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From Products Liability Law Daily, August 16, 2013

Hyundai initiates recall of 239,000 Sonata and Azera vehicles due to corrosion issues from road salt and water

By Joseph Bichl

Hyundai-Kia voluntarily recalled some 239,000 model year 2006-2010 Sonata and 2006-2011 Azera vehicles after discovering that road salt and water can lead to corrosion and ultimately may alter the rear-wheel alignment, affecting vehicle handling and increasing the risk of a crash (Hyundai-Kia Defect Information Report, August 9, 2013; NHTSA Recall Notice, No. 13V354, August 12, 2013).

Corrosion survey. In April 2013, Hyundai conducted a corrosion survey of customer Sonata and Azera vehicles at Hyundai dealerships in Canada and the United States. The survey found varying levels of rear crossmember corrosion on vehicles operating in the “salt belt states.” These states include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. In light of the survey’s results, Hyundai decided to initiate a recall to address any further long-term corrosion in these vehicles.

Corrosion defect. According to Hyundai, road salt and water can enter portions of the rear crossmember or flow into the area between the crossmember and the crossmember underbody coating, leading to corrosion of the crossmember steel. The corrosion can result in rear control arms detachment, which can suddenly alter the vehicle’s wheel alignment and affect its handling. Hyundai indicated that it has received 8 warranty claims and 7 customer complaints involving these vehicles. The automaker is not aware of any accidents or injuries as a result of the rear crossmember corrosion condition.

The recalled Sonatas were manufactured March 1, 2005, through January 21, 2010; the Azera vehicles were manufactured September 27, 2005, through November 22, 2010.

Remedy. Hyundai reported that it will notify owners, and dealers will repair or replace the crossmember assembly. The recall is expected to begin by the end of September 2013. Hyundai's recall number is 113.

Contact information. For more information, consumers can contact Hyundai at 1-734-337-9499. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit http://www.safercar.gov.

Companies: Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecalls MotorVehiclesNews

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