Seatbelts essentially have one job: To keep the humans inside a vehicle safe. Typically that means ensuring that drivers and passengers remain relatively stationary during a crash, but in light of the latest recall from Hyundaiwe’re going to add “does not explode” to our seatbelt wishlist.
In total, 239,000 vehicles are part of the recall. Here’s what to know.
How can seatbelts explode?
When we picture the parts of a car that might explode, seatbelts typically don’t come to mind. So what’s going on here?
According to a notice posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the seatbelts in the recalled vehicles were manufactured with a “pyrotechnic-type” component which could malfunction during a crash, launching shrapnel at the driver and passengers:
The subject vehicles are equipped with driver/passenger pyrotechnic-type seat belt pretensioners that may deploy abnormally during a crash. A specific root cause has not yet been determined.
Hyundai is currently investigating the problem. As of May 24, three injuries caused by the exploding seatbelts have been reported: Two in the US and one in Singapore, the Associated Press reports.
Which Hyundai vehicles are part of the recall?
This most recent Hyundai recall expands and replaces three of the company’s previous recalls, and includes:
- 2019-2022 Accents (around 61,000 vehicles total)
- 2021-2023 Elantras (roughly 166,000 vehicles)
- 2021-2022 Elantra HEVs (approximately 12,000 hybrid electric vehicles)
Even if your Hyundai vehicle was repaired under one of the previous recalls, you’ll have to bring it back to your dealership to have the exploding seatbelt issue fixed, the NHTSA reports.
What to do if you drive one of the recalled vehicles
Hyundai will notify the owners of the vehicles affected by the recall by mail, no later than July 15, and provide instructions for getting their seatbelts fixed. This will involve taking the car to the dealership, where they’ll secure the malfunctioning part with a cap to prevent it from exploding.
The fix will be free for owners of all affected vehicles, regardless of whether they’re still covered under Hyundai’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty, according to the NHTSA.
If you have any questions, feel free to call Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460 and reference recall number 229, or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit www.nhtsa.gov.