Hyundai and Kia must pay $210 million in penalties in a settlement reached with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration related to recalls of vehicles equipped with Theta II engines. The NHTSA found that the automakers, owned by parent company Hyundai, failed to conduct timely recalls of over 1.6 million vehicles equipped with these engines. The agency says they also didn�t accurately report certain information.
Hyundai�s recalls involved 2015 and 2017 recalls of 2011-2014 Sonata and 2013-2014 Santa Fe Sport vehicles. Hyundai says these recalls addressed manufacturing issues that could lead to bearing wear and engine failure. The NHTSA says Hyundai is subject to a total civil penalty of $140 million which includes a cash penalty of $54 million. The automaker must also make investments of $40 million to improve its safety operations and be subject to a possible deferred payment of $46 million dependent upon Hyundai�s compliance with a NHTSA Consent Order. The investments in its safety operations include building a safety field test and inspection laboratory in the U.S. and implementing new IT systems to better analyze safety data and identify potential safety issues.
In a statement, Hyundai said:
�Customer safety is our highest priority and we are taking immediate action to enhance our response to potential safety concerns,� said Brian Latouf, chief safety officer, Hyundai Motor North America. �We value a collaborative and cooperative relationship with the U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA, and will continue to work closely with the agency to proactively identify and address potential safety issues. We are committed to a best in class U.S. safety office.�
Under the Kia consent order, the company is subject to a total civil penalty of $70 million. This includes an upfront payment of $27 million, an obligation to expend an additional $16 million on specified safety performance measures, and an additional $27 million deferred penalty that may become payable if specified conditions are not satisfied. The Kia consent order is for two years, with an option for NHTSA to extend the order for an additional year if warranted.
Read the entire NHTSA Press Release below:
December 02, 2020