Hyundai Motor Company is recalling 22,500 Sonata sedans from the 2012 and 2013 model years because their side air bags can go off without warning. Hyundai is South Korea’s top automaker and is simultaneously recalling 200,000 units of its Santa Fe sport utility vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the sensors for the side airbags of the Sonatas need to be reprogrammed because they may inflate without receiving a signal, thereby increasing injury risks. This is the result of a manufacturing error. These vehicles were built between January 24, 2012 and June 21, 2012. Unexpected airbag deployment can injure passengers or distract drivers, limiting visibility, and increasing the risk of injury. Hyundai is expected to replace the side curtain airbags and this will begin in August of 2012.
The Santa Fe vehicles, built between April 19, 2006 and July 7, 2008 may have a faulty occupant classification systems (OCS). These systems are meant to prevent airbag inflation that could injure a child or small adult in the front passenger seat. But in the recalled vehicles, the OCS may keep the bags from deploying even when they should, which also causes an increased risk of injury to passengers. The OCS needs to be recalibrated to accurately detect small statured adults and children. Hyundai dealers will update the OCS software as a part of the recall to address.
Owners can contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151 for more information.