Hyundai Sonata
2011 Hyundai Sonata being recalled for steering issues – Click above for high-res image gallery

It looks like the Hyundai Sonata is officially taking its place near the top of the midsize car category. We already told you how it has moved into third place in the sales race, and now it moves up the charts again... but on a much less desirable list. Hyundai has issued a recall of 139,500 Sonatas over steering issues.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report at safercar.gov identifies the issue says "the steering column intermediate shaft universal joint connections may have been either improperly assembled or insufficiently tightened." The consequence could be "a complete separation or compromised attachment of the connections, such that the driver could experience a loss of, or reduction in, steering capability increasing the risk of a crash."

The recall affects MY 2011 Hyundai Sonata sedans built between December 11, 2009 and September 10, 2010. Dealers should begin sending out recall notices in October. They will inspect and re-torque the assembly, and update the steering software too, at no charge.

In the meantime, owners can contact the Hyundai Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-633-5151, or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (tty 1-800-424-9153). Hat tip to Ralph!


Related GalleryReview: 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS

Photos by Steven J. Ewing / Copyright ©2010 AOL

[Source: NHTSA]
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Report Date : September 26, 2010 at 10:13 AM
NHTSA Campaign ID number : 10V426000

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
HYUNDAI / SONATA 2011
Manufacturer: HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY Mfr's Report Date: SEP 23, 2010
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V426000
NHTSA Action Number: PE10035
Component: STEERING:GEAR BOX:SHAFT SECTOR
Potential Number of Units Affected: 139500

Summary:
HYUNDAI IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 SONATA VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM DECEMBER 11, 2009, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10, 2010. ON SOME OF THESE VEHICLES THE STEERING COLUMN INTERMEDIATE SHAFT UNIVERSAL JOINT CONNECTIONS MAY HAVE BEEN EITHER IMPROPERLY ASSEMBLED OR INSUFFICIENTLY TIGHTENED.

Consequence:
IMPROPER ASSEMBLY OR INSUFFICIENT TIGHTENING OF THE CONNECTIONS COULD RESULT IN A COMPLETE SEPARATION OR COMPROMISED ATTACHMENT OF THE CONNECTIONS, SUCH THAT THE DRIVER COULD EXPERIENCE A LOSS OF, OR REDUCTION IN, STEERING CAPABILITY INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Remedy:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE STEERING COLUMN INTERMEDIATE SHAFT UNIVERSAL JOINT CONNECTIONS FOR PROPER ASSEMBLY AND TORQUE. IN ADDITION DEALERS WILL UPDATE THE POWER STEERING SOFTWARE FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING OCTOBER 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HYUNDAI CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER AT 1-800-633-5151.

Notes:
HYUNDAI'S SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS 097. 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 .