Hyundai has announced a recall to fix a bad seat belt design in the 2011 Hundai Sonata and 2012 Hyundai Sonata vehicle line. But there's a catch.
The center rear seat belt mechanism design violates federal safety standards and 13,095 of the vehicles have been sold and delivered to drivers - leaving only about 1,633 still in dealer inventory or unsold. Hyundai has told the federal government's safety investigators that it only wants to fix those 1,633 vehicles. Worse than that, they don't even want to tell the other 13,095 owners about the problem.
So, what do you do? We'll get to that in a minute. First, here's the recall notice, hot off the federal government's press release -
First, go to your local Hyundai dealer and ask them to fix it. If they say no? Complain. Loudly. Ask to talk to the supervisor. Then ask to speak to the owner. Still won't work?
And second? Call Hyundai at 1.800.633.5151. Busy signal? Call them on their regular phone line at 714.965.3000. No help? Fax them an angry letter at 1.714.965.3861.
Still getting nowhere? Write them a nasty letter about how they don't seem to care about violating federal law and send it to Hyundai Motor America, P.O. Box 20850, Fountain Valley, CA 92728.
Are they responding yet? Then send them a strongly worded email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hyundai likes to say that they "stood face-to-face with each and every automotive assumption out there and challenged them all" - well apparently that includes the one about following federal safety laws and building cars safely and fixing ALL of them when something is wrong. Instead, Hyundai appears to say "we'll fix what we want to fix - and you can't make us do anything else."
Are you mad enough yet? Send your letter to Hyundai Motor Company, 231 Yangjae-Dong, Seocho-Gu, Seoul 137-938, South Korea. Or, if you are really mad, call them at +82-2-3464-1114. Don't speak Korean?
Then fax your letter to Hyundai in Korea at 714.965.3148.
Would you rather complain direct to the guy in charge? Address your letter to Chung Mong-Koo, Chairman.
The second in command? Chung Eui-Sun, Vice Chairman.
Motor vehicle manufacturers should not get to choose what cars they will fix and what ones they won't fix - especially when they all have the same problem. Oh, you can also complain direct to the federal safety investigators at NHTSA. They make it easy - just click here and follow the instructions online.
And if they won't? Well, when you've got a bad car, you need a good Lemon Law lawyer. Click on the link below and find one near you.
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of bad cars for more than 30 years.