By Todd Spangler Detroit Free Press
WASHINGTON – Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are recalling some 1.9 million vehicles, the vast majority to fix a faulty electrical switch which could increase the risk of a crash while braking.
The recalls were posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website. Documents filed with NHTSA indicated the recall for the faulty electrical switch grew out of nine complaints submitted last November to Transport Canada – that country’s transportation agency – which were outside the production range of an earlier 2009 recall for the same issue.
According to the automakers, 1.7 million vehicles across several different model years are being recalled to repair a stop lamp switch that can malfunction and keep the brake lights from illuminating. The malfunction could also fail to deactivate the vehicle’s cruise control when depressing the brake pedal.
The faulty stop lamp switch may also cause the push-button start feature to malfunction and keep the shift from being moved out of the park position. It can also cause the Electronic Stability Control malfunction light to come on.
The recall affects just more than 1 million Hyundai vehicles, including certain models of the Accent and Tucson (2007-2009), Elantra (2007-2010), Santa Fe (2007-2011), Veracruz (2008-2009), Genesis Coupe (2010-2011) and Sonata (2011). It also affects about 624,000 Kia vehicles, including the Rondo and Sportage (2007-2010), Sorento (2007-2011), Sedona (2007), Soul (2010-2011) and Optima (2011).
Hyundai plans to notify owners and replace the stop lamp switch beginning in June. Kia expects to send an interim notification to owners in May and send a second notification to owners when parts become available to have the vehicles repaired.
Meanwhile, Hyundai also reported another recall of 186,000 vehicles, saying a support bracket attached to the headliner can become displaced during side curtain airbag deployment and result in cuts to the driver.
The recall affects 2011-2013 Elantras made from Nov. 12, 2010, through March 5, 2013. Hyundia will notify owners, and dealers will apply adhesive strips to the headliners.
Hyundai and Kia – both parts of South Korean-based Hyundai Motor Group – share a technical center in Superior Township, Mich., that serves as the design, technology and engineering division for all North American models the brands manufacture.