Hyundai Recalls 239,000 After Seat Belt Explosions

Hyundai is recalling 239,000 Accent and Elantra models after reports of seat belt components exploding. Read on for more about the issue and the fix. 

239,000 Hyundai Models Recalled 

2021 Hyundai Elantra -
2021 Hyundai Elantra -

Hyundai Motor America issued a recall for potentially 239,000 vehicles after seat belt components reportedly exploded. This recall impacts certain 2021-2023 Elantra, 2021-2022 Elantra HEV, and 2019-2022 Accent models.

The recall states that, during a crash, the driver and/or passenger-side seat belt pretensioners can tighten the seat belts and then shatter upon impact. Two injuries in the United States and one injury in Singapore have been reported as a result of the issue. The root cause of the issue hasn’t been determined yet.

Hyundai has had recalls in the past for faulty hoses, improper bonding on windshields, and glitchy blinkers. Sometimes those recalls impact thousands. Other times it’s as few as 32 customers. It’s important to remember that just because your vehicle falls under a recall, it doesn’t mean there’s anything necessarily wrong with it. If you’re not familiar with the recall process, you can always read our detailed explanation: What To do If You Get a Car Recall. The information is useful for drivers of any make or model.

Explaining the Incidents 

2021 Hyundai Elantra -
2021 Hyundai Elantra -

On September 15, 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notified Hyundai of a crash involving a 2021 Hyundai Elantra where the driver-side seat belt pretensioner allegedly deployed, launching metal fragments into the back seat, injuring a passenger’s leg. As Hyundai and NHTSA were conducting investigations, a second incident occurred with a 2020 Hyundai Accent in Puerto Rico. In February 2022, Hyundai reported a third incident involving a 2022 Hyundai Elantra in Singapore. A rear passenger was also injured in that occurrence.

Similar incidents with parts and components from the same production lots were described in NHTSA recalls 21V-796, 22V-069, 22V-218, and 22V-123. As a result of the three recent incidents, this new notice expands and replaces the previous recalls.

What Hyundai Owners Can Do 

2022 Hyundai Accent -
2022 Hyundai Accent -

Owners of affected Accent and Elantra models should receive letters via United States Post Office sometime after July 15, 2022. The letter will instruct them to take their vehicles to Hyundai dealers for a remedy, free of charge.

Hyundai used a third-party engineering firm to develop a cap that secures the pretensioner’s micro gas generator and delivery pipe, preventing unexpected deployment. The company will outfit the recalled Accent and Elantra vehicles with this cap. Hyundai will also provide owners of affected vehicles reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred to obtain a remedy for the recall condition. Hyundai tested the effectiveness of the remedy, sending results to their North American Safety Office on May 16.

2021 Hyundai Elantra -
2021 Hyundai Elantra -

All Accent, Elantra, and Elantra HEV vehicles already repaired under the previous recalls will also need to get these parts. It doesn’t matter if they are still covered under Hyundai’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The remedy will be offered at no cost to owners of all affected models.

In the meantime, owners can contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460. They should reference recall number 229 when calling. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline by dialing 1-888-327-4236 or visiting their website.

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Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson earned his journalism degree from South Dakota State University. No stranger to newsgathering and reporting, Jesse spent 13 years in TV news. 10 of those years were spent working in Charlotte, NC, home of NASCAR. A highlight of his time there was being able to take a lap around the Charlotte Motor Speedway. His interest in vehicles, starting with Matchbox cars, a Big Wheel, and the Transformers, evolved into taking photos of motocross events. Now, he puts his research skills to use on car culture, reviews, and comparisons.

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