A faulty seatbelt part in certain Hyundai models that can explode when deployed has prompted Hyundai Motor America to issue a recall notice for some 281,000 vehicles sold in North America.
The company reported three people have already been injured by the faulty part, which is found in some 2019-2022 Accent, 2021-2023 Elantra and 2021-2022 Elantra hybrid vehicles.
The Kelly Blue Book recall page says that if there is an accident “the front driver and passenger-side seat belt pretensioners may explode upon deployment. Exploding seat belt pretensioners can project metal fragments into the vehicle, striking vehicle occupants, and result in injury.”
Seat-belt pretensioners are part of the a system that locks the seatbelt in place during a crash to provide additional protection to occupants.
This recall expands and replaces four earlier recalls, meaning that Accent, Elantra and Elantra HEV vehicles already repaired under previous recalls will need to return for another repair, according to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In September, the NHTSA informed Hyundai of an incident involving a 2021 Elantra in which the driver-side seat belt pretensioner allegedly deployed abnormally during an accident, causing metal fragments to injure an occupant’s leg. The agency asked Hyundai to asses the issue.
- Reuters, with editing by Neal McGrath