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by Matt Brogan

Hyundai Motor America Inc have informed regulators that the front door-lock modules on 2011 Sonatas can stick, and will notify customers of a recall.

“Anything to do with door latches warrants a recall,” said Hyundai spokesman Miles Johnson in Fountain Valley, Calif.

A halt of 2011 Sonata sales has been ordered.

Hyundai’s plant in Alabama has built and sold 1,300 units, as well as 46,000 Sonata units from South Korea. This new model has been available in South Korea since September 2009, and started sales in the U.S. this month.

Hyundai said it has received complaints from customers but there haven’t been any reported accidents or injuries related to this problem.

Hyundai hopes to rectify this issue quickly and not have a repeat of Toyota’s misfortune.

The Sonata is Hyundai’s biggest selling model, in 2009 120,028 Sonatas were sold. With the 2011 model going on sale two weeks ago in the U.S. 5,000 cars have been made in total and of that 1,300 have been sold. It is not known how many of the 1,300 will have faulty locks.

The problem occurs when the front seat passenger tries to open the door from the inside while holding down the lock button. When this happens the interior door handle doesn’t return to its normal position and the door will not shut completely.

Pressing the lock button again will reset the handle allowing the door to work correctly.

With replacement parts reaching dealerships tomorrow the stop-sale will be lifted as soon as the repairs are made. The repairs consist of the replacement of the front door-lock mechanism.




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