Hyundai Motor Recalls Cars

Korea Today reported that Hyundai Motor is suffering from a series of recalls of its products both here and overseas.

The Ministry of Construction and Transportation announced yesterday that it has found defections in LPG-fueled New Grandeur XG and New EF Sonata in upwards of 1,832 units and has ordered the repair of all of them.

According to the ministry, the New Grandeur XG under prolonged operation suffers from a faulty valve lever in the liquefied petroleum gas modified carburetor, leading to a dangerous leak.

The New EF Sonata's side-impact air bag is actuated when the front doors are shut too firmly.

The 1,340 units of the LPG-fueled New Grandeur XG produced between March 9 and May 2 are subject to the recall, as are New EF Sonata¡¯s manufactured between September 19 2000 and February 7 this year.

Customers can have the defective components replaced for one year from July at the automaker's after sales service centers or designated repair centers for free.

The U.S. vehicle safety authorities on the same day ordered the automaker to recall the same models for other production flaws.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) announced the recall yesterday of 145,355 Hyundai XG300 and Sonata passenger cars for faulty side-impact air bags, according to the New York Times.

On some vehicles, the air bag warning light turns on because of motion of the wiring harness and harness connector, which could lead to the side air bag not deploying during a crash. The vehicles subject to the recall were built between March 1998 and July 2001.

The automakers have so far recalled 260,000 units since the beginning of the year and the number of the faulty products has risen, as Hyundai recalled some 470,000 cars through out last year.

The growing number of recalls has alerted the country's largest carmaker. Even though they consider the recall as part of their service to customers, the excessive number of the cases is casting doubts on the ability of the company to produce credible products.

The recurrent defections are also feared to erode the automaker's profits, especially in the U.S. market, as the company offers a 10-year and 100,000-mile warranty for its vehicles.

Even though Hyundai Motor has enjoyed rising sales in the U.S. market, shipping out 244,391 units in 2000 and 347,287 cars last year across the Pacific, industry watchers presume the boom is largely attributable to the generous warranty.

``With the warranty package, the firm has somehow succeeded in persuading uncertain U.S. customers to buy the vehicles for short term.

But it remains to be seen whether the bet will pay off in the longer term, as the strategy could boomerang for the following next 10 years, said an industry watcher.

The recurrence of the mass recall has only reinforced these concerns, he added.

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