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Recalls: 2010 Hyundai Tucson Air Bags

A heavier passenger may cause a computer programming failure and unintended deployment when a child is seated.

by on Mar.01, 2010

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Another recall from Hyundai illustrates ongoing electronic troubles at makers.

Hyundai Motor America is recalling 2010 Tucson models that may have defective software that would allow the right front passenger airbag to inflate when a child is seated there.

It is just one of a growing number of recalls that is related to growing use of electronic controls in cars, which is under scrutiny in Toyota unintended acceleration matters.

It turns out that while NHTSA was pressing Toyota for recalls and telling it to stop sales for uncontrolled acceleration, it was also asking Ford Motor Company about airbags inadvertently deploying  and causing injuries to at least 66 people. Millions of Ford’s best-selling F150 pickup trucks are potentially affected covering 2004-2006 production.  (Click here.)

During tough questioning last week in front of Congressional oversight panel, Ray LaHood, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, could not or would not answer how many software engineers the agency has working on recall matters.

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Safety Trends!

In a NHTSA filing two weeks ago, which was just made public this morning, Hyundai said that a right front passenger weighing more than about 240 pounds causes the passive occupant detection system (pods) module program to illuminate the “air bag” warning lamp, and thereby ignore the weight of a subsequent passenger. If that passenger is a child, and an accident occurs, the airbag will inflate when it should not.   (more…)