Korean automaker Hyundai has issued an auto safety recall for 140,000 Sonata midsize cars to fix a problem with the front passenger seatbelt buckles.
According to an Associated Press news report, the recall includes Sonatas from the 2015 model year that were manufactured between April 25, 2014 and December 4, 2014.
Hyundai officials have said that if the metal tongue on the belt is forced into the buckle at an angle, the buckle can jam and will not fasten.
A dashboard warning light will illuminate if the belt is not buckled. So far, Hyundai says, there have been no reports of any injuries or fatalities caused by the problem.
When the recall begins, Hyundai will repair the buckle or replace it at no cost to consumers. Hyundai has also said that the repair is quick and will usually take less than an hour.
The Problem with Defective Seatbelts
There is no question that seatbelts, since they have been a part of our vehicles, have saved millions of lives. When they work properly, seatbelts are significant safety devices.
But, when seatbelts fail, they could cause serious injuries or even deaths. Many of us believe that seatbelts will restrain us and keep us safe in the event of a crash.
However, millions of vehicles currently on our roadways have defective seat restraint systems. Some, such as the Sonatas that are part of this campaign, have been recalled.
But there are millions of cars, trucks and SUVs out there with faulty seatbelts that have not been recalled and continue to put consumers in grave danger each day.
Auto Product Liability Issues
In the event of a car crash, when a faulty seatbelt fails to protect a vehicle occupant, he or she could get thrown around in the vehicle, or worse, ejected from the vehicle on to the roadway, suffering catastrophic injuries or even death.
This is why, any time a person is partially or fully ejected, it is very important as part of the investigation to look into whether the seat restraint system malfunctioned.
Often, law enforcement agencies do not have the resources to investigate these types of issues.
Victims or their families in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced auto product liability attorney who will ensure that a thorough, independent investigation is conducted with an expert.
The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.