SEOUL, May 12 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s transport ministry on Friday ordered Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp. to recall a combined 240,000 vehicles for faulty parts.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport made the final decision after reviewing five cases of suspected faulty parts in 12 models made by the two carmakers, the ministry said in a statement.
In response to the recall order, Hyundai and Kia said in a joint statement that they accept the decision and will take all necessary steps to repair or replace faulty parts in the affected models as early as possible.
“There have been no reported injuries or accidents from the cited issues. We will continue to work with the ministry in order to assure the authority and all of our customers that Hyundai and Kia vehicles are the safest and best-built products on the road,” the statement said.
In March and April, the ministry had notified companies of its decision to recall vehicles that may be affected, but Hyundai and Kia raised objections to the “unacceptable” decision.
The ministry held a hearing early this month to listen to the carmakers’ explanation about the parts and decide whether or not to force a recall of affected cars.
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 vehicles cited were found to have problems with their vacuum pipes, fuel hoses, parking brake light problems and other faulty components, the statement said.
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.
A former Hyundai employee had tipped off the ministry about possible faulty parts in a total of 32 cases. Hyundai voluntarily came up with recall plans for three of the problems mentioned.
In addition to the latest recall order, the ministry has requested that Hyundai and Kia repair minor faulty parts in nine cases free of charge, and will decide whether or not to force the carmaker to recall cars that may have problems down the line.
Hyundai and Kia together form the world’s fifth-largest carmaker by sales. They aim to sell a combined 8.25 million vehicles this year, up from 7.9 million autos sold globally last year.