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2013 Sonata Brake Pedal Travel Issue
The buying experience was exceptional, the staff (at Fairfax Hyundai in Fairfax, Virginia) was courteous and unusually helpful, they threw in a lot of interesting and useful freebies like a cargo net, carpeted floor mats, and more, and discounted the purchase price so significantly that, well, I can't believe I got so much car for so little money! The car feels great, it's rock-solid, powerful, drives great, I'm getting better than the EPA estimated mileage, and I am really pleased with it, except for one nagging not-so-little thing:
The brakes. The first Sonata I test drove, a month before our purchase at the same dealer, had good, firm, responsive brakes, so taut that I commented on it with pleasure at the time of the test drive. My other car is a 2005 Toyota Prius with regenerative brakes that are quite well-known to be spongy and uncertain in their feel, so I really appreciated that aspect of the car.
But this one's brake pedal feel is spongy beyond the Prius's muddiest dreams. Indeed, although inception of braking takes place high in the travel as it should, the pedal travel under hard application is so great that I have, on three separate occasions, depressed the accelerator accidentally during braking, once during parking when it caused me to go into the rear of another vehicle (fortunately without damage to either car).
These were not panic stops, mind you. I do have fairly big and wide (but not enormous) feet (10-1/2 EE, if you must know), but this simply should not happen, and it could not have happened on the previous sample I drove.
I noticed it first immediately after purchase and mentioned it when they took it into their shop for the final prep. I have since returned it to their shop and even taken a drive in it with their service manager, but he tells me this is "normal." It CAN'T be normal -- it's a genuine safety hazard.
I have difficulty believing that this cannot (or should not) be repaired -- it feels like they used a piece of that flexible translucent surgical rubber tubing in place of a brake line -- but I sure don't think I should be on the hook to pay for it. I can't even get them to acknowledge that there's any problem at all.
Please note that this is unrelated (at least it seems unrelated) to any of the rear brake seizing issues mentioned by other participants here. The brakes themselves seem to work just fine stopping the car, and are predictable, quiet and smooth.
Has anyone else experienced this problem? I have trouble believing that this is all in my imagination, as my dealership seems to think. I've been driving for fifty years now and I know what brakes should feel like.
Does anyone have any advice on how best to proceed without antagonizing the dealership, with whom I would prefer to remain on the friendliest of terms, or incurring an expense I should not be expected to pay on a car with less than 3,000 miles on the odometer?