Hyundai Pays Cash Penalty Regarding Past Recalls

Hyundai Motor America has resolved an inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding the timeliness and scope of its 2015 and 2017 recalls involving 2011-2014 Sonata and 2013-2014 Santa Fe Sport vehicles. These recalls addressed manufacturing issues that could lead to bearing wear and engine failure of vehicles equipped with the Theta II engines.

As part of the agreement, Hyundai will pay a cash penalty of $54 million, make investments of $40 million to improve its safety operations and be subject to a possible deferred payment of $46 million dependent upon the company’s compliance with an NHTSA consent order, which is for three years with an option to extend the order for an additional year if warranted.

The investments in Hyundai’s 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.

“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 of 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 be a best-in-class U.S. safety office.”

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Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama is Hyundai’s first assembly and manufacturing plant in the U.S. It assembles the Sonata and Elantra sedans and Santa Fe SUV. In addition, starting in 2022, HMMA will be adding the Tucson and Santa Cruz SUVs to the Montgomery plant’s production. The plant also produces the engines that power these vehicles, as well as vehicles at its sister Kia plant in Georgia.

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