Hyundai under fire for delaying defect report

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Hyundai under fire for delaying defect report

Prosecutors began an investigation into Hyundai Motor on Monday after the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport accused the automaker of concealing knowledge of defective air bags installed in its Santa Fe sports utility vehicles.

According to the prosecutors, the automaker belatedly reported possible defects in air bags on the front passenger seats of 2,360 Santa Fe cars manufactured between June 2 and 3 last year, in violation of the Automobile Management Act.

While 2,294 units were fixed before going on sale last year, the rest of the 66 units were sold to customers without properly notifying them or the government.

Hyundai Motor then belatedly submitted a document containing its corrective measures on Sept. 29, about a year and three months after the incident first broke, which led the country’s minister of land, infrastructure and transport, Kang Ho-in, to sue the automaker last week for violating the law.

A Hyundai Motor spokesman said the person in charge of communicating the defect to the ministry made an “administrative error” and that the company was regretful of the incident.

The spokesman added that the company had notified car owners on its own after the defect was first discovered last year and replaced the defective parts, saying they were not trying to conceal it from consumers.

Shares of Hyundai Motor, the country’s top-performing automaker, fell 2.2 percent on Monday to 133,500 won ($120.38).


BY JIN EUN-SOO, KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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