• Sep 26, 2010
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!



Photos by Steven J. Ewing / Copyright ©2010 AOL

[Source: NHTSA]
Show full PR text
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 .


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 82 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Recalls left and right, and they seem to be heavily impacting the automakers, unfortunately they're spreading to the Koreans. I wonder what's happened that made such faulty vehicles. I do hope for the better, but I'm sure Hyundai will have this all under control.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Notice that everyone's been having power steering/'steering column' issues?

        It's due to the electric power steering systems in new cars.
        GM, Toyota, and now Hyundai are all having similar problems.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUIDZAvVEYw&feature=related

        here's a Hyundai Sonata freaking out.. sad... and dangerous.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLHWgAmx3Iw

        here's a lexus doing it
        • 4 Years Ago
        My comment is being perceived improperly. I know what a recall is about and I know it's to remedy the problem[s] to prevent a MASSIVE fallout, however I wonder why there's such a sudden rush, like why are they being so publicized? About two years back, they were fairly discrete. I sure wish people were able to comprehend consistently.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The reason you hear about recalls, and why they're so widespread, is threefold:
        * One, economies of scale (platform and component sharing, supplier homogenity, etc) mean that any recall could affect millions of cars.
        * Two, no one wants to be the next Toyota. It's too easy to become a headline story, even if you do the right thing. Between an out-for-blood (and highly unaccountable) media and an NHTSA that's desperately trying to look proactive, any automaker is going to get creamed in a war of public opinion
        * Three, everyone's going to be getting their "dirty laundry" aired in hopes that the focus Toyota's troubles will allow them to slip under the radar.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Totally new model with first-year teething pains? Normal stuff. Every brand and model goes through this. It's why they say you should never buy the first production year of a new model. The first year is just a pubic beta.

      I'd really love to trade my 2006 NF Sonata for one of the new ones, but I am waiting until the new one has been manufactured for at least a year and been updated to address the inevitable things that turn up when the public starts thrashing them around.
        shaun
        • 1 Year Ago
        Patrick, the NHSTA is still receiving steering complaints for the 2013s. I believe the problem lies is the Electric Power Steering, and that Hyundai jumped on board with this relitively new technology before proving it to be safe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda & Toyota should react like the Koreans used to do.Capitalize this recall.
      Just a Week at NY times front pages, a 60Minute report, Jay leno report, and a CNN
      week long jab, is what Hyundai need to kiss godbay. Sorry the Toyota & Honda money
      are invest to make better products.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll bet some of those drunk/stoned Chrysler workers slipped in to the Hyundai line. But seriously - my Mazda just finally got recalled after several years of failing power steering pumps in the entire 3 and 5 line. I love my car, but if Mazda had handled it as Hyundai is now with the Sonata my 09 likely wouldn't have even had the problem, (it would have been caught and fixed in 06 or 07...) Though personally, I'd wait a year to two to let them work the bugs out of this new Sonata, (especially since it seems nobody, BMW, Audi, Mazda included, can get these high pressure fuel systems right yet like the new Hyundai 2.0 litre has.)
      • 4 Years Ago
      At my dealership, we got the recall notice from Hyundai a week ago. I am surprised it took this long to get out there. In the meantime, we have completed the inspection of all the cars on the lot and have begun having the customers come in.

      Many of the 2011 Sonata buyers are new to Hyundai, and Hyundai is trying to show them that they aren't going to hide from a defect like some other companies.
        • 4 Years Ago
        cough " toyota "
      • 4 Years Ago
      You stay classy, ant14!

      The one thing about Hyundai/Kia is that they actually had surprisingly low recall numbers even when they weren't building very good cars. So this is surprising. And hey, if Kia's CEO resigned over faulty wiring, what's the Hyundai CEO gonna do?!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Sonata is still a great new car that continues to make headway on the competition and at a much lower price point. At least Hyundai is admitting they found a problem and trying to get it fixed asap! If you are a Maine Sonata owner like me regardless of where you bought go to Bill Dodge Hyundai for your service they have the BEST!!! customer service anywhere and are quick friendly and knowledgeable!

      http://www.billdodgeautogroup.com
      http://www.billdodgehyundai.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      Twenty years ago, could anyone imagine a recall notice including the phrase, "update the steering software"?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, one recall for a posible loose bolt on the steering column!

      Now the Hyundai Bashers really have something to get their teeth into. i.e "looks great but junk underneath!"

      Sometimes torque wrenches get off their setting or bolts and nuts will get loose due to vibration. I imagine that Guys in White Coats at the Hyundai plant in Alabama are scratching their heads as to why this happened.

      I recall when I picked up my new Nissan Versa, built in Mexico, the rear windshield wiper had been put on wrong and first time I went to use it, it furiously wiped the licence plate instead of the window.

      Good help is still hard to find.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm not sure how they do it at Hyundai, but don't you think torque wrenches would be re-calibrated before every shift? If any wrench was found to be way out of calibration, they could do a 100% check on every vehicle made during the previous shift. You'd think that isn't too much to ask for considering it's a safety component. In fact, I know the other "big H" has every single torque recorded for every safety component. I'm sure all other manufacturers do this too.

        As for bolts becoming loose, what does that tell you about their durability testing? Was it not comprehensive enough to be able to see this problem ahead of time? Or did they see it and just let it go anyway to meet some deadlines? Anyway, I'm not trying to be a conspiracy theorist. I'm just saying that this should not be so easily dismissed when it comes to safety components, whether or not it had resulted in any accidents at the time of the recall. If this was a loose screw in the glovebox, then yeah, who cares. But if my car had a loose nut in their steering column that could potentially leave me driving without any control of the car, then yeah, I'd be kind of concerned.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Absurd, if slightly comical, statement. I don't know much about Down's Syndrome, so I will bow to your expertise on that subject.
      But who, pray tell, is the "honor student" you mention?
      • 4 Years Ago
      For the record: the procedure to complete this "recall" is so simple, it just took one of our technicians only 9:39 minutes to inspect and reprogram the Sonata we have on the showroom floor. The car doesn't even need to be put on the lift! I am curious if Hyundai is keeping track of the toal number of Sonatas it finds with the incorrectly installed bolts. I am sure it will be a tiny number.

      Hyundai probably could have gotten away with fixing most cars in a silent recall during people's oil changes. But Hyundai should be applauded for being upfront and proactive on this.
        shaun
        • 1 Year Ago
        Doug, Do you or the technicians know what is wrong with the Power Steering Software and why it is being reprogrammed?
      • 4 Years Ago
      140k, is that all of the ones that they have sent to the US? seems pretty close.
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