If you have a late-model Accent or Elantra

… you may have seat belt pretensioners that can send shrapnel throughout the car’s interior.
Watch for a recall notice in the mail and–in the meantime–drive carefully.

In the mean time you could attach some wood or metal over the pretensioner to contain the shrapnel.

I’d be inclined to use this as an opportuenty retrofit a classic seat belt assembly that doesn’t have a load limiter and possibly no pretensioner in there either. Or at least inspect the load limiter. They may have strengthened the load limiter when the IIHS introduced the small overlap test in 2012. Before that in the moderate overlap test, the weak load limiter reduced the forces that the driver is exposed to and reduced injuries but the test dummy nearly bottomed out the airbag at only ~38 MPH. In the small overlap test, the dummy would miss the airbag, and the load limiter would let the dummy go far forward and smash its head in to the left side of the dash or the bottom of the A pillar. The Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent, which share the same platform, are both near the top of the list for vehicle models with the highest fatalities.

How about they recall the 2011 Accent and put the better seat belt system in it? This shrapnel thing makes a good news story but I doubt it would actually kill anyone.

It looks like there was a 25% reduction in fatalities going from 2011 to 2014. Some of that would be from improved side impact protection, but I think a big part of it is from the improved restraint system. Driver death rates by make and model

Some users tried to get me banned from the forum not too long ago for talking about load limiters being optimized to do well on a specific crash test and how vehicles aren’t as safe as advertised!

I knew this was coming. People, please IGNORE this advice to monkey with one of the key safety systems on your cars.


If you have the 2012 or later model, and your upper body mass is less than average, then there is no need to monkey with the one of the key crash test cheating systems in the car.

I guess if people cared about safety they wouldn’t have bought a car with the highest fatality rate in the first place.

But apparently not enough people .


All we can do is keep trying.

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