Hyundai is recalling 2021-2023 Elantra Hybrid compact sedans for a software issue that could cause unintended acceleration.

The recall population totals 37,997 vehicles, but just 1% are expected to have the fault, according to NHTSA recall documents. The affected cars were built between Dec. 15, 2020, and Jul. 29, 2023; a production change, implemented Aug. 10, 2023, included a fix for the issue.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

The issue in question is motor control unit software that may detect a “motor synchronization fault,” which triggers a “fail-safe” condition that causes the car to slowly accelerate after release of the brake pedal.

This condition does not affect a car’s brakes, the NHTSA noted, adding that owners can continue to drive their cars until recall work is completed. Elantra Hybrids are equipped with a standard brake override that automatically cuts power if the brake pedal is pressed.

Owners will be contacted by Hyundai telling them when to take their cars to dealerships, where updated software will be installed free of charge.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

Launched as a 2021 model, the Elantra Hybrid is a strong rival versus the Toyota Corolla Hybrid and outgoing Honda Insight (which will soon be replaced by a new Civic Hybrid). Unlike Toyota and Honda, Hyundai uses a single-motor hybrid system, but thanks to software and precise motor controls it’s been able to make its system quite smooth—most of the time.

The Elantra Hybrid has essentially made the Ioniq Hybrid redundant upon its debut, although it doesn’t include a plug-in hybrid variant like that Ioniq. And along with the larger Sonata Hybrid, the Elantra Hybrid gives Hyundai two distinctive hybrid sedans that return more than 50 mpg.

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