Hyundai Recall Accent And Elantra Due To Exploding Seatbelt Parts
Due to faulty seatbelt pretensioners that may explode when deployed, Hyundai is recalling 239,000 Elantra and Accent cars.
The 2019-2022 Hyundai Accent, 2021-2023 Hyundai Elantra, and 2021-2022 Hyundai Elantra HEV are among the vehicles affected.
Hyundai is still looking into the core of the problem, despite the fact that the consequences of blowing parts on car occupants are very obvious.
Shrapnel injuries have been reported in the United States and Singapore as a result of exploding pretensioners (found in 2019–2022 Accents, 2021–2023 Elantras, and 2021–2022 Elantra hybrids).
Pretensioners are designed to retract and tighten seatbelts in the case of a collision, preventing occupants from being flung around the cabin in the seconds after impact.
Pretensioners using pyrotechnically actuated pretensioners are rather common, therefore Hyundai’s design isn’t unusual. However, it is the manner in which these specific pretensioners are used that makes them dangerous.
The company’s solution, which is provided free of charge to owners, is to cap off the suspicious portion.
“The subject vehicles are equipped with driver/passenger pyrotechnic-type seatbelt pretensioners that may deploy abnormally during a crash,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notice reads.
“An abnormal pyrotechnic pretensioner deployment could cause metal fragments to enter the vehicle occupant compartment, which may result in injury to vehicle occupants.”
In two cases in the US and one in Singapore, exactly that happened. According to the NHTSA timeline, Hyundai became aware of the defect after an accident and subsequent lawsuit occurring last fall.
An additional incident in Puerto Rico was reported last December, followed by a crash in Singapore in February.
Two of the three accidents resulted in shrapnel injuries to rear seat passengers while the malfunctioning pretensioners were installed in the front seats. No fatalities have been reported as a result of the exploding parts.
A total of 239,000 vehicles have been recalled: 61,000 Accents, 166,000 standard Elantras, and 12,000 Elantra hybrids will soon be eligible for the no-cost repair provided by Hyundai.
The Accent was manufactured in Kia’s Monterrey, Mexico, plant while the Elantra and Elantra HEV are produced at Hyundai’s facility in Montgomery, Alabama.
Hyundai has devised a remedy in collaboration with NHTSA and engineering consultants: the problematic “micro gas generator connection” will be capped and fortified to reduce the risk of explosion. On July 15, Hyundai is anticipated to send out official notices to owners. Check out the NHTSA’s recall page for more details.