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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a recall of 2011-2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid cars.

More than 14,700 of the Hyundai hybrid vehicles are affected by this recall but Hyundai doesn’t want to tell you about the rear center seat belts which fail to meet federal safety standards.

Hyundai believes it doesn’t need to fix the seat belt issue with all Sonata hybrids—or notify all affected Sonata owner, as required by the usual federal safety recall procedures.

The issue, says NHTSA, affects Hyundai Sonata Hybrids manufactured since December 2010. The federal safety agency claims both the lap and shoulder portions of the rear center seat belts disconnect when occupants press the 3-point safety belt’s unlock mechanism—a violation of safety standards.

Hyundai claims it will fix the rear center seat belt issue in the approximately 1,633 new Sonata Hybrids still in dealer’s lots. But the company has filed a petition with the agency to not fix the approximately 13,095 hybrids already in owners’ hands “on the basis that the non-compliance described is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety,” said the NHTSA recall notice.

Until NHTSA reviews and denies the Hyundai petition, Sonata Hybrid owners will not receive any notification from Hyundai that their vehicle may have this safety issue and that a fix is available.

However, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid owners–and all car owners–can stay on top of federal safety recalls regarding their vehicles by subscribing to NHTSA e-mail alerts from the agency’s website:

If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, contact the defective product lawyers at the Alexander Law Group for a free case evaluation or call 888.777.1776. All calls free and confidential.