Split between two vehicles from different eras with separate problems, Transport Canada is announcing recalls for the 2007-08 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2012-13 Hyundai Sonata.
In both cases, the call for action has to do with improper airbag deployment, but that’s where the two cars – and recalls – find a fork in the road. The lion’s share of defective units are among the Santa Fe recall with 29,679 affected by a defect in the car’s “passive occupant detection system,” (PODS). It’s meant to sense when a seat is occupied so the c ar can toggle the appropriate airbag on and off.
Affected Santa Fe units’ PODS system may malfunction by mistaking a smaller adult for a child and switching the airbag system off. In such a scenario, a warning light will indicate that the airbag isn’t functioning despite a passenger’s presence.
Airbags might also malfunction in the 2012-13 Hyundai Sonata, though in fewer units and with the opposite effect. In this case, 1,925 cars are at risk of accidental side curtain airbag deployment. Needless to say, that would be enough to distract a healthy cros section of drivers enough to cause a crash.
While both recalls concern Canadians at the moment, these defects are rarely confined by the border. Similarly, the recent Porsche recall affecting faulty turbines in several turbocharged models popped up in Canada, then in the U.S. a few days later.
Of course, the company will handle repairs through its dealer network at no cost to owners. Those driving affected Santa Fes and Sonatas can expect to be contacted by Hyundai.