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 2011 Hyundai Sonata, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Air bags may be disabled during crash

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE18003

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: March 16, 2018
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags: Air Bag Control Module
    Air Bags:Frontal
    Air Bags:Frontal:Driver Side Inflator Module
    Air Bags:Passenger Side Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is currently aware of six crashes with significant collision related damage events involving Hyundai and Kia models where air bags failed to deploy in frontal crashes.Four such crashes involved model year (MY) 2011 Hyundai Sonatas and two others involved MY 2012 and MY 2013 Kia Fortes.The MY 2013 Forte crash occurred in Canada and the Forte was a Canadian market vehicle.ODI learned of two crashes via Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQ) filed in 2015 and 2016, and all six crashes were reported via Early Warning Reporting submitted between 2012 and 2017.In total, the crashes resulted in four fatalities and six injuries.On February 27, 2018, Hyundai filed a defect information report leading to NHTSA Recall No. 18V-137.Hyundai indicates that the DIR stemmed from post-collision inspections of the air bag control units (ACUs) showing that an electrical overstress condition (EOS) of an ACU electronic component occurred in three of the crashes, and that the fourth ACU is under evaluation for the same concern.Hyundai has not identified a remedy for this recall, and states that the cause of the EOS is being investigated with the ACU supplier, ZF-TRW.ODI's current understanding is that the above Kia products also use similar ACUs supplied by ZF-TRW.Additionally, ODI is aware of a prior recall, 16V-668 where EOS appeared to be a root cause of air bag non-deployment in significant frontal crashes in certain Fiat Chrysler vehicles.Under the investigation, ODI will evaluate the scope of Hyundai's recall, confirm Kia's use of the same or similar ZF-TRW ACU, review the root cause analysis of all involved parties, and review and evaluate pertinent vehicle and/or ACU factors that may be contributing to, or causing EOS failures.Additionally, ODI will determine if any other vehicle manufacturers used the same or similar ACUs, as supplied by ZF-TRW, and if so, evaluate whether the field experience of these vehicles indicates potentially related crash events.The above VOQs can be reviewed at NHTSA.gov under identification numbers 10781050 and 10849839.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Scope and Timeliness

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ17004

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: May 18, 2017
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Engine

    Summary: On September 10, 2015, Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) filed a Defect Information Report (DIR) recalling 470,000 MY 2011 and 2012 Sonata vehicles with ""Theta II" engines (Recall No. 15V-568). Hyundai's DIR described the defect as an issue involving manufacturing debris. Hyundai limited the population of recalled vehicles to those produced on or prior to April 12, 2012, stating that a process change in April 2012 resolved the issue of manufacturing debris. On March 31, 2017, Hyundai expanded its original recall to include 572,000 MY 2013-2014 Sonata and Santa Fe Sport vehicles with "Theta II" engines (Recall No. 17V-226). The DIR continues to describe the defect as an issue involving manufacturing debris.This RQ is being opened to investigate both the timeliness and scope of Hyundai's "Theta II" engine recalls, and Hyundai's compliance with reporting requirements.

  3. INVESTIGATION: Non-crash Fires

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP18003

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: August 21, 2018
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Fan
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Hose
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Radiator Assembly
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Diesel
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline:Belts And Associated Pulleys
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline:Turbo-Charger
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Other Fuel Types:Turbo-Charger
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System:Emission Control
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System:Emission Control:Catalytic Convertor
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System:Emission Control:Crankcase (Pcv)
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System:Emission Control:Gas Recirculation Valve (Egr Valve)
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System:Manifold/Header/Muffler/Tail Pipe

    Summary: On June 11, 2018, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned NHTSA to conduct a defect investigation into non-crash fires on model year 2011-2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles.The CAS petition cited at least 120 Vehicle Owner Questionnaire (VOQ) reports of fires and additional 229 VOQs of melted wires, smoke and/or burning odors, indicating potential fires on these vehicles, as of June 7, 2018.ODI's preliminary review of the VOQs indicates the majority of the reported fires appears to be related to the engine failures covered by two current Recall Queries: RQ17-003 on Kia vehicles and RQ17-004 on Hyundai vehicles.ODI is opening a Defect Petition to review the petition, VOQs, Early Warning Data, and other information on the subject vehicles followed by a decision to grant or deny the petition.The following VOQ numbers (120 fire reports) are cited by the petitioner and can be viewed at www.nhtsa.gov.10341928 10386128 10398744 10429442 10436180 10441602 10465924 10476823 10482868 10503081 10534292 10547548 10553823 10555125 10558870 10560485 10572612 10587361 10645013 10650571 10661186 10692124 10693248 10694186 10702294 10705662 10714982 10726832 10748707 10748982 10779962 10783067 10785478 10786603 10787041 10787681 10806151 10806344 10808477 10812040 10821034 10824280 10846035 10850516 10852467 10861488 10873251 10883323 10884112 10892633 10894943 10895904 10901907 10903380 10903804 10905594 10914540 10918948 10920235 10926855 10930342 10938549 10949004 10957216 10958524 10965933 10968692 10970145 10971800 10972006 10978698 10980295 10984187 10985144 10991332 10991353 10991729 11005870 11010849 11012450 11012531 11012907 11013481 11015550 11015830 11016078 11016332 11022683 11022912 11024053 11031971 11043333 11044183 11045499 11047022 11052937 11057393 11058273 11060659 11062637 11065937 11066433 11066583 11071675 11073341 11074148 11075310 11076296 11080980 11081758 11082829 11090028 11090119 11090295 11091115 11093994 11097211 11097793 11097934 11098807

  4. INVESTIGATION: Steering Shaft Separation

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE10035

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Column

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is aware of 7 complaints and field reports and 10 warranty claims on the subject vehicles that allege the intermediate steering shaft became loose or in some cases separated from the upper steering column and/or the steering gearbox, causing (or potentially causing) the hand wheel to become mechanically de-coupled from the road wheels resulting in a complete loss of steering capability.The reported causes include excessive free play or separation of the intermediate steering shaft upper and/or lower universal joint cross shaft/yoke; missing, loose or damaged universal joint pinch bolts; improperly assembled intermediate steering shafts with misaligned splines or insufficient spline engagement preventing the universal joint pinch bolt from being secured in the retaining groove when fastened.On September 20, 2010, the manufacturer notified the agency that it would conduct a safety recall (NHTSA Recall No. 10V-426) to address the alleged defect in approximately 139,500 subject vehicles produced from December 11, 2009 through September 10, 2010.In addition to inspecting the steering shaft, the manufacturer will also update the electric power-assist steering control software to address complaints that the steering wheel vibrates or shakes as a result of a a motor driven power steering malfunction.The manufacturer began notifying affected owners by written letter on October 14, 2010.To date, 119,383 subject vehicles have been serviced under the recall campaign and 58 subject vehicles have received replacement parts as a result.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.