Hyundai Transmission Fluid Leaks

Hyundai dealers warned of possible fluid leak

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Christopher Jensen

Plain Dealer Columnist

Hyundai has informed its dealers of a possible fluid leak from the automatic transmission on its four- and six-cylinder vehicles from the 1999 to 2006 model years.

The information was contained in a technical service bulletin sent recently to dealers. Such bulletins are not recalls but simply tell dealers how to detect and fix a problem.

In the worst case on the Hyundais, that could require installing a remanufactured transaxle. The transaxle is the automatic transmission on a front-wheel-drive vehicle.

Hyundai spokesman Miles Johnson said the service bulletin was meant to alert dealers to a possible problem. He said it did not indicate a large number of failures.

He said while 1.5 million vehicles are covered by the bulletin so far Hyundai is aware of problems with about 700.

Hyundai had widespread quality problems in the 1990s, but independent studies by groups such as J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports have indicated significant improvement in the last few years.

Johnson said the repairs would be covered only if the vehicle was under warranty, which is 10 years or 100,000 miles for the engine and transaxle. That warranty is still good on vehicles purchased used.

Repairs would range from about $500 for a new oil seal to $1,500 for a transmission, Johnson estimated.

According to the service bulletin, the models covered included the 2000-06 Accent; 2001-05 Elantra; 2003-06 Tiburon; 1999-06 Sonata; 2001-06 Santa Fe; 2001-05 XG; 2005 Tucson and 2006 Azera.