11,870 cars are involved in the recall, including the Sonata and Nexo SUV.
Remember the 2020 Super Bowl? It feels like 20 lifetimes ago, but if you did see the big game – or at least the big commercials – you might remember Hyundai’s Smaht Pahk schtick about its new self-parking tech for the 2020 Sonata. Nothing entertains the masses like making fun of regional accents with Hollywood stars, but now it appears Hyundai may have stifled that accent by putting its foot in its own mouth. Why? Because Smaht Pahk apparently has a minor flaw that could cause it to not stop when it's supposed to, which is bad when you're talking about a 3,300-pound car.
Obviously that presents a slight safety risk, which is why Hyundai is recalling upwards of 12,000 cars. The feature – technically called the Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) – is fitted to the 2020 Sonata as well as the 2020 Nexo fuel-cell SUV. 11,870 vehicles are included in the recall, and though a specific breakdown of Sonatas versus Nexos isn’t available, the vast majority should be Sonatas as the Nexo is only sold in Californa.
What is the specific problem? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “the RSPA software may fail to prevent vehicle movement upon detection of an RSPA system malfunction.” In the event of some kind of system failure, the car might continue moving unchecked instead of defaulting to a stop. A safety recall report identifies “an anomaly event” in February where the RSPA’s fail-safe mode was disabled during routine testing by Hyundai. As such, the report says the automaker isn’t aware of any injuries or accidents resulting from this issue in the U.S. market.
The fix is straightforward. Hyundai identified a bit of computer code as the reason for the problem, and new software will be installed to remedy the situation. The automaker will begin notifying dealers and owners of affected cars on June 4. Obviously, there will be no charge to owners for the update, but in the meantime, it's probably not a good idea to impress your friends with this wicked awesome feature.