. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.


My bicycle has a smarter liftgate, because it doesn’t have a liftgate. So the liftgate cannot break.

We know you dislike modernity in vehicles, but honestly, is it really necessary to show every OP with a tech problem how dumb they are for driving cars made in this century?


key fobs work on a certain frequencies. maybe somebodys cellphone, tv remote, garage door opener or something like that is opening it. just a thought.

Maybe it isn’t closed completely. Latch is sticking, etc. There’s always a force present that is trying to push it open, so if the latch isn’t working correctly it could open by itself, triggered by a breeze or something. Try manually lifting it open yourself at a time you think it is shut. Lubing the latch mechanism is worth a try too.

maybe you need a exorcist. LOL


That’s my best guess and if it’s correct I doubt disabling “smart liftgate” will solve anything beyond being a bandaid. Still, I’ll try it on principle.

@George_San_Jose1 has suggested what some Hyundai Tucson forum’s think is the cause, the liftgate isn’t latching correctly. Replacing the latch seems to solve the problem.

If you want to test your stray cat/dog theory, just leave the keys back in the house and go to the car and move your foot around the liftgate and see if it opens.
Then, maybe just pull on it, see if the latch will let go.

+1 couldn’t have said it better myself…especially given that most of his luddite fears are of things that have been extremely reliable for the vast majority of posters here and he likes to pick on the rare few that are issues.

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I have never had any problems with any of the high-tech electronic features on any of my Subarus. Even my friend–whose Rav-4 was plagued with engine issues–never had any problems with the high-tech features on that vehicle. And, my brother has never experienced problems of that nature with either of his Hyundais or his Subaru.

When somebody says “I will never own a car with those features” that tells me that he or she will soon be relegated to buying cars that are 30 years old–or more.

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It turns out “Smart liftgate” is already disabled, although neither of us can remember doing it, so that’s not it. Walking behind the vehicle and even waving my foot under the bumper without the fob on my person didn’t do anything. I may get a quote from a Hyundai dealer on replacing the latch on principle, even though it seems to be working correctly. Too bad the warranty has expired.

Then there may be a problem with the BCM.


Find the fuse for that circuit and remove it to see if it happens again or no. You probably have to remove it at night and put it back in when you start driving in the morning (I know it is a PITA). If it is not the electronics, then it is a mechanical latch issue.

My base trim 2017 Tucson SE doesn’t have the magical lift gate.
It also doesn’t have the trouble prone DCT transmission, or the high maintenance turbo engine.

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Yes, but I’m pretty sure that it has Stability Control, a backup camera, touch screen controls for some functions, and–most likely–some other hi-tech electronic features. Time and again, a couple of people in this forum have stated that they will never own a vehicle with such features, which means that–in the near future–they will be limited to owning only VERY old cars.

Not only will those amatuer Ludites ( who probly are employed by places that use latest technology ) it won’t be long before used useable vehicles will have power windows - automatic tranmissions - traction control - and many of those features they say they won’t have.


I used to think I didn’t need a lot of extra features on a vehicle that could break. The very basic 1965;Rambler Classic 550. didn’t have back-up lights or a windshield washer. I thought I could live without these features, but after 6 months, I had the windshield washer and back-up lights installed.
When I purchased a 2011: Toyota Sienna, it came with power sliding doors. I thought it was an unnecessary extra until I realized how convenient these power sliding doors are to aid in getting people in and out of the minivan.
That Sienna was bumped in a parking lot and even though the damage was just cosmetic, the insurance company insisted that I have it repaired right away. I needed the van to transport myself and my musician friends to a gig, so I was furnished a Dodge Caravan. The Dodge Caravan had a power tail gate. Even in the short time I used the Caravan, I found this to be a very handy feature.
One option that I found useless for us was a DVD player on the 2006 Chevrolet Uplander I owned. I had never used it, but our grand daughter, who was 4:years old, figured it out right away and would ride in the middle seat watching her favorite DVDs. A year later when we visited our son and his family, our grand daughter rode in the third row seat with the reading light on so she could read her book. From age 5 to the present time, I have never seen her when she didn’t have a book with her.