The short answer is no, there is no design flaw or anything like that.
If you trashed your clutch, it's probably your fault.
OTOH, the slave cylinder contains a valve that slows clutch engagement,
the idea being that it will help to prevent inept drivers from stalling
their cars. For an experienced manual tranny driver, it just creates an
inconsistent feel in the clutch engagement. "Clutch-Valve-Ectomies" are
a common procedure among Elantra enthusiasts, as removing the useless
valve improves the feel of the clutch considerably. For DIY
instructions, check the Elantra Club site. www.elantraclub.com
I tend to think you are right, then again, I've seen enough complaints
about Hyundai clutches dying prematurely to wonder just how robust they
are. Also, my Sonata is very hard to start out with smoothly and
without excessive RPMs. I'll probably remove the valve as soon as the
weather gets warmer and I get a chance.
Why wait? The procedure is really easy and takes very little time. Once
you unscrew the banjo fitting, the spring and valve come right out. It
takes more time to bleed the clutch than it does to remove the valve.
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