Hyundai and Kia in US car recalls

  • 3 April 2013
  • From the section Business
Grill on front of Hyundai car
Image caption Hyundai and Kia dealers will replace the switch for free, the NHTSA said.

Hyundai Motor and its Kia Motors affiliate are recalling more than 1.8 million cars and sports utility vehicles in the US to fix faults.

Hyundai is recalling 1,059,824 cars and SUVs and Kia 623,658 vehicles, from the 2007 to 2011 model years.

The move is to repair a problem with a switch that could increase the risk of a crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.

Hyundai is also recalling 186,254 Elantra cars from 2011 to 2013.

This recall is to apply adhesive strips to the interior roof liner to prevent it becoming loose during the deployment of side curtain airbags, which could increase the risk of cuts during a crash, the NHTSA said.

Hyundai and Kia Motors said there had not been any crashes or injuries due to the problem. Both pointed out that the malfunctions did not occur all the time, and they did not affect performance of the brakes.

The two firms try to use the same parts in as many cars as possible to get a better deal from parts suppliers and to simplify the manufacturing process.

However when a problem occurs it can cause a massive recall.

Free replacement

The affected switch in the larger recall may cause the brake lights not to come on when the brake pedal is depressed.

The switch fault may also "cause an inability to deactivate the cruise control by depressing the brake pedal", the NHTSA said.

"Additionally, a malfunctioning stop lamp switch may also result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature, preventing the shifter from being moved out of the park position and cause the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) malfunction light to illuminate," stated NHTSA documents.

Failure to illuminate the brake lights or disengage cruise control could increase the risk of a crash, while disabling the brake-transmission interlock could result in the vehicle rolling away, it added.

The South Korean carmakers are informing owners, and dealers will replace the switch at no cost, the NHTSA said.

The Hyundai models affected include 2007-2009 Accent cars and Tucson SUVs, 2007-2010 Elantras, 2007-2011 Santa Fe SUVs, 2008-2009 Veracruz SUVs, 2010-2011 Genesis coupes and 2011 Sonata cars.

The Kia models include 2011 Optima cars, 2007-2010 Rondo crossovers, 2007 Sedona minivans, 2007-2011 Sorento crossovers, 2010-2011 Soul cars and 2007-2010 Sportage SUVs.

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