The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating a number of reports of problems with brakes in model year 2009-2012 Hyundai Genesis automobiles. The investigation has focused primarily on the 2009 model year vehicle, involving about 40,000 cars. Subsequently, Hyundai announced on Oct. 21 that it would recall about 27,500 of the Genesis sedans to fix the brakes.

NHTSA reported 23 complaints involving the 2009 model Genesis from vehicle owners who said they had to push the brake pedal harder than normal to make the vehicle stop. In at least one report, the defect led to a crash, when a Florida driver reported she could not stop her vehicle in time, even after pumping the brakes, to avoid a collision with a line of stopped automobiles ahead of her.

The recall will include cars manufactured between April 1, 2008, and March 16, 2012. Hyundai says repairs will focus on “potential durability issues” in the brake system’s Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit. Hyundai conducted a limited service campaign on Hyundai Genesis vehicles last March, although the manufacturer said it didn’t “catch” all the vehicles affected by the problem. In that recall, the automaker replaced the brake fluid in the subject vehicles.

Hyundai says the March service campaign resulted in brake fluid replacement in about 60 percent of the affected vehicles. The recall will strengthen efforts to contact vehicle owners, with letters scheduled to be mailed to owners in November. Hyundai dealers will conduct brake inspections and change the brake fluid. The replacement fluid will contain an anti-corrosive additive, a Hyundai spokesman said. These services will be done at no cost to vehicle owners.

A number of other models of Hyundai vehicles have been involved in safety investigations and recalls in the past several months. In April, the auto manufacturer recalled 1.1 million vehicles including Accents, Tuscons, Elantras and Santa Fe SUVs for problems with brake lights and air bags. In July 2012, almost 200,000 model year 2007 to 2009 Santa Fe SUVs were recalled for concerns about air bag problems.

Sources: Law360.com and USA Today

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