Hyundai, Kia Recalls Reopened - What it Means to You
The recall was related to engine defects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking at the recalls to see whether they covered as many vehicles as they were supposed to. The timeline is also being checked.
Original Recall Was Smaller
The original recall covered 470,000 cars – Hyundai Sonatas from the 2011 and 2012 model years. A Korean employee of the company flew to D.C. to blow the whistle, using internal documents to show that the recall didn’t cover as many vehicles as it should have. The recall centered around engine problems caused by debris that was left over from the manufacturing process. The debris could cause engines to seize or stall.
Based on the whistleblower’s information, Hyundai expanded the recall – but did so a year after the initial recall. Kia, Hyundai’s sibling company, issued a recall too. The expanded Hyundai recall covered 572,000 units, including Sonatas and Santa Sports from the 2013 and 2014 model years. Kia’s recall covered 618,000 vehicles. Affected models included 2011-2014 Optimas, 2012-2014 Sorentos, and 2011-2013 Sportages.
We’ve mentioned the recall issue before – Korea’s transport ministry was even involved in the Korean market. Hyundai and Kia’s handling of the situation hasn’t looked good for two brands that were already struggling with a reputation for subpar reliability, at least in Korea.
It’s easy for us to say, but perhaps it’s more cost effective (and better for the reputation) for automakers to take care of recalls upfront instead of trying to save money by not fully addressing the problem.