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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was delayed into 2011... by 'virtual engine sound' system

Vlad Savov

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Remember how at the end of last year the US legislature decided to make it mandatory for EVs to churn out an audible noise while in motion? It was all in the name of saving pesky pedestrians from getting in the way of your gliding electro-car, but the new law itself has managed to create a bump in the road for at least one company. Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid was all set to launch in late 2010, equipped with a "virtual engine sound" system that the user could toggle on and off, however the government's request that it be kept permanently on required modifications to the vehicle's wiring harnesses, UI software and user manuals, delaying its debut into late January. These tweaks had to be done "amazingly late in the process," according to Hyundai America CEO John Krafcik, but the delay will at least ensure that all of Hyundai's Sonatas will sound the same. Which is something, we guess.

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