Hyundai Motor Company has announced two major recalls last week, covering their Sonata and Accent models.
According to US News, Hyundai is issuing the recall for 470,000 2011 and 2012 Sonatas. The specific models being recalled feature either a 2-liter or a 2.4-liter engine.
The vehicles are being recalled due to a possibility of metal debris in the crankshaft area. The debris is most likely still there after a failure to properly clear it during the manufacturing process.
The significance of the debris is that the connecting rod bearings may be restricted from oil flow. Because the rod bearings are cooled by this oil flow, they may overheat and fail. If they fail, the engines are liable to stall, leading to the possibility of crash. That possibility prompted Hyundai to issue the recall
The engines of the recalled Sonatas were manufactured in Hyundai’s Alabama engine plant. According to Hyundai, the 2011 Sonata was the first car to use the Alabama plant’s engines. The problem arose from a mechanical process of removing the debris from the crankshaft. The plant switched to a high water pressure blasting system process in April 2012.
Hyundai initially noticed the possibility of a problem when Sonata owners began reporting a strange noise coming from the engine. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warned Hyundai that there might be a more serious issue, althoughthey didn’t consider the issue to be one of safety due to the Sonata giving warnings. Nonetheless, the NHTSA was worried about engine stalling.
Hyundai has stated that the engines will be completely replaced at no cost to the owners, and the new engine’s warranty will be set at 10 years or 120,000 miles.
Hyundai also announced a less significant recall of their Accent model. The recall covers about 100,000 2009 to 2011 models.
The recall is the result of three issues with the vehicle’s brakes: the vehicle’s brake lights propensity to fail, cruise control having the possibility to stay activated even after the brakes are stepped on, and the gear shift possibly staying locked in park.
Hyundai again said they’d replace the brake switch at no cost to owners starting in November.