The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that 137,500 Hyundai Tucson crossovers will be recalled in the U.S. because of the improper installation of the driver’s airbag. Affected are Hyundai Tucson models for the 2011 through 2014 model years that were built from January 3, 2011, through December 23, 2013.
On these vehicles, it is possible that the two bolts holding the airbag to the steering wheel were installed to the incorrect torque specification, and as a result, the bolts can loosen over time. An improperly secured driver’s airbag “may result in an increased risk of injury to the driver in the event of a crash,” according to official recall notice from NHTSA. There have not been any reports of this problem causing any crashes or injuries.
Hyundai first noticed the issue late last year when a number of similar low-cost, labor-only warranty claims were filed. The automaker found that a low percentage of affected vehicles (about 100 out of 177,000) had claims for such a problem, and made changes to the quality assurance at the factory to prevent the problem from continuing. Through April of this year, though, an additional 41 claims had been filed for loose airbags, so Hyundai issued the recall to inspect and, if needed, properly torque the bolts on its popular crossover.
In addition to the 137,500 Tuscons being recalled in the U.S., another 3,500 units are in Puerto Rico for a total of 141,000 affected vehicles. Recall notices will go out at the end of next month, but until then, owners of the 2011-14 Hyundai Tucson can contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151 or NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) for more information.