Hyundai likely to recall Santa Fe in US. Here's why

According to an Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) filed at the NHTSA, the 3.3-litre V6 diesel used in the 2017 Santa Fe is prone to engine knockin
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Hyundai Santa Fe
The 3.3-litre V6 diesel used in the 2017 Santa Fe is prone to engine knocking and seizure.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The 3.3-litre V6 diesel used in the 2017 Santa Fe is prone to engine knocking and seizure.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is currently reviewing a petition submitted on February 2, 2024, requesting an urgent investigation into an alleged defect affecting Hyundai vehicles equipped with the Korean brand’s 3.3-litre GDI Lambda-II engine in the United States. The NHTSA is an agency of the U.S. federal government, part of the Department of Transportation, focused on transportation safety in the United States.

The petition, submitted by Jasmine Jewell, an owner of a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, highlights concerns regarding engine failures and safety risks associated with the 3.3-litre GDI Lambda-II engine. Jewell's Santa Fe experienced engine failure at 98,834 km, leading her to seek a replacement engine at a cost of $19,997 which is about 16,60,075, excluding labour charges, after finding local Hyundai dealerships overwhelmed with similar issues.

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Jewell's petition alleges that the 3.3-litre GDI Lambda-II engine is susceptible to engine knocking, potentially leading to complete engine seizure without warning. Despite a previous recall for 2017 Santa Fe models with the same engine, Jewell argues that broader concerns about the engine's reliability persist.

Furthermore, Jewell notes that multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed against Hyundai and Kia, alleging defects in GDI engines that pose risks of stalling or catching fire. The Kia Sorento is also under investigation for a similar engine issue. In Canada, a class action has been filed for various Hyundai GDI engines, including the 3.3-litre Lambda-II, while a separate lawsuit in Australia claims Hyundai has been aware of engine issues since at least 2015.

In her petition, Jewell formally requests the NHTSA to commence a rulemaking proceeding to assess and potentially amend existing motor vehicle safety standards governing the Hyundai 3.3L V6 Lambda II engine. She argues that such an undertaking is crucial to ensuring these vehicles adhere to safety standards that effectively address the identified defects and prevent further harm to consumers.

As of now, the petition remains under investigation by the ODI, and no decision has been made regarding further action or a potential recall. The NHTSA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as the petition progresses.

While the Santa Fe was also sold in India, the Indian model was equipped with a 2.2 L diesel engine, which is also used in vehicles like the Kia Carnival.

First Published Date: 18 Feb 2024, 09:37 AM IST
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