The company has discovered an assembly issue that allows the Tucson's steering-wheel airbag to come loose from its mounting. The retaining bolts may not have been properly torqued from the factory.
"An air bag assembly that is not properly mounted may result in an increased risk of injury to the driver in the event of a crash," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report notes.
Loose airbag assemblies have been reported in warranty claims for at least 141 vehicles out of 177,000 that are currently in the field. The problem was initially spotted in December, at which time the company changed its assembly procedure and monitored service reports. Warranty claims began to accelerate into 2014, leading to the safety recall.
The company has not officially associated the problem with any accidents or injuries.
Recalled vehicles will be brought in to have the existing bolts torqued to higher specifications.