Safety regulators have begun a preliminary evaluation of rust affecting some 393,000 Hyundai Sonata mid-size cars from the 2006 through 2008 model years.

This action by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) comes after the agency’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) received six complaints alleging rear suspension control arm failures in 2006 Hyundai Sonata vehicles. A car’s wheel hubs are attached to the control arms.

Three of these complaints involve alleged failures in vehicles traveling at highway speed and two indicate that the failure caused the activation of the electronic stability control (ECS) system.

An Associate Press report in The Washington Post said that Hyundai is cooperating with the NHTSA and that no safety defect has been found.

A preliminary evaluation is the first step in assessing the scope, frequency and potential safety consequences associated with an alleged defect.  A preliminary evaluation may or may not lead to an eventual recall.  

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