2021 Hyundai Accent Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Seat belt and steering problems are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Was your vehicle recalled for seat belt pretensioner issues? Read our post on the Hyundai & Kia Seat Belt Pretensioner Recall.

The Hyundai Accent has come a long way since it was introduced as a 1995 model year. Now in its fifth generation, Hyundai promotes the 2021 model’s intuitive safety features. The problem is that there are very basic elements that aren’t safe, like malfunctioning seat belts that may explode. Steering is also a component that may affect the safety of those traveling in a 2021 Hyundai Accent.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018   2019

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Hyundai Accent

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Seat Belts
4
Wheels
2
Wheels:lugs/nuts/bolts
1
Engine
1
Steering
1

If you want feedback on any vehicle, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a good place to start. You will have access to consumer complaints, recalls, investigations, and all the communications issued by the manufacturer to dealerships.

Most Common Problems with the 2021 Hyundai Accent

There have only been 5 complaints lodged with the NHTSA about the 2021 Hyundai Accent. Of these, 2 report injuries. One of them is due to steering challenges and the other to an engine compartment fire. There are no details on file about the fire and no injuries were reported. It happened in Washington State in March 2022.

Ironically, most of the complaints to the NHTSA refer to seat belt recalls. More specifically, they relate to the parts needed for the recall not being available. This may not sound like a big deal, but there are already 2 recalls on file with the NHTSA that warn seat belt pretensioners may explode. 2020 and 2022 Hyundai Accent model years are also affected.

The question on many people’s minds is, how safe is the 2021 Hyundai Accent?

Seat Belt Problems

The three complaints logged with the NHTSA about seat belts state that the parts needed for the recall aren’t available. None of them has experienced a failure, but they feel that the manufacturer has “exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair.”

The first recall was issued in February 2022. It warns that, “An exploding seat belt pretensioner can project metal fragments into the vehicle, striking vehicle occupants and resulting in injury.” Relatively few (just 354) 2020-2021 Accent vehicles are potentially affected. However, there is an update to this recall.

The second recall, issued in May 2022, carries the same warning. “In the event of a crash, the front driver-side and/or passenger-side seat belt pretensioners may explode upon deployment.”

But this time, 230,233 of 2020-2022 Accent and 2021-2022 Elantra and Elantra HEVs are potentially affected. The recall states that any vehicles that have already been repaired under previous recalls will need to “have the new remedy completed.”

One of the complaints, made by an owner from Maryland on September 24, 2022, states that he has been trying to get the Accent recall corrected for about 6 months. Having called several dealers it is clear that the necessary parts are not available.

“Isn’t it ridiculous that they are suggesting I park the car outside my garage because it is dangerous to park it inside, BUT it’s OK if I drive it?”

Investigation Into Seat Belt Pretensioners That May Rupture

In August 2022, the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) opened a recall query on 2020-2022 Hyundai/Kia vehicles, including the 2021 Hyundai Accent. This followed allegations that the seatbelt pretensioners used in a wide range of Hyundai and Kia vehicles may rupture or explode.

The ODI has established that defective pretensioners can release shrapnel that results in abrasions and other injuries. The ODI also knows about at least 3 separate incidents where this has happened. In each of these incidents, the metal fragments injured occupants in the back seats of vehicles.

Steering Problems

While there is only one complaint on file so far regarding steering problems, another of the recalls for the 2021 Hyundai Accent relates to steering issues. It also affects the 2022 model.

The complaint from an owner in Illinois states that there seems to be some sort of alignment problem. The dealer tried to fix it 3 times, unsuccessfully, and “now they are ignoring me, they don’t answer my calls.”

While the dealer maintains “it’s not that bad,” the driver reports injuries. “To drive it one hour every day is a problem for me. Even my right hand and arm start to hurt after half (an) hour of constant dragging. Dealer told me all their Accents drive the same. Well, for me it means they all have (the) same problem.”

The recall indicates there is a problem with the Accent’s steering.

According to the recall notice mailed to 226 owners in July 2022, a bolt in the steering column may not be secured properly. This can cause the steering column to detach from the steering rack and result in a loss of steering control. Dealers must “inspect and tighten the lower steering column u-joint retention bolt, as necessary, free of charge.”

Even though the recall does not apply to the 2020 model, there is a complaint on file that blames the 2020 Hyundai Accent’s electric power steering for a crash that resulted in one injury. The victim, from Minnesota, calls it a “major safety defect.”

What happened was that “the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn … then all of a sudden it turned extremely easily.” This caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which resulted in a head-on collision “that injured me and left me with fractured ribs and sternum.”

