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17 May 2017, 12:56 | Ruby West
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Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are being forced to recall almost a quarter million vehicles, the first time the government has issued a compulsory recall.
The recall results from information provided to the Ministry in September by a Hyundai whistleblower, Gwang-ho Kim.
This is the first time ever that the transport ministry has ordered a compulsory recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles. But it has resisted voluntary recalls for some other issues, which led to the ministry's compulsory order after a hearing Friday, which is final.
"We are now reviewing the matter based on hearings held earlier on Hyundai and Kia 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 two companies have already been ordered to fix 1.5 million cars in South Korea and America over possible engine stalling.
Hyundai Motor India now has two manufacturing facilities at Irungattukottai, SIPCOT Industrial Park, producing several models across segments.
Hyundai Motor said it accepted and respected the recall, but that there had been no "reported injuries or accidents from the cited issues".
The ministry has also asked prosecutors in Seoul to investigate whether the automakers allegedly covered up the five flaws that affect 12 models. Hyundai and Kia have been criticized for the lackadaisical way in which they have dealt with questions about product quality.
Kim also flew to the United States past 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.
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.
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