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Auto Recall Watch: Coffee and Airbags Don’t Mix Well for Hyundai

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coffeeIf you’re anything like me, you’re desperately addicted to your morning coffee. In my case, several cups of it. As a matter of fact, many people drink their coffee during their morning commutes.

If you drive a Hyundai Elantra that could very well be a problem. Mihnea Radu, a writer for Auto Evolution, brings us the news:

Hyundai has issued two recalls in the United States, covering nearly 300,000 Elantra units. The first involves 188,697 vehicles sold between 2007 to 2009, will require their passenger airbags to be fixed. The second recall affects 95,783 2007-2008 Elantras that have a defective sensor that is used in the two-stage deployment of the passenger-side airbag.

So what does coffee have to do with it? Well, the first recall mentioned above is because of possible problems that could result from using the cup holder. Seriously.

Johnathan Welsh, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, elaborates:

The vehicles’ front passenger seats are equipped with weight sensors designed to deactivate the right front airbag when passengers of certain weights (typically children and small adults) occupy the seat.

In a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Hyundai said the electrical connector for the weight sensor, which is located under the center console, between the front seats, can become contaminated by seepage from fluids spilled in the cup holders. This can cause a malfunction that results in the airbag deploying regardless of the passenger’s weight, and increasing the risk of injury.

The second recall is also spurred by airbag issues, specifically a sensor in the seat backs that tells the airbag how to deploy. If the seat is very far forward it is supposed to activate the airbag at a lower pressure to prevent injury. Since the sensor has been determined to sometimes produce an erratic signal, the airbags might not deploy properly in the case of an car accident.

For more information on either of these recalls and what dealer to bring your car to for service, contact the Hyundai customer assistance center at 1-800-633-5151.

Image by clumsy_juggler, used under its Creative Commons license.


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