After hearing, mandatory recall issued for 240000 more Hyundai and Kia vehicles

Domestic SUV sales drop 18.9% on year in April

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. This came after a tip off from a whistleblower.

This is the first time ever that the transport ministry has ordered a compulsory recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles. But Hyundai and Kia earlier rejected calls for a voluntary recall related to five defects, saying the defects did not compromise driving safety.

Reiterating that KIA Motors decided not to set up factory only due to "their internal policy", the government said, "Hyundai Motor India (the Indian subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company) is a major shareholder in KIA Motors has announced additional investment in existing unit at Sriperumbudur to the tune of Rs 5,000 Crore".

The affected models include Hyundai's i-30 hatchback, the Sonata sedan, the Genesis and Kia's Mohave and Carnival minivan.

Hyundai employee Kim Gwang-ho raised concerns about defects affecting a dozen auto models manufactured by the company and its affiliate Kia. While Hyundai's sister company didn't reveal the cars it plans to launch in 2019, we believe a compact sedan and a compact SUV will be the first ones to be rolled out from the Andhra Pradesh plant.

The move is a blow to Hyundai and Kia, which are reeling from a separate recall last month of 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S., Canada and South Korea.

In a statement Hyundai Motor said it accepted and respected the recall, but that there had been no "reported injuries or accidents from the cited issues". These cars could be based on the Picanto platform as the company like to position Kia brand below Hyundai and that means, it needs to keep the costs in check.

Kim Gwang-ho, the whistleblower in this case, told the BBC last month that while whistleblowers in South Korean firms are rare, he exposed what was happening in the firm because he could not allow passengers to travel in faulty vehicles.

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