The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recognized the redesigned 2019 Hyundai Veloster with its Top Safety Pick award, but also uncovered a problem with the driver-side door which led to the automaker issuing a recall for Velosters built after January 2019.
The Top Safety Pick status applies only to Velosters equipped with specific headlights that were built after August 2018.
IIHS engineers put the small car through the paces. The Veloster features two conventionally hinged doors on the passenger side, but only one door on the driver side. During the first of two side tests, the driver door opened during the crash, which could lead to occupant ejection in a collision.
However, Hyundai modified the door beginning with models built after January, and in a second IIHS side crash test the door stayed closed—satisfying IIHS’s crashworthiness criteria and earning the car a good rating in the test.
Velosters built before Hyundai began implementing these modifications on the production line must have the recall completed to qualify for the Top Safety Pick award. The recall applies to models built before February.
Specifically, Hyundai is recalling an estimated 12,438 2019 Veloster vehicles for this problem. To remedy the issue, Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver’s side door latch assembly and lower channel, at no cost to owners.
Owners can reach Hyundai customer service at (855) 371-9460. Hyundai’s reference number for this recall is 183.
To capture a 2019 Top Safety Pick, vehicles must earn good ratings in five rigorous tests. These include the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. They must also earn a good or acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test.
Ultimately, after making the door modifications, the Veloster met the mark across the board.
In addition, vehicles need an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and a good or acceptable headlight rating to gain Top Safety status.
For crash avoidance, the Veloster exceeded expectations, earning superior ratings for both its standard and optional front crash prevention systems, both of which avoided collisions in IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph.
As for headlights, the Veloster garners an acceptable rating for the premium headlights that come on the Turbo, Turbo Ultimate and Turbo R-Spec trims of vehicles built after August 2018. Earlier models created excessive glare for oncoming drivers and earn a poor rating. The Veloster's base headlights also earn a poor rating.