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US reviewing Hyundai SUV axles

Regulators have had two complaints of axle shaft failure on the Santa Fe.

Morgan J Segal

Regulators have had two complaints of axle shaft failure on the Santa Fe.

DETROIT — US safety regulators are investigating complaints that the Hyundai Santa Fe sport utility vehicle can suddenly lose power.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has two complaints that the right-front axle shaft can fail on 2013 models.

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The investigation covers about 50,000 vehicles. Investigators will determine if the problem is big enough to require a recall.

No injuries or crashes have been reported.

In both complaints, owners reported a loud noise and said their SUVs wouldn’t move. In both cases the vehicles had fewer than 5,000 miles on them.

NHTSA began its investigation on July 5, the agency said in documents posted Tuesday on its website.

Hyundai is cooperating with the investigation and says it’s too early in the process to draw any conclusions, spokesman Miles Johnson said in a statement.

In a separate case, NHTSA has decided not to seek a recall of the 2011 Santa Fe because of a steering problem.

The agency began investigating about 70,000 of the SUVs in October of 2012 because a fastener could come loose, causing the steering shaft to come apart.

NHTSA said in documents posted last week that Hyundai traced the problem to operator error at its assembly plant.

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