Hyundai is recalling the 2013 Hyundai Elantra sedan to fix a problem with its brake lights. More than 64,000 vehicles in the U.S. are affected.
The Elantra's problem is rooted in its brake pedal stopper pad, which was manufactured by Kyung Chang industrial. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the stopper pad's material can deteriorate over time, which could have one or more effects:
1. It could allow the car's stop lights to remain illuminated long after the brake pedal has been released.
2. It could cause the car's traction control warning lamp to light up.
3. It could allow a driver to move the shift lever without pressing the brake pedal.
4. It could allow a driver to start the Elantra without pressing the brake pedal.
While item #2 might simply be annoying or alarming, the other three effects could dramatically increase the risk of accidents. If a car's brake lights remain on, following vehicles have no idea when the car is actually stopping. And of course, changing gears or starting a vehicle without the brake pedal depressed could allow the Elantra to move unexpectedly.
The recall includes 2013 Hyundai Elantra sedans built between December 1, 2012 and April 30, 2013 at the automaker's U.S. and Korean facilities. All told, Hyundai estimates that 64,500 vehicles registered in the U.S. are affected.
Hyundai will begin mailing recall notices to owners on September 30, 2016. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their cars to Hyundai dealers, who will replace the brake pedal stopper pad at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460 and ask about recall #146. If you prefer, you can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V574000.