Hyundai, South Korea's largest automobile company and the world's fourth-largest automaker, yesterday issued a recall of 139,500 Sonata sedans sold in the US, due to steering issues that could increase the risk of a crash.
Hyundai is recalling 139,500 Sonata's built between 11 December 2009 and 10 September 2010 as the steering column intermediate shaft universal joint connections on some of these vehicles may have been either improperly assembled or insufficiently tightened.
"Hyundai has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is voluntarily initiating this action to ensure the safety and quality of vehicles and the continued satisfaction of its customers," the carmaker said in a statement.
Due to improper assembly or insufficient tightening of the connections, there could be a complete separation or compromised attachment of the connections, which could lead to the driver experiencing a loss of, or reduction in steering capability that could increase the risk of a crash.
Hyundai said it is aware of less than 10 vehicles with such steering issues, and that there have no accidents or injuries due to this condition.
The Sonata is Hyundai's best-selling model in the US market, accounting for around 35 per cent of its overall sales last year.
Hyundai said that it will start the safety next month and its dealers will inspect the steering column intermediate shaft universal joint connections for proper assembly and torque, and will update the power steering software free of charge.
Although being a Korean company, over half the cars it sells in the US are made thgere at its plants in Montgomery, Alabama, engineering facilities in Michigan, design, research, and testing grounds in California.