WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed a probe into a seatbelt buckle electrical malfunction in 394,262 2006-'08 Hyundai Sonata midsize sedans after the automaker began a warranty extension program.
The cars are not being recalled for this concern.
The investigation looked into reports that an electrical circuit in the seatbelt stalk assembly may experience a failure, potentially leading to a malfunction of the stalk-based seatbelt pretensioner.
The probe began last July after NHTSA received 131 unique reports alleging a failure within the seatbelt pretensioner system.
In response to a request by federal safety regulators, Hyundai submitted 764 unique consumer and field reports and 19,847 warranty claims related to a failure in the front seatbelt buckle assembly.
No crashes, injuries or fatalities were linked to the probe.
After the probe started, Hyundai notified NHTSA that it will begin a warranty extension program to address concerns with the seatbelt buckle pretensioner faults in the 2006-'08 Sonata.
"This action will extend the warranty coverage for this issue for 15 years or 250,000 miles, whichever occurs first," NHTSA said in its summary of the probe. "Given Hyundai's action and the minimal safety consequence this issue presents, further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted."
NHTSA noted that "the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist."
The agency said it will monitor the issue and reserves the right to take further action.
Edmunds says: This warranty extension should provide some peace of mind to owners of the 2006-'08 Sonata.