While the NHTSA is issuing a recall notice for the 14,728 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sedans manufactured between December 2, 2010 and March 7, 2012, Hyundai is filing a petition for a recall exemption for the vehicles already delivered to their owners. The manufacturer claims that, while the NHTSA is recalling these vehicles for failing to conform to federal motor vehicle safety standards for occupant crash protection, the action is "inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety."
Let's break this down: the rear center seat belt - as it is currently manufactured and installed on these cars - detaches both the lap and shoulder portion at the lower anchorage point. As in, you can detach the whole seat belt at the point where it is supposed to be firmly attached to the car.
Which means it doesn't meet federal safety standards for car crashes.
So, in response to the logical recall of these cars, the manufacturer will replace the faulty seat belts for the cars that are on dealer lots, but it claims that for the cars that have already been purchased and are being driven around, the faulty seat belts do not affect the car's level of overall safety.
V&B is interested to see what happens. Will this be another Toyota Recall? The news article about this issue is linked here.
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