Hyundai: Lifetime Warranty for 2012 Sonata Hybrid Batteries; Ten-Speed Automatic Transmission in Development
By Andrew Wendler
Although battery replacement in hybrid vehicles has turned out to be largely a non-issue, Hyundai CEO John Krafcik looked to ease any concerns hesitant consumers may still have about pricey replacements by announcing that the 2012 Hyundai Sonata hybrid’s lithium-polymer pack will carry a lifetime warranty. According to Krafcik, “We can afford the program because the failure rate is so low.” Hyundai claims to have tested the Sonata hybrid’s drivetrain for more than 300,000 miles without “minimal degradation of its output or duration of operation.”
What no one at Hyundai will confirm is how far up the signal chain the coverage extends: Does it only cover the battery cells, or does it also extend to the highly integrated hardware and control units? Hyundai reps advised us to “Stay tuned. You’ll know as soon as we know.”
Eight Isn’t Enough
Not content with only eight-speed automatics in its transmission portfolio, Hyundai also confirmed that it is developing a ten-speed autobox in-house. The announcement begs the question: At what point does the complexity and packaging of gears become redundant in comparison to a CVT? Given the rampant ratio-envy in the industry, we may never know.
Again, Hyundai representatives are playing it close to the vest: “We confirmed that it [the ten-speed] is a ‘go project’ for development,” but the company won’t provide even a modicum of info on important details such as the introduction date or the vehicles in which we might see the ‘box. The information blackout includes whether the transmission would be for transverse or longitudinal applications, although we think the former is more likely, in order to squeeze even loftier EPA numbers from efficiency-minded small cars like the Elantra and Accent.
Read more at Car and Driver:
she was at 102k and they denied the warranty.They didn't deny the warranty, the warranty had expired. Things could've been worse, she could've had a Ford and they would've denied her while she was still under warranty. Been there, done that with Ford.
Does it only cover the battery cells, or does it also extend to the highly integrated hardware and control units?
It’s also worth asking:
- Does the warranty transfer to future owners?
- It is full coverage or is there some type of pro-rated value included when the vehicle gets older?
- Does it cover any failure, or just failures due to “manufactures defects?”
It’s an interesting idea, but there are still a lot up in the air.
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