Around three percent of 2011 Hyundai Sonata owners have complained about a steering issue affecting their cars, and now the automaker has found a solution to the problem. Hyundai recently issued a service bulletin to its dealers advising them of a fix to the Sonata's tracking issues, which only appear in 2011 models with 18-inch wheels built between September 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011.
According to Hyundai, the fix requires dealers to inspect wheel alignment and vehicle tracking, as well as install new front suspension struts if necessary. The automaker says it will inform owners of affected Sonatas about the problem and invite them to come in for the fix. The work should take between 4 and 5 hours at most, and any work done will be performed free of charge. Hyundai even says customers with affected vehicles will get a loaner free of charge while the service is being performed.
Hyundai says that around 4,000 owners complained of the issue, which involved their Sonata pulling to the left under normal driving. In all, nearly 200 complaints were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hyundai stresses its campaign to fix affected Sonatas is not a recall, but rather a service action performed proactively before a full recall is needed.
The automaker says around 200,000 Sonatas were built during the eight-month production window mentioned in the service bulletin, but that only around 40,000 were equipped with the 18-inch wheels affected by the steering issue. Of those, Hyundai says it's probable only a small percentage will need the suspension struts replaced.
With nearly 150,000 units sold already this year, the Sonata has been a runaway success for Hyundai since its debut as a 2011 model. The midsize sedan offers no V6 options, but rather three four-cylinders: one with a turbocharger, one without and a gas-electric hybrid variant for drivers looking to save fuel.