Hyundai Regional Recall & Again NHTSA Sides With Auto Companies Not Americans
NY Times reports:
Hyundai is recalling about 419,000 vehicles in the United States in three separate actions for brake, electrical and suspension problems, according to reports the automaker posted Friday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
The largest recall covers about 225,000 Santa Fe crossovers from the 2001-6 model years. A rust problem could cause a front suspension coil to break, possibly puncturing a tire, according to the automaker’s report. The recall will be regional, covering vehicles originally sold or registered in 20 states that use a lot of road salt in the winter: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. Hyundai said it learned of the problem through warranty claims.
Consumer advocates have complained for years that regional recalls save automakers money, but because people can move frequently, the recalls can easily miss vehicles. Automakers and N.H.T.S.A., which allows such recalls, say the practice makes sense.
In a another rust problem involving GM brake lines, GM resisted recall and again NHTSA failed to act. In July the NY Times reported:
“Last week, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, wrote to N.H.T.S.A., saying they wanted information about the way the agency handles investigations, including defect petitions of the type filed in the G.M. brake case. The senators said they wanted to make sure such investigations “are responded to in a timely and complete manner.”
Hopefully Congressional oversight will stimulate NHTSA to do better protecting people than corporate profits. The Congress should be able to gain bipartisan support for safety because most of the States not in regional recalls are red States.
And in this election year, citizens, groups, and media can use free crash death mapping tools that show crash deaths over the past decade by State and by Congressional district. For example, Kentucky lost 8,666 people to crash injuries over the years 2002 – 2011. In 2011 alone, the number dying of crash injuries in KY averaged 2 people per day.
Crash death mapping tools are available at