Over 230,000 Hyundai units affected by seatbelt issue
Seatbelts were designed to protect people in the event of an accident. But in Hyundai's case, the safety device could do the exact opposite and harm its occupants.
Hyundai is recalling a total of 239,000 vehicles in the United States, and among them are the 2019-2022 Accent subcompact sedan, 2021-2023 Elantras, and 2021-2022 Elantra Hybrids.
Usually, seatbelt pretensioners work by "detonating" a small charge that retracts the belt to secure the passenger milliseconds before a crash. However, for the affected Accent and Elantra models, the explosion may not be contained and potentially send shrapnel into the cabin. In fact, there were reports of two injuries in the US and a single case in Singapore attributed to the said malfunction.
So far, the specific cause is yet to be determined, but Hyundai is busy investigating the situation according to the NHTSA document. As of now, the manufacturer's solution is to secure the pretensioners with a cap to stop the possibility of an abnormal deployment, which they will install at no cost to Hyundai owners.
This is not the first recall issued by Hyundai US this year. Back in January, 26,000 Hyundai sedans and SUVs were affected by an improper windshield bonding that could possibly detach in a crash. In addition, there's even a fire risk recall which also affected Kia models back in February.
There's no word yet from Hyundai Philippines if they are part of the seatbelt pretensioner recall. And if ever they give an official advisory, we'll be sure to let you know.