Defective Seatbelts Lead to Hyundai Recall

Hyundai issued a recall of almost 1 million Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid vehicles over concerns their seat belts may fail in a crash.

The company submitted the safety recall report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on March 8, 2017. The recall involves 977,778 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonatas and 2011-2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids.

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The problem involves seat belt linkages in the affected vehicles. According to the safety recall report submitted by Hyundai, the front seat belt assembly in the vehicles use an anchor pretensioner fasted to the vehicle’s inner structure. The anchor pretensioner is affixed to the vehicle’s structure before connection to the seat belt linkage. If, during vehicle assembly, the connector does not fully latch when the linkage is pressed onto the connector, the seat belt can detach from the anchor pretensioner.

The seat belt mechanisms are supplied to Hyundai by ZF-TRW, a manufacturer based out of Livonia, Michigan. Hyundai said they are aware of one reported minor injury related to the defect.

Hyundai said in a chronology report sent to the NHTSA they were contacted by a customer in September 2016 reporting a frontal collision involving a 2013 Hyundai Sonata. The customer said the front passenger seat detached in the crash. However, a vehicle inspection came back inconclusive. The company learned of another crash in November 2016 with similar circumstances. Hyundai met with ZF-TRW throughout January and February 2017 before deciding to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

Hyundai will notify owners and dealers will inspect the connection between the seat belt linkages and the seat belt anchor pretensioners, repairing them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 7, 2017. Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460. Hyundai estimates 160 vehicles will be recalled. Concerned Hyundai consumers can also visit the NHTSA’s website, and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.

The manufacturer of your vehicle is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.

If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide the loss value of your recalled vehicle, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you. Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.

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