• Aug 31st 2010 at 2:15PM
  • 42
2011 Hyundai Sonata – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata has only been on sale for a few months, but it's already winning over many American mid-size sedan buyers, and we've been every impressed by what we've found in our first drive and review. However, the rakish new Sonata could face a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into about 16,300 Sonatas due to potential steering issues.

NHTSA has received reports that cite problems with either a separation of the upper universal joint in the intermediate steering shaft assembly. The result is a complete loss of steering capability, though the universal joint was not completely separated.

Hyundai says that it is unaware of any accidents or injuries connected to this issue and that it is fully cooperating with NHTSA on the investigation. The automaker also says that it had received reports of two vehicles with a steering problem linked to the upper universal joint, but that both were repaired without issue. Expect the results of NHTSA's investigation to be released in the coming weeks.

Photos Copyright ©2010 Steven J. Ewing / AOL
[Source: The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is this the same issue that was affecting the Kia Soul a few weeks back?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Last note:

      My Korean friends won't drive Hyundais.

      All of my friends working in engineering will touch one because of all the B.S. short cuts that Korean automakers are notorious for in the past.

      I can tell you that no one from Asia will pay for those things unless they are desperate.

      How much is Hyundai paying you to hang out on this tread to bring "credibiltiy" around their B.S.?
      • 4 Years Ago
      More BS gov't propoganda.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bad news for Hyundai? I guess it had to happen eventually...at least their catching it early.
        • 4 Years Ago
        their = they're

        I apologize to the grammar police.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Are you nuts? What if you're driving on the side of a mountain? Suddenly losing steering means you'll be flying off the cliff because you only have a few feet separating you and oblivion-not nearly enough space to brake to a stop if your car decides to aim you off the cliff.
        Even in normal driving situations it's worse to suddenly lose steering-if you're on a local city street and some kid runs out after a ball 10 feet in front of your car you're probably not gonna stop in time but you can probably steer around. And anyways, if you lose your brakes you can force the transmission into first gear to engine brake the car down to a stop while throwing the e-brake. Neither situation is really super optimal but losing steering means you have no control over where the car is gonna end up-even if you stop the car you could be sitting in oncoming traffic or something similarly dangerous.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I'd rather loose steering and be able to stop the car than have a car I can steer and not be able to stop."

        Not me! If my brakes went out I have some options -throw her in neutral, down shift, E-brake, steer towards open land. Same applies with UA (since we all know what brand you are implying). But if I lose steering I am F'ed, the car is going to wonder off course immediately and really start to turn on hard braking.
        • 4 Years Ago
        First of all, this case is not the common problem.
        And. this case, Unlike toyota, you can stop your car with emergency light at least. This case did not result in an accident or injury.


        "opening investigations after very small numbers of complaints or reports."

        "Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor said the company isn't aware of any accidents or injuries connected to the issue and is fully cooperating with NHTSA in its investigation. He said Hyundai had reports of two vehicles with a steering problem connected to the upper universal joint and both were repaired."

        'only two' problem reported, and they fixed it.
        Unlike toyota SUA incident, Hyundai know how can fix its problem at least. Also, They did not denied its problem.

        I think it is probably assembly error. Sonata is still early sales, Recall is easy decision to them, I hope they fix it quickly as possible as can.
      • 4 Years Ago
      More likely that the NHTSA is trying very hard to look good after all the Toyota crap made it through...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, most new cars encounter issues when they first come out...the first model year is almost always going to involve some sort of recall or another so it's not really unexpected to see recalls. Of course generally you hope that the recalls don't involve your steering suddenly going out entirely lol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's the new NHTSA christening process of a new car -- recalls.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Complete BS! (This coming from a gov lackie on the "inside")

      They have 2 complaints in the NTSHA database (go check). The 2005-2007 Corvette had hundreds of complaints of the Active Handling Errors (myself included) which would lock up your front right wheel while driving at 40+ MPH. Didn't hear the media burning GM at the stake for that one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        probably made it to the auto blogs and magazine websites however.
      • 4 Years Ago
      More concerning then the steering issue is the styling. BAAAAAARRRRRRFF.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It has the powertrain to make up for it.
        This one's beautiful on the inside, so bag it and tag it!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Regardless of how many people make pointless remarks about the looks of this car in every single Sonata post, it sure is selling well.

        It not like this thing is looks anywhere near as different as the Juke.
        • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        At least the out of control Snota isn't going to accidently hit anyone. They would already be hiding from the ugly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is very bad news for Hyundai. It's all over the news right now and comes on the heels of a steering shaft problem with the Kia Soul. Here's the AutoBlog story on that problem:


      If more of these problems surface, Hyundai will have a huge PR problem that won't easily be forgotten.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Although the investigation is based on a single incident that did not result in an accident or injury, the entire Kia Motors organization — including our supplier base — is reviewing manufacturing processes with the goal of quickly determining if there is a manufacturing cause and preventing the issue from reoccurring," Kia said in a statement according to the aforementioned source."


        "single incident that did not result in an accident or injury"

        I hope they fix its problem soon, However, at the same time, I think NHTSA too nervous about foreign maker.

        Kia soul was one incident, sonata was two reported problem.
        Sonata is still early sales, recall is an easy decision to them, if problem found.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This thing should be recalled for its wretched looks. Squishy bloated whale looks like it should be in an aquarium.
      • 4 Years Ago

      That was my reaction at seeing the headline. At least I trust AB is not biased. The rest of you, well, I'll go back now and read the excuses.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wrote about a steering problem in the Hyundai Sonata back in July based on a freaky YouTube video. Check it out. I wonder if that was one of the two complaints? By the way, commenters at my site alluded to problems before the recall was announced. http://www.examiner.com/hyundai-in-national/2011-hyundai-sonata-with-steering-problems
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it me, or is it only people with no credit and no work drive Hyundai's around here. Must be me.

      Oh, I need to add that no one with any decent amount of education and have been oversea's will drive these things. But American's love their trash.

      Hyundai will be happy to serve it up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, it's just you. Let's go over education: Your second sentence seems to be missing the word "who" before have. "Hyundai's" is singular possessive; you wanted the plural form Hyundais. Likewise, "American's" should have been Americans. Same for "oversea's."

        Considering how hard it is to get a loan to buy a car these days even for those who have jobs, and how few people returned their cars once they got a loan under Hyundai's (see, I used it correctly) Assurance program, your "no work" statement is not only a weird way to say no job, but doesn't pass scrutiny. Also, their median income is within about $900 of Nissan owners and upwards of $5,000 or more of Chevy, Dodge, and Ford buyers.

        As far as credit and education go, I cannot fathom how you even think know what education level or credit score buyers have, but rest assured the number of Hyundai buyers with degrees has jumped dramatically according to their market research. As of March, according to Edmunds via MSN, the average interest rate, loan term, and percent down for a Hyundai buyer were about on par with that of a Chevrolet buyer. They were also 247% more likely to shop online, indicating they have above average computer skills.

        And you might also should be aware before you make such another moronic statement that it's not just America. Hyundai is now second among import brands in Canada. Hyundai-Kia is first among import companies up there as of last month. And they didn't become number four as a group worldwide by just selling in Korea, the US, and Canada. Now that you know it is in fact just you, perhaps you'd like to remain quiet next time it's just you and wait until you have something factual to say next time.


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