About 420,000 Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Veracruz vehicles are being recalled, after close to 2,000 warranty claims were received involving defects that may increase the risk of auto accidents.
Three separate Hyundai recalls were announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on August 1, involving product defects in the coil springs and brake lines, which cause the vehicles to cut off during use. While Hyundai indicates that it has not received any reports of injuries to date, this may increase the risk of a crash.
The recalls includes an estimated 225,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs, 133,000 Hyundai Sonata sedans, and another 61,000 Hyundai Veracruz SUVs, totaling just under 420,000 vehicles.
The Hyundai Santa Fe recall (PDF) affects 2001 through 2006 model year vehicles, which may have front coil springs that can become vulnerable and weakened over time and exposure to road salt, potentially causing the springs to fracture. Hyundai announced in the product defect letter that, due to the location of the spring and the geometry of the vehicle, a fractured coil spring is almost guaranteed to make contact with the tire, potentially causing the tire to pop and the driver to lose control.
Hyundai has received roughly 1,200 warranty claims of Santa Fe vehicle owners in 20 states that are more prone to having their highways and roads salted due to snowfall.
The Hyundai Sonata recall (PDF) affects model year 2011 vehicles, in which the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit in the brake system’s master cylinder may develop a leak over time due to an insufficient seal between the inner brake hose and the metal brake line fitting. If the brake fluid leak continues the vehicles brake fluid reservoir will become depleted and drivers will require longer distances for braking.
Hyundai has received 415 warranty claims to date, involving reports that drivers experienced a decreased ability to brake. From those claims reported, no accidents have been reported to date.
The Hyundai Veracruz recall (PDF) affects model year 2007 through 2012 vehicles manufactured from December 26, 2006 through July 24, 2012. The vehicles may have an oil leak from the front cylinder bank valve cover gasket. The leak may cause a serious safety defect if the oil builds up on the alternator, which would cause the vehicle to shut off during use. If the alternator is damaged the engine will lose power and eventually stop operating while in use, posing a crash hazard. Warranty claims have indicated a 1.5% claim rate to dealers involving engines stalling due to engine oil damage.
Hyundai has indicated that it plans to service all potentially impacted vehicles at certified local dealers sometime in the beginning of September 2014. Owners will be notified by mailed notice explaining the issues and how to contact their dealer for a free repair.