Hyundai has announced a new recall involving a total of 239,000 vehicles. In addition to the latest Accent models, the Elantra will require a special cap that Hyundai says will reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident. Other than that, these cars have the potential to explode a seat belt protector.
Korean carmaker NHTSA has said it is aware of three incidents of seat belt tensioning at this stage of the investigation. The first was reported to the brand in September 2021 and it immediately launched a full-scale investigation.
According to documents submitted to the NHTSA, it involved a 2021 Hyundai Elantra “where the driver-side seat belt protector was abnormally deployed, which caused a piece of metal to enter the rear cabin and result in a passenger’s leg injury.”
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Over the next few months, Hyundai continued to investigate the issue and other similar cases. On December 3, 2021, a second incident was reported in Puerto Rico. Somewhat surprisingly, the protease in this case was produced 13 months before the first incident.
Then, in February of this year, a third incident involving explosives was reported in Singapore. Prior to this recall, Hyundai had already issued other recalls in the hope of covering the vehicles in question. Due to the broader nature of these reports, this new recall covers more vehicles
Although the exact cause is still unknown, Hyundai hired a third-party engineering firm, Exponent, to come up with a threat mitigation solution. In the end, they identified a micro-gas generator inside the precinct as the cause of the explosion.
Exponent has created a cap that will protect those micro gas generators and eliminate stress sites that could increase the risk of potentially abnormal installation. It should also be noted that the three incidents occurred only due to an accident or collision so there is no reason to expect them to close randomly.
Hyundai has already started the process of notifying the owners through first class mail and they will fit the cap on the damaged vehicle without any charge to the customer. Owners of 2021 or 2022 Accent models or 2021 to 2023 Elantra models can contact their local dealer to find out if their car has been affected before receiving the letter.