Problems In Autos On Rise

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Problems In Autos On Rise

The number of cases of automobiles recalled for correction of defects is accelerating, but consumers and carmakers interpret the phenomenon in opposite ways.

Automakers and the Ministry of Construction and Transportation said the main reason why recalls are increasing is that companies are more attentive to their customers. In turn, consumers are also increasingly aware of the importance of reporting their car's condition to the maker, especially after global automakers such as Ford and Mitsubishi conducted large recalls in the second half of last year.

Not so fast, consumer associations responded. They blamed car makers for increased recalls, saying that auto companies are too hasty in launching new models to beat the competition, without conducting enough testing on new additions to their product lines.

According to auto industry figures, more than 210,000 cars have already been recalled since the beginning of the year, of which 39,000 were Hyundais and 172,000 were from Kia. Last year, a total of 544,000 cars were recalled to repair defects, an almost fivefold increase compared to 1999.

by Kim Nam-joong

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