Hyundai is issuing a recall of 263,000 Elantra and Elantra Touring vehicles due to an issue with a faulty sensor that could result in the loss of power steering.
According to Hyundai, there have been no reported accidents or injuries due to the glitch. The recall involves model years 2008 to 2010.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the sensor erroneously detects an issue and in response disables the power steering. Motorists still have manual steering capability, but such an unexpected change while driving increases the risk of a potential crash, the agency says.
Hyundai Elantra owners can call the company's customer service department at 1-855-671-3059 to determine if their vehicle is part of the recall program.
The NHTSA says Hyundai is contacting car owners affected by the recall and will make any needed fixes free of charge.
According to the NHTSA, Hyundai has been investigating the glitch since 2010, and that in early 2011 the claim rate for loss of assist claims was 0.25 for the Elantra sedan and 0.36 for the Elantra Touring vehicle. As of October, 2014, the cumulative claim rate for assist-related claims had increased to 1.3 percent for the Elantra sedan and 1.9 percent for the Elantra Touring.
The NHTSA reports the system "utilizes an optical torque sensing device in the steering column as an input to the EPS control unit, and the control unit determines the level of steering assist required."
"Hyundai's understanding has been that the loss of power steering assist has not, in the past, been considered as a safety related defect in the United States. This understanding was based on the fact that manual steering control is maintained," Hyundai said in a filing with the NHTSA. "To remain consistent with that industry trend, Hyundai has decided to conduct this campaign as a safety recall."
The recall, issued Saturday, is the growing list of car recalls that kicked off early this year. GM is recalling 67,000 Cadillac ATS for sensitive sunroof switches, Mercedes-Benz is recalling 147,000 E-class and CLS-Class cars due to a fire risk and Chrysler is recalling 228,000 Jeep Cherokees for airbag software updates.
Approximately 46 million vehicles on the road today, one in every five, have been recalled but not repaired, according to a report from Carfax. That figure is likely to rise, considering last year saw a record 64 million vehicles recalled.