The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a recall of more than 41,000 Hyundai Entourage minvans from the 2007 and 2008 model-years. NHTSA bulletins indicate that some of those vehicles may have problems with their hood latches, which could increase the risk of accidents.
The latches in question are secondary latches, manufactured in South Korea by Pyeong Hwa Automotive. Over time, the latches can become corroded and get stuck in the open position, unbeknownst to drivers. If that should happen, and if a vehicle's primary latch should open for some reason, the secondary latch wouldn't be able to hold the hood in place. In traffic, that would obviously create a significant visibility problem for a driver, increasing the risk of a collision.
The recall affects 2007-2008 Entourage vehicles built between February 16, 2006 and June 30, 2008. NHTSA says that 41,264 of those vehicles are registered in the U.S. There's no word yet on whether the same problem might affect the Entourage's twin, the Kia Sedona.
Because this is ultimately a corrosion problem, and because corrosion is a bigger concern in states that make frequent use of de-icing salts in winter, the recall will have two slightly different fixes:
- Vehicles that have been sold or registered, in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia will have their secondary latches replaced.
- Vehicles from other states will be inspected, and dealers will either lubricate the latch or replace it, as necessary.
Hyundai will mail recall notices to owners of affected vehicles by December 9. If you own one of these minivans and have questions in the meantime, you're encouraged to contact Hyundai customer service at 1-800-633-5151 and ask about recall #154. Alternately, you can call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V843000.