HYUNDAI is recalling every ix35 -- Australia's biggest-selling small SUV -- made over the past three years. The South Korean car maker is recalling 32,525 examples of its ix35 built from January 2011 to December 2013 because the airbag in the steering wheel may not be secured properly and the horn may not work.
It is the second recall for the same model so far this year and part of a global recall of more than 137,500 Hyundai vehicles announced last week. In January, Hyundai recalled 6193 of its ix35 SUVs due to a potentially faulty seatbelt pre-tensioner.
A statement from Hyundai about the latest safety issue said: "An incorrectly tightened bolt could result in the misalignment of the airbag module, possibly affecting its deployment, and could also affect the operation of the horn."
Hyundai says there have been no reported incidents in Australia but customers may notice a rattle in the steering wheel. "It will not cause the airbag to deploy unintentionally," says the Hyundai Australia statement. "(But) the effectiveness of the airbag could be reduced if the bolt is not tightened properly."
A safety bulletin has been published on recalls.gov.au and Hyundai customers will be notified by mail in the coming days to have their cars checked free of charge and the bolts tightened if necessary. During preliminary inspections only four vehicles have needed to have their airbag bolts tightened, the company says.
In April 2013, Hyundai called 227,000 cars back to dealers to fix a faulty brake light switch that affected eight models, most of its range, after News Corp Australia exclusively unearthed the fault 15 months earlier.
But that incident was not documented on recalls.gov.au because Hyundai successfully argued with authorities that potentially faulty brake lights were "not a safety issue" and the repairs could be done as a "dealer service campaign".
In its formative years Hyundai refused to issue a recall even after the front suspension assembly of 46 Hyundai Excel cars collapsed while in traffic and/or on the move in 1998.
The latest Hyundai ix35 safety campaign is the 33rd vehicle recall so far this year, including one for nine different types of Aston Martin models.
The biggest recalls so far this year were Toyota's bulletins issued in April which affected almost 300,000 vehicles: 118,600 Yaris small cars because the seats could slide forward and 179,000 HiLux utilities for a potential airbag failure.
Weird car recalls:
Land Rover: "assorted models" recalled because the indicators don't flash enough times with one touch (May 2014)
Chinese Foton ute: 316 vehicles recalled to replace the wheel jack (May 2014)
Aston Martin: all models made between 2007 and 2013 recalled because the accelerator pedal arm may break (January 2014)
Ford Falcon LPG sedan: 372 vehicles recalled because the wrong size wheels were fitted (February 2013)
Great Wall Motors utes: 23,000 vehicles recalled because some gaskets contained asbestos (August 2012)
Holden Commodore ute: 34,432 vehicles recalled because the tailgate could pop open (July 2010)
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