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