Back in October, a Hyundai Elantra N owner in California was pulled over by a cop claiming the car was "backfiring." What the cop was hearing was the exhaust system's burble tune, which the car makes from the factory. When the driver mentioned that, the cop immediately became combative, saying "You're gonna to spend about $7,000 on this car right now" to have its "track" equipment removed. The cop also said that the driver's registration would be suspended. Now, it's being reported that Hyundai North America is stepping in to help the driver prove that there was nothing illegal about the noises the car made.
The driver posted a dashcam video of the interaction with the officer on Reddit and you can hear how quickly the conversation goes south. The cop asked the driver if the car was in a "track mode" and the driver said yes (although it's called "N" mode). Although its N mode comes from the factory, the cop said that dealerships are supposed to explain that such modes aren't legal to use on the road.
After the incident, the owner took the car to California state inspection, where it actually failed the noise test. According to the owner, the pops and bangs hit 102 decibels, well over the 95 decibel legal limit. After the inspection, the owner took the car to a Hyundai dealership, where they recommended fitting a muffler silencer temporarily, to pass inspection. It seemed that the owner was looking to sell the Elantra N, and even got an offer from Carvana, but that no longer seems to be the case.
According to the driver, who goes by OkCandidate103 on Reddit, about a month ago Hyundai picked up the car, brought it to the HATCI (Hyundai American Technical Center Inc.), and provided a hybrid loaner to drive around in the meantime. The owner is still currently in the hybrid loaner, while continuing to make payments on the Elantra N, so Hyundai is giving them $500 as compensation, although that won't cover the Elantra N's monthly payments for the entirety of this dilemma. However, Hyundai did apparently tell them weeks ago that there's nothing wrong with the car.
OkCandidate103 hired an attorney and has a court date scheduled for February 23. While there may be an end in sight, that means they still have to make at least two more monthly payments to not drive their Elantra N. The owner will make one last Reddit update when the situation is resolved.
We've reached out to Hyundai for a quote and we will update this story when we hear back.
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