SEOUL, April 28 (Korea Bizwire) – The 54-year-old chief of Hyundai’s quality and strategy department, Kim Gwang-ho, has been reinstated in his former position after being fired for disclosing defects in the company’s Theta II engine, which prompted a recall of nearly 170,000 cars in South Korea.
Hyundai’s temporary move to offer Kim his old job back comes after a protective measure was issued by the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) last month, demanding that the unfair dismissal of Kim at Hyundai Motor be retracted.
As Hyundai filed an objection to the ACRC’s decision with the Seoul Administrative Court last week, Kim is still embroiled in a legal battle with for violating the company’s security policy last November, which could see him lose his job again.
In the meantime, the legal effect of the ACRC’s decision will see Kim reinstated at the company until a verdict on the ongoing case involving Kim and Hyundai is reached.
As Hyundai claims Kim not only released company secrets, but that his actions were motivated by “personal gains”, the carmaker seems poised to go the full distance in defending its decision to fire Kim and press charges.
It remains to be seen whether Kim will ever be permanently reinstated in his former post.
After joining the carmaker in 1991, Kim worked in various departments for 25 years, including research, engine quality control and sales, until last year when he decided to leak several interim reports containing sensitive content to the likes of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S. and the South Korean media.
As a result, the South Korean automobile manufacturer was forced to recall around 170,000 cars of five different models in the country due to manufacturing defects in its Theta 2 engine.
Kim is now under the investigation by the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency, facing charges related to the disclosure of confidential business information.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)