Authorities with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, that they launched an investigation into the effectiveness of seat belts in some Hyundai midsize car models. The investigation currently centers around a potential seat belt failure in 2013 Hyundai Sonatas.
The investigation currently underway was launched in response to at least two complaints the federal agency received. In those incidents, the front passenger seat belts were said to have become dislodged during the course of normal use. One passenger was injured as a result of one such detachment.
Another case involves a California Sonata owner who was hit from the front by another vehicle in August of 2016. He stated that not only did his car's front and side air bags inflate as a result, but that his passenger's seat belt failed nearest the running board as well.
Despite the potential risks, the NHTSA officials in this case have yet to issue a full blown recall of the estimated 313,000 vehicles in question. They are awaiting the results of their investigation into allegations of seat belt failure instead. Hyundai has declined commenting on the case.
Should investigators ultimately decide to make a formal recall, this would not be the first for the Korean car maker. Instead, it would be one of dozens filed against it during the past 27 years that they've been selling cars in the United States. In terms of numbers of recalls, the past ten years have been particularly rough.
In the past three years, 2014, 2015 and 2016, there have been 32 total recalls alone. Many more concerns have been addressed outside of a full recall. Other incidents, which go unreported or are thought to be isolated, are being addressed through pending litigation.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of a situation like one of those described above, the advice of an experienced Tennessee auto defect attorney may provide you with an opportunity to learn your rights as it relates to receiving compensation in your case.
Source: Newsok.com, "US probes complaints of Hyundai Sonata seat belt failure," accessed Feb. 03, 2017