Hyundai is recalling nearly 63,000 Sonata Hybrid vehicles from the 2015 and 2016 model years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the cars' sunroofs may detach from the vehicles while the cars are in motion.
In similar situations, the problem often lies with the bonding materials used, and this is no exception. However, the real issue isn't with the panoramic sunroof itself, but with the wind deflector manufactured by Webasto Donghee that sits in front of it. NHTSA's defect reports explains:
"The sunroof assembly incorporates a wind deflector at the front of the sunroof to reduce wind noise in the passenger compartment when the sunroof is open. Certain vehicles may have insufficient bonding of the wind deflector anchor plate. If the wind deflector becomes partially detached from its mounting points after the sunroof is opened, it can interfere with the moveable sunroof panel while the sunroof is being closed."
That interference can cause the sunroof panel to separate from the Sonata Hybrid. The panel can also detach if passengers attempt to force the sunroof closed. Either way, the panel poses a potential hazard to vehicle occupants and, if it falls off, to anyone traveling behind the car. Thankfully, Hyundai says that it's received no reports of accidents or injuries linked to the problem.
The recall affects 2015-2016 Sonata Hybrid vehicles built between December 8, 2014 and August 18, 2015. NHTSA says that 62,811 vehicles in the U.S. will need to be repaired.
If your Sonata Hybrid is in that number, Hyundai will mail you a recall notice no later than December 2. At that time, you'll be able to take your vehicle to a dealership for service, which will involve repairing the wind deflector anchor plate.
If you have further questions, you're encouraged to call Hyundai customer service at 1-800-633-5151 and ask about recall #152. You can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V726000.