Hyundai has issued a recall for certain 2018 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport crossovers in the US, to assess a very scary issue: a possible steering wheel detachment while driving.
In the report issued by the NHTSA and quoted by AutoNews, it’s explained that the steering wheel assembly could break on the move. As a result, the steering wheel could detach from the steering column.
The automaker blames the supplier for this defect, adding that “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”.
Affected are the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe made from June to December in South Korea, and the Santa Fe Sport, produced at Alabama between July and October, and Georgia, from August to October. In total, 43,491 vehicles are affected by this recall, while another 8,456 units were recalled in Canada for the same defect.
Luckily, Hyundai says is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this issue, but there has been a report from a US driver claiming that the steering wheel came off. The car was stationary at the time, and the man was reaching for his wallet, using the steering wheel as leverage.
Owners of the affected SUVs will be notified by the company starting mid-March, and technicians will replace the entire steering wheel assembly, if necessary, free of charge.
In the meantime, the fourth generation Hyundai Santa Fe is at the Geneva Motor Show. It will go on sale across Europe later this year, and will reach US dealers as well. The new Santa Fe will be offered with a couple of gasoline engines and a diesel on this side of the pond, but hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions are expected, too.