Despite experiencing record sales and infiltrating many car-buying segments with innovation and value, Hyundai and Kia are facing major growing pains with a massive recall of nearly two million cars.
The switch recall covers almost 1.7 million vehicles — most of the automakers’ model lineups from the 2007 through 2011 model years — to fix problems with air bags a brake light switches.
In addition, Hyundai is recalling about 194,000 Elantra compacts from 2011 to 2013 to fix an air bag problem.
A faulty switch can stop the brake lights from illuminating when drivers press on the pedal, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported its website. The cruise control also may not turn off when a driver steps on the brake, push-to-start buttons may not work, and a feature that stops the driver from shifting out of park without a foot on the brake may fail.
Hyundai and Kia spokesmen said no crashes or injuries have been reported because of the problem.
Hyundai models affected by the brake light switch recall include the 2007 to 2009 Accent and Tucson, the 2007 to 2010 Elantra, the 2011 Sonata, the 2007 to 2011 Santa Fe, the 2008 to 2009 Veracruz and the 2010 to 2011 Genesis Coupe. Kia models include the 2007 to 2010 Rondo and Sportage, the 2011 Optima, the 2007 to 2011 Sorento, the 2010 to 2011 Soul and the 2007 Sedona.
Hyundai and Kia will notify owners and dealers will replace the switches free of charge. Kia will send notifications in May, while Hyundai expects to send them in June, after enough replacement parts are shipped to dealers.