Hyundai And Kia Issuing A Fifth Recall Due To Seatbelt Pretensioners
The Role Of The Seatbelt Pretensioner
Seat belts can reduce the risk of death by 45% and reduce the risk of serious injury by 50% when a person is in a crash on SW Florida roadways. Wearing a seatbelt in any vehicle is strongly recommended, and it’s the law in 30 of the 50 states, including the state of Florida. Florida seatbelt laws have been in effect since 1986, and seatbelt usage throughout the state is around 90%. All ages must wear seatbelts in the front seat, and all passengers under the age of 18 must wear a seatbelt regardless of where they sit in a vehicle.
The role of the seatbelt pre-tensioner is to lock an individual in place in the event of a crash. The pretensioner retracts some of the webbed material used by the seatbelt, effectively putting it into a locked position that holds onto an individual tight as they’re sitting in their seat. In the affected Hyundai and Kia vehicles, this pretensioner has been found to be overpressurized, which could cause it to explode and send metal fragments throughout the vehicle in the event of a crash.
The first recall for the defective pre-tensioner was in October of 2021, the second in March 2022, the third in April 2022, the fourth in May of 2022, and the fifth in July of 2022. Altogether, the recall includes more than 500,000 vehicles across the United States.
Why Are The Pretensioners Defective?
After careful investigations by the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, or NTHSA, it was found that the pretensioners in all of the included vehicles were produced by the same manufacturer, the Korean auto parts manufacturer Samsong. This leads the NTHSA to believe that this is a supplier error.
What To Do If You Have One Of The Included Vehicles In SW Florida
So far, 3 injuries have been reported due to the exploding pretensioners to date. While the seatbelts may seem to work properly, one cannot be sure if their vehicle has one of the faulty pretensioners unless an accident occurs. Should an accident occur, a faulty pretensioner will send metal fragments flying with force throughout the cabin of the vehicle.
Kia and Hyundai are offering free repairs as part of the recall and notifying owners of the included vehicles to make an appointment to have their vehicle repaired. To have your vehicle repaired, first make an appointment at your local SW Florida Kia or Hyundai dealership.
The repair for the pretensioner issue is expected to be simple and should not leave SW Florida residents without their vehicles for any prolonged period of time. A cap will be added to the pretensioners, which will stop it from deploying abnormally and take away the risk of exploding metal fragments. Notices for this fifth round of recalls can be expected by mid to late August, and all owners of the affected vehicles will receive a notification with the next steps they should take.
If you’ve been injured by a faulty seatbelt pretensioner in SW Florida, or any defective product, it pays to have the law on your side. To learn more, contact us at AllInjuriesLawFirm.com today.