The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) said earlier this month it asked prosecutors to investigate whether Hyundai, one of South Korea’s most successful companies and an icon of its industrial might, intentionally covered up defects which could compromise safety.
South Korean engineer Kim Gwang-ho flew to Washington last year to do something he never dreamed he would: to report alleged safety lapses at Hyundai Motor Co. to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Citing an internal report from Hyundai’s quality strategy team, Kim told NHTSA the company was not taking enough action to address an engine fault that increased the risk of crashes.
Hyundai has denied the allegations, stating that it promotes openness and transparency in all safety-related operations.
The recall affects a dozen models including the Avante, i30, Genesis and Sonata sedans, as well as the Tucson, Santa Fe and Sportage sport utility vehicles. It is South Korea’s first compulsory recall for any local automaker.
The announcement marks more bad news for Hyundai and Kia, which are reeling from last month’s recall of 1.4 million vehicles due to an engine stalling risk in the U.S., Canada and South Korea.
Source: The New York Times