NHTSA is probing Hyundai Santa Fes due to control loss

Article by Anita Panait, on July 11, 2013

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.

Hyundai revealed that even if the three-row Santa Fe was fashioned at the same time as the Santa Fe Sport, the designers made sure that the two models would have differences. This is the side view daylight opening, or the side window shape. With the larger Santa Fe, this particular shape puts focus on increased passenger room as well as the larger cargo room that is at the back of the model’s third-row seat.

For the other Santa Fe, it has its own character lines which begin from the B-pillar. There is also a new design for the grille and fitted with the alloy Euroflange 18-inch wheels. On the rear section, one can see the chrome-tipped dual exhaust as well as the flush-mounted tow hitch design. Going back to the three-row model, the legroom in the second row was enlarged by 1.9 inches while the cargo capacity is now larger by 5.5 cubic feet. Standard features that improve comfort include HVAC controls and vents for the passengers in the rear.

The third-row bench seat allows for a 50:50 split fold, also standard. This third row seat has legroom measuring 31.5 inches. For this version, Hyundai will be making available as well captain’s chairs for the second row. The two Santa Fe models though have the same flowing appearance for its interior, crafted to improve functionality and comfort for the passenger.

Other similarities include the heated rear seats with the driver seat offering eight-way power adjustability and four-way lumber support. Included as standard is the rear seat back which offers a fold of 40:20:40. That said, both versions of the Santa Fe have the flexibility customers want with a pleasant cabin overall. For the 2013 versions, the cloth seat will be equipped as standard.

Specifically, this is the “YES Essentials” seat fabric treatment which offers anti-static, anti-odor, and soil resistant properties to ensure livability and longevity. The brand made sure to put in added attention and care to the other details on the interior, an example of which is the sunshades of the rear side window. Offered as option is the panoramic sunroof which ensures that the cabin gets extra natural lights.

Offered as well for the Santa Fe models is the push-button starter which comes with a proximity key. There is also the heated steering wheel and the Electroluminescent Gauge Cluster that has LCD trip computer in color.

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