Hyundai Sonata hybrid needs to be heard, delivery delayed

James Raia

The majority of hybrid edition of the new Hyundai Sonata will not be delivered to the United States until late March or early April after the South Korean carmaker decided to postpone the launch to change its virtual engine sound system.

Under a U.S. law signed in January, automakers must gradually add devices to their hybrid cars that emit artificial engine sounds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (HHTSA) is currently finalizing specific rules.Hyundai Sonata hybrid needs to be heard, delivery delayed 1

Hyundai is altering its noise device to boost the volume and remove a switch to turn it off. The decision to modify the Sonata Hybrid’s virtual engine sound system was made late came last year after hearing that NHTSA banning any switch or button that would allow an electric car’s noise-making device to be disabled by the driver.

Hyundai reports that although most of the new Sonata hybrids remain at manufacturing facilities, some have already been delivered to U.S. customers and about 700 are in U.S. ports.

Article Last Updated: March 8, 2011.

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