The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2006 Hyundai Sonata, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE09003

    Component(s): Electronic Stability Control
    Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights:Switch
    Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Lever And Linkage:Column Shift
    Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Lever And Linkage:Floor Shift
    Power Train:Manual Transmission:Column Shift Assembly
    Power Train:Manual Transmission:Floor Shift Assembly
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Antilock
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Pedals And Linkages
    Vehicle Speed Control:Cruise Control

    Summary: By letter dated April 15, 2009, Hyundai notified the Agency that it will conduct a safety recall (NHTSA recall number 09V122) to replace the stop lamp switches on many of its model year 2005-2008 vehicles.see recall 09V122 for a complete list. The Agency opened its investigation based on five complaints of stop lamp failure across several 2007 Hyundai models. The Agency also received early warning (EWR) reports on this issue.most of those failures were traced to the improper operation of the stop lamp switch that controls stop lamp illumination.a malfunctioning stop lamp switch can cause the vehicle's brake lights not to light during braking, or alternatively, it can cause the brake lights to stay lit even when a driver takes the foot off the brake pedal. Failure of the stop lamps to illuminate properly creates the hazard of rear end collisions when drivers following the subject vehicle do not recognize that the vehicle is slowing or stopping. Hyundai reported one crash incident (a frontal impact), without injury, that was alleged to have been caused by this defect.the Agency reviewed the incident and cannot conclude that it is related to this defect. There are other potential problems related to failure of the stop lamp switch: Failure of the cruise control to disengage, interference with proper functioning of antilock brakes and electronic stability control, and inability to move the gear shift lever out of park position.based on the above safety recall, this investigation is closed.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Seat Belt Buckle Electrical Malfunction

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14023

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: July 22, 2014
    • Date Closed: December 01, 2014
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Seat Belts
    Seat Belts:Front:Buckle Assembly

    Summary: On July 22, 2014 the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary evaluation to further analyze allegations of seat belt pretensioner malfunctions on model year (MY) 2006-2008 Hyundai Sonata vehicles.ODI received 131 unique reports alleging a failure within the seat belt pretensioner system, which was typically preceded by SRS light illumination.ODI requested more information from Hyundai in order to understand the nature of the failure and how the airbag deployment algorithm, the seat belt pretensioners, and/or the airbag function may be affected. In response to ODI-s information request (IR), Hyundai submitted 764 unique consumer and field reports and 19,847 warranty claims related to a failure in the front seat belt buckle assembly potentially causing a malfunction of the seat belt pretensioners.In it's response, Hyundai advised that if the resistance specifications for the seat belt buckle pretensioner circuit, located in the seat belt stalk, exceed the nominal range, a diagnostic trouble code will be set and the SRS warning indicator lamp will illuminate.The presence of this stored code will not affect the ability of the SRS Control Module (SRSCM) to detect a collision and command deployment of the pretensioners and airbags, if warranted.In fact, the wiring harness connector may be unplugged from the seat belt buckle pretensioner, and the signal to deploy the pretensioner will still be commanded and recorded.MY 2006-2008 Sonata-s utilize a dual pretensioner system by incorporating pretensioners into both the driver and front passenger seat belt retractor and the seat belt buckle assembly.The retractor pretensioner is located inside the B-pillar and winds (pretensions) the seat belt webbing back into the retractor housing during a collision, helping to remove seat belt slack and restrain the upper torso and hips.In contrast, the buckle pretensioner is located within the stalk of the seat belt assembly and acts to supplement lower limb protection.Both pretensioners are controlled by the SRSCM but utilize separate wiring and connectors.The seat belt retractor pretensioner circuitry and operation is independent of the seat belt buckle pretensioner connector and circuitry.Hyundai produced analysis indicating that increased resistance in the seat belt pretensioner which occurs in vehicle service does not result in a loss of buckle pretensioner.Hyundai further advised that in the unlikely event that a seat belt buckle pretensioner may not deploy due to increased resistance, the retractor pretensioner would still activate.Hyundai advised that the subject vehicles maintain their 5 STAR NHTSA safety rating using the retractor based pretensioner only.ODI notes that MY 2009-10 Sonatas reverted back to a single pretensioner system, and do not utilize seat belt buckle pretensioners. Hyundai advised its intention to initiate a warranty extension program to address concerns with the seat belt buckle prentensioner faults in MY 2006-2008 Hyundai Sonata vehicles.This action will extend the warranty coverage for this issue for 15 years or 250,000 miles, whichever occurs first.Given Hyundai's action and the minimal safety consequence this issue presents, further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency will monitor the issue and reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances. The ODI complaints cited above can be reviewed at, see the PE14-023 investigative file for a list of the ODI numbers.

  3. INVESTIGATION: Rear Control Arm Failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13007

    Component(s): Suspension:Rear

    Summary: In a letter dated August 9, 2013, Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc. (Hyundai) notified NHTSA that Hyundaiis conducting a safety recall (13V-354) involving approximately 239,000 vehicles involving model year (MY) 2006 through 2010 Hyundai Sonata vehicles (approximately 215,000)produced beginning on March 1, 2005 through January 21, 2010 and model year (MY) 2006 through 2011 Hyundai Azera vehicles (approximately 24,000) produced beginning on September 27, 2005 through November 22, 2010 that are registered in and operated or originally sold in the following 20 "salt belt" states and the District of Columbia: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.Hyundai will also inform dealers to inspect/repair vehicles that were previously registered in salt belt states but are currently registered elsewhere. Hyundai is conducting the recall to remedy a defect involving internal corrosion of the rear sub frame that may lead to separation of the rear upper/lower control arm(s) at their respective mounting points and/or separation of the axle from the transaxle where they meet.This could result in a loss of vehicle control and/or vehicle disablement which may increase the risk of a vehicle crash.In response to NHTSA-s Information Request (IR) letter, Hyundai stated the Azera vehicles utilizes the identical cross member and upper/lower rear control arm components as the subject (Sonata) vehicles.In analysis of both Vehicle Owner Questionnaire (VOQ) data submitted to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) and consumer complaint data submitted to Hyundai, ODI identified 19 non-duplicative reports alleging excessive corrosion of the rear sub frame. All of the complaint vehicles were either originally sold or registered at the time of the incident in one of the salt belt states.Of these 19 reports, 9 alleged either a suspension component separation or a fracture of the vehicle's rear cross member assembly.Similarly, ODI identified 8 warranty claims of rear sub frame replacement in data submitted by Hyundai due to excessive corrosion, all of which involved vehicles originally sold or operated in a salt belt state. Based on Hyundai's decision to conduct a safety recall, (13V-354) this investigation is closed.The VOQs cited above can be viewed at under the following identification numbers: 10535115, 10534110, 10525976, 10524726, 10521520, 10508368, 10505463, 10490073, 10486752, 10486435, 1048354, 10473922, and 10437887.