Hyundai & Kia to recall 240000 faulty vehicles

Kia Rio

The South Korean government on Friday ordered vehicle makers Hyundai and Kia Motors to recall about 240,000 cars, after a tip off from a whistleblower, the media reported.

The ex-Hyundai employee raised concern about defects which affected 12 different vehicle models. Hyundai and Kia have been arguing the five flaws pose no safety risk, but they said in a joint statement that they will cede to the compulsory recall order.

The ministry later asked the automakers to recall the vehicles over eight of the 32 problems reported by Kim. It was the first time a local automaker had refused a government recall request and for hearings to be held on the subject.

The move is a blow to Hyundai and Kia, which are reeling from a recall last month of 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S., Canada and South Korea. The affected models include Hyundai's i30 hatchback, Sonata, Elantra, Santa Fe and Genesis, and Kia's Mohave and Carnival. The affected models are said to have several issues including faulty parts.

About a fortnight ago, Kia Motors announced its official India debut.

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The state government said that Han-Woo Park, CEO and president, Kia Motors had conveyed that they do not establish overseas plant in the same states where the plants of Hyundai Motor Company are located. The two are required to submit a recall plan to the ministry within the next 25 days.

It is generally believed Kim also complained to NHTSA, the USA auto-safety regulator, which ordered a massive recall of 1.2 million vehicles in the US and Canada that were equipped with Theta II engines. The company also asked prosecutors to charge Kim with pirating and releasing company product secrets that had no bearing on the alleged defects.

Hyundai and Kia initially rejected the recall, saying that the defects did not affect safety.

"We will continue to do our best to review all cases from the perspective of customers to enhance trust and satisfaction", Hyundai Motor said.

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