Hyundai Motor Company is recalling the 2011 Hyundai Sonata due to a problem with the car's power steering system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that roughly 173,000 vehicles registered in the U.S. are affected.
The recall stems from an issue with the circuit board of the electronic control unit that handles the Sonata's power steering. NHTSA's defect report explains that the protective coating on that circuit board is inadequate to shield it from environmental damage. If the board becomes damaged, the Sonata's electronic power steering may be entirely disabled.
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NHTSA notes that without electronic power steering engaged, drivers can still control the Sonata, but the task will be noticeably more difficult. If you've ever experienced driving a car without power steering, you know that doing so is hardest at slow speeds.
The recall affects 2011 Sonata vehicles built between December 11, 2009 and October 31, 2010. Vehicles made after that time were equipped with circuit boards with improved protective coating.
Hyundai will mail out recall notices by May 30 of this year. Owners will be instructed to take their vehicles to Hyundai dealers, who will replace the electronic power steering control unit at no charge.
Should you have questions, you're encouraged to contact Hyundai customer service at 855-371-9640 and ask about recall #143. You can also call NHTSA directly at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V190000.