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A Headache for Hyundai

Hyundai recalls 65,000 cars over possible exploding seatbelts

Hyundai is recalling thousands of cars after it was found that portions of their seatbelts could explode during a crash, USA Today reported Monday. 

The Korean automaker is recalling 65,517 SUVs and Sedans from its line of luxury Genesis vehicles. According to the official recall report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Hyundai discovered an issue with the seatbelt pretensioner — a mechanism that tightens the belt in the event of a crash.

These pretensioners "may deploy abnormally in certain crashes due to overpressurization," NHTSA's report said. This could "cause metal fragments to enter the vehicle occupant compartment, which may result in injury to vehicle occupants." 

The NHTSA's recall report was first issued on Feb. 16. USA Today reported that Hyundai told NHTSA that it expected to inform customers of the defect on April 17, and the automaker also told the agency that it would offer owners free repairs at any authorized Hyundai dealer. 

This is not the first time that Hyundai has seen issues with exploding seatbelts. 

In May 2022, the company recalled 239,000 cars due to similar issues with the pretensioners in their Accent and Elantra models. The problems discovered were almost identical to the current round of recalls, with NHTSA saying the devices could "explode upon deployment and send shrapnel throughout the vehicle." Another round of recalls was also issued for Hyundai's Santa Fe SUVs last November. 

One of Hyundai Motor Company's subsidiaries, Kia, has also had similar problems. Consumer Reports reported in June 2022 that the company was recalling 17,000 of its Sorento models due to exploding pretensioners.