US safety regulators probe Hyundai Sonata suspension problem

Pair of 2006 Sonatas are seen at Patrick Hyundai in Schaumburg, Illinois. Tim Boyle/Getty Images

DETROIT – U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that the rear suspension frames can rust and fail on Hyundai Sonata midsize cars.

The probe affects about 393,000 cars from the 2006 through 2008 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say it has received six complaints of suspension failures, with three happening at highway speeds, according to documents posted on its website on Friday. The investigation was opened on March 25.

The agency says rust in the frame can cause control arm failures. A car’s wheel hubs are attached to the control arms.

No crashes or injuries were reported but two of the failures activated the cars’ electronic stability control systems.

In one complaint from the Pittsburgh area, the owner of a 2006 Sonata said the rear of the car swerved while it was being driven, and the electronic stability control light came on. The owner took the car to a mechanic, who found that the rear frame was corroded and cracked on sides, causing the rear tires to wear prematurely. The frame, tires, lower control arms and other suspension parts were replaced on the car, which had almost 160,000 miles on it.

Story continues below advertisement

The agency says investigators will figure out if the problem is bad enough to cause a recall.

A message was left seeking comment from a Hyundai spokesman.

Sponsored content