UPDATE: Autoblog reached out to Hyundai spokesperson Jim Trainor for more information about this recall. He let us know via email: "Owners will be notified beginning in the second quarter." Also, there have been "no accidents, injuries nor fatalities," as a result of this issue.

Hyundai is recalling 204,768 examples of the 2008-2010 Elantra sedan and 2009-2010 Elantra Touring because of possible failure of the electrically assisted power steering.

The problem in these vehicles is that the ECU for the power steering can "sense a discrepancy in the steering input signals and, as a result, disable the steering power assist," according to documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If this happens, then drivers could suddenly experience a more difficult time driving the Elantras.

According to a chronology submitted to NHTSA (that you can read in full as a PDF, here), Hyundai first became aware of this problem in 2010 and issued a TSB for it in 2011. At that time, just 0.25 percent of sedans and 0.36 percent of Touring models were shown to have the fault. However by October 2014, the issue had gotten worse, and 1.3 percent of four-doors and 1.9 percent of the hatchbacks were exhibiting it. The automaker believed that by maintaining manual steering the vehicles were still within the law, but "the industry has increasingly handled similar issues through safety recalls."

In most cases, turning the ignition off and then back on rectifies things, but to fix this, Hyundai is updating the power steering control unit on these models.
Show full PR text
RECALL Subject : Electric Power Steering Assist may be Disabled

Report Receipt Date: FEB 23, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V100000
Component(s): STEERING
Potential Number of Units Affected: 204,768
All Products Associated with this Recall
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
HYUNDAI ELANTRA 2008-2010
HYUNDAI ELANTRA TOURING 2009-2010

Details

Manufacturer: Hyundai Motor America

SUMMARY:
Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) is recalling certain model year 2008-2010 Elantra vehicles manufactured June 1, 2008, to April 30, 2010, and 2009-2010 Elantra Touring vehicles manufactured November 1, 2008, to April 30, 2010. The electronic power steering (EPS) electronic control unit (ECU) may sense a discrepancy in the steering input signals and, as a result, disable the steering power assist.

CONSEQUENCE:
If power steering assist is lost, greater driver effort would be required to steer the vehicle at low speeds, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY:
Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will verify the proper operation of the Electronic Power Steering and update the EPS control unit, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-671-3059. Hyundai's number for this recall is 127.

NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

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