• Mar 31, 2011
2011 Kia Optima Hybrid – Click here for high-res image gallery

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was supposed to go on sale in December, but at the eleventh hour, the company decided on a last-minute engineering change to enhance safety. When the automaker learned that President Obama planned to sign a bill that would ban a switch that can disable a noisemaker designed to warn blind pedestrians, the Korean automaker decided it was best to remove the switch. The move delayed mass availability of the Sonata Hybrid from December to late April.

But what about its twin, the Kia Optima Hybrid? Ward's Automotive reports that the mid-size hybrid has been delayed until late in the second quarter, or about five months after its scheduled January launch.

Will the substantial delay of the Optima and Sonata Hybrids hurt sales and satisfaction? We're sure there are probably some impatient buyers out there who don't understand why they have to wait, but in the long run, we're likely looking at a mere bump in the road.

[Source: Ward's Automotive – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      A few months wait isn't as bad as here in Australia - only 1000 for the whole year. I'm still waiting to see one in real life, looks fantastic in the pics...
      • 3 Years Ago
      ugliest wheels ever ?
      • 3 Years Ago
      So Hyundai has began suffering from the brand war that brought GM to its knees?
        • 3 Years Ago
        One exception.....Kia and Hyundai is managing to sell based on good product. GM sold a majority of their cars based on patriotism years ago when they had sub par products and quality.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "(...) the Korean automaker decided it was best to remove the switch. The move delayed mass availability of the Sonata Hybrid from December to late April."

      4 months to remove a switch? Are you sure that's the only reason for the delay?
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you remove a switch that means a whole redesign of the panel part & also relocation of wiring & also safety& structural testing.... If your worried about Hyundai quality just go look at the quality ratings. Try to come up with a more intelligent comment next time.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Invisible trolling a Hyundai/Kia thread (absolutely shocking!).

        Yeah, the Sonata has had a few 1st year production issues, but nothing major and despite being a 1st year production, thus far, has above avg. reliability.

        The previous Honda Odyssey had FIVE recalls during its 1st year of production and it went on to be one of the most reliable Hondas.

        (My goodness, look at all the trolling invisibrain is doing on this thread - lol!)
        • 3 Years Ago
        There should be some international agreements regarding the warning noisemaker for blind pedestrians. I think that in England, the noise must be disabled between 11pm and 6am?
        • 3 Years Ago
        (double post... You can tell I just woke up)

        @ Invisible?

        What recalls? The door handle recall wayy early in the production?
        Because door can get accidentally locked when pressed on from inside
        and outside at the same time?

        ...Come on, its too early in the morning for trolling.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Seeing how many recalls the new Sonata has had, no wonder Hyundai has slowed down and decided to work out the bugs. Agreed, claiming the removal of a switch is causing the months of delay is suspect.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Changing a switch most definitely should not require new crash tests, are you joking? You can just design a blank panel piece for the switch hole and even if you really redesigned the dash it wouldn't take 4 months. They're just using it as a handy excuse for their other issues actually delaying the car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad they didn't muck it up with some sort of catfish-like grille re:Hyundai
      • 3 Years Ago
      Impatient ? first Hyundai or Kia hybrid ?. Honda & Toyota introduced his first hybrid 12 years ago.
      So Kia / Hyundai catching up ?.gimme a break.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad Hyundai has the ol' GM game down pat.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Uhh, wrong!

        Totally different sheetmetal, interiors, amenities, etc., as well as different calibrations for the suspension and steering (auto reviewers don't say the same thing about the Optima as they do the Sonata).

        This is called platform sharing which most automakers do these days aside from badge-engineering, which GM was particularly guilty of during the 1980s-90s.

        And you're supposed to be an auto-enthusiast? pffftt! (more like an ignorant troll)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like Hyundai/KIA hybrids are the vaporware car of 2011.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Is this the dealership you work for?
        Fairfax Hyundai
        10925 Fairfax Blvd
        Fairfax, VA 22030
        Phone: 571-748-4466

        Hopefully they will clear it up.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah, except for the fact that the Sonata is available.

        Vaporware? Not so much. Please don't troll.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Oh DUH! Speaking of going and reading the article, if you go read the SOURCE article, which in fact doesn't require a subscription, it CLEARLY says there are 900 at port and that some dealers interviewed had indeed sold a few as early as last December. So there you go. Issue clarified and not in your favor.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Invisible

        You = Moron

        I guess you didn't read the entire article. As for calling you a troll, all you have to do is read through your past comments to see that you TROLL every single Hyundai/Kia article. Nice try though.

        Oh, and no I don't work for that dealership (or any dealership for that matter) but I live right up the road in Vienna. I drive past that dealership 3-4 times a week when heading through Fairfax.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You spend too much time calling people trolls.

        Go read the article, it clearly says the Sonata is not available till late April.

        SO NO. IT IS NOT AVAILABLE. Perhaps it is you that is the troll.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wow, and my local dealer shows ZERO Elantras. That doesn't mean that no one has had any. Hyundai has been advertising them, so I'd say it's safe to assume that calling them vaporware is uncalled for.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Invisible

        I've already seen a two on the road, and there was one at Fairfax Hyundai about a week ago. It is possible that they aren't available in VOLUME until late April.

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