Hyundai, Kia Investigated By US Prosecutors Over Engine Defect Recalls

Hyundai and Kia are under federal investigation over the massive recalls they issued in 2015 and 2017, with the prosecutors trying to determine whether or not the two Korean brands dealt with the issue in the best possible way.

The investigation could lead to hefty fines against Hyundai and Kia, which recalled nearly 1.7 million vehicles in the United States over an engine failure that increased the risk of an accident. This was one the biggest recalls in the history of Hyundai and its sister company.

Reuters cites a person with direct knowledge of the matter, saying that the U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) has launched a criminal investigation, in collaboration with NHTSA.

The first recall took place in 2015, when Hyundai brought in 470,000 vehicles fitted with the Theta II engine to fix them, as debris from the manufacturing process could cause various engine issues. Soon afterwards, an inside source from South Korea went to Washington and claimed that the issue was affecting much more cars. Eventually Hyundai recalled more cars for the same issue and Kia launched its own recall.

The affected models were Hyundai’s Sonata and Santa Fe, and Kia’s Optima, Sorento and Sportage.

Apart from the SDNY investigation, Hyundai and Kia are also under investigation by NHTSA over whether their recalls covered enough vehicles and if these were conducted in a timely manner.

more photos...
  • no25

    On another note, that is still the best the Sonata has ever looked. Doesn’t even look that dated. The current one is so bland.

    • Mike anonymous

      I remember the first time I saw that generation (at the time 4-door coupes were not really a thing). The closest thing I could compare it to (in the design department) was the 1st generation Mercedes Benz CLS (which many people don’t know this, but at the time of it’s release actually sat above the S-Class).

      This is my favorite version of the Sonata. The latest generation (which is just a facelift to the one that originally debuted in 2014/2015) clearly is trying to recapitalize on the design of the best Sonata to date.

    • You’re right, it looks much better than the current model. They look more downscale now.

  • Craig

    Do these ‘investigators’ face any consequences if their accusations turn out to be unfounded?

  • Carlos Gamarra

    i remember someone said kia/hyundai was reliable a few posts back.

    oh the irony

  • Paul

    The Sonata pictured in red at the top was the best looking of all of them so far.

Lamborghini Huracan Performante Crashes While Leaving Car Meet

This Performante is so badly damaged, it will, in all likelihood, be deemed a write-off.

Model 3 Vs. E63 S AMG Vs. Grand Cherokee SRT8 In An Unlikely Three-Way Battle

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S has a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 and shows the Tesla Model 3 a few tricks.

Porsche Might Go All-Electric For 918 Successor – And Rimac Could Play A Role

Whatever the powertrain, Porsche’s CEO wants their next hypercar to be the best in the market.

Purple Ford GT On Huge Wheels Doesn’t Really Work, Wouldn’t You Say?

This hue isn’t offered by Ford, so it’s probably a wrap, but it’s the rims, which seem too big, that don’t quite fit.

Thou Shall Not Overpass: Transporter Misjudges Height, Car On Top Gets Smashed

Following the crash, debris scattered across all Northbound lanes of I-95, near Norwalk, Connecticut.

$465k GEV Patagonia Is The Best Way To Travel The World On Four Wheels

The GEV Patagonia can use many different chassis configurations and is a small home on off-road wheels.

Watch The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Put Its 630 HP To Good Use

The issue with the range-topping GT 4-Door Coupe is not power, but finding a straight long enough to unleash it.

The Nissan Stelvio Zagato Looks Like It Came From Mars And Landed On Earth

This rare Nissan Stelvio Zagato has an asking price of almost $50,000.

2020 Corvette C8 Spied As NY Auto Show Debut Appears Unlikely

The 2020 Corvette was a no show in Detroit and it doesn’t appear GM has any major introductions planned for New Year.

How Does The BMW M2 Competition Perform Against Its M4 Sibling?

The BMW M2 Competition uses a de-tuned engine from the regular BMW M4.