Along with two other executives, Hyundai’s chief technology officer Kwon Moon Sik resigned yesterday following record recalls for the brand in the U.S.
Hyundai and Kia announced a recall affecting more than 1.7 million vehicles this year due to stop-lamp switches. While that was the largest, it is only one of several campaigns by the South Korean company this year. The defect could prevent cruise control from turning off, brake lights from illuminating and other issues.
For both brands, the ability to maintain a reputation for reliability is very important.
“Hyundai is probably trying to refresh the atmosphere before the launch of its new models to show it cares about its quality,” Lee Sang Hyun, an analyst at NH Investment and Securities Co. told Bloomberg. “Hyundai has seen how poor quality control has hurt business at Toyota and other automakers and will try to avoid being the center of such attention at all costs.”
The company set aside about $84 billion to deal with recalls in the U.S. related to electronic defects in the first quarter of the year.
Hyundai is preparing to launch he next generation of its high-end Genesis sedan and Kia will soon introduce its K900. The popular Elantra compact, which was named North American Car of the Year in January, 2012, is also due for a refresh soon.
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