Monday, September 27, 2010

Hyundai Sonata recall over steering issues

After the very high-profile debacle in which it became clear that Toyota had been maintaining its image of high quality by, well, not announcing major defects that should be handled through recalls, I wonder if the public sees it as a good thing or a bad thing to announce such things.

That is, is a recall proactive and preventative, or is it a sign of far worse problems in the future? Hopefully for Hyundai it will be the former:
Hyundai Motor Co. said it is voluntarily recalling 139,500 Sonata sedans in the U.S. because of a manufacturing defect that could cause drivers to lose steering control.

The recall affects 2011 models built between Dec. 11, 2009 and Sept. 10, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted on its website Sunday. Some of the cars have steering column shafts with connections that may not have been tightened enough or were improperly assembled. As a result, the steering wheel could become separated from the column or a driver could lose the ability to properly steer the car.

The U.S. government had opened an investigation into possible steering problems in the vehicle in August. Hyundai, South Korea's top automaker, has said there have been no related injuries or crashes reported. [AP via WaPo]
News on the NHTSA investigation can be found in this post from earlier this month.

Hyundai is by no means the only automaker announcing recalls, but Hyundai and Kia are arguably more affected than other car companies by such bad news, as quality problems recall the days of shoddily manufactured Excels back in the 1980s and early 1990s. While the 10-year/100K-mile warranties on Kias and Hyundais goes a long way toward mitigating any such worries, Hyundai/Kia needs to revamp its quality control efforts so that these recalls aren't necessary at all. Making 'em right is better than making 'em quick in order to keep up with demand.

1 comment:

  1. I'm seriously considering buying one of the new turbo equipped vehicles later this year, so I hope this problem is cleared up quickly.

    A turbo-charged Hyundai Sonata. Even just five years ago, that would have sounded downright ungrammatical!


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