Auto blogFri, 18 Jul 2014 18:30:00 EST
Hyundai has managed to get another vehicle on the prestigious Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick +, as its new 2015 Sonata sedan performed admirably in crash testing.
The redesigned Sonata's new look belied an improved crash test in the difficult small overlap front test, where Hyundai's family sedan improved from a "Marginal" score to "Acceptable." Meanwhile, the Sonata's optional Forward Collision Warning system garnered a "Basic" rating on IIHS' three-tier rating scale for these sort of automatic safety systems.
Netting a spot on the Top Safety Pick + list requires a "Good" or "Acceptable" score on the small overlap test, as well as "Good" scores on the four standard tests and some form of automated safety system.
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:29:00 EST
The Azera has been consistently outsold by its rivals. Through June, Hyundai has shifted just 4,191 units.
Hyundai's dealers call the Azera the "nicest car nobody knows about." That's according to Mike O'Brien, Hyundai Motor America's vice president of corporate and product planning. Indeed, the fullsize sedan is a handsome, well-rounded machine, loaded with creature comforts. Yet it's not selling well, and its space in Hyundai showrooms is about to get a whole lot more crowded thanks to the newly spruced-up 2015 Sonata. No surprise, then, that company officials admit that the model's future in the US is uncertain.
With the all-new, 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan hitting the road, it puts the current Genesis Coupe in a rather weird spot. The sporty model is starting to get a bit long in the tooth, and for 2015, it's dropped its four-cylinder engine in the US. Hyundai isn't letting the car whither on the vine, though. Behind closed doors, the Korean automaker is rumored to be working on a new coupe to transform the vehicle from something of a pony car in the current guise into a luxury grand tourer with avante garde styling.
The next-generation Genesis Coupe would reportedly borrow its design inspiration from the Hyundai HND-9 Sports Coupe Concept from the 2013 Seoul Motor Show, according to Australian site Go Auto. The key to the new model is growing it larger to be able to seat four adults and giving it more grown-up styling at the same time. Go Auto claims that the coupe could finally get a V8 engine option and possibly a V6 and turbocharged four-cylinder in at least some markets, too. It's slated for a possible 2016 unveiling.
Even during the HND-9's unveiling, Hyundai admitted that the concept projected of the design direction for future models. Its styling was certainly a big shift from the current Genesis Coupe with more hard creases, a wide, mesh grille and butterfly doors. The show car also packed a 3.3-liter turbocharged, direct-injected engine with 364 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.
It's barely arrived in dealerships, and already, Hyundai is recalling its 2015 Sonata. A total of 2,138 vehicles are facing issues with a wiring harness that could limit the amount of power steering help and in some cases, making it difficult to shift out of Park. Most of the cars are not yet in customer hands.
This is a followup action to a very quiet stop-sale that was issued to dealers in early June, which originally included a recall of 1,790 vehicles across the continental US and 58 vehicles in Puerto Rico. That figure eventually grew to a total of 2,080 vehicles in the US and 58 in the Caribbean territory.
Only the 2.4-liter, naturally aspirated model is affected, and of the 2,100-plus sedans, only 12 of them are in the hands of customers, according Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor. Each customer has been notified and asked to report in for free repairs. As of this writing, there are no reports of injuries or crashes due to the issue.
Recently, we took a vacation to Australia, because sometimes we have to get away from all of that other travel and good living that we withstand in order to bring you the latest car news. While there, we grabbed the keys to a Hyundai i40 Tourer, essentially the Sonata wagon we never got a chance to love here.
Even though it didn't have a manual transmission, it did have a diesel and, for reasons beyond that oil-burner, our enduring affections. No, this story will not include another plea for Hyundai to bring it to the US - it likely wouldn't stand a chance against our crossover- and size-crazed mania, but it's a brilliant fit for markets that appreciate tidy haulers.
Hyundai is recalling 58,000 Elantra Touring wagons, after it was discovered that a metal support bracket in the headliner could become dislodged when the side-curtain airbag deploys. If this happens, occupants could suffer lacerations.
