Photo of Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Hyundai.

Photo of Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Hyundai. 

Hyundai Motor America is recalling 304,900 2011-2012 model-year Sonata sedans because of malfunctioning brake lights, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

The recall covers vehicles manufactured from Dec. 11, 2009, to June 30, 2011. In these cars, the brake pedal stopper pad – located between the stop lamp switch and the brake pedal arm – can deteriorate. As a result, the stop lamp switch plunger may remain extended when the brake pedal is released.

As a result, the brake lights may stay illuminated even though the driver isn’t pressing the brake pedal. Additionally, if the brake switch plunger isn’t retracted, the transmission can be shifted out of “park” without depressing the brake pedal. These conditions increase the risk of a crash, NHTSA said.

Dealers will replace the brake pedal stopper pad with an improved part, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on Jan. 11.

In a recall report submitted to NHTSA, Hyundai said it isn’t aware of any related accidents or injuries. The automaker first identified the problem after investigating warranty claims involving replacement of brake pedal stopper pads.

Vehicle owners can reach Hyundai customer service at (855) 671-3059. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 136.