NHTSA Safety Tests

The NHTSA tests a large percentage of vehicles and gives them a 5-star rating based on simulated crashes. These intend to help consumers compare vehicle safety when they are looking for a vehicle. The more stars a vehicle has, the safer it is.

Unfortunately the ratings for the 2021 Hyundai Accent aren’t great. The most problematic is the result of the side barrier test that simulates an intersection collision between a standing vehicle and a moving barrier at 38.5 mph.

Despite the fact that the NHTSA awarded the 2021 Hyundai Accent 5 stars for its overall side barrier test results, had the passenger dummy been a real person, the results may have been devastating.

The NHTSA report states: “Due to the intrusion of the left rear door during the side impact test, the interior door panel struck the torso of the rear passenger dummy, causing a high lower spine acceleration. High lower spine accelerations, in excess of 82 g’s, indicate a higher likelihood of thoracic injury.”

The overall frontal crash and rollover resistant tests both have 4-star results. The rollover test, which measures the risk of the vehicle rolling a single-vehicle, loss-of-control situation, found there to be an 11.3% rollover risk.

What to do if your 2021 Hyundai Accent is a Lemon? Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

If a vehicle defect affects your safety or impacts on its value, you might have bought a lemon. If you think this might be the case, you can call our Helpline or fill in a Lemberg Law contact form. We will do a free evaluation.

We’ve been helping clients faced with lemon law issues for a very long time. We have also helped to negotiate many settlements with vehicle manufacturers. Just remember that if you do have a lemon, Hyundai’s going to have to pay your legal bills.

Complaint Data

CategoryWheels, Wheels:lugs/nuts/bolts
DateDec 05, 2022
StateMA
Description
The studs and the lug nuts have consistently cross-threading and corrosion issues in a barely-year-old vehicle. I have had to visit the dealer twice to have this problem fixed and paid out of pocket. This started to happen ever since my last service at a hyundai dealership. I suspect that this is because of low quality or defective lugnuts/studs that are being used, which is causing the lugnuts to be stuck and break off while trying to remove them. 2 of the lugnuts and studs in the vehicle had to be broken off to be removed last week (11/28/22). Yesterday (12/04/2022) during a tire change, another lugnut/stud broke off during removal. Hyundai should look into this faulty lugnuts/stud problem and have it resolved.
CategorySeat Belts
DateNov 29, 2022
StateIL
Description
The contact owns a 2021 hyundai accent. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 22v354000 (seat belts) however, the part to do the recall repair was not yet available. The local dealer was contacted. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategorySeat Belts
DateSep 30, 2022
StateCA
Description
The contact owns a 2021 hyundai accent. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 22v354000 (seat belts) however, the part to do the recall repair was not yet available. The local dealer was contacted and confirmed that the part was not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategorySeat Belts
DateSep 24, 2022
StateMD
Description
I've been trying for about 6 months to get this recall corrected. I've called several dealers and no one has the parts. Isn't it ridiculous that they are suggesting I park the car outside my garage because it is dangerous to park it inside, but it's ok if I drive it???? When will these parts be available?
CategorySeat Belts
DateAug 01, 2022
StateWV
Description
The contact owns a 2021 hyundai accent. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 22v354000 (seat belts) however, the part to do the recall repair was not yet available. The local dealer was not contacted. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryEngine
DateMar 12, 2022
StateWA
Description
Engine compartment fire. Vehicle towed to hyundai dealer in bremerton wa
CategorySteering, Wheels
DateAug 31, 2021
StateIL
Description
The car seems to have sort of an alignment problem. Steering keeps going to the left and I constantly have to pull steering to the right. Even with both have on steering wheel the car goes to the left lane. If I make a left turn the steering seems to want to stay to the left and I get the feeling the car is going to flip over. It's like there is a gap in the steering wheel. A miscommunication between the steering and front axle kind of. They tried to fix it three times without any success, and now they are ignoring me, they don't answer my calls. I only drive it to work because I have to. The dealer says it's not that bad. Well maybe it's not that bad to drive it around the block but to drive it one hour everyday is a problem for me, even my right hand and arm start to hurt after half hour of constant dragging. Dealer told me all there accents drive the same. Well for me it means they all have same problem probably. Mechanics told me they get lot of cars with same problem. I am sure they are aware of it. I even took a video while driving to demonstrate defect and definitely it's not safe to drive. They tried to align the car three times at two different dealers with no success. Dealers repair files attached.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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