Hyundai Recalls 883,000 Late-Model Sonatas to Fix Gear Shifter

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

Hyundai said it will recall 883,000 Hyundai Sonata sedans from the 2011-2014 model years, because of a problem with the gear shifter.

In some vehicles, the cable on the transmission shifter detaches. When that happens, the transmission-gear selection might not match the indicated gear, and the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash.

Additionally, when the driver parks the vehicle, the transmission might not be in “park” even if the driver has shifted the lever to that position, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If the vehicle is not in the “park” position and the parking brake is not applied, the sedan could roll away as the driver and other occupants exit the vehicle or anytime thereafter, the safety agency said.

Hyundai said its dealers will inspect the cars and, if needed, repair the connection between the lever and cable.

This recall brings the number of vehicles called back by automakers in the U.S. to more than 40 million so far this year, well more than the 30.8 million annual recall record set in 2004.

General Motors is responsible for about two-thirds of the vehicles recalled, but other automakers, including Hyundai, Toyota, Honda, Ford and Chrysler, also have had large recalls.

Automakers have picked up the pace of recalls after Toyota paid a $1.2 billion federal fine earlier this year for misleading regulators about problems in its cars and GM came under federal investigation for delaying calling back about 2.6 million small cars for a decade despite having known about a potentially deadly ignition-switch defect. The GM problem is now linked to at least 50 crashes and 13 deaths.