2011 Hyundai Sonata SE – Click above for high-res image gallery

A couple weeks back, Hyundai put a stop-sale on its freshly minted 2011 Sonata sedan because a front door latch could malfunction after a rather labored series of steps. The stop-sale was lifted almost immediately, though, as the Korean automaker was able to quickly ship replacement parts to U.S. dealers, at which point the vehicles in stock were repaired. At that time, though, Hyundai promised to work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to put out a recall notice for the 1,300 vehicles that had already been sold; a promise that came to fruition this morning as NHTSA put out an official bulletin.

The NHTSA recall notice claims that the front inside door lock switches can remain in the unlatched position under certain conditions, making it possible for the front driver or passenger doors to open while the vehicle is in motion. Hyundai tells us that the latch may malfunction when a front inside door lock switch is held in the locked position while the inside door handle is pulled to open the door.

Sonata owners affected by the recall can bring their vehicle to the nearest Hyundai dealer for the no-cost repairs, which should take about an hour. Hit the jump to read over the NHTSA press release.


Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

Photos by Michael Harley / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration]
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Summary:
HYUNDAI-KIA HAS NOTIFIED NHTSA ABOUT A DEFECT IN CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 SONATA VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM DECEMBER 11, 2009 THROUGH FEBRUARY 15, 2010. THE FRONT INSIDE DOOR LOCK SWITCH CAN REMAIN IN THE UNLATCHED POSITION.

Consequence:

THE DOOR MAY NOT BE IN THE LOCKED POSITION AND MAY OPEN WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN INJURY TO THE DRIVER OR PASSENGER.

Remedy:
HYUNDAI-KIA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND DEALERS WILL REPAIR THE VEHICLES BY REPLACING LATCHES AFFECTED BY THIS RECALL CAMPAIGN FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MARCH 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HYUNDAI CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER AT 1-800-633-5151.

Notes:
HYUNDAI'S RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS 096. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .