Roughly 173,000 Hyundai Sonata vehicles have been recalled after the manufacturer received several warranty claims indicating the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) assist may fail, requiring unexpected and increased driver effort to steer the vehicle.
The Hyundai Sonata recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on April 7, following reports of problems with the EPS assist failing due to a damaged circuit board.
To date, no injuries or crash reports have been received in relation to the recall, but sudden loss of power steering on Hyundai Sonata vehicles may substantially increase the risk of an accident if it occurs while driving.
The EPS system utilizes a magnetic torque sensing device in the steering column as an input to the EPS control unit, and the control unit determines the level of steering assist required. An unexpected failure of the EPS system will result in the vehicle requiring increased effort to steer the vehicle, especially at low speeds.
Hyundai began investigating warranty claims in March 2015, and after consulting with the Korean supplier of the EPS system controls,Hyundai was informed the company changed the protective coating on the circuit boards to improve its exposure to outside elements. However, Hyundai determined that the change in the protective coating could cause the circuit board to fail or become damaged, resulting in the loss of power steering assistance.
In the event the EPS system fails, drivers may be notified by the illumination of the red “EPS” warning light in the instrument cluster located on the vehicles dash. Hyundai is warning customers that controlling the vehicle to navigate it to the side of the road or to a complete stop may require additional effort when maneuvering the steering wheel.
The recall includes 173,000 model year 2011 Hyundai Sonata vehicles that were manufactured from December 11, 2009 to October 21, 2010. The vehicles were sold throughout the United States at licensed Hyundai dealers.
Hyundai will begin notifying owners of the recall on May 30, 2016, with details of the defect and instructions on how to schedule a repair appointment at their local Hyundai dealer. Dealers will inspect and replace the EPS control unit free of charge and offer reimbursements to customers who have already had the EPS units replaced. Customers with further questions may contact Hyundai at 1-855-371-9640 and reference the recall number 143.