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Hyundai in a spin over ESC

Clear cut: Hyundai no longer offers standard ESC across the Santa Fe range.

Company defends decision to drop stability control

16 Aug 2007

FOLLOWING our report on 6 August on the removal of electronic stability control from lower-grade variants of the Santa Fe SUV, Hyundai Motor Co Australia (HMCA) management has emphasised that it did not “remove” ESC from one particular model variant, but actually dropped the former entry-level model that carried ESC and instead added a $2000-cheaper variant that does not have the life-saving technology.

In a statement, HMCA marketing general manager Oliver Mann said: “Hyundai Motor Company Australia wishes to clarify that it has not removed safety equipment from its Santa Fe model.

“Hyundai has pioneered the availability of ESC and side and curtain airbags within the volume-car market, and Santa Fe SLX and Elite models offer these features as standard.

“Santa Fe SX models, which were first introduced in October 2006, do not include these features, and we are working with our parent company to make them available from a production engineering perspective.”

It remains a fact that the 2.7-litre Santa Fe has had ESC removed. As reported last week, HMCA has deleted the $35,990 2.7 SLX (which carried ESC) and introduced a $33,990 2.7 SX (which does not have ESC).

With the 2.7 Elite also now deleted, there are no other 2.7 models remaining in the Santa Fe range, making the starting point for Santa Fe and ESC now $37,990 with the front-wheel drive 3.3 SX – $2000 more than before. Moreover, the starting point for an AWD Santa Fe model with ESC has climbed to the $43,490 seven-seat SLX CRDi automatic.

There is also no contention over the fact that ESC was fitted standard across the Santa Fe range when the current CM-series was launched in May 2006.

HMCA this week suggested to GoAuto that the RACV chief engineer Michael Case would not have made the comments he did last week had he been in possession of all the facts.

However, Mr Case has since told GoAuto that his remarks were RACV policy – which still stand.

Upon clarification that the base model Santa Fe no longer has ESC, he said: “Well, consumers need to know that. And they can really draw their conclusion from that point onwards. Our advice to consumers is to look for ESC available as standard, or at least as an affordable option.”

Read more:

Hyundai safety u-turn on Santa Fe

First drive: Santa Fe gets V6 legs - but not paws

Read GoAuto's drive impressions of the Hyundai Santa Fe 3.3 V6 2WD

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