Recall Hyundai Theta II Engine
Keith Griffin's picture

Used Hyundai Santa Fes, Velosters and Sonata Hybrids Recalled for Engine Issues

The recall woes continue to mount for Hyundai, which announced major engine issues for used 2012 Santa Fe SUVs, 2015 and 2016 Veloster cars, and 2011 to 2013 Sonata Hybrids (and 2016 models, too).
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The recall woes continue to mount for Hyundai, which announced major engine woes for 2012 Santa Fe SUVs, 2015 and 2016 Veloster cars, and 2011 to 2013 Sonata Hybrids (and 2016 models, too).

News is out about an engine recall for used Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs, Velosters and Sonata Hybrids. While not huge in number, it is a major recall for owners.

The Associated Press reports (via ABC News) Hyundai is recalling about 130,000 vehicles in the U.S. because the engines could fail. The issue is connecting rods potentially puncturing the engine block.

Take note, though, that the recall doesn’t start until Jan. 22, 2021. Until then, do not ignore any warning signs like knocks or oil pressure warning lights. They are indicators of potentially engine-destroying issues and car fires.

2015 Hyundai Veloster engine recall

Ongoing Recall Woes
This continues the recall woes for Hyundai. Earlier this week, the Korean automaker announced a settlement with NHTSA for $210 million over recalls for vehicles equipped with Theta II engines in certain Hyundai and Kia models.

The NHTSA safety recall report says the engines in the subject vehicles may have been produced with conditions that can cause premature wear of the connecting rod bearings. A worn connecting rod bearing could result in abnormal knocking noise from the engine and/or illumination of the oil pressure warning light.

If the vehicle is continually operated with a worn connecting rod bearing, the engine could become damaged and eventually stall the vehicle during operation. In limited instances, a damaged connecting rod could puncture the engine block and cause engine oil to leak, which, in the presence of hot surfaces in the engine compartment, could increase the risk of a fire.

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe recall

Watch for Warnings
What’s the lesson for consumers to take away from this? Don’t ignore the oil pressure warning light if you own a 2012 Santa Fe SUVs, 2015 and 2016 Veloster cars, and 2011 to 2013 Sonata Hybrids (and 2016 models, too). Serious things could happen to you and the vehicle if ignored for too long. An oil pressure warning light in these models is more serious than a check engine light.

Here is how Hyundai says it will handle the recall. Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the engine. If bearing damage is found, the engine will be replaced. Dealers will also install a software update containing a new Knock Sensor Detection System (KSDS). Repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 22, 2021.

Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460. Hyundai's number for this recall is 198.

Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.


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