Hyundai and Kia have recalled more than 1 Million vehicles due to engine defects that could potentially induce vehicle fires. Reportedly, both Korean auto manufacturers are going through federal investigation to find whether they could have or not done a better job.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District, New York has started probing into how Hyundai and Kia deal with its engine-defect problem, Reuters reported. The U.S. DOJ (Department of Justice) is working along with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) on the investigation. The DOJ spokesperson stated to Reuters that while charges are definitely possible, they are not a given, but both the auto manufacturers could be made to compensate some “hefty fines” if things go in that direction. In the past, Toyota has agreed to a $1.2 Billion settlement with the U.S. administration for its “unintended acceleration” fiasco and Volkswagen got slapped with a $4.3 Billion fine for its part in dieselgate. This whole thing was started in 2015 when Hyundai recalled 470,000 vehicles operational with the “Theta II” engine since manufacturing remains could create engine problems. Following that recall, an informant from South Korea went to Washington for claiming that Hyundai and Kia could have recalled additional cars, which initiated the probe.
Recently, Hyundai was also in news for considering a significant upgradation of one of its plant. The head of Hyundai said in an interview that Montgomery’s plant is being intended for a major expansion. The company wants to increase its non-sedan offerings in the SUV-ambitious North American market, but the present manufacturing line in Montgomery can only manage three models. Currently, two of them are sedans such as Sonata and Elantra. Won-Hee Lee—CEO of Hyundai Motor Company—told to Automotive News, “Currently there is a capacity of producing 390,000 totally, but if we want to manufacture four or five models we require additional investment to upgrade our production line. If we put in pickup production in the U.S. plant, we need to spend a significant amount of money.”