— Hyundai and Kia exploding seat belt pretensioner recalls are now under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The exploding seat belt pretensioner investigation involves an estimated 275,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
Seat belt pretensioners are supposed to help hold occupants against the seat belts and seats in crashes.
What should be a tiny pyrotechnic explosion quickly deploys the pretensioner, but Hyundai and Kia issued recalls after pretensioners exploded.
Hyundai and Kia announced pretensioner recalls following at least three incidents. A pretensioner that ruptures can release shards of metal that cause cuts and injuries.
"Currently the failure mechanism and contributing factors remain unclear" to federal safety regulators.
The Hyundai and Kia seat belt pretensioners are supplied by Samsong, and the three known pretensioner explosions occurred on driver-side seat belts. The exploding pretensioners and shrapnel caused injuries to rear seat occupants.
According to NHTSA, these Hyundai and Kia vehicles are included in the seat belt pretensioner investigation.
- 2021-2022 Hyundai Elantra/Elantra HEV
- 2021 Hyundai Venue
- 2021 Genesis GV80
- 2022 Genesis GV70
- 2020-2021 Hyundai Accent
- 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid/Sorento PHEV
NHTSA says it's possible more models may be added to the investigation.
The government says it is investigating the Hyundai and Kia exploding seat belt pretensioner recalls due "to serious nature of the failures and multiple safety recalls issued."