US road safety agency investigates Hyundai Sonata steering issues

Distributor says local Sonata owners have no reason to worry
Sep 2, 2010

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States has reportedly started its preliminary investigation on the Hyundai Sonata’s alleged steering system problems.

The NHTSA has already looked at field reports on the Hyundai Sonata that allege “either a separation of the intermediate steering shaft assembly upper universal joint that resulted in a complete loss of steering capability or a loosening, but not complete separation, of the upper universal joint connection,” said.

The report said about 16,300 Sonata units are covered by the investigation. The units “were manufactured by Hyundai during the same month and had fewer than 600 miles (less than 1,000 kilometers) of service at the time of the reports.”

Hyundai Asia Resources, distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines, assures Sonata units in the country are not affected by the alleged steering problems.

“The Sonata models in the United States use an electric-assisted power steering system,” said Raphael Ryan Batuigas, public relations manager of Hyundai Asia Resources. “The local Sonata units use a traditional hydraulic-assisted power steering system so we’re safe from the steering issues of the US-made Sonatas.”

Batuigas added that Hyundai in the Philippines will closely monitor the NHTSA’s investigation in case the issue evolves beyond the electric-assisted power steering system.

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