Anyone have steering puling to the left?
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Thread: Anyone have steering puling to the left?

  1. #1
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    Anyone have steering puling to the left?

    I don't have a new Optima yet,, but I was surfing about some things with the new Sonata Turbo, and there seem to be a rash of complaints about steering pulling the left.

    2011 Hyundai Sonata Steering Complaints

    There was also a smattering of new 2.0T engines having to be replaced by Hyundai due to failure of some external engine parts, as well as some automatic transmission failure placements with very low mileage on them.

    My understanding is that the drive trains are the same, so I was looking for any early observations or insight on the Kia side of things.

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  3. #2
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    The host of complaints filed with NHTSA and Hyundai regarding the 2011 Sonata steering has me very worried about the Optima. I test drove one last week, and have a request with the dealer for an EX with Premium package. Of course, there are only LX left, so I am waiting. While waiting, I see all this hoopla about the Sonata.

    Isn't the same electronic steering system used for both vehicles? I realize that the two models are tweaked differently, but I don't know if my worry about this new Optima is valid.

    Anybody have any reliable info about this? The 2011 Sonata hit the streets months before the Optima. While I have only seen one complaint about Optima steering pulling to the left, I wonder if this is an issue we will see more of in the near future.

    CJ

  4. #3
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    I've driven both the Sonata and Optima extensively. Took both of them home over a long weekend and drove the heck outta of them. The Sonata I had was a pre-owned 2011 GLS with 22k miles on it (probably a rental car). I also had heard about the SE model pulling to the left, but this one did it too. Maybe just a realignment problem with it having as many miles as it did? I took it back and picked out one that I was considering purchasing. It did not pull to the left. So far, I've only heard about this being a concern with the sport tuned suspension package (SE and turbo). The three Optimas I drove did not have this problem, and I drove all three styles. I purchased an LX with the convenience package (my frugal tendencies got the best of me) and couldn't be happier.

  5. #4
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    TY for the reply Phil! I am now in negotiations (don't know if they will meet my Auto Circle price) on an EX with Tech and Premium package (don't want the tech package, but having trouble finding a car with the specs I want). I drove an LX last week and didn't notice anything, nor did I expect to. Still, with the Sonata and Optima sharing so much of the same platform, I was concerned. From the multitude of posts and complaints I read online, I honestly couldn't tell if it was the factory in Alabama that caused the problem, or if it is a faulty Electronic Power Steering. The Youtube video(s) on this problem (shaking steering wheel that pulls left) is pretty wild, and not encouraging. Hyundai (and Kia for that matter) really should hope that this problem has been taken care of acceptably, or it could dampen their immense success. Toyota's recall happened at a time when they were considered **** near invincible in reliability. Kia and Hyundai don't have that luxury. They are now producing very attractive vehicles, with great cost-effective features, and do have a best-in-business warranty. Unfortunately, being without your vehicle while problems are taken care of is a serious PITA. Some of the customers were without their vehicle for over a month! Let's hope it was indeed an isolated situation with the Sonata in that production run last year in Alabama. Glad to hear that the Optima is not showing those problems at this stage!

  6. #5
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    I do not suspect it is the electric steering. I had the electric steering in my 2006 VW Passat. Never a problem with it and personally liked the feel. It sounds to me like a torque steer problem under heavy acceleration. This can be normal specifically certain roads and road crowning. I can say I did not fight the wheel on my Passat.

    I was hoping against hope that this new model would come bug free. My 2006 Passat was the new designed Passat and if sucked from day one. In the shop all the time. It took two years to perfect the car. The 2008+ Passat are very reliable.

    As I sat in the dealers just before Christmas looking at a new 2010 fully loaded Optima and a new 2011 I tossed around the thought of getting the 2011. There were two issues that stopped me. First was the sweet deal on the 2010 so KIA could get it out the door before the end of the year. Plus it had navigation and all the other bells/whistles KIA could put on it. The other was less goodies in the 2011 at about the same price and it was a new model year/design. The new design experience with VW was enough for me not to purchase the new design year.

    When I read the 2011 was coming with the 2.0T I was hoping VW had nothing to do with the design. Then I read the 2011 will have a 6 speed transmission. I hope VW had nothing to do with that either. Both were awful in my 2006 Passat.

  7. #6
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    I doubt Torque steer, because it was happening when people also put the car in neutral, and it still pulled to the left. I read this, as well as someone who seemed to have found a remedy that included tweaking the 'rear' alignment to an updated spec.

    The YouTube video is pretty descriptive in terms of what is happening.


    Looked like most were happening to the turbo models, but some where the 2.4 as well. Since the turbo models are (new), and have just hit the showrooms, it is pretty easy to narrow down when the production run occurred. Let's hope it was an Alabama assembly line misstep, and not a design flaw that would make its way into the 2011 Optima.

  8. #7
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    That is certainly odd for sure. Looking at the video it may be the electric steering. There is a centering type program on the VW if I'm not mistaken. This could possibly be the issue. It requires an update on the software.
    Last edited by Avgwarhawk; 01-17-2011 at 04:47 PM.

  9. #8
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    This video too. Looks like cell phone camera, but still shows some really abnormal behavior.

  10. #9
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    Oh heck yeah....looks like the electronic steering is causing that. They need a software update pronto.

  11. #10
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    I want to point out something troubling about the Sonata situation. Hyundai came out with a steering recall months ago (someone posted the entire thing on the Sonata forum). You would think that it would solve the problem right? There are still brand new posts (this week) from new Sonata owners experiencing the same problem that was identified and supposedly addressed 4-6 months ago. It seems to me that EVERY Sonata would be taken in/modified/fixed in order to prevent this from occurring before they were sold. Also, when this started hitting the net, we had dealer mechanics stating it was any number of things: 1. Tire pressure 2. Tire balance 3. Hankook tires 4. Struts 5. Alignment 6. Finally we started seeing some EPS stuff Thanks for the feedback, and I also appreciate any news you all can find on this subject relating to Optima. I might be concerned over absolutely nothing here, because maybe the Optima is using a different part/program/etc. CJ

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