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Transport ministry files complaint against Hyundai Motor Co. over airbag defects

All News 22:54 October 09, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's transport ministry filed a complaint with the prosecution against the country's top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. last week for failing to take due steps regarding its vehicle's airbag defects, state prosecutors said Sunday.

Its Minister Kang Ho-in lodged the complaint against Lee Won-hee, the company's chief executive officer, on suspicions of violating the Automobile Management Act.

Hyundai Motor is suspected of having failed to take due, legitimate measures even though the company was aware of the possibility of airbag defects in 2,360 Santa Fe sports utility vehicles that were manufactured in June last year.

After learning about the potential defects, Hyundai Motor took steps to address the defects in most of the vehicles before selling them. But the company did not carry out timely procedures for the remaining 66 units, the minister claimed.

Hyundai Motor belatedly informed the ministry that it had addressed the defects in the 66 vehicles.

Under the law, once an automaker finds any defects or erroneous elements in a vehicle, it must take a set of steps such as informing car owners of its plan to address the defect and notifying the public via newspaper over the defect.

If a company covers up any defect in its product, makes false statements about it or fails to address it promptly, those responsible are to face a sentence of up to 10 years in jail or a fine of up to 100 million won (US$89,645).

Hyundai Motor said that due to administrative mistakes, the reporting of the defects has been missing and that all errors in the 66 vehicles have been rectified.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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