This is a weird one.
Hyundai and Kia are both known for building affordable and seriously reliable vehicles, but every manufacturer has its bad days, and now it's the turn of these two Korean manufacturers to have a taste of that bitter recall medicine. Over half a million Kia and Hyundai cars are being recalled in the US due to backward turn signals.
The vehicles affected by the recall are the 2015-2017 Hyundai Sonata, 2016-17 Sonata Hybrid, and 2015-2017 Kia Sedona Minivan. The Kia Sedona is officially dead as of 2022 and has been replaced, in name at least, by the Kia Carnival. The eight-generation Sedona, which went on sale in 2020 is already planned to be replaced by 2023. This major recall follows the 2020 recall of over 400,000 Kia and Hyundai cars due to concerns over engine fires caused by possible fuel and oil leaks.
According to the two companies, an electrical issue can misinterpret the signals made by the driver. This of course can lead to a serious case of road rage, or even a serious accident. "The Smart Junction Box (SJB) in the subject vehicles interprets the signal from the multifunction switch to determine the intended turn signal direction. The SJB software logic may not properly interpret the signals received from the multifunction switch in certain circumstances," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.
The NHTSA first contacted Kia in May of 2021 to notify the company of this issue, after which Kia launched an investigation. Both manufacturers say that customers can stop by their local dealership for a free software update. Thankfully the NHTSA reports that there have been no major accidents related to the issue, but Kia and Hyundai might be liable for any damage caused by the malfunction. Kia will notify owners via letter starting November 12, while Hyundai will do the same on November 19.