Special Coverage

New York Int’l Auto Show

NEW YORK – Hyundai Motor America says the ’12 Genesis R-Spec equipped with the auto maker’s new 5.0L V-8 is being delayed due to engine noise, vibration and harshness issues.

Michael O’Brien, vice president-corporate and product planning, says the premium car was to launch last month but now is scheduled to hit dealerships in the May-June timeframe.

The NVH issue was discovered during routine internal testing prior to serial production of the vehicle, but after a handful of cars already had been delivered to customers in California.

“We have a small issue, nothing big, but it requires a bit of a correction,” O’Brien tells Ward’s at the New York auto show. “So what we had to do was stop production to get this issue taken care of.”

O’Brien declines to pinpoint the exact problem but says all will be revealed once engineers complete a fix that is under way.

Such problems are not uncommon when developing a new engine, and sometimes they are not drastic enough to warrant a stop in production, he says.

“Every manufacturer tells you they want the best product,” he says. “Yet, at the same time, there are literally thousands of tradeoffs every research and development and planning person makes every day.

“If you are the best of everything, you’d have a $300,000 car,” O’Brien adds. “So at some point, you have to say there’s a standard that’s set, and you have to meet that standard. So it’s always a judgment call.”

O’Brien says he is unaware of any complaints from the few owners who took delivery of the vehicles equipped with the engine. Consumers who did purchase the car will be contacted by Hyundai and their vehicles will be fixed.

“There haven’t been a lot of people saying, ‘I want the 5.0L product,’” he says. “There have been a few calls, but nothing substantial. It wasn’t our plan to have a big marketing effort.”

O’Brien is not sure if dealers have been informed of the situation, but there are plans to do so.

Other Hyundai vehicles with the 5.0L, including the Equus sedan, are not affected by the NVH issue because their production launch is later than the R-Spec.

bpope@wardsauto.com