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Hyundai issues voluntary recall on Sonata sedan

SEOUL, South Korea — Hyundai Motor on Wednesday announced a voluntary recall of its new Sonata sedan to replace some front door latches following a handful of customer complaints. Hyundai, South Korea's No. 1 automaker, said it discovered a mechanical problem in vehicle's front door latches, which, in rare instances, will not close properly.

The recall will affect some 46,000 Sonatas produced in South Korea until Dec. 6 and about 1,300 others manufactured at Hyundai's plant in Montgomery, Ala. and sold to American customers until Feb. 16, Hyundai said.

"To avoid a possible occurrence of the problem, Hyundai has been applying modified parts to some of its Korean and U.S. production models," Hyundai said in a statement.

Hyundai said it plans to inform South Korean and the U.S. authorities of its recall this week and carry it out next month.

The move came as its Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest automaker, has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles worldwide over defective floor mats, gas pedals and brakes.

Hyundai, which along with affiliate Kia Motors Corp. forms the world's fifth-biggest automotive group, has seen its market share grow worldwide in recent years through an emphasis on quality and design.

Hyundai and Kia have expanded aggressively overseas in recent years. Hyundai has factories in China, India, Turkey, the U.S. and the Czech Republic. Kia has plants in China and Slovakia and began production in the United States last year.

Shares in Hyundai Motor, which announced the recall during afternoon trading, dipped 2.6 percent to close at $99.

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