Minivans recalled for suspension defects, risk of car accidents

A recall of 80,000 2006 to 2012 Kia Sedonas has prompted the need for a December recall of vehicles by automaker Hyundai. Alabama car owners may be dismayed at being left out of this geographic recall, which concerns the potential failure of the steering system. According to Hyundai's report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kia was the manufacturer of the 2007 to 2008 Entourage. The recall concerns around 15,500 Entourages with the suspected problem.

The defect involves front control arms that may be prone to corrosion and breakage. The result of breakage is loss of the ability to steer and possible car accidents. Owners in Alabama and 29 other states will be left out of the recall purposefully in an action being supported by the NHTSA. This is partly to cut costs for the manufacturer and partly due to the conditions contributing to the defect. The Center for Auto Safety and other consumer groups criticize the practice.

Hyundai stated that contributing factors in control arm breakage are extreme temperatures and exposure to road salt. There was no mention of consumer complaints or possible car accidents in this report. The report also failed to mention any consumer claims against Hyundai or Kia.

This geographic recall may seem like a commonsense way for an automaker to fix just the cars that need it, but it may also open owners up to increased risk of car accidents. An Entourage owner in Alabama, for example, may have reason to worry about driving their vehicle to more northern climates. If defects are suspected in a car collision, victims may be able to gain compensation for emotional and financial damages. An attorney with personal injury experience may be able to help with the accident investigation and filing appropriate claims.

Source: NY Times, "Hyundai, BMW, McLaren, Dodge and Mercedes-Benz Issue Recalls", Christopher Jensen, December 06, 2013

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