Hyundai Santa Fe Air Bag Light
We have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.7 with Automatic Transmission. Our problem is when I am driving the car and my wife is in the front passenger seat. Regardless of whether my wife buckles up before or after turning on the ignition, she frequently gets a seat belt OFF warning light. She is properly positioned upright in the seat with both feet on the floor. She weighs 115 pounds and is 5'4". This really freaks us out because safety was a major buying consideration. It will often, not always though, go off when I will pull over, turn off the engine, and restart. We took it to the dealer and they said there are no Technical Service Bulletins on this problem. Anybody else with this problem? I really thank you all in advance for any feedback!
Look up 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe.
Call up Hyundai and find out what the design weight is for the passenger seat to activate the air bag. This is a known common complaint and they must address it if it is part of the safety system. Check on this forum for access to other sitee that can access TSB's.
Alternatively, Go to keywords link on this page and type in TSB's and see what comes up. Sounds like yet another lazy dealership blow-off to me.
You would also think they would have put it in a TSB so all Sanmte Fe's would have the Map lights working properly (They probably figured most owners would never know!) :mad:
That would mean that there is Santa Fe stock left over from at least last Jan since that is about the time they "fixed" the map light issue on the line.
Could some of the our owner/members that just got their 07 santas check inside the driver's side door pillar (facing rear) for the build date of their Santa Fe's. I am very curious.as to how well they are really selling (and of course if their map l;ight work properly when a door opens! TIA
Believe it or not, Hyundai seems to have a worse name than Kia does here (Reno, NV) I also see lotsa more small Kia cars than I see kia cars..could be the size of the dealer too i guess
I need the map light fix and it is at my dealers (I ordered it from Hyundai) ready to be installed.
My map light was "kitted and fixed" last April (found out about the kit pretty early from a poster here!) and it has worked just fine ever since. Depending on the dealer, figure 45 min - 2 hrs installation time. (pretty simple. Mine took 45 minutes and it was the first they had seen (or even heard of) best of luck!!
Ahhhh, it's nice to see in the dark now that winter is coming round with the shorter days!
Just brought it home tonight - not fixed, and thought I would search to see if anyone else had experienced problems. The dealer made us sound like this was a strange problem and they had never heard of it.
We have told them we will be contacting Hyundai directly because this is definitely a safety issue, and if the airbag did not deploy in an accident, and we have brought our car in for service for this issue, we will hold Hyundai responsible. I am extremely disappointed to find that a car with 600 miles on it less than 2 months old is experiencing a problem they won't fix with their supposed 5 year bumper to bumper warranty!!!!
Did you ever get this issue resolved? If so, how? :mad:
www.-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov and check for complaints about the S.Fe. you will see that there are many complaints related to the same weight/seat sensor issue - in other words if the sensor is working according to design parameters then it is not a defect. If they get someone who is 200 lbs. to sit in the pass. seat, the sensor will work and turn off the air bag "OFF" light. No-one seems to know what the design weight is, however!.
It probably needs a recall as you can imagine what safety issues may arise when they advertise the safey of the S.Fe. and then the air bags don't deploy for a small passenger if there is a wreck.
What is the minimum weight the light goes off according to specs/safety?
I initiated this post about the airbag sensor not deploying for my wife about a year ago. I wanted to let people know that it SEEMS like the problem's frequency has decreased but anxiety about safety from the issue still lingers in the deep recesses of my mind. Like I said, safety was a major reason we bought the vehicle. Other than this and a strange clunky growl from the left front wheel when making a 3 point or U turn, we like the car a lot. Sounds funny to say I like the car except for these 2 major issues of concern as I reread this post before submitting it.
Anyway, I'd like to know how this issue is going for everybody else. When I recently got a Hyundai recall notice in the mail, I was certain it would be for the airbag like an earlier poster noted for the Sonata...but it was for a hitch we never chose to purchase and install.
So, anybody else have any breakthrough news or ???
I have the same problem. I have been dealing with it since I bought my 2007 Santa Fe. I had repeated tests conducted at the dealership. Never able to reproduce the problem on site. I talked to customer service at Hyundai and they said that they contacted the regional rep which in turn should have contacted my dealership which should have contacted me in turn. Nothing happened. On my next visit to the dealership, two days ago, I asked them to look at the problem. They were unable to identify a problem with the sensor. They did try to see if they could find a way to replace my seat but apparently they got a no go from Hyundai. They suggested that my wife seats in the back when we drive...my wife is 120lbs and the light goes on or off on a random basis. I called customer service again to understand if there is a way to look at the issue or get the work (replacement, recalibration) authorized. The reply was that if the dealership determines that the seat works as designed they cannot fix or do anything. I asked to speak with engineering to find out what the calibrating weight reference is since my wife's weight is in the adult range to me. He wasn't able to tell what weight they use as reference and then I was told that their policy doesn't allow them to transfer my call to engineering.
