Hyundai Is Recalling Over 280,000 Vehicles Due To Seatbelt Safety Issue

Automaker Hyundai has announced one of the largest recalls so far this year due to a seatbelt issue that has caused at least 3 reported injuries between the years 2019 and 2021. The recall is expected to include more than 281,000 vehicles and counting, including those here in the St. Petersburg area. Causing the recall is a seat belt pretensioner issue, with the part having the capability to explode leading to the projection of dangerous metal shards.

The vehicles effected include the 2019-2022 Hyundai Accent, the 2021 through 2023 Elantra, and 2021 through 2022 Elantra Hybrid models so far, but could include other vehicle models going forward.

The Recall Issue

The issue at the root of the recall is the seatbelt pretensioner, which is in charge of locking passengers in place in the event of an accident. These are installed to prevent additional injuries in the event of a crash, holding those in the vehicle in place and close to the seat to avoid impact injuries with windows, doors, dashboard, or other areas if an accident should occur.

Due to the pretensioner issue, the piece of the seatbelt may explode due to the pressure of an accident, causing the pretensioner to project metal fragments around the vehicle. This can lead to additional serious injury and possible disfigurement or disability if these metal shards impact the eyes, face, or other crucial parts of the body.

A History Of Injury

There have been 3 injury incidents reported already due to the pretensioner issue, with one key event occurring in September of 2021. During the September accident, the NHTSA was notified of a crash in which a motorist driving a Hyundai 2021 Elantra was injured with metal shards to the leg, noticing after the crash that the seatbelt deployed abnormally. The NHTSA notified Hyundai of the event, which prompted Hyundai to investigate the seatbelt makeup in various vehicles.

So far, Hyundai has assessed and recalled the Accent, Elantra, and Elantra Hybrid vehicles, but investigations into a few more vehicles are still considered to be under investigation. The Venue and Genesis GV70/GV80 models are currently being investigated and may be included in the recall later on if issues are found.

Recalls don’t just include the United States, and more than 40,000 vehicles in Canada are also included. Two incidents leading to injury have occurred in the United States, and one in Singapore.

How Will The Issue Be Fixed?

The pretensioner issue is expected to be fixed quickly and easily by adding a cap onto the pretensioner to stop the piece from breaking under pressure. This is not expected to take Hyundai owners more than a day for repairs, and owners of vehicles shouldn’t be required to go days without while being restored to a safe state.

If you own one of the affected Hyundai vehicles you should receive a recall notice by mail shortly, but you don’t have to wait to have your vehicle repaired. Any Hyundai dealership within the St. Petersburg area will be doing recall repairs for no charge to vehicle owners. Even vehicles no longer under warranty will have pretensioners repaired without cost. Owners can simply contact their local dealership, provide their VIN number to make sure their vehicle has been involved in the recall, and set up their repair appointment.

Because Hyundai is still assessing the need to recall additional models, owners of other Hyundai vehicles may be included in this recall in the near future. Owners of these vehicles will be notified if their models are included in the pretensioner recall at a later date.