About a year ago, Hyundai issued a rather embarrassing recall on all MY1999-2002 Sonata cars due to reports of severe corrosion of the front subframe that could lead anywhere from suspension failure to partial or even complete wheel detachment. Well, guess what; apparently the problem was more widespread than initially thought as Hyundai has issued a new recall for the same issue that now also includes MY2001-2004 Sonata and MY2001-2004 XG300 and XG350 sedans. Overall, 175,765 cars are being recalled in the States.
Hyundai said that the recall concerns vehicles originally sold or currently registered in the so-called "salt belt" or "snowy" northern states of the U.S. due to the large quantities of salt used to de-ice roads. According to the Korean automaker, the road salt may result in a progressive corrosion of the front sub-frame leading to the thinning or perforation of the sub-frame steel.
As was the case with the previously recalled MY1999-2002 Sonatas, Hyundai dealers will check out the thickness of the front sub-frame and inspect for corrosion damage. If there's a serious problem, the front sub-frame will be replaced with a new sub-frame incorporating additional holes in the upper and lower panels.
Hyundai said that if the front sub-frame does not require replacement, the dealer will add drainage holes to the sub-frame and will treat the sub-frame with rust-proofing material to arrest the corrosion process.
Needless to say that in either case, the procedure will be performed free of charge. If you have more questions, we suggest you contact Hyundai's customer assistance center at 1-800-633-5151.