I like my Santa Fe, I also have a Sonata that I like, I have no problems with the dealership or customer service, everybody is very polite. I do have a huge problem with the fact that I have been uncomfortable driving the Santa Fe with my wife in the right seat. I would have expected a more proactive attitude toward a safety concern. Hyundai is building its brand on their safety record, it is sad to see their lack of concern.
I have just gotten through reading about the senser problem with the seat. My daughter is a 25 yr. old pettie woman. Something needs to be done with this..
Due to her air bag not deploying she recived very serious injuries. My wifes air bag did deploy but she also recived sever injuries.
Does anyone know if there is a lawsuit going due to this problem.
As far as i know, there has been no news of a Lawsuit regarding the passenger seat airbag sensor, but there has been plenty of complaints about this issue from the start, also including the Sonata as well.
If you need more ammunition, please refer to posts #3 and #11 for the Governmnent's Automobile Complaints website and look up Hyundai Santa Fe - you will see the list of complaints for your model.
Our experience with Hyundai's HMA was not pleasing. He said the OCS system is operating correctly after our ride.
"I told him after our ride I still felt like the OCS system was very inconsistent (watching Off sensor light on and off during our entire ride)". Having to sit just right with my feet positioned just so, purse in back seat, in seat before motor started etc. Had we of been notified all this before purchase....a choice would of been nice. This is all nonsense for me to constantly have to be concerned of my safety!!".
SHOULD I BE FEELING SAFE WHEN IT SAYS OFF AND WORRY WHEN NO LIGHT IS ON JUST IN CASE THE AIR BAG DOES DEPLOY??? OR VICE-VERSA???
We have been dealing with this problem since October 2008, in and out of the service department.
If they say the system works properly then why are there so many other complaints from consumers about the air bags?
Why were the Sonatas recalled and fixed with similar problem?
Why does the air bag system seem to function when person (120#, 5'4") sits and drives in drivers seat? IS THERE ALSO A RISK THEN?
Why are there serious injuries being reported if air bags are functioning properly in the Santa Fe's?
Are we the consumer responsible for injury occurring to a passenger with us knowing our Santa Fe has a very SERIOUS SAFETY PROBLEM, THAT THE DEALERSHIP WON'T ADDRESS?
Why weren't we told when we bought the new Santa Fe by the dealership, salesmen, service mgr. that there might be a problem with the computerized air bag system. PERSON OF120# WAS CERTAINLY APART OF THE PURCHASE.
IT SHOULD BE IN THE WINDOW STICKER ...ALERTING SMALL SPOUSES OF PROBLEM!!!!
Why did the service people tell us they had recalibrated the system and we could come pick it up...it was fixed. We never got off the lot and it failed?
Why are there Santa fe owners out there driving daily that have the exact same safety problem and not aware of it?
GET WITH IT HYUNDAI!
Hope to hear from other people and their solutions. We have notified BBB and Hyundai.
One time we actually drove straight to the dealership with the light on, and, amazingly, it stayed on. They actually videotaped it so that the service department could document that it indeed was on with an adult sitting in the passenger seat, properly, in their terms. They then supposedly "fixed the problem." NOT!!!! The off light came back on 5 miles down the road. What a bunch of crap! We have been to 2 different dealerships and still have this problem - this has been going on for almost a year! Only 8,000 miles on the car now!
120 lbs still too high of a setting for the passenger seat. There are plenty of small women and teenagers who are under this weight. It should be set more toward 90 lbs. I don't understand how a small person is too light for the passenger seat but apparently weighs enough to actually drive the car!
How did they fix the Sonata? Why can't they do the same for the Santa Fe?
There definitely needs to be a recall.
Are there any lawyers out there who care to bring about a class action lawsuit? I think they could find plenty of clients right here on this site!
THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE! THE U.S. TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT NEEDS TO GET ON HYUNDAI'S CASE ABOUT THIS!!!! WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO SELL THIS VEHICLE?
As far as I am concerned the 10-year warranty is crap - what good is it if the problem never gets resolved?
HYUNDAI NEEDS TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE ASAP!!!!!
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
Good luck to the rest of you with this problem on getting it resolved.
