Hyundai is recalling nearly 44,000 2018 Santa Fe and 2018 Santa Fe Sport crossovers sold in the US and approximately 8,500 of the vehicles sold in Canada over a defect that could cause the steering wheel to detach from the steering column and increase the possibility of an accident.
The recall was announced last month, but Hyundai says that owners should begin receiving notices in the mail March 16.
On the affected vehicles, the steering wheel assembly may break, which may result in the steering wheel detaching from the steering column while the vehicle is being driven. No injuries or accidents have been reported as a result of the defect and no reports of steering wheels detaching while a vehicle is in motion have been reported.
In one case reported to Hyundai, a man was reaching for his wallet and using the steering wheel as leverage when it became loose. The vehicle was not in motion at the time.
”These vehicles may contain defective steering wheel assemblies from a certain suspect production lot from the supplier," Hyundai said in a statement. "No other Hyundai or Genesis vehicles not mentioned in this report use the same steering wheel assembly or contain steering wheel assemblies from the suspect production lot.”
The company said the "mold temperature may have increased during the molding process" and therefore may have caused damage to certain steering wheel assemblies.
Dealerships will examine the steering wheel hub assemblies and replace the steering wheel assemblies if necessary. There will be no charge to the customer.
-- by Ruben Porras