US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Friday. 27 November penalised Hyundai Motors Co and Kia Motor’s US units a record $210 million as the car manufactures failed to recall 1.6 million vehicles for engine issues in a timely fashion, reported Reuters.
Hyundai agreed to a total civil penalty of $140 million, including an upfront payment of $54 million, an obligation to spend $40 million on safety performance measures, and an additional $46 million deferred penalty if it does not meet requirements.
Kia's civil penalty totals $70 million, including an upfront payment of $27 million, requirements to spend $16 million on specified safety measures and a potential $27 million deferred penalty.
The US NHTSA said the two affiliated Korean automakers agreed to consent orders after it said they had inaccurately reported some information to the agency regarding the recalls.
"It’s critical that manufacturers appropriately recognise the urgency of their safety recall responsibilities and provide timely and candid information to the agency about all safety issues," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens.
Kia said in statement it "denied the allegations but agreed to settle the matter to avoid a protracted dispute with the government". It added it has agreed "to restructure and transfer the departments responsible for recall determinations to the United States".
In August 2014, Hyundai agreed to pay a $17.35 million fine to settle an NHTSA investigation that it delayed the recall of 43,500 Genesis cars to fix a brake defect linked to two injuries.
Kia agreed to create a new US safety office headed by a chief safety officer and each automaker will retain an independent, third-party auditor who will directly report to NHTSA and will conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s safety practices.
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