We went through BBB auto line, lemon law...... the arbitrator ruled in our favor. It was alot of hassle and constant headache for sure. We had a choice of repurchase or another vehicle. We loved the Santa Fe and were very sad to part with it. Good Luck to all of you dealing with this unsafe problem. If we can be of help with more details let us know.
We like the vehicle but the passenger side air bag will not work for my wife when she is a passenger. She is 5' 2" and 125 lbs so I don't see how it is mistaking her for a child. THIS IS A MAJOR SAFETY ISSUE.
We took the vehicle back to the dealer and the service adviser witnessed the airbag off light while my wife was sitting in the seat. The dealer kept it for a week checking the wiring and running test and did not fix the problem.
When we went back to the dealer to pick up the car my wife sat in the seat and the technician had her hold a gallon of water and the airbag would still not engage for her. They suggested they might have to replace the seat.
We were told to go home and we would get a call. The seat did seem to work when it was in the most upright position. This seat position also hurts my wife's neck because the head rest is tilted forward.
This is where we hit a brick wall. The district rep for Hyundai told my wife there is nothing wrong with the car and the air bag is not malfunctioning and she will just have to ride around with the seat in the extreme upright position.
Just think what a great vacation trip we're going to have since I do most of the driving.
They actually said the car is reading her as a petite person and the airbag is off for her own safety. However, last week we test drove a 2009 Santa Fe LTD and the airbag worked perfectly no matter how much my wife reclined the seat. SO TELL ME HYUNDAI, WHICH SANTA FE IS DEFECTIVE?? THE ONE WHERE THE AIRBAG STAYS ON OR THE ONE WHERE THE AIRBAG SHUTS OFF !!!
The dealer where we bought the Santa Fe is about 1.5 hours from home and we went to this dealer because they were the only one with a few 2008's on the lot.
Believe it or not one of the Hyundai reps my wife talked to actually got snotty and asked her why we would buy a car so far from home.
Gives new meaning the term Hyundai Assurance Program. Don't buy a Hyundai too far from home because I assure you, you will regret it.
If anyone else is having this problem please respond and let me know.
I mentioned the problem with the passenger airbag. Passenger who sits in it is 5'5" 140 lb - obviously not a child. I got a loaner car and had to give them my driver's license which says 130 lb (well . . . maybe some day . . . )
This light comes on when I am sitting in this seat haphazardly - no real rhyme or reason to it. Another dealership actually has video of it, but that has probably been "lost" by now . . . When I mentioned that the light comes on with my teenage daughter - 5'3" 115-120 lb, the man at the desk said that "90-125 is considered a small person" and may not be recognized as an adult. I argued the point that many adult women and the majority teenage girls are in this weight range.
The next day, when I picked the car up, the weight range MAGICALLY changed to "100-130." Unreal! I am guessing they saw that weight on my license and used it to try to justify their position.
Another person at the dealership said it was because the insurance industry is setting these standards. My reply was that no other auto manufacturers seem to be having this problem. (We also have 3 Toyota's. Their manuals actually state "90 lb" as the adult weight criteria. And we have NEVER had a problem with the passenger airbag.)
The ironic thing is that if a small person sits behind the wheel of the car, the air bag is functional - and the air bag is actually closer to them and more dangerous than the passenger's airbag!!
By the way, this vehicle has been in 4 times for this problem! The SEAT HAS BEEN CHANGED OUT and we still experience this problem.
This time, they said there was "an error code coming from the passenger seat which triggered the driver's airbag light." They supposedly fixed this and said "maybe this will stop the passenger airbag problem." The driver's side airbag is no longer lit, but too soon to tell about the passenger airbag light. It still comes on for a while when we first drive, but then goes off. '
The service person now mentioned a "grid in the seat" and so many areas have to be compressed in order for it to recognize an adult passenger. So, apparently, anyone under 130 lb needs to have "a big butt" in order for the grid to "acknowledge them as adults. LOL
THIS IS A BAD, BAD, BAD DESIGN on Hyundai's part, and they are making their service people defend it!!! What a crock!!!
P.S. - this car has 15,000 miles on it, we bought it new, and it has been in 4 times for the same thing!!!
WE WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER HYUNDAI!
DON'T BUY A SANTA FE!!!
In my opinion, this is the only solution to the problem. I think everyone on this forum understands that this is a defect for persons of slight build, cannot be retro-fixed and is unsafe. I believe HMA recognizes this, hence their prompt offer to us. My recommendation: file a complaint with the BBB autoline (https://www.auto.bbb.org/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=autoline/autoline/first.w) and see what happens. It worked for us. Good luck and God Bless.
