Hyundai is calling back some 65,000 Genesis sport utility vehicles and sedans that the Korean automaker says are equipped with seatbelts that could unexpectedly explode.
The problem is with seatbelt pretensioners, devices that lock seatbelts in place during a crash, Hyundai recently told federal regulators in the U.S. They could become over-pressurized in the event of a crash, Hyundai said, causing the pretensioners to combust (what the company calls an “abnormal pyrotechnic pretensioner deployment”).
“The potential for this condition is dependent on vehicle characteristics, pretensioner load limiter specification, airbag control unit logic, crash duration and severity,” Hyundai said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“An abnormal pyrotechnic pretensioner deployment could cause metal fragments to enter the vehicle occupant compartment, which may result in injury to vehicle occupants,” the company added.
The recall covers certain Genesis SUVs and sedans from model years 2020 through 2023.
Hyundai told NHTSA it plans to notify owners of recalled vehicles by April 17. It will ask owners to bring their cars to local dealers “to have the seatbelt pretensioner’s micro gas generator and delivery pipe secured with a cap to prevent potential abnormal deployment,” the company said.
This is not a new problem for Hyundai and anyone in its cars.
The auto manufacturer recently announced late last year that it would recall some 15,000 Santa Fe Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid sport utility vehicles and Genesis Electrified G80 sedans over exploding pretensioners.
Hyundai and subsidiary Kia have issued at least five recalls over faulty seatbelt pretensioners since October 2021, according to a Fox news report. A NHTSA investigation of certain 2020-2022 Kia/Hyundai vehicles reportedly turned up three examples of explosions.
“In all three incidents, the driver-side seatbelt pretensioner deployed abnormally, causing metal fragments to enter the rear cabin resulting in injuries to the backseat occupants,” Fox reports.
California Hyundai and Kia Owners’ Rights
Recalls over serious safety issues are all too common for Hyundai and Kia.
The companies were forced to pay a combined $210 million, for example, after NHTSA found that they slow-played the recall of 1.6 million vehicles for engine problems. More recently, Hyundai announced it was recalling some 26,000 vehicles whose windshields could detach in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injuries.
Fortunately, car owners in California do not have to wait around for a vehicle to get defective vehicles fixed.
The California lemon law forces automakers to perform a full range of repairs on cars while they are under warranty. It also requires the companies to buy back (or replace, in some cases) vehicles that they are unable to or simply decline to fix.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.