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Hyundai recalls nearly 140,000 Sonatas because of steering problems

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Hyundai recalls nearly 140,000 Sonatas because of steering problems

Old 09-28-2010, 10:57 AM
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Default Hyundai recalls nearly 140,000 Sonatas because of steering problems

Hyundai recalls nearly 140,000 Sonatas
By the CNN Wire Staff
September 26, 2010 4:51 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Sunday that automaker Hyundai is recalling nearly 140,000 Sonata sedans.
The recall affects certain 2011-model year Sonatas, which were manufactured from December 2009 to September 2010, NHTSA said.
"On some of these vehicles the steering column intermediate shaft universal joint connections may have been either improperly assembled or insufficiently tightened," the agency said.

As a consequence, drivers could experience a reduction or loss of steering capability.

Hyundai dealers will inspect the affected parts and will update the power steering software for free, NHTSA said.

The recall, which is expected to start in October, could affect as many as 139,500 cars.

Last month, NHTSA said it was investigating the same steering mechanism problems related to the recall.

The investigation was based on two incidents reported by Hyundai itself through the government's "Early Warning Reporting" system.

In one incident, the connection came loose, resulting in total loss of steering control. In the other case, a defective bolt caused loosening, but not total separation, of the universal joint.

There were no crashes or injuries in either case, Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor said last month. Both cars were repaired and returned to their owners.

At the time of the repairs, according to NHTSA documents, both of the cars had been driven less than 600 miles. Both vehicles were manufactured at the same Alabama plant during the same month.
The 2011 Sonata, which is produced at the South Korean automaker's Montgomery, Alabama, factory, has been a strong seller. The automaker has already sold about 100,000 of them, Trainor said. This new version of the mid-sized sedan went on sale this spring.

Hyundai earlier recalled the same car because of a problem with a door latch.

Hyundai Motor to Recall Sonata Sedans in U.S. Over Steering
By Sookyung Seo - Sep 27, 2010

Hyundai Motor Co. will recall about 139,500 cars in the U.S. because of steering issues that could result in a loss of or reduction in maneuvering capability, amid increased attention to quality among automakers.

Model year 2011 Sonata sedans manufactured between Dec. 11, 2009, and Sept. 10, 2010, are subject to the plan, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement on its website. Hyundai Motor America informed the agency it is voluntarily initiating a safety recall of Sonata sedans to inspect the steering issues, South Korea’s biggest automaker said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

“It’s a recall of Hyundai’s flagship model in the flagship market, so investors will monitor how it proceeds,” said Kang Sang Min, a Seoul-based analyst at Hanwha Securities Co. “A voluntary recall with no case of accident usually gives an impression that the company cares about safety.”

The move comes as Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker, recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide in the past year for defects including gas pedals that stuck or snagged on floor mats. Toyota dropped out of the top 10 global brands ranked annually by consulting company Interbrand after the recalls.

Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 161,500 won on the Korea Exchange today, while the benchmark Kospi stock index rose 0.8 percent.

Hyundai Motor said there were fewer than 10 vehicles with steering problems and no accidents or injuries have occurred as a result of the condition. The automaker, based in Seoul, is expected to begin the recall in October, according to the U.S. agency, which opened a preliminary probe into steering problems with the model in August.

Kia Motors Corp., an affiliate of Hyundai Motor, this month said Jeong Sung Eun resigned as vice chairman to take responsibility for the recent recall of four models. Kia began recalling about 104,000 cars worldwide earlier this month because of a wiring problem that can cause fires.

Hyundai’s U.S. sales rose 17 percent in the first eight months of the year, led by demand for the revamped midsize Sonata and new Tucson crossover vehicle. The growth is more than double the 8.4 percent increase in industrywide deliveries through August, according to Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Autodata Corp.

Hyundai’s full-year U.S. sales in 2010 should finally surpass its long-time target of 500,000 units, and the company may set an “all-time record” for U.S. sales in September thanks to demand for its Sonata sedan, John Krafcik, the company’s U.S. chief executive officer, said in a Sept. 16 Bloomberg Television interview.

Hyundai recalls 139,500 Sonatas in US on steering
The Associated Press
Sunday, September 26, 2010; 4:29 PM

WASHINGTON -- Hyundai Motor Co. said it is voluntarily recalling 139,500 Sonata sedans in the U.S. because of a manufacturing defect that could cause drivers to lose steering control.

The recall affects 2011 models built between Dec. 11, 2009 and Sept. 10, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted on its website Sunday. Some of the cars have steering column shafts with connections that may not have been tightened enough or were improperly assembled. As a result, the steering wheel could become separated from the column or a driver could lose the ability to properly steer the car.

The U.S. government had opened an investigation into possible steering problems in the vehicle in August. Hyundai, South Korea's top automaker, has said there have been no related injuries or crashes reported.

Owners of affected vehicles can go to their dealers for inspection. Dealers also will update power steering software. Owners may also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 for more information.

The recall comes as automakers ramp up their focus on safety and quality control in the wake of Toyota Motor Corp.'s massive global recall last year over gas pedal and floor mat problems. In February, Hyundai announced a recall of about 47,000 Sonata midsize sedans, mostly sold in South Korea, to replace front door latches following a handful of customer complaints. The company said it had discovered a mechanical problem with the latches which, in rare instances, would not close properly.

Earlier this month, Hyundai affiliate Kia Motors said Chung Sung-eun resigned as vice chairman following a global recall of more than 100,000 vehicles due to defective wiring. Of that total, 35,185 vehicles were recalled in the United States. Together, Kia and Hyundai form the world's fifth-largest automotive group.

So far this year, U.S. sales are up 17 percent for Hyundai Motor America, though August sales fell 11 percent from a year-earlier record sparked by federal Cash for Clunkers rebates. The new Sonata has been selling well and nearly doubled its sales numbers to 21,399 in August.
Old 08-26-2011, 06:58 AM
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Hyundai has issued a TSB on 8/15/11:
This is for vehicles produced from 9/1/10-4/30/11. Click on the link above to download it.
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