Brake problems on '02 Santa Fe

I have an 02 Santa Fe, 2 litre turbo-diesel 4wd with a weird brake problem. Every so often, very infrequently (maybe once a month or less) I put my foot on the brake pedal and the pedal feels rock hard
and there is very little braking effort. The car does eventually slow down but its scary. After a few seconds, the normal brake response returns. I bought the car second hand about 8 months ago and when the problem occurred initially I sort of dismissed it as being a figment of my imagination or something but no more. It definitely happens ! It feels to me like the brake servo is sort of going "off-line" for a few seconds and then coming back to life again. The car has been thoroughly checked by the local Hyundai main dealer who have found nothing wrong and declared the car perfectly safe. Fortunately, the dealer I bought it from (not as it happens a Hyundai dealer) have accepted that there is a problem and have taken the car from me for further investigation. Has anyone any come across this kind of problem or got any suggestions as to fruitful avenues to explore ! One other piece of information that may or may not be relevant is that as far as I can tell I've only noticed the problem at low speeds say less than 25kph or so, often much less.
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This is a brake assist problem. I'm not familiar with diesels, so I don't know whether they use a vacuum booster like regular gasoline engines, but I'd assume so. I'd suspect a collapsing hose to the booster or a bad one-way valve in the line to the booster.
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Thank you, thats very helpful. I think the car does use a vacuum servo. I saw a recall notice for 3.5 litre V6 cars where there was a somewhat similar problem. It seemed that under certain conditions the ABS was "fooled" into activating and the electronic control unit needed re-programming. I wondered if my problem was something similar but your explanation better fits the symptoms I'm getting.
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If the ABS activates, you should be able to hear it. If you didn't notice the ABS kicking in, that's almost certainly not your problem.
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On Tue, 28 Feb 2006 13:14:08 -0500, "hyundaitech"

The diesel's I have seen used a mechanical vacuum pump to substitute for engine vacuum. That gives you another potential failure point. It's also easier than changing everything vacuum ralted in a vehicle with both types of engines.
;-)
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