The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is the subject of two separate voluntary safety recalls announced overnight in the US: one for sunroofs that could shatter and cause injury, and the other for a parking brake flaw that may allow vehicles to roll away.
The US Veloster rolls off the same Ulsan production line in South Korea that builds the cars for Australia, and the local division is investigating the defects to see whether they are both relevant here.
“We think the number of the sunroofs affected in Australia may be pretty small, but we’re going to take every precaution we can,” Hyundai Australia spokesman Bill Thomas says.
“We’re looking at a response for the Australian market and will announce something as soon as we can. At the moment we are still looking at the problem and the exact strategy for Australia. It may be a recall or may be a service campaign where we contact customers and fix the problem free of charge.”
Thomas says the glass roof defect was traced to an intermittent malfunction of a loading robot on the Ulsan production line, which may have allowed some forced contact between the loading station and the sunroof glass on some vehicles.
“The loading system has now been improved and subsequent production doesn’t have the problem,” he says.
“The brake recall is a spec problem to do with foreign material entering the handbrake mechanism and we’re checking with Hyundai in Korea on whether it’s relevant to the Australian market.”
The sunroof recall in the US follows a preliminary evaluation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in October 2012 after the agency received consumer complaints of panoramic sunroofs on 2012 Hyundai Veloster compact sporty cars suddenly shattering without warning.
In the official sunroof recall notice, the number of vehicles potentially affected is estimated to be 13,500. Affected vehicles include certain 2012 Hyundai Veloster compact cars equipped with panoramic sunroofs and built from November 1, 2011 through April 17, 2012.
According to the bulletin, the panoramic sunroof assembly may have been weakened during installation at the factory. This may allow the sunroof glass panel to break while the Veloster is in motion, increasing the risk of occupant injury and vehicle crash.
Documentation from Hyundai indicates that the automaker identified 76 warranty claims, 20 customer complaints, and six field reports referring to fracturing of the panoramic sunroof glass. Hyundai said that it is not aware of any accidents as a result of the problem but has received reports of five minor cutting injuries from the panoramic sunroof safety glass.
Parking brake recall
In a separate action, Hyundai will recall certain 2012 Velosters equipped with manual transmissions for a potential defect in the parking brake mechanism.
The official NHTSA notice for this safety issue puts the number of vehicles potentially affected at 4,490. Affected vehicles were built from July 2, 2011 through February 27, 2012.
The bulletin says that “moisture and road grime may cause the parking brake components to bind.” Such binding could cause the parking brake to rub or “drag” while driving, or it may not fully engage when the vehicle is parked, possibly resulting in a rollaway and increasing crash risk.
Hyundai in the US will notify owners there in January 2013. Dealers will inspect the sunroofs and replace them, as necessary, or replace the rear brake caliper assemblies, free of charge.