Nearly 44,000 Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles are being recalled, following consumer complaints about problems with the steering wheel, which may separate from the steering column, posing a risk of crash and injury.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Hyundai Sante Fe recall on February 23, after receiving two warranty claims where the steering wheel became loose and detached from the steering column. To date, no injuries or accidents have been reported in relation to the recall.
Hyundai Motor America was first notified of a field incident in November 2017, indicating a Hyundai Sante Fe vehicle’s steering wheel disconnected from the steering column.
The manufacturer opened an investigation in December and began collecting the defective parts for analysis. In January 2018, the manufacturer received a second, similar, incident report from an owner of a Sante Fe vehicle in Korea.
After reviewing the warranty claims with the steering wheel assembly supplier, Hyundai identified that certain steering wheel hub assemblies produced on June 9, 2017, had been damaged during manufacturing.
According to the report, the subject vehicles steering wheel assemblies were manufactured by DAYOU Auto Parts with insufficient breakage strength during the molding process, potentially allowing for the wheel hub to break.
The recall involves an estimated 43,941 model year 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles manufactured from July 23, 2017 through October 23, 2017 and model year 2018 Santa Fe Sport vehicles manufactured from August 10, 2017 through October 23, 2017.
Hyundai Motor Company will begin notifying vehicles owners by mailed correspondence with instructions to contact their local dealers, who will check the production lot number on the steering wheel assembly and replace them as necessary, free of charge. Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460 and reference the recall number 173.