Hyundai Motor Halts Sonata Sales

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South Korea's Hyundai Motor has stopped U.S. sales of its 2011 Sonata sedan due to door lock issues, sending its shares down more than 4 percent Wednesday. It’s concerned that it could become snared in a damaging recall crisis like Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp.

Hyundai notified dealers late on Monday of potential faults in the front door latches of the new model that could affect 5,000 vehicles. The stop-sale order was put into effect at U.S. dealers Tuesday, according to the company.

But analysts drew a line between Toyota's recall woes and Hyundai's decision to suspend sales of the revamped Sonata, saying its shares would return to normal in one or two days.

[Song sang-hun, Kyobo Securities]:
"That (door lock faults) would not have been a big problem if the world was not concerned about the Toyota issue. The market just over-reacted. I believe the value of Hyundai Motor will be back to normal after one or two days of sales resumption.”

Hyundai says it received complaints from customers but no reports of accidents or injuries related to the model.

It said dealers would inspect vehicles. The repair takes about an hour to do.

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