The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a preliminary evaluation into 50,000 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe sports utility vehicles after receiving two complaints of control loss occurring with less than 5,000 miles on the odometer. The control loss is believed to be caused by failure of the right-front axle shaft.
According to NHTSA, its review of information provided by Hyundai identified additional field report data related to the alleged defect. Miles Johnson, a spokesman for the South Korean carmaker, told Reuters in an e-mail that "it is too early in the process" to make any conclusions, adding that no safety-related defect has been identified.
He said that Hyundai is cooperating fully to respond to NHTSA's request. He added that Hyundai would take any actions necessary to ensure the safety of customers if the information gathered in the probe shows that an action is appropriate.
NHTSA typically opens a preliminary investigation to determine whether a carmaker has to address a certain safety issue. The probe may eventually lead to a recall.