Hyundai recalls nearly 1 million Sonatas over seat belt defect

Only about 1 percent of the recalled vehicles actually contain the defect, though.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok

The last thing you want in a collision is a seat belt that comes detached from its moorings. Hyundai doesn't want that either, hence its latest recall.

Hyundai issued a recall for 977,778 examples of its Sonata sedan. The recall covers the 2011-2014 Sonata, with production dates between December 11, 2009 and May 29, 2014. It also includes the 2011-2015 Sonata Hybrid, with production dates between December 2, 2010 and January 9, 2015.

2011 Hyundai Sonata
Enlarge Image
2011 Hyundai Sonata

The issue lies within the seat belt assembly. The anchor pretensioner, which is fastened to the vehicle's sill, might not be fully connected to the seat belt's linkage. If that's the case, a collision might cause the linkage to separate from the pretensioner. When that happens, the chance of injury increases.

Thus far, Hyundai is aware of just one reported injury -- a minor injury, thankfully -- related to this defect.

In somewhat good news for Sonata owners, of the vehicles recalled, Hyundai estimates that only 1 percent will have the defect.

Hyundai is still investigating the issue with ZF-TRW, the seat belt supplier. Affected owners will have to head to the dealer, where techs will inspect and verify the connection between pretensioner and seat belt linkage, ensuring proper attachment as necessary. Owners should start receiving recall notifications by mail in April.