Hyundai Recalls Over 400,000 Elantras Due to Short/Fire Risk

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Hyundai Motor America is recalling nearly 430,000 vehicles in the United States over a short risk that could create a fire hazard. Affected models include Hyundai Elantras from the 2006-2011 model years and the Hyundai Elantra Touring from 2007-2011.

Even though the problem is really similar to the one that afflicted older Azera and Sonatas manufactured around the same time, Hyundai says the recall is not related to previous Hyundai recalls. Both cases involved moisture getting into the antilock brake module, which then overheats and creates a fire risk. In both cases, Hyundai said fires can occur after the vehicle is turned off.

Our advice? Be doubly careful if your ABS warning light makes an appearance whilst driving and don’t park your Elantra inside a garage or carport until after repairs have been made.

Documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claim Hyundai found no “discernible trend relating to a design or manufacturing defect” allowing water to enter the system. It makes one wonder how hard they are actually looking. The NHTSA said it opened an investigation on various Hyundai and Kia models in 2019 (after the Azera and Sonata recalls) due to the elevated number of fire complaints from owners of older vehicles. Plenty of those incidents had nothing to do with ABS, however, and instead dealt with various engine manufacturing defects resulting in debris accumulation or oil leaks ( especially on the Theta II).

For the manufacturer’s latest recall, the fix involves installing a relay inside the main junction box to prevent the risk of an ABS short circuit while the car is turned off. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to address the water intrusion that’s at the heart of the issue.

As usual, any necessary repairs will be conducted free of charge. Owners with affected vehicles should be getting their notification letters early next month.

[Image: Hyundai]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Thehyundaigarage Thehyundaigarage on Feb 13, 2020

    Steve 203 Buy an Elantra GT or the forte with the 1.6t. It’s from the gamma engine family, which is basically a heavily modernized version of the original alpha engine. They’re solid. Theta2. Manufacturing debris my ass. Or they wouldn’t have just extended the warranty to 200k to even the 2019 model year. Nu engines. 1.8, avoid it. 2.0, pretty good, just change oil frequently. Basically, buy a 1.6t. It’ll be good to you

    • Steve203 Steve203 on Feb 13, 2020

      @thehyundaigarage, thanks for the input. There were 3 cars I had my eye on: (2) 2016 Forte5s and (1) 2018 Elantra GT. CarFax pulls up the original window sticker for Hyundai and Kia products. Appears that all three have the Nu 2.0 GDI. All have the 6 speed automatic. The CarFaxes for both of the Forte5s, do not show an oil change until over 17,000 miles, nearly 2 years, from first registration, well beyond the recommended interval, but reasonably regular oil changes after that. Both cars now have mileage in the low 40Ks. The Elantra GT has been a service loaner at the dealer since last fall. It has 7852 miles on it, without an oil change. Think I'll just sit back and see what the new GT styling looks like.

  • Thehyundaigarage Thehyundaigarage on Feb 13, 2020

    To add to it, despite working for Hyundai and having seen so many blown engines, there is one thing I will give Hyundai Canada (whom I’m not a fan of) credit for. Redesigning an engine for millions of cars isn’t practical, so they have been Good about putting engines in cars with high mileage under warranty. Oil change records for your 220k old 2011 Elantra with a knocking engine. They’ll give you a new one with few questions asked. That’s not half bad..

  • Corey Lewis The short truck is terrible. The tire blocks all rear visibility while making the tiny bed very tricky to access. And the wheels on it look like they're from 2002. Other than that, I really like the idea of the Grenadier and it seems like a good effort. I wouldn't buy one because of the tractor recirculating ball steering, which makes it terrible in everyday use.
  • Bjohnson10 Coast to Coast by the Jesus and Mary Chain. It's only about someone on a cross-country motorcycle trip while high on heroin.
  • Funky D A few from my road trip playlist: Eddie Rabbitt - Drivin' My Life AwayAmerica - Ventura Highway---Herb Alpert - Route 101Jerry Reed - East Bown and DownEddie Money - Shakin'Lindey Buckingham - Holiday RoadWar - Low RiderTears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Not a driving song per se, but if you've seen the video, you'll get it)Wang Chung - Wait (Gotta see the end credits of "To Live and Die in LA", for this one)
  • Ronin Or can sedans be saved from themselves? Modern sedans have very low entry and seating, and unnecessarily downward sloping rear roofs. This may have been a sleek design center 25 years ago, but it's nice to have an alternative to SUVs for the olds (ie, anyone over 30).
  • Bd2 The Hyundai Sonota is the best sedan on the market right now.