Fountain Valley, California – Dec. 21, 2017 – Hyundai Motor America recently announced a recall of 320,000 of its popular Elantras from the 2013 and 2014 model years, due to issues with the brake pedal stopper pad, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The brake pedal stopper pad rests between the stop lamp switch (which tells the car to engage the brake lights) and the arm of the brake pedal itself, but in the affected vehicles, the stopper pad may deteriorate over time, potentially leading brake lights to be stuck in an “on” position without the driver knowing about it, as well as other potential issues that could increase the risk of crash or injury.
Of the 320,000 Elantras in the recall – including the Elantra Sedan, Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT cars – only 1 percent of them are expected to carry this defect. All were produced from May 1, 2012, to Feb. 28, 2014.
Specifically, the affected brake pads have “insufficient polymer content” that causes them to break down over time. In addition to brake lights staying on even after the pedal has been released, other issues stemming from the defect include the traction control warning light in the dashboard remaining on, the ability to move the shift lever without pressing on the brake pedal, or the vehicle’s engine management system activating the brake pedal override.
The two signs of the issue drivers would likely be able to identify are the vehicle’s brake lights and the traction control warning lights in the dashboard remaining on.
So far, Hyundai has not seen any incidents related to the defect that led to accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
On July 25, 2016, Hyundai decided to begin an initial recall on brake pedal stopper pads in certain Hyundai Elantra Sedans from the 2013 model year, but also continued analysis going forward. Then, in the second quarter of 2017, such incidents began to rise for Elantras not in the original recall, especially in Elantra Coupes and GTs.
Consequently, Hyundai Motor America started to collect more brake pedal stopper pads from vehicles involved in field incidents and sent them back to Hyundai Motor Company in Korea to be analyzed. HMC identified the issue for all Elantras affected in the recall, stemming from a change in the brake pedal stopper pad’s polymer mix cycle time.
As such, on Nov. 21, HMA issued the full recall.
Owners of affected Elantras will be asked to bring their vehicles to a local Hyundai dealership, where the brake pedal stopper pads will be replaced free of charge with those that had additional polymer mix cycle time. Owners who previously paid for such repairs out of their own pockets will be reimbursed.
Dealers will receive formal recall notifications starting Feb. 8, 2018, the same day as owners begin receiving them. However, owner notification is expected to be completed Feb. 22, 2018.