While exploding seat belts might sound like something out of a James Bond movie, the reality is much more mundane but far more worrying. Korean manufacturer Hyundai has just recalled almost 239,000 cars in the U.S. alone due to concerns over them.
Three incidents have already occurred where people have been injured by them, two in this country.
Which vehicles have been recalled?
Three sets of vehicles are currently involved:
- 2019-2022 Accents
- 2021-2023 Elantras
- 2021-2022 Elantra HEVs
Why should I worry if I have one of these vehicles?
Reports say the seat belt pretensioners, “can explode upon deployment and send shrapnel throughout the vehicle.” Aside from the chances that you are your passengers are injured or killed by flying shrapnel, you have to consider that your seat belt may fail to save you in a crash if it is defective.
How can a seat belt explode?
Believe it or not, many modern vehicles use a mini-explosion to pretension the seat belt in the event of a crash. So while an exploding seat belt is more normal than you think, there is clearly massive potential for danger if it goes off at the wrong time or in the wrong way.
It’s a good reminder of just how far car manufacturers have come since the days when you could repair most mechanical issues yourself. While the technological advances have brought massive safety benefits, they clearly increase the risk of problems you cannot fix or may not have dreamt of.
When you buy a new car you expect certain levels of guarantee. While recalling a car to repair issues is a positive, you want to make sure it does not leave you out of pocket. If you do not feel you are getting the service you deserve, consider finding out more about the legal options you have.