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Hundreds of thousands of Hyundai Sonata and Kia Sedona drivers should be receiving letters in the mail about a Hyundai blinker recall.

Hyundai Recall

Driver using their blinker
Driver using their blinker

It’s not just holiday gifts arriving in the mail this November. Owners of some Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the United States and Canada should soon be receiving mailed notifications about a new blinker recall. Kia started sending letters November 12 and Hyundai started sending them November 19. If you don’t receive a letter, but are concerned your car may be impacted, you can always check the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website by entering the Vehicle Identification Number or the year, make, and model of a vehicle.

Turn Signal Software Glitch

2016 Hyundai Sonata - hyundainews.com
2016 Hyundai Sonata - hyundainews.com

The recall is because of a software glitch that could cause the turn signal to activate in the wrong direction. For example, someone flips their signal to merge into the right-hand lane. Instead of the right signal activating as it should, the left signal will flash. There are potentially 469,377 Hyundai vehicles with an electrical system that could be affected. The vehicles include the 2015 to 2017 model year Sonatas, 2016 to 2017 Sonata Hybrids, and 2016 to 2017 Sonata Plug-In Hybrids.

Kia, also operated by Hyundai Motor Company, shares many parts with Hyundai, so they are recalling 88,576 2015 to 2017 model year Sedonas because they may have the same issue. As with any recall, some vehicles are experiencing a certain issue doesn’t mean that all vehicles will experience that same issue, but better safe than sorry.

The Specifics

Turn signals
Turn signals

The exact issue in the select Sonata and Sedona models is with the Smart Junction Box (SJB) software logic. In many instances, it’s not properly interpreting the signals received from the malfunction switch. That causes the wrong turn signal to activate.

There is some good news. If this situation happens, the dash will display which turn signal is blinking. So, even though a driver may have turned the right turn signal on, he or she will be able to look at the dash and see that the wrong indicator light is flashing. The driver won’t be left completely unaware if their vehicle indicator light isn’t working properly.

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Hyundai and Kia found out about this issue in May 2021 and investigated the reports of malfunctions over the summer, trying to replicate the software and test software logic. The vehicles that are impacted are no longer in production or offered for retail, but a car retailer selling used Sonatas or Sedonas must have the recall completed before selling to a customer.

What to Do

2015 Kia Sedona - netcarshow.com
2015 Kia Sedona - netcarshow.com

As with all NHTSA recalls, dealers will fix the issue free of charge. They will update the SJB software. Kia estimates that it will take about an hour to update that. Showing up without an appointment doesn’t usually work too well, so it’s best to call your local dealer, book an appointment, and then bring your vehicle in for an update.

For anyone who has already paid to take care of the unintended blinker problem, they can file for reimbursement using the receipts for the fix.

Cars For Sale has covered other recalls this year, including: Tesla touchscreens, Kia electrical malfunctions, Audi airbags, Subaru ignition coils, and GM airbags. Seeing all of those recalls listed may seem concerning, but, remember: don’t overreact. As long as the issue is repaired, your vehicle is still safe to drive. Also, take a look at our article on ‘What to Do If You Get a Car Recall’ for extended information on the entire recall process and how to best handle any notices you may get.

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Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson earned his journalism degree from South Dakota State University. No stranger to newsgathering and reporting, Jesse spent 13 years in TV news. 10 of those years were spent working in Charlotte, NC, home of NASCAR. A highlight of his time there was being able to take a lap around the Charlotte Motor Speedway. His interest in vehicles, starting with Matchbox cars, a Big Wheel, and the Transformers, evolved into taking photos of motocross events. Now, he puts his research skills to use on car culture, reviews, and comparisons.

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