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Thousands of Hyundai brake lights faulty

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    Hyundai would not reveal how many warranty repairs have been carried out so far on the brake light switch.

But Hyundai hasn’t issued a safety recall for the brake light defect.

The brake lights on thousands of new Hyundais have been found to be faulty and Hyundai owners risk a $100 fine in NSW and $211 fine in Victoria – but the company is refusing to issue a recall because it says it’s not a safety hazard as the brakes still work.

Hyundai is instead waiting for customers to notice the fault – which, adding to the confusion, shows up as a stability control warning light and could also lead to cruise control failure.

Hyundai Australia issued a confidential bulletin to dealers in June warning of a problem with the brake light switch assembly on all passenger and commercial vehicles made between August 2011 and May 2012 – during which time the company sold more than 70,000 vehicles.

It listed the following conditions: “stop lamps inoperative upon brake pedal application, cruise control inoperative/drops out, engine starting not possible [some models], unable to shift transmission lever from or into “park”, ESP light staying on.”

It instructs dealers to “replace the defective stop lamp switch with a new type” – but only customers who notice their brake lights aren’t working will get them fixed for free. Contrary to its bulletin to dealers, the company told News Limited the faulty brake light switch only affects four models: the i30 (FD) hatch, the ix35 (LM) and SantaFe (CM) softroaders, and the iLoad and iMax (TQ) vans.

A statement from Hyundai spokesman Bill Thomas said: “I can acknowledge that we have experienced instances where the electrical switch on limited numbers of some Hyundai models has lost electrical contact. 

“This switch can serve various purposes including ESP and cruise control circuit recognition, engine starting for the smart key system, as well as operating the brake lights. Customers have thus reported various issues with this switch but in all cases the brakes themselves functioned normally.”

The Australian Automobile Association, which represents 7 million motorists, says a safety recall should be issued. “Common sense tells you it’s a safety issue,” the executive director of the AAA, Andrew McKellar, told News Limited. “We would be concerned if any manufacturer was seeking to circumvent the recall process. A fault like that could clearly compromise the safety of other road users.”

Hyundai would not reveal how many warranty repairs have been carried out so far on the brake light switch but says they are ongoing. News Limited has contacted the Federal Department of Transport and is awaiting a response.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 15 comments

  • brake switch replaced july 31,, 2013. cruise control doesn't work the next day. hyundai not sure when they have a fix for it.

    john Smith Posted on 03 August 2013 7:58am
  • I had my brake switch replaced July 31, 2013 and the next day my crise control does not work. Hyundai doesn't know when they can fix the problem.

    john Smith Posted on 03 August 2013 7:57am
  • My i30 was having the ESP OFF light intermitently coming on about 8 times over the course of a few months. I suspected It was the brake light switch and it was replaced under warranty at my next service. I'm not happy that the new switch does not allow the cruise control to work anymore which was not mentioned to me prior to it being replaced. I was told Hyundai are working on the issue and will contact me once a solution is found. How long will I need to wait ?

    Derek of Perth Posted on 12 April 2013 7:15pm
  • Phoned Sydney head office, about my cruise control being faulty after brake switch was replaced at 60,000 service. They told me they are aware and were seeking a team from Korea to rectify the problem. Unfortunately it could take 1 day to fix or 1 year the told me.

    Peter James of newcastle Posted on 25 March 2013 7:47pm
  • Mine was just replaced under warranty. Now my cruise control doesn't work. Hyundai said they are aware that CC is not working now the switch has been replaced in many vehicles. I'm supposed to stand by until Hyundai can fix the issue. New brake switch but now no cruise control.

    Frustrated of Melbourne Posted on 19 March 2013 3:52pm
  • This problem shouldn't be neglected.

    Brake O Rama Posted on 26 December 2012 9:34pm
  • This can't be correct. Hyundais are perfect.

    Sam of Townsville Posted on 21 December 2012 5:51pm
  • This is another bad example of how Car Manufacturers ignore customer safety at everyones peril.

    John Reynolds of Sydney Posted on 21 December 2012 5:29pm
  • Why does our Government allow Hyundai to get away with this and Great Wall to sell cars with asbestos (and not have to replace the asbestos parts..just put a warning sticker under the bonnet!!!) No wonder our Australian car industry is suffering, they have to play by different rules. It's time our government put Australia first. Look after our industry and make sure imported cars are safe in build quality and safety rating (No more 2 star safety rated cars from Great Wall please - Would like less of my taxes spent on rehabilitating people from 2 star safety rated cars!!)

    Olla Posted on 20 December 2012 7:51pm
  • i have an 2009 i30 that had the same fault, its nothing new... The cruise control wouldn't engage unless you tapped the brakes. the brake lights still work on mine but the ESP light stayed on. fixed during a service.

    Mozzieau of NSW central coast Posted on 20 December 2012 5:43pm
  • I can see a class action coming on

    ozcorndog of Brisbane Posted on 20 December 2012 11:00am
  • I have a 2008 Hyundai Sonata which had the same problem, so it is not confined to the models mentioned in your article.

    Patrick ginman of Hurstville Posted on 20 December 2012 7:19am
  • Rabbits, "Lots of rabbits in Korea, Son ! "

    James Hunter of Metford NSW Posted on 19 December 2012 8:07pm
  • How's that for committment to the local market eh. Great Wall with asbestos in the engine and Hyundai don't think brake lights are a safety item (aledgedly) ... etc, etc,...

    Dave of Adelaide Posted on 19 December 2012 12:03pm
  • I thought that Hyundai had lifted its game but it appears not. Obviously a safety issue if people cannot see brake lights, What game is the company playing....and with peoples what cost....

    Mal Sempf of Australia Posted on 18 December 2012 8:30pm
Read all 15 comments

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