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Hyundai, GM, Mazda Recall Over 2 Million Vehicles

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
April 21, 2009

When purchasing a , it is good advice to not only get the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic whose opinion is trusted and respected, but it's also necessary to make sure that the automobile you are looking at does not have any outstanding safety recalls. This is usually not an issue if the car in question is being sold as a certified used vehicle by a reputable car dealership, but in the case of private party sales it is definitely a case of buyer beware.

Used car shoppers were given a serious reality check over the past week thanks to extensive recall announcements from two major automakers. The first notice was issued by , and was related to a fault with the 3800 3.8 liter V6 family of engines. The motors have displayed the potential to cause a fire under hard braking should oil spill onto the exhaust manifold. The major fear is that the fire could spread to a nearby spark plug wire channel, which would lead to the entire engine being set ablaze. The fix is simple, involving the dealership installation of two new spark plug retainers and the removal of the original channel.

The recall affects 1.4 million sedans and coupes with build dates stretching from the late 1990s to the early part of the new millennium. The 3800 series engine was deployed across many popular vehicles sold by , , and , and it has been one of the most reliable and successful engines ever built by the company.

Hyundai will also be recalling close to 1 million vehicles due to a series of different faults. Over 531,000 Hyundais sold between 2005 and 2008 require a brake light switch to be replaced, due to a malfunction which can keep the lights illuminated or cause them not to function at all when the pedal is depressed. The recall is spread wide over the Korean car company's lineup, and affects the , , , , , , and .

Three other recalls affect only vehicles sold in what is recognized as America's 'rust belt', the states which are forced to use heavy amounts of salt on their highways and secondary roads during the winter months. 431,000 vehicles must be returned to the dealership in order to have either the front or rear suspension inspected, depending upon the exact model in question. Corrosion of suspension components could lead to the separation of control arms while driving, which could in turn cause a crash. The automobiles affected are the 2001 - 2003 Elantra, , and Santa Fe, as well as the 1999 - 2004 Sonata, XG300 and XG350. Dealers may also provide additional rust proofing for any vehicles which require repairs.

Even new cars are not immune from the risk of recall. Although much smaller in scale, was forced to issue a recall on more than 25,000 due to vibration between the engine and the starter motor which could lead to both an electrical fault causing a stall and a no-start condition. Dealers will install a clip to prevent any problems from developing.


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