Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid recalled for power loss
Fewer than 3,000 vehicles are affected in the US.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
A plug-in hybrid vehicle that can't operate under electric power isn't much of a PHEV, and
latest recall addresses exactly that.
Hyundai has issued a recall for 2,840 examples of the 2016-2018 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid. The vehicles in question carry build dates between July 31, 2015 and August 31, 2017 and were all built in Korea. According to the recall report, it's believed that 100 percent of recalled vehicles will carry the defect in question.
The problem comes from a part called a voltage protection device, which is normally used to help prevent the battery from exceeding its voltage limits. In "limited instances," the battery might swell during charging or discharging, which could activate the device and render the electric motor inoperative. If the vehicle is operating in pure EV mode at the time, it could prevent the vehicle from moving under its own power. This presents a safety issue, because a loss of motive power at speed could increase the change of a collision.
You'll know this happens when the electric motor stops working and the "Check Hybrid System" warning lamp appears in the gauge cluster.
Remedying the issue isn't too complicated. Dealers will remove the recalled component and replace it with a new battery management module with a revised overvoltage protection switch. Cars built after August 2017 already have the updated hardware.
Hyundai will notify dealers by the middle of March, and owner notifications will be sent via first-class mail starting in May.
Plug in, turn on, green out: The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid (pictures)