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US: Hyundai recalls Sonata for steering check

By just-auto.com editorial team | 28 September 2010

Hyundai redesigned the Sonata for the 2011 model year. US cars are built in Alabama alongside the Santa Fe SUV

Hyundai redesigned the Sonata for the 2011 model year. US cars are built in Alabama alongside the Santa Fe SUV

Hyundai Motor is to recall 139,500 Sonatas in the US next month because the steering shaft of some 2011 models can become detached, resulting in a loss of control.

The voluntary recall came after the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a defect investigation on the 2011 model year versions in August after complaints about separating steering wheels.

The NHTSA has not received any reports of crashes, injuries or fatal accidents related to the defect.

Hyundai builds the Sonata at a plant in Alabama and will recall vehicles manufactured between 11 December, 2009 to 10 September, 2010. The company said that, in some vehicles, the steering column intermediate shaft universal joint connections "may have been either improperly assembled or insufficiently tightened".

The automaker told the Korea Times that the recall is voluntary and proactive, adding: “We hope this action helps build trust in the US market.”

The popular Sonata, redesigned for the 2011 model year, recorded sales of 21,399 in August, up 81% from a year ago.