Modifications made "amazingly late in the process" to the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's "virtual engine sound" system have delayed deliveries of the vast majority of the Korean automaker's gas-electric sedans until at least late March, according to Automotive News.
Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor tells AN that some Sonata Hybrids have reached U.S. dealerships and a few have even been delivered to customers. Apparently, some 700 additional Sonata Hybrids are either sitting in a U.S. port or aboard a transport ship crossing the sea, but the bulk of the gas-electric sedans won't show up here until late March or early April.
For Hyundai, the decision to modify the Sonata Hybrid's virtual engine sound system came late last year after hearing that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was considering banning any switch or button that would allow an electric car's noisemaking device to be disabled by the driver. Rather than modifying the gas-electric at a later date, Hyundai decided to revise the Sonata Hybrid before launch.
Photos copyright ©2010 Zach Bowman / AOL
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]