has issued two recalls for its Hyundai Elantra models because of defective airbags, reported October 18, 2008. The first recall involves about 150,000 Hyundai Elantra 2001 models for a problem with the front airbag sensor. Company officials say the airbags might not deploy during a crash if liquids had spilled in the cup holder on the central console and dripped onto the airbag control module. Once the recall begins, dealers will install a protective cover to fix the problem.

The second recall involves 2001 and 2002 Elantras with defective side impact airbags, specifically with the side airbag wiring harness mounted under each front seat.
Apparently, material placed under the front seats could cause the wiring harness to malfunction, which could prevent the airbags from deploying during an auto accident.
Dealers will provide new harness attachments and connector clips to correct the problem. Consumers looking for more information may contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at 1-888-327-4236 or visit

In August, we reported about NHTSA officials investigating these airbag failures in the 2001-2002 Hyundai Elantras. Federal officials said the defective airbags failed to deploy in at least two fatality crashes that involved these Korean sedans. NHTSA and Hyundai had both received about 500 complaints about the airbag system failures in the Elantra. According to NHTSA reports, Hyundai has also repaired the airbag system in more than 9,000 Elantra sedans under warranty claims. had also reported that it received complaints from consumers that airbags failed to deploy in a 2006 Hyundai Tucson during a rollover accident

In my opinion Hyundai should have recalled these 2001-2002 Elantras much sooner.
They had repaired 9,000 cars for similar defects and still did not even consider recalling these vehicles with serious product defects. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in an auto accident involving these or other defective airbags, I’d like to hear about it.