KIA Motors chose AP due to "their internal policy": TN Govt

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 compulsory recall was a blow to Hyundai, which is already reeling from a record-low market share in its home market.

This is the first time ever that the ministry ordered a compulsory recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

"Safety is always Hyundai-Kia's number one priority and we make decisions on recalls or any other customer protection steps in compliance with regulators around the world and stringent internal procedures", the company said in a statement.

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.

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The subjected models include Hyundai's Avante compact, i30 hatchback, Sonata midsize sedan and Sante Fe crossover, the luxury Genesis G80 and EQ900 sedans and Kia's Mohave, Sorento SUVs and the Carnival minivan. The broader market declined 0.5 percent.

"This is negative for Hyundai's brand image after the hit from the recall over engine issue last month". After investigating 32 vehicle defects leaked previous year by a whistleblower at Hyundai Motor, the Ministry recommended last month that Hyundai and Kia initiate a voluntary recall for some of the defects.

Hyundai has appealed the decision saying the defects do not pose serious threats to passenger safety to require a forced recall. But it appears inevitable that Hyundai and Kia's reputation for quality and their image overseas will be tarnished by the mandatory recall, which followed a whistleblower's testimony, and by the request for an investigation into allegations that the companies covered up defects.

Upon receiving the ministry's recall order, the carmakers are required to announce their recall plans through media and notify the owners of affected vehicles of their planned recalls within the next 30 days, it said.

Kia is a Hyundai affiliate.

  • Darren Santiago