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

Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto

His tip-off has prompted the government to issue its first ever compulsory vehicle recall.

The transport ministry later asked the automakers to recall the vehicles over eight of the 32 problems, while offering free repairs on nine cases.

The five alleged defects include brake vacuum lines for Avante, wheel lug nuts for Mohave, parking brake alert signals for Sonata and Genesis, engine control canisters for Genesis and Equus and fuel lines for Santa Fe, Sorento and Carnival.

Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co., introduced its Audi A4 challenger at motor shows held in Geneva, Detroit and Seoul from January to March.

It is the first hearing in Korea to take place after a vehicle company declined a recall request. The Ministry's action followed the country's first "recall hearing".

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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.

We wrote about the recall earlier this week - Hyundai and Kia were fighting the government's decree that the two brands proceed with a voluntary recall. Hyundai Motor later issued a statement accepting and respecting the recall, but added that there had not been any "reported injuries or accidents from the cited issues". The regulators in April ordered the recall of total 250,000 vehicles to address five defects that could affect safety.

The ministry launched an investigation into 32 alleged defects in Hyundai and Kia cars after a Hyundai manager on its quality control team flagged them past year.

Following allegations that the Tamil Nadu government did not give proper assistance to Kia Motors, due to which they shifted their business to Andhra Pradesh, the state government on Thursday clarified that the company was not setting up their plant in Tamil Nadu due to their own internal policy.

The automakers need to submit a recall plan to the ministry within 25 days. The Ministry's stern response in the latest instance appears to be an attempt to change these practices at Hyundai and Kia, which are two of South Korea's flagship corporations.

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