Korean automaker Hyundai announced three voluntary recalls Friday, August 1, affecting nearly 420,000 of its cars and SUVs. The recalls are to repair suspension, brake and oil leak problems.
The largest of the Hyundai recalls is for 225,000 Santa Fe SUVs from model years 2001 through 2006. The recall doesn’t cover every Santa Fe sold; just those that were sold in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear ice and snow from roads. In those cold-weather states, the front coil springs on the Santa Fe may rust and crack, until they can eventually fracture and make contact with a tire, which can result in a crash. Owners of the affected Santa Fes will be notified by the end of September, and dealers will replace the springs for free.
While the company claims they have received no reports of accidents or injuries to date, they received about 1,200 warranty claims for the problem. Among those claims, 90 involved claims in which the springs came in contact with a tire.
The company also has issued a recall for more than 133,000 Hyundai Sonata midsize cars from model year 2011 because of an inadequate seal between the brake hoses and calipers. Failure of the seal can result in leaking brake fluid, which can result in an increase in stopping distances, thus making accidents more likely. Beginning in September, dealers will replace the hoses for free. They claim that no crashes or injuries have been reported.
Finally, Hyundai is also recalling more than 61,000 Veracruz SUVs from model years 2007 through 2012 because of a potential oil leak. This is no ordinary oil leak, however, because it can come from a valve cover gasket and leak onto the alternator, which can result in the alternator failing, which can cause the engine to stalling, with the driver unable to start it again. So far, the company says no crashes or injuries were reported for this problem, as well. Before the end of September, dealers will inspect and replace or repair the alternator and front valve cover gasket at no cost to owners.
Through the first seven months of this year, car makers have recalled more than 40 million vehicles just in the U.S. alone. That sets the record for a full year, which occurred in 2004, when 30.8 million vehicles were recalled. Of course, General Motors leads the way, with nearly 30 million vehicles recalled this year.
If you have one of the vehicles subject to this Hyundai recall, you should take it to a dealer to have the necessary repairs made. In the case of the Santa Fe, even if you live in Texas, if you do any significant driving in snowy sates, it might be worth your while to have the vehicle checked out. And if you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident involving a possibly defective Hyundai vehicle, please contact the knowledgeable and experienced Texas Automobile Defect Attorney at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible to protect your rights under the law.