Hyundai is recalling about 470,000 midsize cars in the United States to replace the engines because of a manufacturing defect that could cause them to fail.
According to an Associated Press news report, the recall covers Sonata sedans from the 2011 and 2012 model years equipped with 2-liter or 2.4-liter gasoline engines.
At the time, the Sonata was Hyundai’s top-selling vehicle in the nation.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has posted documents about the Sonata recall, which state that the metal debris may not have been fully removed from the crankshaft area during manufacturing at the Korean manufacturer’s Alabama engine plant.
That can restrict oil flow to connecting rod bearings and since they are cooled by oil, they could fail. If that happens, the engines could stall and cause a crash.
Risk of Engine Stalling
Hyundai officials said the 2011 Sonata was the first Hyundai vehicle to use engines made in that plant where the company initially used a mechanical process to remove machining debris from the crankshaft. Hyundai became aware of the problem when owners started reporting engine noise.
In June, federal safety regulators raised the issue with Hyundai, which told NHTSA it did not consider the issue to be safety-related. But NHTSA told the company it was concerned about the possibility of vehicles stalling at high speeds. Hyundai decided to recall the cars on Sept. 2, according to NHTSA’s documents.
When the recall begins, dealers will inspect the cars and replace engines at no cost to owners. The company has also said it will increase the engine warranty for 10 years or 120,000 miles.
Owners can expect to get their recall notices by early November and then a second notice when the replacement engines are available. The company says it is not aware of crashes or injuries relating to this safety issue.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Stalling engines can put drivers and other vehicle occupants at significant risk of injury or even death. When the engine suddenly fails as the vehicle is in motion, the consequences can be devastating. If you own one of these vehicles, be sure to contact your dealer to take the necessary action to replace the defective engine.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these or other auto defects, please contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer who will ensure that you receive fair and full compensation for the injuries, damages and losses caused.
Injured victims would also be well advised to preserve the vehicle in its current, crashed condition so an expert can thoroughly examine it for manufacturing defects, malfunctions and design flaws.