— A Hyundai trunk latch recall has been announced for more than 363,000 vehicles because people could get trapped in the trunks without access to working internal emergency release latches.
The 2017-2018 Hyundai Sonata, 2016-2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2018-2020 Hyundai Accent and 2016-2017 Hyundai Azera trunk latches may become damaged.
The damage can prevent the emergency trunk release latch to fail, a violation of federal safety standards.
The Hyundai trunk latch pawl can contract and crack when exposed to high ambient (room) temperatures, causing damage to the pawl and the inability to use the emergency trunk release.
Hyundai says the material used to manufacture the pawl isn't strong enough to handle high temperatures. It's possible a Hyundai owner will know of a problem if the trunk has trouble opening.
In June 2021 Hyundai was contacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking the automaker to look into a complaint from the owner of a 2017 Hyundai Sonata. The customer reported the trunk wouldn't open and Hyundai learned the trunk latch assembly pawl had fractured.
Hyundai had opened an investigation in 2017 after increased claims were filed in high temperature regions of the Middle East. The trunk latch assembly’s pawl material and shape was updated to better withstand the heat damage and fractures of the pawls.
More than 348,000 Hyundai vehicles are recalled in the U.S. and another 16,000 are recalled in Canada.
Hyundai dealers will replace the trunk latch assemblies once owner recall notices are mailed October 1, 2021. The new trunk latch assembly pawl has improved material increasing its resistance to heat damage.
Additionally, the new pawl contains steel reinforcement to prevent damage and fractures.
Owners of Hyundai Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Accent and Hyundai Azera vehicles may call 855-371-9460. Hyundai's reference number for this recall is 208.
In addition to the Hyundai trunk latch recall, Kia recalled more than 285,000 vehicles for the same problem.