Hyundai Motor has issued a recall for about 46,000 of the new, 2011 Sonata in the largely closed South Korean market, though a small number of the sedans will also be impacted here in the U.S.
The Korean company had seemingly overcome its dismal quality reputation caused by the original models sold in the U.S. two decades ago with clever marketing and one of the best warranties in the business.
The company had hoped to increase its U.S. market share primarily from sales of the new Sonata, which accounts for almost 40% if sales here. How much of a setback this is remains to be seen.
In a statement, Hyundai Motor said that it has “discovered a mechanical problem with its front door latches which, in very rare instances, will not close properly.”
Apparently, 1,300 of the defective Sonata models now in customer service in the United States would also be recalled.
In total, about 5,000 model year 2011 Sonatas, produced from December 11, 2009 until February 15, 2010 in a non-union assembly plant in Alabama are affected.
In Korea, Hyundai claimed the recall, which will begin sometime in March, was caused by a “handful” of customer complaints.
Hyundai also says that there have been no reports of accidents or injuries because of the safety defect.
However, U.S. representatives of Hyundai were unable to respond immediately to requests for more information. (more…)