Whistleblower sparks recall of 240000 cars in S.Korea

Whistleblower sparks recall of 240000 cars in S.Korea

Whistleblower sparks recall of 240000 cars in S.Korea

South Korea's transport ministry has ordered the compulsory recall of some 240,000 vehicles, following a tip off from a whistleblower.

The ex-Hyundai employee raised concern about defects which affected 12 different auto models.

It is the first time the country's government has issued a compulsory vehicle recall, reports the BBC.

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

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 fix or replace faulty parts in the affected models as early as possible.

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Hyundai and Kia, which had previously argued that the flaws presented no danger to driving safety, said in a joint statement on Friday they would cede to the order.

Hyundai and Kia have already incurred heavy losses from recalling cars equipped with defective Theta 2 engines. The affected models are said to have several issues including faulty parts. The models affected include the Hyundai's Sonata midsize sedan, the i30 hatchback and, the luxury Genesis.

"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", they said in a statement. After investigating 32 vehicle defects leaked past 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 conducted the North American recall voluntarily, saying it was inspecting the engines for metal debris in the crankcase caused by a manufacturing process defect that has been corrected. Its sister company Kia Motors who doesn't have new models except for compact hybrid SUV Niro also saw its total SUV sales fall 24.5 percent from 16,908 units to 12,770 units.

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