By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor America will recall 281,000 vehicles in North America over seat-belt pretensioners that could explode and project metal fragments, causing injuries.
The recall, which comes after three injury reports, covers some 2019-2022 Accent, 2021-2023 Elantra, and 2021-2022 Elantra hybrid vehicles. In the event of a crash, front driver or passenger-side seat-belt pretensioners could explode upon deployment. Dealers will secure seat-belt pretensioners with a cap.
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. All Accent, Elantra, and Elantra HEV vehicles already repaired under the previous recalls will need to have the new recall fix completed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday.
The new recall includes 239,000 vehicles in the United States and about 42,000 in Canada, Hyundai said. Two injuries were reported in the United States and one in Singapore.
In September, NHTSA told Hyundai of a crash incident involving a 2021 Elantra, where the driver-side seat belt pretensioner allegedly deployed abnormally, causing metal fragments to injure an occupant’s leg. The agency had asked Hyundai to assess the incident.
Hyundai, which has extensively investigated the root cause of the issue, said it was still actively investigating Venue and Genesis GV70/GV80 vehicles that were previously recalled.
(The story corrects headline to show vehicles from North America not just U.S.)
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bernadette Baum)