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

Robyn Valdez
May 17, 2017

South Korea ordered Hyundai and Kia on Friday to recall 240,000 vehicles to fix five defects initially raised by a whistleblower, in the country's first compulsory recall for a domestic carmaker. This came after a tip off from a whistleblower. South Korea ordered Hyundai and Kia on Friday, May 12, 2017 to recall 240,000 vehicles for five types of defects initially raised by a whistleblower. 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.

Chennai, The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday said that South Korea's Kia Motors decided not to locate its plant in the state as its sister company Hyundai Motor has already set up two plants near here. The models affected include the Hyundai's Sonata midsize sedan, the i30 hatchback and, the luxury Genesis.

The move by the ministry came after a former Hyundai employee raised concerns about defects which affected 12 different auto models.

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Kim Gwang-ho had flown to the USA a year ago to address these issues with American authorities, and that led to the voluntary recall of 1.5 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles in North American and South Korea, due to a problem that could lead engines to stall. Immediately after the Ministry's announcement, Hyundai and Kia said they would accept the recall decision.

If the government decides to force a recall, Hyundai has 30 days to submit the recall plan.

"Safety is always Hyundai-Kia's number one priority", it said. The transport ministry will also investigate into whether there was any sign of cover-up in the companies.

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Hyundai and Kia together form the world's fifth-largest carmaker by sales.

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.

The whistleblower, Kim Gwang-ho, told the BBC he had chose to expose what was happening at the firm, because he could not, in good faith, allow passengers to travel in vehicles he knew to be faulty.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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