Hyundai has issued a recall for tens of thousands of SUVs over a critical steering issue.
The company is recalling 43,941 of its Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sports SUVs because the steering wheel assembly could break at any time, reported Consumer Reports.
The assembly isn’t completely stable while the vehicle is in motion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The problem could lead to a crash, Hyundai said.
The administration said that two incidents stemming from the steering wheel assembly problem have already been documented.
No injuries or deaths have been reported as yet.
The vehicles recalled are specifically:
—12,574 Santa Fe SUVs built in South Korea from June 15, 2017, through Dec. 28, 2017.
—13,749 Santa Fe Sport SUVs built in Alabama from July 23, 2017, through Oct. 23, 2017.
—17,618 Santa Fe Sport SUVs built in Georgia from Aug. 10, 2017, through Oct. 24, 2017.
Another 8,456 vehicles in Canada were also recalled for the potential defect, according to Automotive News.
“These vehicles may contain defective steering wheel assemblies from a certain suspect production lot from the supplier,” Hyundai reported. “No other Hyundai or Genesis vehicles not mentioned in this report use the same steering wheel assembly or contain steering wheel assemblies from the suspect production lot.”
The company said that mold temperature may have increased during the molding process.
That may have caused the damage to the steering wheel assemblies.
In one of the documented cases, a driver was reaching for his wallet and using the steering wheel as leverage, a Hyundai spokesman told Automotive News.
The wheel became loose, but the spokesman emphasized that the vehicle was not moving at the time.
People should return the SUVs to the dealerships that they bought them from.
The dealerships will examine the wheel hubs and replace the assemblies when necessary.
Hyundai will be notifying all owners of the SUVs by mail by mid-March.