Thousands of Hyundais With DCTs Hit With Recall, Stop-Sale

Hyundai has issued a recall on certain 2021-2022 cars, trucks, and SUVs equipped with a dual-clutch transmission (DCT). The recall will also result in a stop-sale order on those affected models until they can be repaired. This unfortunately includes the company’s excellent line of N models like the Elantra N, Veloster N, and Kona N along with their more mundane offerings with DCTs like the Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, and Sonata. The issue can result in power loss and immobilization of affected vehicles, but the good news is there is a fix for the problem.

What’s Causing The Failures?

A Hyundai spokesperson provided us with some information about the cause of the recall. It stems from the transmission’s electric high-pressure oil pump, which triggers a diagnostic trouble code (DTC). Not only will this cause warning lights to flash on the dash display, but will ultimately cause the vehicle to enter into a failsafe mode. While this is intended to prevent any further damage to the transmission, it has the unfortunate side effect of restricting movement of the vehicle to only 20-30 seconds after the fault occurs. After that, the car’s transmission control unit (TCU) tells the clutches to disengage completely, causing the vehicle to stop—completely immobilizing it.

Despite this recall affecting 61,861 Hyundais in the U.S. and Canada, there haven’t been any crashes or injuries due to this according to Hyundai. That said, having a vehicle suddenly and unexpectedly become immobilized is clearly a potential safety issue.

This issue also doesn’t affect all 2021-2022 Hyundais equipped with DCTs. According to a dealer sheet we’ve seen, the following table details what build dates and plants indicate the affected model year (MY) vehicles.

Vehicle and Model YearBuild Date SpanPlant
2021-2022 Santa Fe11/20/2020-3/31/2022Hyundai Alabama (HMMA)
2022 Santa Cruz06/22/2021-03/25/2022HMMA
2021-2022 Sonata11/24/2020-03/31/2022HMMA and Korea
2022 Elantra N09/15/2021-04/08/2022Korea
2021-2022 Veloster N08/28/2020-05/13/2022Korea
2022 Kona N10/05/2021-05/04/2022Korea

Does This Affect Kia Vehicles?

While Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same parent company and share various components, they operate as two separate entities. At the time of publication, a Kia representative hasn’t confirmed to us whether any of that brand’s vehicles are affected by this issue.

Whether you own a Hyundai or a Kia, if you think you might be affected by this recall (or any others), you can visit the NHTSA’s recall lookup site and enter your vehicle identification number (VIN). You can also check Hyundai’s recall page for the U.S. or Canada for more information.

What’s the Fix?

Hyundai will send letters of notification of the recall by USPS first class mail and the instructions will tell those owners to contact their local Hyundai dealer to inspect the transmission. If there is damage to the transmission, it will be replaced, according to Hyundai, and won’t cost owners anything. Additionally, the TCU will be reprogrammed to offer extended mobility if it happens to enter failsafe mode.

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