SUVs and Smart Shopper
Returned a 2nd time when this did not correct the intermittent problem. They said everything was working properly. They pointed out that the owner's manual calls for all passengers to be seated before" the engine is started, since that is when the sensing algorithm runs. This is certainly bad design logic. We all have passengers unboard and board while the engine is running. We surely do not turn the engine off each time these boarding events occur.
However, being a professional engineer, I conducted my own test. Sure enough, each time I noticed the light being "off" when my wife was in the passenger seat I pulled over to the side of the road, turned the engine off and restarted. The light went out every time!
Intermittent problems with safety systems are, in my opinion, the worst kind. Given this is integral to the design, I firmly believe the design is faulty. And worse, there is nothing Hyundai service reps can do to remedy the problem.
We have just lived with this hassle, but are now in the market for a new replacement vehicle. Love our Santa Fe, but very unhappy with this experience. Had planned to buy another Hyundai because of good warranty and an otherwise positive ownership experience, but we are now having second thoughts.
The red "Air Bag" warning light came on in driver instrument cluster. Took to dealer service. For a pre-approved fee of $95, they ran a diagnosis using their shop diagnostic equipment. The machine told them the stored "error code" indicated a failed sensor in the front passenger seat belt buckle. Their recommended solution was to replace the seat buckle assemble at a cost of $300 parts + $100 labor. The entire air bag system was disabled until the failed sensor was fixed. Dumb design!
Mechanically, the seat belt buckle was working properly--securely and safely. Yet its internal sensor (for what purpose I have no idea) was not working; therefore the entire air bag system was being prevented from functioning, even though there was nothing wrong with it either.
The service rep could not explain to me the logic behind seat belts with sensors being tied into the air bag system. These should be totally redundant safety systems--seat belts are the primary restraint system and air bags are the secondary system.
The service tech did not check the seat belt assembly. Instead, they recorded the error code found on my ticket and waited to see if I wanted them to do the part-swap for $400. I said "No", paid the $95 diagnostic fee and drove my Santa Fe home. I now plan to do some of my own testing and trouble-shhoting, starting with removal and cleaning of the seat buckle assembly.
Can anyone suggest a source for info on operating logic of the entire seat belt/air bag system? Is the sensor circuit in the buckle normally open or closed? Is it supposed to change when the belt is buckled? Is there a way to by-pass this worthless sensor?
Thanks. :mad: :confuse:
I posted the original post in October 2007 and followed it up a year later with an update. This serves as yet another update about 2 years later. In the interim period, we experienced relatively few instances of our 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe's passenger side air bag light illuminating OFF on the dashboard when my wife was riding as passenger. I wanted to like this vehicle and really hoped that the problem was mostly behind us. In those instances when we were riding together and it did illuminate, I would trade places with her. I purchased this car for its safety features and bought into the alleged Hyundai commitment to quality and safety. But always in the back of my mind was an unease with concerns about the functionality of the passenger air bag in the event of a possible crash. Surely Hyundai would issue a recall or TSB to correct the problem as it had done for the Sonata? But no, I/we continue to wait for resolution. Now, the problem has resurfaced with increasing frequency over the last few months. There have been no significant changes to my wife's height or weight. Tonight, we went out for dinner and the air bag sensor OFF light illuminated. No matter what my wife did - sliding the seat on the track forward and back - no change. Repositioning the seatback's recline position - no change. Repositioning herself on the seat - no change. Unclicking the seat belt and reclicking it secure - no change. Pulling over and having my wife exit the vehicle and then re-seat herself - no change. Turning the engine off, exiting the vehicle and restarting it once she was reseated - no change. I find myself wondering why no recall or related TSB has been issued. I simply can't stand it anymore. It is extremely stressful. I am going to communicate with Hyundai in the next few days. Call me optimistic or foolish, but I fully expect Hyundai to stand behind their product and resolve this issue. This issue is core to my purchasing values that unless this vehicle deficiency is satisfactorily resolved, I can't recommend purchasing a Hyundai nor would I ever buy another one. Safety is not negotiable. I will keep this forum advised on my outcome.
I'm just saying.....
Edmunds Price Checker
Edmunds Lease Calculator
Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!
Please feel free to contact me directly. Since this is a public forum, i'm going to give you the email address that I use for all my junk mail, but I will be watching for your email and hope I get to hear from you soon. I'm also considering calling your dealership in Burlingame to see if they have any record of it.
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.