Consumers have a right to expect not to be injured by products they purchase. Conversely, manufacturers, retailers and other vendors have a duty to exercise reasonable caution in ensuring that the products they introduce into the marketplace will not cause harm to consumers.
Such is the case with the makers of the Hyundai Sonata sedan. Recently, the car manufacturer issued a recall of 883,000 of its sedans manufactured between 2011 and 2014 due to problems with the cars’ gear shifters.
According to Hyundai, the cable linking the transmission to the shifter inside of the car can sometimes become detached. When that detachment occurs, the transmission being selected may not necessarily match the indicated gear. The vehicle may also move in a direction not intended by the operator, making a crash more likely.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of this defective products recall is how the transmission cable detachment problem can manifest itself when a person attempts to park a Hyundai Sonata containing the defect. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, because of the transmission cable uncoupling from the shifting lever, the vehicle may not actually be in park when the operator moves the shifter to the park position. One can imagine a nightmare scenario when the driver and occupants leave the vehicle thinking it was parked, only to see it later rolling away.
The car manufacturer has agreed to inspect any of the Hyundai Sonatas brought into its dealers and have promised to repair any vehicle found to exhibit the problem between the shift lever and the cable. Chicago area Hyundai owners are encouraged to take advantage of this very critical recall.
Chicago Tribune, “Hyundai recalls 2011 to 2014 Sonata for defective gear shifter” Jerry Hirsch, Jul. 31, 2014