The Korea-based automaker Hyundai is having a spate of airbag troubles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automaker will recall more than 220,000 Santa Fe and Sonata vehicles over separate problems with the crash protection devices.
Santa Fe recall
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 199,118 Santa Fe SUVs from the model years 2007 through 2009 are being recalled because the occupant classification system may be defective. That could lead to improper air bag deployment in a crash, upping the chance of injuries or worse.
The occupant classification system determines whether the seat is being occupied by an adult, a child, a child’s seat or some other object. It then deploys the bag accordingly. If a child is in the seat at the time of a crash, and the bag deploys mistakenly for an adult, it could cause greater harm to the child. Likewise, an adult may be inadequately protected in a crash should the bag employ for a child.
Or the bag could not deploy at all. According to Hyundai, it has received several reports of the bag not deploying in a crash with adults who weighed less than 130 pounds. No injuries, however, have been reported in connection with the problem.
The affected Santa Fe SUVs were assembled between April 19, 2006 and July 7, 2008. The automaker says the recall campaign will begin in August. The affected vehicles will receive a software update to correct the occupant classification system.
Meanwhile, Hyundai is calling back 22,512 of its Sonata sedans from the model years 2012 through 2013. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, due to a manufacturing defect, the side curtain airbags may deploy without first being in a crash. Improperly deployed airbags can cause serious injuries, as well as blocking a driver’s view of the highway.
The Sonata recall was prompted by 16 separate complaints from owners. Fortunately, as in the case of the Santa Fe recall, no injuries were noted in any of those complaint filings.
The affected Sonatas were built between, January 24, 2012, and June 21, 2012. That recall is also expected to begin in August, when affected vehicles will be fitted with a new side curtain airbag at no cost to the owner.
Owners who think their vehicle may be affected can call Hyundai at 800-633-5151. Alternately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s hotline is 888-327-4236.