Last post on Aug 07, 2012 at 9:20 AM
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Hyundai Santa Fe, Car Safety, SUV
#41 of 56 Re: passenger air bag sensor light inconsistent [JBrabbit]
Dec 31, 2009 (3:39 pm)
Could not agree more! Struggled with this problem on our 2005 Santa Fe since new. Wife weighs around 125. Light is sometimes on and sometimes off. Received a recall pertaining to this problem within a year of purchase. Recall called for resetting the algorithm that runs when the engine is started--at least that is what the service rep said.
Returned a 2nd time when this did not correct the intermittent problem. They said everything was working properly. They pointed out that the owner's manual calls for all passengers to be seated before" the engine is started, since that is when the sensing algorithm runs. This is certainly bad design logic. We all have passengers unboard and board while the engine is running. We surely do not turn the engine off each time these boarding events occur.
However, being a professional engineer, I conducted my own test. Sure enough, each time I noticed the light being "off" when my wife was in the passenger seat I pulled over to the side of the road, turned the engine off and restarted. The light went out every time!
Intermittent problems with safety systems are, in my opinion, the worst kind. Given this is integral to the design, I firmly believe the design is faulty. And worse, there is nothing Hyundai service reps can do to remedy the problem.
We have just lived with this hassle, but are now in the market for a new replacement vehicle. Love our Santa Fe, but very unhappy with this experience. Had planned to buy another Hyundai because of good warranty and an otherwise positive ownership experience, but we are now having second thoughts.
#42 of 56 Red Instrument Cluster Air Bag System Warning Light
Dec 31, 2009 (5:22 pm)
Anyone experienced this problem, new to my Santa Fe?
The red "Air Bag" warning light came on in driver instrument cluster. Took to dealer service. For a pre-approved fee of $95, they ran a diagnosis using their shop diagnostic equipment. The machine told them the stored "error code" indicated a failed sensor in the front passenger seat belt buckle. Their recommended solution was to replace the seat buckle assemble at a cost of $300 parts + $100 labor. The entire air bag system was disabled until the failed sensor was fixed. Dumb design!
Mechanically, the seat belt buckle was working properly--securely and safely. Yet its internal sensor (for what purpose I have no idea) was not working; therefore the entire air bag system was being prevented from functioning, even though there was nothing wrong with it either.
The service rep could not explain to me the logic behind seat belts with sensors being tied into the air bag system. These should be totally redundant safety systems--seat belts are the primary restraint system and air bags are the secondary system.
The service tech did not check the seat belt assembly. Instead, they recorded the error code found on my ticket and waited to see if I wanted them to do the part-swap for $400. I said "No", paid the $95 diagnostic fee and drove my Santa Fe home. I now plan to do some of my own testing and trouble-shhoting, starting with removal and cleaning of the seat buckle assembly.
Can anyone suggest a source for info on operating logic of the entire seat belt/air bag system? Is the sensor circuit in the buckle normally open or closed? Is it supposed to change when the belt is buckled? Is there a way to by-pass this worthless sensor?
#43 of 56 Re: [hodad57]
Nov 24, 2010 (2:15 am)
Hi Edmunds Townhall,
I posted the original post in October 2007 and followed it up a year later with an update. This serves as yet another update about 2 years later. In the interim period, we experienced relatively few instances of our 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe's passenger side air bag light illuminating OFF on the dashboard when my wife was riding as passenger. I wanted to like this vehicle and really hoped that the problem was mostly behind us. In those instances when we were riding together and it did illuminate, I would trade places with her. I purchased this car for its safety features and bought into the alleged Hyundai commitment to quality and safety. But always in the back of my mind was an unease with concerns about the functionality of the passenger air bag in the event of a possible crash. Surely Hyundai would issue a recall or TSB to correct the problem as it had done for the Sonata? But no, I/we continue to wait for resolution. Now, the problem has resurfaced with increasing frequency over the last few months. There have been no significant changes to my wife's height or weight. Tonight, we went out for dinner and the air bag sensor OFF light illuminated. No matter what my wife did - sliding the seat on the track forward and back - no change. Repositioning the seatback's recline position - no change. Repositioning herself on the seat - no change. Unclicking the seat belt and reclicking it secure - no change. Pulling over and having my wife exit the vehicle and then re-seat herself - no change. Turning the engine off, exiting the vehicle and restarting it once she was reseated - no change. I find myself wondering why no recall or related TSB has been issued. I simply can't stand it anymore. It is extremely stressful. I am going to communicate with Hyundai in the next few days. Call me optimistic or foolish, but I fully expect Hyundai to stand behind their product and resolve this issue. This issue is core to my purchasing values that unless this vehicle deficiency is satisfactorily resolved, I can't recommend purchasing a Hyundai nor would I ever buy another one. Safety is not negotiable. I will keep this forum advised on my outcome.
#44 of 56 Re: [hodad57]
Nov 24, 2010 (6:10 am)
There is a class action lawsuit filed in California that includes several models of Hyundai vehicles that have the airbag design and issue. You can Google this and see is going on.
Feb 26, 2011 (9:07 pm)
Yesterday I was in a horrific accident when a young girl ran a red light causing me to t-bone her at 40 mph. The impact sent her car 80 feet away, and shattered my front bumper. Neither airbag deployed causing damage to my temporal lobe, and horrible whiplash. My passenger was hurt pretty bad as well. Our seat belts saved our lives, but my airbag could have saved me from brain damage. Should I sue Hyundai?
Feb 27, 2011 (5:59 am)
There is a class action already filed for this reason. Google this topic.
#47 of 56 Re: 2003 Sante Fe [chaplain_smith]
by kyfdx HOST
Feb 27, 2011 (12:32 pm)
You got brain damage from an accident that happened, yesterday? And, you are posting on the internet, today?
I'm just saying.....
#48 of 56 Re: Red Instrument Cluster Air Bag System Warning Light [leftypicker]
Apr 19, 2011 (4:43 pm)
Hello, I know your post is old but I was just searching and my 2005 Santa Fe is having the same problem. Did you find a cheaper solution?
#49 of 56 Re: Red Instrument Cluster Air Bag System Warning Light [jen1974]
Dec 28, 2011 (3:35 pm)
we are also having issues w/ our 2005 santa fe air bags. The light comes on on the instrument panel and the dealership can't seem to find the problem does anyone have any idea what it could be?
#50 of 56 Re: Red Instrument Cluster Air Bag System Warning Light [lisact36]
Dec 28, 2011 (3:48 pm)
Tell the dealership to call San Francisco and ask the engineers. They know all about this since they are the ones that told our dealership how to fix ours.