Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hyundai Recalls for Airbag Problems

Hyundai is recalling 221,630 vehicles for airbag problems, according to filings today with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Of the total, 199,118 Santa Fe crossovers from the 2007 to 2009 model years are being recalled because of faulty front passenger-seat sensors that may not detect smaller adults. As a consequence, the passenger airbag may not deploy when required in a crash. Seat sensors measure weight and tell the airbag system whether or not to deactivate the passenger airbag -- such as when children are sitting up front or if the seat is unoccupied.

The remaining 22,512 are 2012 and 2013 Sonata sedans for side curtain airbags that can deploy inadvertently because of leaks in the gas inflater modules. The Sonata recall will begin in August. Hyundai owners can contact the company at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai has not announced a recall date for the Santa Fe. No related injuries have been reported.

In September last year, Hyundai recalled 2007 and 2008 Santa Fe models because of driver's-side airbags that could fail to deploy. In March, 1,633 Sonata Hybrid models were recalled for center rear seatbelts that did not comply with NHTSA regulations; Hyundai petitioned the agency to not conduct further recalls because the issue was "inconsequential" to passenger safety. In 2010, Hyundai recalled more than 138,000 Sonata models because of loose steering-wheel joints and 5,833 Sonata models for door locks that wouldn't lock.

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