All of 247 Hyundai Elantras — 205 Elantras N from model year 2002 and 42 regular Elantras from model years 2002-2003 — were recalled recently for an unusual defect: a part that may detach after airbag deployment. The part is the Hyundai emblem on the steering wheel.
The associated recall report, submitted August 18, succinctly describes the problem (PDF):
Description of the Safety Risk : An improperly secured emblem could detach during frontal air bag deployment, increasing the risk of injury during a crash.
Description of the Cause : Insufficient emblem adhesion due to a supplier process issue affecting the emblem to air bag cover weld quality.
In addition to the remedy:
All owners of the subject vehicles will be notified by first class mail with instructions to bring their vehicles to a Hyundai dealer for replacement of the driver air bag. This remedy will be offered at no cost to owners for all affected vehicles, regardless of whether the affected vehicles are still covered under Hyundai’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Additionally, Hyundai will provide owners of affected vehicles reimbursement for outof-pocket expenses incurred to obtain a remedy for the recall condition in accordance with the reimbursement plan submitted to NHTSA on February 24, 2022.
That last sentence is pro forma language that is included in all reports like this, though it is charming to think that an Elantra owner somewhere might have preemptively fixed their car’s potentially dangerous steering wheel emblem. The recall report also says that it thinks only about 12 percent of the recalled cars have the defect, or about 30 Elantras. No injuries or incidents have also been reported or associated with the emblem problem, which was first detected as a possible problem during supplier testing in April. A few months of investigation ensued until August 11, when the decision to recall the Elantras was made.