South Korea recalls Hyundai cars, asks probe on cover-up

Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage
Author

17 May, 2017

South Korea has ordered Hyundai and Kia to recall 240,000 vehicles for five types of defects initially raised by a whistleblower.

Responding to media reports alleging that corrupt practises in allocation of land had led KIA Motors to shift to Andhra Pradesh, its said "the whole story is totally baseless and done with an intention only to malign the Government".

The latest recall comes after the two firms offered to fix 1.5m cars in South Korea and the United States over possible engine stalling.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

Hyundai and Kia have already incurred heavy losses from recalling cars equipped with defective Theta 2 engines.

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The ministry said in a press release early Monday that Hyundai Motor Group, the parent company of both automakers, would likely argue that providing free repairs for the defective vehicles would suffice.

The models subject to the recall include Hyundai's Avante compact, i30 hatchback, Sonata midsize sedan and Sante Fe crossover as well as the luxury Genesis G80 and EQ900 sedans, and Kia's Mohave, Sorento SUVs and the Carnival minivan. They were found to have issues with vacuum pipes, fuel hoses, parking brake light issues and several other faulty parts.

Kim also flew to the United States previous year to report safety lapses to authorities there and the automakers have since issued a voluntary recall for a combined 1.5 million vehicles in North America and in South Korea over a defect that could cause engines to stall. The companies objected that these five defects did not interfere with driving safety, but the Ministry concluded after hearing their arguments that issuing a recall was the appropriate course of action.

The whistle-blower is a former Hyundai employee with 26 years at the company, who tipped off the government about 32 defects in the vehicles. "We have not received any voluntary recall plan from the automaker", the official said.

The companies submitted arguments which were heard May 8 by independent arbitrators not affiliated with the ministry or with Hyundai or Kia.


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