Hyundai recalls cars to blow up seat belt pretensioners

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Hyundai submitted documents last week to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that indicate the company will recall it About 230,000 Elantras accentuate a somewhat unusual problem: tightening the seat belt can do it Explodes.

Hyundai said it We are aware of three accidents related to malfunctioning seat belt pretensioners. the first described like this:

On September 15, 2021, [NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation] HMA’s NASO has reported a collision involving a 2021 Hyundai Elantra in which the driver’s side seat belt pretensioner allegedly deployed abnormally causing metal fragments to enter the rear compartment, injuring the passenger’s leg. The NHTSA was notified of the accident by a law firm representing the accident vehicle operator. The law firm also notified HMA’s outside attorney on the same day, who then alerted HMA’s legal department of the incident.

The second incident concerns the Elantra 2020 in Puerto Rico, and the third is the Elantra 2022 in Singapore. A subsequent investigation led Hyundai to determine the cause of the problem.

On March 28, 2022, investigation teams from NASO, HMC and the supplier examined the Puerto Rican accident vehicle and found the collision pulse and duration data retrieved from the EDR compared to the Elantra vehicle accident data in Singapore. Based on this information, HMC has determined that pre-tensioners used in Elantra and Accent vehicles can exhibit unique diffusing properties when compared to other models that use the same pre-tensioners. The differences are largely attributable to variation in the load limiter specifications of the pretensioners and the vehicle’s air bag control unit (“ACU”) logic, with impact severity/duration also considered a contributing factor.

In April 2022, Hyundai retained Exponent, a third-party engineering firm, that performs metallurgical analyzes on the contact between a small gas generator and pre-tensioner used on subject Elantra and Accent vehicles and identifying potential stress areas and fracture initiation sites during deployment. On April 20, 2022, NASO submitted an update of the Hyundai investigation to NHTSA’s ODI.

On April 25, 2022, HMC notified NASO of a recent test by design and supplier affiliates that successfully replicated the abnormal deployment condition in Elantra and Accent vehicles. HMC NASO also reported a potential treatment that would secure the connection of the small gas generator to a cap and remove stress sites that could increase the risk of abnormal propagation. In subsequent testing, Exponent was able to confirm the effectiveness of the cap in mitigating this risk.

On May 11, a final decision was made on the recall, which affects the 2019-2022 Hyundai Accents and 2021-2023 Hyundai Elantras. Hyundai said it will notify owners by July 15, and dealers will install the repair for free. I, for example, didn’t have “explosive seat belt pretensioners” on my bingo card, but I probably did, in which case congratulations.

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