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Holden’s Barina Spark, Hyundai ix35 recalled

Mounting problems: Hyundai has recalled more than 6500 ix35s over a possible seatbelt pretensioner problem.

Recall wrap: gearbox halts Holdens, seatbelt hinders Hyundai

General News logo21 Jan 2014

By BARRY PARK

HOLDEN will pull more than 100 of its diminutive Barina Spark city hatchbacks into its workshops to fix a fault that could result in the car’s manual gearbox slumping.

Meantime, Hyundai has issued a fix for seatbelt pretensioners in its strong-selling ix35 compact SUV, because a tensioning cable in up to 6552 vehicles may not be properly crimped.

Holden’s recall notice affecting 102 Korean-made Sparks, issued overnight, has identified that one of the mounts that supports the five-speed manual gearbox “on a small number of these vehicles” could break.

“Over time, the transmission mount could potentially develop a fracture and the transmission would then become unsupported,” the notice published on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website said.

“This may cause serious mechanical damage and lead to a loss of control of the vehicle.”

The car-maker is sending letters out to customers who may be affected by the recall.

Holden product communications national manager Kate Lonsdale said the car-maker was responding to a recall issued in South Korea, and no instance of the mount breaking had been reported in Australia.

“The mount will fracture, but the gearbox won’t fall out of the car. Steering and braking aren’t impacted (by the mount breaking),” she said.

The cars affected were built in Korea over a two-week period in May last year.

Ms Lonsdale said an inspection of the gearbox mount would take about an hour, including replacing the mount if it was necessary.

The Hyundai ix35 recall issued on the ACCC site stated that: “There is a risk that the tensioning cable may be unleashed and cause an injury to an occupant of the motor vehicle.

“If the cable breaks during pretensioner deployment, the cable will not able to restrain the occupant to its full capacity during an accident.”

Hyundai is also contacting affected owners, saying they will need the pretensioner replaced with a correctly crimped version.

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