Hyundai is recalling 2020 Sonatas with the Remote Smart Parking Assistant feature. You may know it as “Smaht Pahk” from the highly-publicized celebrity-filled Super Bowl ads. Hyundai says there’s an error in the software, and it’s recalling 11,870 vehicles to fix it.
The issue reportedly stems from the system’s “fail-safe” mode. It’s meant to “prevent vehicle movement upon detection of a system malfunction.” However, the error in the software “could cause the vehicle to continue to move in its last commanded direction even while a system malfunction is detected,” according to official recall documents.
Hyundai provided fairly detailed notes for how it detected the issue. The first anomaly was seen during developmental testing of the feature in Korea. Erroneous coding in the software was detected and fixed at that time. In March this year, Hyundai received a report from somebody claiming that the vehicle “continued to move without stopping while performing a parking maneuver commanded by the Remote Smart Parking Assistant feature.” That vehicle was running the old software, and Hyundai continued to study the glitch at this point.
Above: the key fob used to control Hyundai's Remote Smart Parking Assistant
After conducting even more testing, Hyundai was able to confirm that this continued movement after triggering the “fail-safe” mode does indeed happen in some instances. Based on this information, Hyundai decided to conduct a recall of vehicles with the feature here in America. The Nexo is a part of this recall, as it is also equipped with the remote parking feature. However, there aren’t many Nexos out there to be recalled anyway. 2019 Nexo sales totaled 267 vehicles.
To fix the issue, Hyundai will reprogram the software free of charge for owners. As of now Hyundai says it is not aware of any crashes, incidents or injuries associated with this. Hyundai also says it will reimburse owners for repairs in the event of there being an incident. Sonata and Nexo owners should expect to receive a notification from Hyundai by early June.