Hyundai recalls Santa Fe, Sonata on air bag issues

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:34am EDT

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(Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co is recalling some Santa Fe SUVs and Sonata sedans for separate air bag issues, U.S. safety regulators said.

Hyundai is recalling 228,797 Santa Fe SUVs that were made from April 2006 through July 7, 2008 because the front passenger air bag may not deploy in a crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

In the United States, Hyundai is recalling 199,118 Santa Fe vehicles from the model year 2007 to 2009, and in Canada, 29,679 vehicles from the model years 2007 and 2008.

Separately, Hyundai is recalling 24,438 Sonata sedans in the United States and Canada for the model years 2012-2013, made from January to June this year, because the side air bag may inflate unexpectedly, to the surprise of the driver.

The recall affects 22,513 Sonata in the United States and 1,925 in Canada.

The Santa Fe SUVs may have difficulty detecting small people in the front passenger seat so that the front passenger air bag may not deploy in a crash, the NHTSA said.

Hyundai told regulators it needed to update its software on the Santa Fe and would do so without charge. It has not yet given the NHTSA a schedule for notifying customers.

The curtain, or side air bag, in the Sonata sedan "may inflate without deployment command and increase the risk of injury to occupants of the vehicle," NHTSA said. Also, an air bag deploying when there is no crash or other normal cause for it doing so can hinder the driver's ability to control the vehicle, the agency said.

A Hyundai spokesman said there has been a single issue that the company is aware of when an air bag deployed and there was no crash.

Hyundai will replace the side air bags on the Sonata free of charge. The recall is to begin next month, the automaker told the NHTSA.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Lisa Von Ahn and Tim Dobbyn)

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