Seat belts essentially have one job: to keep the people in a vehicle safe. Typically that means ensuring drivers and passengers remain relatively still during an accident, but in light of the latest Hyundai recallwe’re going to add “doesn’t explode” to our seat belt wish list.
A total of 239,000 vehicles are part of the recall. Here’s what you need to know.
How can seat belts explode?
When we imagine the parts of a car that could explode, seat belts usually don’t come to mind. So what’s going on here?
According to a post posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the seat belts in the recalled vehicles were manufactured with a “pyrotechnic” component that could fail in a crash, firing shrapnel at the driver and passengers:
The vehicles in question are equipped with pyrotechnic driver/passenger seat belt pretensioners which can be activated abnormally during a crash. A specific cause has not yet been determined.
Hyundai is currently investigating the issue. AOn May 24, three injuries were reported from exploding seat belts: two in the US and one in Singapore, the Associated press releases†
Which Hyundai vehicles are part of the recall?
This most recent Hyundai recall expands on and replaces three of the company’s previous recalls, and includes†
- 2019-2022 Accents (approximately 61,000 vehicles in total)
- 2021-2023 Elantras (about 166,000 vehicles)
- 2021-2022 Elantra HEVs (approximately 12,000 hybrid electric vehicles)
Even if your Hyundai vehicle has been repaired under one of the previous recalls, you must return it to your dealer to have the exploding seat belt issue corrected, the NHTSA Reports†
What to do if you drive one of the recalled vehicles?
Hyundai will notify owners of vehicles affected by the recall by post no later than July 15 and provide instructions on how to fix their seat belts. This involves taking the car to the dealer, where they cap the defective part to prevent it from exploding.
The repair is free to owners of all affected vehicles, whether or not they are still covered by Hyundai’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty. according to the NHTSA†
If you have any questions, call Hyundai Customer Service at 1-855-371-9460 and refer to recall number 229, or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit www.nhtsa.gov.