Hyundai is recalling more than 260,000 Elantras in North America in order to fix a power steering problem.
The recall affects Elantra sedans from model years 2009 to 2011, and 2009-10 Elantra Touring (hatchback) models. Nearly 263,000 models are affected, 58,000 of which were sold in Canada, with an estimated three percent having to undergo repairs for the problem.
Although Hyundai is not aware of any incidents involving the affected models, it says a faulty power steering sensor could leave the car with unassisted steering, making it more difficult for the driver to control the car at lower speeds and possibly resulting in a crash.
In records filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Hyundai said it was aware of the problem back in 2010 but did not issue a recall at the time because the manual effort required to steer the vehicle was within safety tolerances and more impactful at low speeds that would cause damage to the vehicle but likely would not have a significant impact on the safety of vehicle occupants or pedestrians.
However, manufacturers are increasingly under fire to issue voluntary safety recalls for items that may lead to crashes, and so Hyundai decided to issue a recall at this time.
The Elantra is becoming an increasingly popular model and for some time last year was challenging the Honda Civic as the best selling compact in Canada.
Letters to owners of potentially affected cars will go out shortly, though owners can contact Hyundai customer support to find out if their vehicles are affected.