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17 May 2017, 01:01 | Maryann Sutton
South Korea's transport ministry said on Friday it had ordered the recall of 240,000 vehicles made by Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors due to five safety defects flagged by a whistleblower previous year. His tip-off has prompted the government to issue its first ever compulsory vehicle recall. The transport ministry will also investigate into whether there was any sign of cover-up in the companies.
The ex-Hyundai employee raised concern about defects which affected 12 different auto models.
Hyundai does provide a statement acknowledging it will comply with the recall: "We accept the administrative order on recalls by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korea, as we respect the Ministry and the safety of our valuable customers, although there have been no reported injuries or accidents from the cited issues".
This is published unedited from the IANS feed. His information earlier led to a voluntary recall in Korea of some 171,000 vehicles equipped with the Theta II engine.
The employee has revealed some models have faulty parts, including vacuum pipes, fuel hoses and light issues.
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KIA Motors chose not to invest in Tamil Nadu purely due to an internal policy of not establishing its factories where its sister concern Hyundai Motors has a production facility, clarified the Tamil Nadu government quoting a communication from KIA Motors.
This is the first whistleblower case to affect South Korea's automotive industry, and Kim Gwang-ho has identified 32 problems, of which this recall addresses five.
"Safety is always Hyundai-Kia's number one priority", it said.
Kia is a Hyundai affiliate. After investigating 32 vehicle defects leaked a year ago by a whistleblower at Hyundai Motor, the Ministry recommended last month that Hyundai and Kia initiate a voluntary recall for some of the defects.
Both Hyundai and Kia refused to voluntarily act, they said any problems which exist won't compromise safety.
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