Hyundai is issuing a recall regarding their Sonata Hybrid vehicles. The recall involves 14,728 of these vehicles produced beginning on December 2, 2010 and shipped to dealers through March 7, 2012. The recall alleges these vehicles fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 207 regarding “Occupant Crash Protection”. The failure to conform is a result of certain vehicles equipped with a center rear seat belt incorporating a release mechanism that detaches both the lap and shoulder portion at the lower anchorage point.
Hyundai is currently replacing the center rear seat belts in approximately 1,633 Sonata Hybrid vehicles currently in dealer inventory with center seat belts that are not detachable from the lower anchorage point prior to delivery to customers. Hyundai is in the process of filing an exemption from the recall requiring them to inspect and replace the seat belts in the 13,095 vehicles already delivered to customers. At this time, Hyundai is not obligated to conduct an owner notification and remedy campaign until the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration has resolved the petition. If the petition is denied, the manufacturer will notify customers and start their remedy campaign obligations.