We just reported to you about the mileage debacle facing Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia, when they misstated the miles per gallon on many models of their cars, and now they are recalling approximately 1.9 million vehicles to fix problems with air bags and brake light switches.
The brake light recall covers almost 1.7 million vehicles; the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tuscon and Vercruz. Also affected are Kia’s Optima, Rondo, Sedona, Sorento, Soul and Sportage. The vehicles are from the 2007 through 2011 model years.
In addition, Hyundai is recalling about 194,000 Elantra compacts from 2011 to 2013 to fix an air bag problem.
U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulators say a faulty switch can stop the brake lights from illuminating when drivers step on the brake pedal. Also, the cruise control may not turn off when a driver steps on the brake, push to start buttons may not work, and a feature that stops the driver from shifting out of park without a foot on the brake may fail.
“Failure to illuminate the stop lamps during braking or inability to disengage the cruise control could increase the risk of a crash,” NHTSA said in the documents. It was unclear if the problem has caused any crashes or injuries.
Hyundai models affected by the brake light switch recall include the 2007 to 2009 Accent and Tucson, the 2007 to 2010 Elantra, the 2011 Sonata, the 2007 to 2011 Santa Fe, the 2008 to 2009 Veracruz and the 2010 to 2011 Genesis Coupe. Kia models include the 2007 to 2010 Rondo and Sportage, the 2011 Optima, the 2007 to 2011 Sorento, the 2010 to 2011 Soul and the 2007 Sedona.
The recall is in addition to a 2009 recall for a similar problem with the brake light switches.
Hyundai and Kia will notify owners and dealers will replace the switches free of charge. Kia will send notifications in May, while Hyunda expects to send notifications in June, once enough replacement parts have been received.
In the Elantra air bag recall, a support bracket can come loose when the side air bags are inflated and cause injuries. In one case, the bracket cut a driver’s ear. NHTSA began investigating the problem last year and traced it to cars that had auto-dimming rear-view mirrors installed after arriving at U.S. ports. Technicians installing the mirrors could dislodge the bracket, the investigation has found.
In April 2012, an Elantra owner told investigators that a side air bag inflated in a crash and sliced the driver’s left ear.
Hyundai dealers will install industrial adhesive strips to keep the brackets in place, free of charge to the owners. Hyundai will notify owners during the second quarter of this year.
For more information, contact a Gacovino Lake attorney at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).