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Hyundai was the butt of many jokes in the auto industry when it first entered the US market, but since then, it has forged ahead and built cars that stand with the best in their respective segments. The 2011 Sonata and 2011 Elantra were seen as the apotheosis of the brand's forward progress when they were introduced, but falling J.D. Power and Associates Dependability Study results may actually cause them to hurt the company's hard-earned reputation.

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Following at least one reported incident of a man who claimed his ear was sliced in half following the deployment of his side airbag, Hyundai has announced a recall for certain model year 2011 through 2013 Elantras; specifically those manufactured from November 12, 2010 through March 5, 2013. In these Elantra models, a support bracket that is attached to the car's headliner may become dislodged when the side curtain airbag deploys. If that should happen, occupants may be in danger of a laceratio

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Back in May, we reported on the unlucky driver of a 2012 Hyundai Elantra who claimed his ear was sliced in half following the deployment of his side airbag. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has since looked into the incident, and while it did not issue a recall, it has expanded its investigation to include all fifth-generation (2011 through 2013 model years) Elantra sedans.

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Safety features like airbags are supposed to keep us safe in the event of a collision. But one driver allegedly met with a nasty surprise when an airbag in his car reportedly sliced his ear in half.

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Right when it looks like Hyundai can do no wrong, we have this: A consumer protection group is asking the United States Environmental Protection Agency to look into claims that the Elantra has exaggerated fuel economy numbers.

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Right when it looks like Hyundai can do no wrong, we have this: A consumer protection group is asking the United States Environmental Protection Agency to look into claims that the Elantra has exaggerated fuel economy numbers.

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2013 Mazda CX-5, Ford Evos, Bob Lutz advising GM, New Super-Porsche confirmed

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Cloth, leather, Alcantara and that weird netting on the dashboards of some Chevrolet Cruze sedans are all examples of the varied materials employed to build the interior spaces of modern automobiles. Hyundai is exploring new ways to bring the passenger cabin together, and the newest item at the Korean automaker's disposal is volcanic rock.

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2011 Hyundai Elantra – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Hyundai Elantra – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above for the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes, RSS or listen now!

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2011 Hyundai Elantra configurator – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Korean Compact Is A No-Gimmicks Eco-Warrior

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2011 Hyundai Elantra gets 40 mpg, no asterisks – Click above to watch the video after the break

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2011 Hyundai Elantra gets 40 mpg, no asterisks – Click above to watch video after the break

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2011 Hyundai Elantra – Click above for high-res image gallery

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