Hyundai Recalls 239,000 Accent, Elantra Cars over Exploding Seatbelts

·2 min read
Photo credit: Hyundai
Photo credit: Hyundai
  • Hyundai is recalling 239,000 vehicles for seatbelt pretensioners that may deploy in a way that sprays shrapnel throughout the cabin, potentially injuring the occupants.

  • The recall affects 2019–2022 Accents, 2021–2023 Elantras, and 2021–2022 Elantra Hybrids.

  • Owners of affected vehicles can have a cap fitted to the pretensioners at no cost to prevent the potential abnormal deployment.

It's ironic that a device meant to keep vehicle occupants safe could end up doing the exact opposite. That is the basis for a recall issued on May 19 that is affecting 239,000 Hyundai vehicles in the United States. The NHTSA recall document states that the seatbelt pretensioners in these Hyundais may deploy in an abnormal manner, potentially exploding and injuring those in the vehicle. So far, there are reports of two injuries in the U.S. as a result of this malfunction, as well as one in Singapore. The recall affects 2019–2022 Accents, 2021–2023 Elantras, and 2021–2022 Elantra Hybrids.

Photo credit: Hyundai
Photo credit: Hyundai

Seatbelt pretensioners tighten the belts in preparation for a crash, some detonating a small charge that retracts the belt and secures the occupants milliseconds before impact. However, in the case of these Accent and Elantra models that are part of this recall, the explosion may not be contained, potentially sending shrapnel into the cabin. A specific cause is yet to be determined, but Hyundai is actively investigating the situation, according to the recall documentation.

This recall follows and replaces three prior recalls. According to NHTSA, around 61,000 Accents, 166,000 Elantras, and 12,000 Elantra Hybrids are involved in the current recall. Owners will be able to take their affected vehicles to dealerships where, at no cost, the pretensioners will be secured with a cap to stop the possibility of an abnormal deployment. Hyundai will reach out to owners by July 15, according to the NHTSA documents. Owners who want to find out if their vehicle is affected can check the NHTSA recalls website.

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