Hyundai is issuing a recall for 65,517 of its luxury Genesis SUVs and sedans due to concerns that portions of their seatbelts could explode during a crash, on Monday. The recall comes after the Korean automaker discovered an issue with the seatbelt pretensioner, a mechanism that tightens the belt in the event of a crash, which “may deploy abnormally in certain crashes due to overpressurization,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Injuries to vehicle occupants could result from metal fragments entering the vehicle compartment due to the overpressurization of the pretensioners. The NHTSA first issued a recall report on Feb. 16, with Hyundai expected to inform customers of the defect on April 17. Owners of the affected vehicles can have their cars repaired for free at authorized Hyundai dealers.
Hyundai has faced similar issues with exploding seatbelts in the past. In May 2022, the company recalled 239,000 cars, including the Accent and Elantra models, over similar concerns with the pretensioners. The devices were found to be at risk of exploding upon deployment, sending shrapnel throughout the vehicle. Hyundai’s Santa Fe SUVs were also subject to a recall last November for the same issue.
Kia, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, has also had to issue recalls over exploding pretensioners. In June 2022, Consumer Reports reported that the company was recalling 17,000 of its Sorento models due to similar concerns.
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The recall is the latest blow to Hyundai, which has been striving to compete in the luxury vehicle market against established brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. The company has been investing heavily in its Genesis lineup, with the aim of boosting sales and brand recognition. However, recalls like this can damage the company’s reputation and undermine customer trust.
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The recall also underscores the importance of proper safety checks and quality control in the automotive industry. As cars become increasingly complex and reliant on technology, manufacturers need to ensure that their products are safe and reliable, and that any defects are identified and addressed promptly. In this case, Hyundai’s quick response and willingness to offer free repairs should help to mitigate the impact of the recall on its customers and its brand.
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