2009 Hyundai Santa FeEnlarge Photo
Hyundai is recalling certain 2007 through 2009 model year Santa Fe SUVs to ensure that airbags will deploy in a crash when a small stature person is seated in the passenger seat.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site lists the number of vehicles potentially affected in the U.S. at 199,118. Affected vehicles were built from April 19, 2006 through July 7, 2008.
2008 Hyundai Santa FeEnlarge Photo
According to documentation from Hyundai (PDF), sensors in the vehicles may not deploy the airbag when a small stature person is “not seated in a manner that presently allows front passenger airbag activation.” The lack of front airbag deployment could increase the risk of injury in the event of certain frontal crashes.
The automaker said that the Santa Fe SUVs involved in this campaign are part of a class action lawsuit involving various Hyundai vehicles. Hyundai’s filing papers with the NHTSA state: “Although the occupant classification systems (OCS) in the class action lawsuit differ, the class action raises claims about the operation of the OCS in each of the vehicles.” Hyundai has agreed in principle to resolve the class action through a settlement that would involve conducting a service campaign with respect to the vehicles. As part of the service campaign, Hyundai will offer current owners an update of the classification software, free of charge. This will ensure that all vehicles in the field have the same classification software.
The automaker said that the software update is consistent with a change it made during production in July 2008. At the time that the software update was made, Hyundai said there was no need to recall older vehicles because complaints remained “extremely low,” averaging less than two complaints per month since 2009, when the class action lawsuit was filed.
2007 Hyundai Santa FeEnlarge Photo
What Hyundai will do
Hyundai will notify owners of affected 2007, 2008, and 2009 model year Santa Fe SUVs and dealers will update the classification software, at no charge. Although the manufacturer has not yet provided the NHTSA with a notification schedule, owners of 2007-2009 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs with any questions or concerns may contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151. Reference the Hyundai safety recall campaign number 105.
Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12V354000.