NHTSA announced a $ 137 million fine for the Korean auto alliance. This sentence officially put an end to an investigation of delayed recall of vehicles in danger of fire that lasted for 3 years.
This is the result of a three-year investigation by NHTSA related to the moves of Hyundai and KIA to recall from 2011 to present cars in the US market related to the risk of vehicle fire.
NHTSA emphasized that the penalty is a clear message that manufacturers must be aware of the urgency of recalling defective products to ensure the safety of consumers, and at the same time have the responsibility to report. the most accurate and timely to the authorities.
Specifically, Hyundai will have to pay a fine of $ 54 million and spend $ 40 million to improve safety features. The company must build centers for automotive safety testing and assessment in the US, and set up new computer systems to analyze data to identify safety issues.
If strictly complying with the fine, the Korean manufacturer will avoid the risk of an additional fine of 46 million USD.
Meanwhile, KIA, a subsidiary of the Hyundai Group, will have to pay a fine of $ 27 million and spend $ 16 million to improve safety features. Similarly, if Kia strictly obey the fine, it will avoid the risk of an additional fine of 27 million USD.
The KIA will open a specialized vehicle safety office in the United States headed by a director in charge of safety.
Previously, about 1.6 million Hyundai and KIA cars were convicted of problems related to the Theta II engine. These include models such as Hyundai Sonata 2011-2014, SantaFe Sport 2013-2014 as well as KIA Optima 2011-2014, Sorento 2011 – 2013 and KIA Sportage.
The penalty has officially put an end to the investigation of the late recall of vehicles in danger of fire and explosion by Hyundai – Kia that lasted for 3 years.
According to data collected by the NHTSA, there have been 31 fire and engine recalls of Hyundai and KIA since 2015. More than 8.4 million Hyundai and KIA vehicles have been affected, in 20 product lines. ranging from 2006 to 2021 versions.
In September 2015, Hyundai recalled 470,000 vehicles due to debris generated during engine manufacturing that could cause the engine to stop working, even burn, however, the recall included only motor vehicles manufactured before April 2012.
Hyundai at the time also claimed to have adjusted the production process so that the error does not happen again. And KIA did not mention anything about the recall, although its car shares the same 2.4L and 2.0L Theta II engines as Hyundai cars.
By March 2017, the alliance announced the recall of up to 1.2 million vehicles with the same risk, including products previously considered free of defects.
It is noteworthy that the September 2020 recall with nearly 200,000 cars due to the electric short of the brake system, Korean manufacturers urged owners not to park their car indoors because the car could catch fire after shutdown.