Hyundai recently announced that it is recalling 259,000 cars in two separate actions. The first recall covers approximately 215,000 Sonatas from the 2006-10 model years and 24,000 Azeras from 2006-11, which could have handling problems due to a rear cross member that may rust. A separate recall covers about 20,000 front-wheel-drive 2013 Santa Fe Sports equipped with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, which could have a defective front axle shaft. Hyundai is not aware of any accidents or injuries for either recall.
The Sonata and Azera recalls are known as a “geographic recall” since they have only been recalled in states that rely heavily on road salt during the winter, including Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
Some safety advocates like the Center for Auto Safety complain that geographic recalls and other limited recalls are inadequate because they could miss vehicles that need repairs.
Unlike the geographic recall for the Sonata and Azera, the Santa Fe Sport covers all 2013 models and was a prompted because “a portion of the right, front axle shaft may have been improperly manufactured,” according to Hyundai. If the axle shaft fractures, there would be a loss of power to the vehicle.
In addition to recalls of Hyundai vehicles, Kia (a subsidiary auto maker) recently recalled about 9,300 2014 Kia Sorento models with front-wheel-drive and 4-cylinder engines for the same problem Hyundai is having with the Santa Fe.
As a New York Times article points out, although the recalls are “voluntary,” they came a little more than a month after the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation in July that was prompted by complaints from two owners. Once an auto manufacturer is made aware of a safety problem, it must inform the NHTSA of its plan for a recall within five business days or face a civil fine.
Auto defects can cause serious damage, personal injury and even death. The NHTSA often receives vehicle safety complaints regarding the following auto defects:
- Child safety seats
- Defective airbags
- Car fires
- Defective seatbelts
- Tire defects
- Door latch failure
- Steering problems
- Electronic wiring malfunctions
- Sudden acceleration
- Defective brakes
If you have suffered injuries or damages as a result of an auto defect, you may also wish to consult with an attorney. The Chicago product liability law firm of Ankin Law Office, LLC is dedicated to protecting consumers from dangerous and defective products, including defective vehicles. Contact one of our skilled Chicago personal injury and product liability attorneys at (312) 600-0000 if you would like more information on auto defects and recalls.