Monday, December 29, 2003

When I think how our lives have been in danger ...

Buried in the stack of mail that had piled up during our Christmas travels was an envelope from Hyundai Motor America with "IMPORTANT: SAFETY RECALL NOTICE" splashed across the front.

When the wife and I bought her Hyundai Santa Fe almost a year ago now, the fact that the truck was made in Korea by a company with a less-than-stellar reputation was, to say the least, a concern. It seemed like a great deal, what with a loaded-up, top-of-the-line Fe costing less than a base model Pathfinder, but I never quite lost my fear that the truck would turn out to be ... well ... a Hyundai.

And so the recall notice arrived. Maybe, I thought, they forgot to bolt the cylinder heads to the engine. Perhaps the feds discovered our "leather" seats were really made from the hides of Chinese children.

I opened the envelope and began to read the letter ...
Hyundai has decided that 2001, 2002, 2003 and some 2004 model year Santa Fe vehicles, produced beginning March 31, 2000 through September 29, 2003, fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 120, Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars.
Well, shit. The freakin' Koreans are putting recycled Firestones on my truck or something?

The letter continued ...
The tire inflation pressure label affixed to the driver's door sill incorrectly does not list the 16 x 6 1/2 J rim size that was installed on the Santa Fe when it was manufactured.
OK.

Included in the letter was a new tire inflation pressure label, and of course my curiosity got the better of me. The new label says the tires should be inflated to 30 PSI or - more precisely - 210kPa (which I have since learned is the metric KiloPascal spec). So then I went out and checked the dangerously mislabeled vehicle. Its label reads 30 PSI or 207kPa but if loaded with four passengers the tires should be at 32 PSI or 221kPa.

And to think my wife has been riding on these ever-so-slightly overinflated (when she has been alone or with just one passenger) or even more dramatically slightly underinflated (when she's carried two passengers or more) tires for almost a full year!

But no more. Armed with my handy instructions and visual guide - "Please apply the new label to the driver's door sill over the original label as shown on the attached tire pressure label replacement procedure" - I will make damn sure to properly label the tire pressure specifications before I leave for the Sugar Bowl Saturday.

Of course, if I don't get around to it, Hyundai will help out ...
Should you have or anticipate any trouble installing the new label, or if you would rather have your Hyundai Dealer assist you, please call your Hyundai Dealer to make an appointment with them to have the label installed. When you go to your Hyundai Dealer, take the new label with you for them to install at no charge to you.
You know, I'm almost tempted to take them up on that offer.

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