U.S. investigating Hyundai Sonata steering

by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating possible steering mechanism problems on some 2011 Hyundai Sonatas.

The investigation is based on two incidents reported by Hyundai itself through the government's "Early Warning Reporting" system, a Hyundai spokesman said.

2011_hyundai_sonata.03.jpg
2011 Hyundai Sonata

In one case, a universal joint that helps connect the steering wheel to the front wheels allegedly came loose, resulting in a complete loss of steering control, as reported in a NHTSA document. In the other case, a defective bolt caused loosening, but not total separation, of the universal joint.

There were no crashes or injuries in either case, Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor said. Both cars were repaired and returned to their owners.

The Department of Transportation's auto safety arm has opened a preliminary investigation into the matter. Hyundai has not yet received a formal request for more information on the two cases, a usual first step in a preliminary investigation like this.

"Of course, we plan to cooperate fully in this investigation," Trainor said.

At the time of the repairs, the NHTSA document says, both of the cars had been driven less than 600 miles. Both vehicles were both manufactured at the same Alabama plant during the same month.

The 2011 Sonata, which is produced at the South Korean automaker's Montgomery, Ala., factory, has been a strong seller. The automaker has already sold about 100,000 of them, Trainor said. This new version of the mid-sized sedan went on sale this spring.

Hyundai earlier recalled the car because of a problem with a door latch. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,596.35 -350.33 -1.95%
Nasdaq 4,958.47 -122.04 -2.40%
S&P 500 2,057.64 -43.85 -2.09%
Treasuries 2.36 0.03 1.42%
Data as of 9:00am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Intel Corp 30.39 -0.63 -2.03%
Cisco Systems Inc 27.54 -0.74 -2.62%
Pfizer Inc 33.59 -0.33 -0.97%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 11.03 -0.13 -1.16%
Applied Materials In... 19.21 -0.57 -2.88%
Data as of Jun 29
Sponsors

Sections

The Facebook tool for turning profile photos into rainbows went viral over Pride weekend. More

Greece says it won't pay the IMF even as it engages in a flurry of last minute activity to revive talks with Europe on a bailout. More

An estimated 5 million more salaried workers may soon become automatically eligible for overtime pay, thanks to a pending federal rule change. More