Hyundai has recalled an additional 425,305 vehicles that have been connected to at least two deaths and four injuries. The recall comes after 154,753 similar Hyundai Sonatas were recalled in February for the same electrical issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found out that during a crash the electrical malfunction can cause the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners to become deactivated in 580,058 Sonatas.
The vehicles in question were sold under model years 2011, 2012, and 2013. But so far only the 2011 Sonata has been connected to a fatality. A fifth Sonata accident and death has recently been reported in Canada, but the connection to this recall is still being investigated. Authorities believe that the problem is rooted in the airbag control unit, supplied by ZF-TRW Automotive, a multi-national car parts maker.
At least two other related accidents are being investigated by the NHTSA, but those incidents were not Hyundais. A 2012 and a 2013 Kia Forte, which were also equipped with ZF-TRW airbag control units, allegedly have the same problem. Hyundai is a major stakeholder in Kia, but so far Kia has not announced a recall. Two years ago, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1,425,627 of their cars over a similar issue centered around a ZF-TRW Automotive product that suddenly stopped working at the most important time. During an accident.
Even though Hyundai has announced the recall of more than a half million vehicles, they have not announced a solution to the problem. A spokesperson for Hyundai told owners of a recalled Sonata that they can continue to drive their vehicles until a fix is revealed. But with a fifth fatality potentially connected to a recalled Sonata, the spokesperson’s words may do little to ease the concerns of Hyundai drivers. The South Korean automaker also announced that if a Sonata’s airbag warning light is illuminated then it should be taken to a dealership immediately.
Hyundai has also recalled 27,029 Ioniq hybrid vehicles because of the risk of an oil leak that could trigger a fire. The possible oil leak has been found in 2017 Ioniqs and in 10,156 Kia Niro hybrids, also from model year 2017. Both the Ioniq and the Niro have a faulty hydraulic clutch actuator that can become unsealed around the cap and cause a fire. The recalled Kia Niro and the Hyundai Ioniq vehicles will be inspected starting on June 15th and the faulty parts will be replaced at no charge to the owner.
To find out if your vehicle has been recalled, locate the vehicle identification number (VIN) and visit: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls
The airbag is one of the most important safety features in a vehicle. When an airbag doesn’t function as intended, its effects could be potentially dangerous. In January, Toyota issued a recall of nearly 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix models due to a defective IC chip in the airbag’s control unit. The chip could have been distracted by other electrical devices in the car, and could have potentially led to an unexpected deployment of the airbags.
Prior to this week, the recall news had been relatively tame for Hyundai, as the Korean automobile manufacturer had only announced the recall of approximately 6,100 Veloster coupes. That was, of course, an expansion of a late 2012 recall spurred by reports of the vehicles’ trademark panoramic sunroofs cracking and breaking, so 2013 had been looking rather bright for Hyundai and Kia.
Back in December, Hyundai announced the recall of approximately 13,500 Veloster coupes because of a manufacturing defect involving the unique vehicle’s sunroof. The Veloster is actually somewhat defined by its large, panoramic sunroof, as the expansive view and open quality make the vehicle more attractive to some consumers.
One of the luxuries of owning an automobile with a sunroof is the ability to open up your car’s roof a little and let the wind blow through your hair. Naturally, a secondary benefit is also being able to close that sunroof in the case of rain or other bad weather, and that can be a little difficult if the sunroof is defective and completely shatters to pieces while a person is driving his car. While that sounds like a far-fetched idea, it’s something that Hyundai owners are finding all-too-real this week with the South Korean automobile manufacturer’s latest recall.
A recent Autoweek recall article announced that Hyundai has recalled “205,233 copies of the 2007-2008 Santa Fe and Veracruz because of an issue with the airbags.” According to the auto news source, “Hyundai has received about 7,800 warranty claims as a result of airbag defects in these vehicles, though the carmaker said it is not aware of any related accidents or injuries.”
Hyundai Motor Corp. has announced a recall of more than 47,000 2011 Sonatas, and has suspended sales of the popular vehicle in the U.S. until a problem with front door latches is corrected. The South Korean automaker has found that in some testing cases the front doors were not closing properly and that could lead to unexpected opening of front driver and passenger side doors. While the majority of vehicles involved in this recall were manufactured and sold in South Korea through December 6, there were more than 1,300 sold in the U.S. as recently as February 16.