The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2002 Hyundai Elantra, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: AIR BAG LIGHT ILLUMINATION

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA08012

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal
    Air Bags:Frontal:Sensor/Control Module

    Summary: Hyundai is conducting two safety recalls to correct two safety defects described below.under safety recall 08V-532, Hyundai will install a vinyl protective shield/cover to prevent short circuits in the air bag control module cause by spills of liquids that seep into the module connector. This action applies to 78,369 MY 2001 vehicles (built through 4/26/2001).the air bag control module connector in MY 2001 vehicles built after 4/26/2001 is covered by the carpet.to improve the integrity of the side impact air bag wiring harness under the driver and front passenger seats, Hyundai will install new clips and revise the wiring harness attachments under safety recall 08V-533.this applies to 150,541 MY 2001 through MY 2002 vehicles (built through 12/18/2001).Hyundai upgraded the wiring harness routing/connector clip on MY 2002 vehicles built after 12/18/2001.Hyundai designed the subject vehicles (under safety recall 08V-532) such that the air bag control module connector is located directly below the center console cup holders.spillage of liquid from cups placed in the cup holders may contaminate the control module and the connector and prevent proper deployment of the air bags.in addition, in the subject vehicles under safety recall 08V-533, Hyundai located a wiring harness for the side impact air bags under each front seat.movement of the seat or placement of objects under the seat may disturb the electrical connection in the side impact air bag wiring circuit.for each of the above described conditions, the air bag warning light will illuminate when the vehicle diagnostic system detects a fault.this investigation identified several crash reports (two fatal and 17 crash reports resulting in nine injury reports) that included allegations of prior air bag warning light illumination and non-deployment of the air bags, which are not included in the failure report summary.this engineering analysis is closed (see recalls 08V-532 & 08V533).

  2. INVESTIGATION: AIR BAG LIGHT ILLUMINATION

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE08017

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: March 10, 2008
    • Date Closed: July 10, 2008
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal
    Air Bags:Frontal:Sensor/Control Module

    Summary: In certain model year (MY) 2001 and 2002 vehicles, the air bag system is susceptible to air bag light illumination and air bag non-deployment or inadvertent deployment from liquid contamination of the air bag control module.the control module is located beneath and near center console cup holders.ODI is also aware of complaints regarding air bag light illumination due to loss of proper air bag electrical integrity in wiring and connections located under the front seats.under investigation PE08-017, Hyundai provided 472 owner reports and 9,108 warranty claims related to these issues for MY 2001 and 2002 vehicles built through 12/14/2001.ODI is also aware of six incidents of seat belt pretensioner/air bag inadvertent deployments due to liquid spills.to address the above issues, on 04/25/2001, Hyundai added a carpet cover/shield over the air bag control module connector area and upgraded the cable routing and attachment points to improve the electrical connections on vehicles built after 12/14/2008.this preliminary evaluation is being upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA08-012) for further investigation of certain MY 2001-2002 subject vehicles built through 12/14/2002.

  3. INVESTIGATION: FRONT LOWER CONTROL ARMS RUSTING

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE09011

    Component(s): Suspension:Front
    Suspension:Front:Control Arm
    Suspension:Front:Control Arm:Lower Arm

    Summary: On April 14, 2009, Hyundai motor corporation submitted to ODI a defect information report indicating that it would recall a salt-belt population of approximately 155,317 model year (MY) 2001 through 2003 Hyundai Elantra vehicles to remedy a defect that can result in loss of vehicle control with an increased risk of a crash while driving (09V-125).the affected vehicles cover all MY 2001, MY 2002, and MY 2003 through January 13, 2003 production.these include Elantra vehicles that were originally sold or currently registered in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.the total three-year production population for the Elantra vehicles is approximately 350,000. According to Hyundai, road salt can collect in the outboard portion of the front lower control arm and may result in internal corrosion leading to thinning of the steel in the lower control arms.the corrosion may progress to the point where the lower control arm upper and lower panels become perforated.a perforated front lower control arm may fracture between its ball joint attachment and the forward and rearward pivot attachments to the chassis.this could affect the driver's control over the tire and wheel assembly.Hyundai's recall procedure instructs dealers to measure the thickness of the steel in the front lower control arms.if specified levels of corrosion damage have occurred, the front lower control arms will be replaced with new front lower control arms with additional holes in the upper and lower panels. ODI's analysis of front lower control arm complaint and warranty data shows 220 complaints and 1,033 warranty claims for the total approximately 350,000 subject vehicles sold throughout the United States, resulting in a complaint rate of $62.82 per 100,000 vehicles and a claim rate of 0.3 percent.ODI's analysis found 7 complaints and 90 warranty claims in 132,475 vehicles sold in non-salt belt states, resulting in a complaint rate of 5.3 per 100,000 vehicles and a claim rate of 0.1 percent. ODI's analysis further found 196 complaints and 943 warranty claims in 155,317 vehicles sold in salt belt states, resulting in a complaint rate of 126.2 per 100,000 vehicles and a claim rate of 0.6 percent.ODI identified 34 incidents of lower control arm fracture related to corrosion, all of which occurred in salt belt states.the data do not show a defect trend in vehicles outside the region covered by Hyundai's recall. This preliminary evaluation is closed.