South Korea recalls Hyundai cars, asks probe on cover-up

Hyundai (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has ordered Hyundai and Kia to recall 240,000 vehicles for five types of defects initially raised by a whistleblower.

The Transport Ministry said Friday it also asked prosecutors to investigate if South Korea’s largest auto group intentionally covered up the defects that could compromise safety.

Twelve models including Avante, i30, Genesis and Sonata sedans and Tucson, Santa Fe and Sportage sport utility vehicles are subject to the recall. It is the government’s first compulsory recall for any local carmaker.

Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. are part of the world’s fifth-largest automaker Hyundai Motor Group.

The move is a blow to Hyundai and Kia, which are reeling from a recall last month of 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S., Canada and South Korea.