Hyundai has decided to recall a total of 199,118 units of the Santa Fe SUV from the 2007-2009 model years as complaints were filed that airbags in the front seat did not deploy in the event of a crash when a small adult who weighs below 59 kilograms (kg) was seated.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Saturday that the occupant classification system (OCS) on Hyundai’s cars could be flawed.
The OCS is an airbag sensor that classifies an occupant into an adult, a child, a child seat, or other kinds of object, using various factors such as weights. When a smaller adult is seated, airbags might not inflate in the event of a crash, as the OCS could identify the occupant as a child. Hyundai plans to notify car owners of the models that are found to have OCS defects starting next month and update the OCS software in order for the OCS to accurately identify the passenger and for airbags to deploy when smaller adults are in the seat.
Also, Hyundai announced that it will recall 22,512 units of the Sonata from the 2012-2013 model years due to airbag defects. Hyundai’s decision to recall the Sonata sedans comes as a side curtain airbag on the Sonata abruptly inflated for no apparent reason. Side curtain airbags protect passengers from broken glass and other debris in case of side-impact crashes. Hyundai will be replacing side curtain airbags on cars that are subject to recalls.