Hyundai Motor America is recalling a total of 128,948 vehicles over reports of premature engine damage. Affected by the recall are the 2012 Santa Fe, 2011 to 2013 and 2016 Sonata Hybrid, and 2015 to 2016 Veloster.
According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is a possibility for connecting-rod bearings in the engine of the affected vehicles to wear out earlier than expected and cause damage to the engine. If this happens, there will be an increased risk of a fire or engine stalling, which could then lead to a crash.
Hyundai said it will begin sending recall notifications to customers on January 22, 2021. The owners will be asked to bring their vehicles to a local dealer where they will be inspected. Vehicles found to have bearing damage will have their engines replaced free of charge.
On top of the engine replacement, Hyundai dealers are also instructed to install a new knock sensor detection system by conducting a software upgrade in the recalled vehicles. This system monitors engine vibrations and detects premature wear or damage.
Hyundai also advises being cautious of the signs indicative of problems in the connecting-rod bearings such as abnormal knocking noises coming from the engine, reduced power or hesitation in the vehicle, illumination of the “check engine” alert or the engine oil pressure warning light, a burning smell, smoke, or oil leaks.