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A solution for Hyundai’s freezing screens

Software fix will keep Santa Fe’s control screen aglow all winter

Published: August 18, 2014 12:00 PM

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An old tall tale goes that it got so cold last winter, our words froze in midair, and we had to heat them in a skillet to hear what we were talking about. That’s how it felt in our Hyundai Santa Fe last winter. On really frigid mornings with single-digit temperatures, the center-dash infotainment screen wouldn’t wake up. That’s the touch screen that manages the audio, phone, navigation, and rear-camera image, but not, thankfully, the seat and steering-wheel heaters.

This was unusual, inconvenient, and especially aggravating, since we’d just decided to name the Santa Fe our Top Pick among midsized SUVs. When contacted, Hyundai told us that it knew about it and that a free fix would soon be coming. Just in time for the dog days of August, we’ve learned that Hyundai has developed a software update that will keep the screen alive when the mercury takes a nosedive. It’s described in a technical service bulletin (TSB no. 14-01-031) now in dealers’ hands.

That TSB mentions that the cold-weather screen-freeze problem also afflicts some versions of the 2015 Elantra and Tucson. If you own any of those, it might be a good idea to check with your local dealership and maybe book an appointment, before you have to break out the skillet.

Seung Min Yu and Gordon Hard

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