South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport held a hearing session on Monday to decide whether to force Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp. to recall 250,000 vehicles after the nation’s largest carmaker had raised objection to the government recall order issued last month.
After holding evaluation committee meetings on March 23, 24 and April 20, the ministry decided to order a recall of total 250,000 vehicles of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors including Genesis and Equus sedans for faulty canisters, Mohave for loose wheel nuts, Avante and i30 for defective vacuum pipes, Sorento, Carnival, Santafe, Tucson and Sportage for broken fuel lines of the R-engine, and LF Sonata, Sonata Hybrid and Genesis for defect in warning light for parking brake.
Total 400,000 vehicles of the automakers’ 12 models are subject to recall investigations, but only 250,000 units have been under the recall order excluding 150,000 vehicles sent to the overseas markets.
The ministry claimed the faulty canisters could lead to power loss when a car is slowing to a stop but Hyundai Motor countered that there is no chance of engine stalling.
The ministry also argued that loose wheel nuts could cause the wheel or tire to separate from the vehicle, and defective vacuum pipes could undermine brake performance.
According to the ministry, faulty fuel lines of the R-engine that could cause fuel to leak would make the vehicle prone to fire, but the carmaker refuted that it is impossible for the car to catch fire.
Defective warning light for parking brake could cause a driver to accelerate without releasing the brake, the ministry argued, but Hyundai Motor said it would provide free repair only for the warning light because there is no faults in the brake.
The ministry plans to make a final decision by early next week at the latest. If the government decides to force the recall and Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors accept it, they would have to submit a recall plan within 30 days. If the carmakers disagree with the order, they could file a petition to the court.
By Ko Jae-man and Woo Je-yoon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]