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Hyundai Sonata Air Bags

asdf9asdf9 Posts: 26
Well isn't this great. I had hope for hyundai and now this happenned. Not so sure about buying now. I'm interested in hearing what the salesperson has to say when I talk to them.
The recall affects 2006-2008 models equipped with an advanced air bag system. The system is supposed detect when small children are in the front seat and then disable the air bag.


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Why should this recall dissuade you from buying a Sonata, once the recall has been performed? Many cars have recalls, for safety reasons. If you took every car that has been recalled off your "buy" list, you would have few choices!
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    Following up on backy's post, I just saw that there a recall on '03 Accords for the windshield wiper motor. I'd say that is a safety issue every time it rained or snowed.

    An air bag issue, while important, is not nearly as important, IMO, as being able to see where one is trying to driving.

    In my state, CT, small children are supposed to be put in the back seat.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    What if you have 4 kids or a pick-up?
  • 06sonata06sonata Posts: 4
    It does not detect when a child is in the seat; rather when any object over a certain weight is in the seat.... and turns the bag on. Just needs to be reprogrammed to detect for lighter weight big deal!
  • jrod9707jrod9707 Posts: 7
    I have been trying to get this problem fixed at a few hyundai dealers and I'm really glad Hyundai stepped up to address this. My wifes between 120-130 Lbs would not set off the air bag and the car would think she is a child so when I talked to dealership they said she needs to sit perfectly centered and also straight up. Told them to get bent thats just plain retarded(it did not fix the problem all of the time either). Now I get to at least say thanks for listening when I brought it in last month and they can fix the problem with Hyundai's blessing.
  • deecur64deecur64 Posts: 1
    I have had this problem with my car since the 1st day I bought it in November and brought it back to the dealer within 2 hours of purchase to tell them that something was wrong. My daughter (150 lbs) was sitting in the seat with her legs crossed on the seat instead of on the floor and they told me the same thing - she needed to sit with her feet on the floor and in the center of the seat. Yeah whatever... And since then (5 months later) it has happened probably 5 or 6 times with different (and heavier) people sitting in the seat. Because I am a woman, the dealer thought I was out of my mind this week when I called and told them the issue and that I heard there was going to be a recall. They had me bring the car in to check it out yesterday (wasted my time and thiers) and when they couldn't find the problem, told me that they found out that there was going to be a recall. Duh!!!! That's what I told them 2 days prior! Oh well - at least now that Hyundai is calling the shots, it'll get fixed and maybe they will realize that I am not just a dumb woman afterall.
  • cadmonkeycadmonkey Posts: 3
    Hopefully this post won't appear twice - the first attempt to reply failed. If you discount buying a car due to a recall - you may want to look into a Cannondale or Trek road bicycle. Every manufacturer has had a recall, the good ones are those that do it voluntarily.
    I'm impressed with Hyundai voluntarily recalling to check or replace a defective part. Usually it takes a class action lawsuit to get a recall (i.e. 94-95 Ford Taurus transmissions, 94-96 Chrysler minivan transmissions, Toyota's engine sludge - I could go on).
    I own an 07 Sonata, my daughter an '06, both exhibit the issue of recall. Yes, it is an inconvenience, but Hyundai is making a voluntary effort to correct it and not making the consumer pay.
    If you choose to look at a Sonata, and compare prices vs. standard equipement, I think you be impressed. I recommend them without hesitation. If you want economy-get a 4 cylinder model. If you want a screamer, get the LX V6 with 17 inch tires-then hang on for dear life. Either way for under $16k or $20K, look at the standard equipment, then look at anything else.
    I've owned a Santa Fe for six years, with no problems, good economy, safety rating, and enjoyed it fully.
  • imfedupimfedup Posts: 1
    I read about all the problems with the sonata, I can feel sorry for those folks but at least the company came around finally and said they have a problem. I have a accent with the very same problem, It is a 2007 and from the very 1st day I bought it I have had problems with the passenger air bags. My husband always drives and I sit in the passenger side. The air bag off light is always going off. I have had it to the dealer numerous times. They always said the same thing the computer did not register anything. well finally a month ago it did and they said they fixed it after 2 trips to the dealer(which this dealership has its major issues) the very next day the same thing. We had them call in a factor rep. He gave us the same BS. I weigh 160 and they are telling me it is not detecting me in the seat, I say they got a problem. The factor rep went so far to tell me that as long as I had my seat belt on I didn't need any air bags I was perfectly safe. That is when I walked out and let my husband talk. Now I have a car I bought to save on fuel that I will not ride in and we have to drive a diesel to work.
    I sure would like to see one of those 5 star safety rated cars they claim they have, it is only 5 star when nobody is riding in it.
    Is there anybody else out there with this problem in a Accent? :sick:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    You should file a report with the NHTSA. That can trigger an investigation and a recall action.
  • davis22davis22 Posts: 17
    So, my car (08 Sonata) was affected by the air bag recall and I took my car in to be repaired. After the proper adjustments were made, the problem still persisted. It has always been inconsistent and it only occurs when I am in the passenger seat. Today, my dealership installed a brand new passenger seat because they were stumped as to why my first seat couldn't be repaired and tonight I had the same problem. They told me to be sure to sit up straight in the center of the seat, which I do. Tonight when the light stayed on, I had to lift my body off of the seat and then sit back down for it to turn off. Unbelievable, right? So, my car will be back in the shop tomorrow and hopefully someone can fix this problem. Has anyone else continued to have problems after their seat was supposedly fixed?
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Posts: 420
    I'm not sure a new passenger seat is the problem or maybe you recv'd a seat from a previous batch. Have them try again and ask for an Azera loaner. ;)
  • davis22davis22 Posts: 17
    Yeah, no kidding!! I am not sure why this is happening. I shouldn't have to lift my weight off of the seat repeatedly to have that darn light turn off. Anyway, I bring it back on Monday and they'll try again. I wish they'd give me an azera but instead they send me over to enterprise and get whatever they give me. BOO!!
  • davis22davis22 Posts: 17
    Just an update from me, my Hyundai dealership had my car for the 4th time from Monday to Friday and unfortunately, the problem still persists. I suppose they will want me to bring it back this Monday making it the fifth time they've tried to fix the seat/airbag issue. Such a bummer.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    In a lot of states when a safety related item on a car can't be fixed after 3 times or so it qualifies as a lemon law car. You may be able to use this. I think the car can only be so old though but they probably vary a lot by state. Anyway, it might be something to check out.
  • I bought a used 2008 Sonata. 10 days later I brought it to the dealer because of the passenger air bag light. The cushion was sent to California and I got the car back 5 days later. The passenger air bag light eventually goes off when someone is sitting in it, but if I sit in it (116 lbs) or my teenage daughter sits in it, the light comes on and goes off. We pretty much have to bounce in the seat to make the light go off !!!! Besides that this car has an awful odor to it. When I first bought it, it smelled like a bottle of window cleaner. After that odor went away, it had a strange chemical odor - it's been described as paint, superglue, sweat, cigarettes - awful !!! I called the dealer tonight. If I don't get a response, my plan is to call the manager, call the dealership owner, contact Hyundai Customer Relations, contact the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Traffic Administration.
    Did your seat problem get resolved ?? :lemon:

