The Hyundai Sonata, a mid-size sedan available with a manual or automatic transmission, was introduced in 1989. Edmunds.com contends that, despite its low price, the Sonata offers many safety features, multiple trim options and a solid factory warranty.
Hyundai technical service bulletins (TSBs) state that Sonata's airbag indicator light, which reads Passenger Air Bag Off, may not turn off. The cause of the light malfunction is a faulty occupation classification system (OCS), located in the front passenger's seat. The OCS may not register when children are seated in the front passenger seat.
A defective OCS may result in airbag deployment failure in the event of an accident. Although the driver's side airbag will deploy, the passenger will have no protection if a collision occurs.
In 2008, Hyundai issued a recall on nearly 400,000 2005 to 2008 Sonata vehicles equipped with an advanced airbag system. If your vehicle is on the recall list, your dealer is required examine, evaluate and reprogram your OCS.