After whistleblower report South Korea orders major Hyundai, Kia recall
The ministry has also asked prosecutors in Seoul to investigate whether the automakers allegedly covered up the five flaws, which affect 12 models, including the Elantra, Sonata, Santa Fe, and Genesis.
Hyundai and Kia, which had previously argued that the flaws presented no danger to driving safety, said in a joint statement on Friday they would cede to the order.
They added there had been no reports of injuries or accidents due to the problems which include defects in parking brake warning lights, and denied that there had been any cover-up.
In the first whistleblower case to hit South Korea's auto industry, Kim has made allegations about 32 problems to local regulators. The latest recalls covers five of those problems.
Kim also flew to the United States last year to report safety lapses to authorities there and the automakers have since issued a voluntary recall for a combined 1.5 million vehicles in North America and in South Korea over a defect that could cause engines to stall. ■