The NHTSA said field reports allege that "certain" model year 2011 Hyundai Sonata vehicles had problems with steering shaft assembly upper universal joints separating "and/or a cross-threaded pinch bolt that caused stripped out threads and loosening." It said those problems could cause partial or complete loss of steering capability.
About 139,500 vehicles were involved in the recall, which is expected to begin in October.
Hyundai dealerships will inspect the intermediate shaft universal joints and update steering software in the vehicles free of charge, the NHTSA said.
Consumers can call 800-424-9153 for information.