The affected models were built between December 15, 2009 and May 7, 2012 and cover model years 2010 to 2012. The problem itself was discovered in the follow-up into a 2013 recall of the Elantra Sedan, when a Touring model was found in a salvage yard with a detached headliner, despite using a different type of support than was recalled in the four-door model. No injuries have been associated with this recall.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration bulletin, the remedy for this recall is not unlike that used with the Elantra Sedan - adhesive strips will be applied to the headliner to prevent it from dislodging in the event of a crash.
In case you somehow missed it, Hyundai has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with The Walking Dead, the critically acclaimed zombie apocalypse show that entertains the masses while they're waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones. Fans of the show will recognize Rick, Michonne, Carol, Maggie and Glenn's mint green Hyundai Tucson, a staple vehicle for the crew of survivors, but the relationship between manufacturer and show goes far beyond that. There's a whole line of Zombie Survival Machines, as well as a special-edition production model (shown above). Heck, even Hyundai's post-LA Auto Show party featured actors staggering about as startlingly realistic walkers (TWD's name for zombies).
So what is it about the dead that quickens the pulse of Hyundai's marketing department? Ward's Auto has a great interview with Steve Shannon, the brand's US vice president of marketing. In it, Shannon describes the sudden nature of the tie-in between the show and the automaker, while describing how the company's corporate overlords in South Korea saw the results of the deal. It's an interesting insight into automotive product placement, as well as Hyundai's marketing philosophy and plans for the future (spoiler alert: the Tucson, which has had a role in the show for several seasons, was seemingly abandoned at the end of season four).
Head over to Ward's and have a look.
Hyundai remains in hot water in its home market after the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport alleged that the country's largest automaker, along with Ssangyong, misstated fuel economy numbers on some of its crossovers. Now, though, the country's consumers are going after Hyundai, with a lawsuit from 1,500 Santa Fe owners.
The suit was filed in Seoul Central District Court by a firm called Yeyul. Its spokesperson, Kim Woong, said the suit was a sign that angry consumers could go after the manufacturer if they're wronged by a company's product.
"It is essential that as many affected consumers as possible take part in this lawsuit to show not just the carmaker but the rest of the companies in Korea that you can get a red card if you mess with your customers," Kim told Bloomberg.
We talk a lot about new technologies in the auto industry. Things that will make you more comfortable or faster or more fuel efficient are, generally, easy for us to explain. Things that make us safer, though, are often a bit tougher to get a bead on. We can report on how it's supposed to function, but few of us are brave, reckless or stupid enough to purposefully put ourselves in a situation where we'd need something like Hyundai's Auto Emergency Braking.
That's why this video is so interesting. It shows off a vehicle's active safety features in the most ridiculous, easy-to-understand way possible. We won't spoil the lengths that Hyundai goes to with this squadron of cars, but you'll want to make sure you watch the whole three-minute video to see just how extreme the safety systems are on the 2015 Genesis.
Scroll down and have a look.
Speed cameras are something of a foreign curiosity for many drivers in the US. Sure, there is sporadic use of red light cameras here, but the cams to catch speeders are much more popular in Europe. However, Hyundai might have created a way to end that scourge for our foreign auto enthusiast compatriots. The Korean automaker recently showed off a system on the Genesis at its headquarters in Seoul that could detect and automatically slow down for the nefarious devices. It could make many speeding tickets a thing of the past.
According to Australian website Drive, the Genesis' tech is actually a simple integration of already existing structures. It combines a navigation system programmed with the locations of speed cameras and the sedan's automatic braking. Drivers get an audible warning about a half-mile beforehand to slow down, and if they don't the car can do it for them.
Unfortunately, this potentially money-saving tech isn't leaving its domestic market anytime soon. "This is offered only in Korea and not planned for the US. In Korea, many cars with smart cruise control offer this and it is viewed as a safety feature," said Hyundai spokesperson Jim Trainor to Autoblog via email.