California Lemon Law News + Info

Recall Rundown: Seat Belts, Stalling and Trapped Passengers

Hyundai, Kia, and Volkswagen are recalling vehicles for problems with seat belts, stalling and trunk latches that could trap people inside.

Notices are expected to be mailed this October. If you want to know whether your vehicle is affected by these recalls, read our recall guide to learn how to research recalls affecting your vehicle.


Hyundai is recalling more than 363,000 model year 2017–2020 Hyundai Sonata, 2016–2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2018–2020 Hyundai Accent and 2016–2017 Hyundai Azera vehicles because the emergency release trunk latches could become damaged and trap people inside.

High ambient room temperatures could cause the latch pawls to contract and crack, rendering the emergency trunk releases useless. Hyundai launched an investigation in 2017 regarding claims coming from the Middle East. On June 2021, Hyundai was prompted to investigate claims in the United States when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notified Hyundai of a complaint related to a 2017 Hyundai Sonata.

Recall notices will be mailed October 1. Hyundai dealers will replace the trunk latch assemblies. The replacements will have greater resistance to heat damage and added steel reinforcements to the pawl to prevent damage.


Kia is recalling more than 285,000 model year 2016–2018 Kia Forte, Kia Forte Koup and 2018–2019 Kia Rio vehicles because the emergency release trunk latches could become damaged and trap people inside.

The problems with Kia’s trunk latches are nearly identical to those reported in Hyundai’s recall.

High heat could cause damage to the pawls and prevent the latches from opening the trunk. The problem violates federal safety standards.

Kia has received 41 warranty claims, three technical assistance case center reports and two “customer pay claims” related to the latch problems.

Notices should reach owners after October 5. Kia dealers will replace the trunk latch assemblies.


Volkswagen issued two recalls of its sports utility vehicles because of problems with stalling and child restraint systems.

A recall of more than 12,000 model year 2021 ID.4 SUVs was issued because the rear outboard seat belt assemblies may not have automatic locking retractors, which may make it difficult to secure a child seat.

Federal safety standards require these retractors, but the recalled parts are not typically available in the U.S. market. Recall notices are expected to be mailed October 1, after which dealers will need to replace the assemblies.

Volkswagen is also recalling more than 5,800 model year 2022 4Motion all-wheel-drive Taos SUVs because problems with the engine control unit software could cause stalling while at stops. Volkswagen says the engines can be restarted when they stall. However, engineers haven’t determined the root cause of the stalling problem.

Notices will be mailed October 5. Volkswagen dealers will update the engine control unit software.


Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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