    Did anyone inform you prior to your purchase that you could not install any accessory seat covers in your new car?

    Well this TSB has been out since August, 2005.

    Hyundai vehicles are equipped with side impact air bags INSTALLED IN BOTH THE DRIVER SIDE AND PASSENGER SIDE FRONT SEATS. Any modification(s) of the seats may prevent proper operation of the side impact air bags when they are intended to deploy in a collision and can result IN SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH. To ensure proper operation of the side impact air bags:

    1 Do not install any accessory seat covers.

    2 Do not reupholster the seat backs with after-market upholstery (such as a leather kit).

    3 Do not repair damaged upholstery without using Hyundai Genuine Parts.

    THE TAG on the side of the seat is where the air bag will deployed from, it is not there just to let you know you have "Side Impact Air Bags"
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,232
    This is hardly specific to Hyundai. My Mitsubishi has a similar warning and I've seen warnings on other vehicles as well. Side Impact Airbags deploy by literally bursting through the stitching on the side of the seat. The stitching is strong enough to survive seat usage so the airbag must use sufficient force to rip through it in a small fraction of a second. Anything like a seat cover that might impede the rapid deployment of the airbag would not only reduce passenger safety, it could even cause harm should the airbag be redirected (via the seat cover's design) towards a passenger.

    That said, there are some seat covers that are designed to be compatible with side air bags. Or, as an alternate, you can have custom upholstery created or simply replace the seating surfaces without touching the panels where the airbags deploy.
  • I am in complete agreement with you.

    My Point, IS A WARNING!

    We purchased a new 08 Sonata, while looking my wife stated a concern about the light color seats and then said it would be o.k. we would just get a good set of seat covers to protect them. She even asked the salesperson about purchasing seat covers for the car (We know now, they are not compatible with Side Air Bag Systems). He did not say anything about not being able to use seat-cover because of the side air bags. I don't think he truly understood the system, nor did we when we bought the car (Side Air bags deploy from the seats, Side curtains deploy from somewhere around the roof for each side). He only talked about how this was the safes car for the money and how the side curtain air bags deploy from the side of the roof to protect you. (All of this was standard)

    Hyundai has a booklet all about the Airbag Safety WARNINGS...comes with the car when you purchase it! NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THIS IS IN THE MANUAL, ONLY STATED IN THE TSB AND THE TSB IS VERY HARD TO FIND.


    Additionally, you know those aftermarket seat-warmers & massager, this may also impede the Side Air Bags located on the side of each front seat, within each front seat. Or for that matter, how about someone hanging their coat over the seat or the side of the seat.

    I think people need to be made aware of this.

    Your sugestions are well taken...Not sure if Hyundai would approve of these special seatcovers in writing.

    Did you buy your car new?

    Does you Mitsubishi identify this in your Airbag Safety Warning manual or is it attached somewher on your car?

    Thanks for your post and suggestions.

  • I correct myself.

    Nothing about this is in the NP100-07004 Hyundai Airbag Safety Warning manual.

    I found even more warning for my 08 in its Owner's manual on pg 47

    Nothing about the Side Impact Airbags are located inside the seat.

    Additionally, Warnings are:

    4 Do not install any accessory on the side near the side impact airbag.

    5 Do not place any objects over the air bag or between the airbag and yourself.

    6 Do not place any objects (an umbrella, bag, etc.) between the front door and the front seat. Such objects may become dangerous projectiles and cause injury of the supplemental side airbag inflates.

    7 To prevent unexpected deployment of the side impact airbag that may result in personal injury, avoid impact to the side impact sensor when the ignition key is on.


    I wonder what positive thing Backy would have to say about this?

    Maybe I needed to do a lot more research before I purchased my new 08 Sonata last year. The one that is currently parked because I feel it is unsafe to drive (Not because of this issue, but because of many others).

    :) ;) ;)
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