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Hyundai Motor recall excludes China

(People's Daily Online)

11:06, August 12, 2012

Hyundai Motor Company is recalling 220,000 Santa Fe SUVs and Sonata sedans in the United States due to airbag problems, according to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on July 28. The recalled vehicles include Santa Fe SUVs produced between April 19, 2006 and July 7, 2008 for the model year 2007 to 2009 as well as Sonata sedans produced between Jan. 24, 2012 and June 21, 2012 for the model years 2012 and 2013. The recall is applicable only in North America.

A senior executive at Hyundai Motor China said in an interview that the recall does not apply to the New Santa Fe model imported to China because it does not have the defective airbags. “The Sonata sedan sold in China is a completely localized model. Its side airbags and related components and those of the U.S. Sonata model involved in the recall are from different parts suppliers, and have undergone totally different design and production processes. Therefore, related products of Beijing Hyundai Motor do not have similar airbag problems,” said Beijing Hyundai Motor Company, a joint-venture between Beijing Automotive Group and Hyundai Motor.

The reporter found on Aug. 2 that the Sonata 8 vehicles at a Hyundai Motor 4S store in Beijing appeared to be not affected by the recall at all, and were still selling well.

On the same day, the reporter found that a famous domestic auto Web forum deleted a post about the Hyundai Motor recall’s excluding China as it was considered to contain sensitive information.

Car critic Zhang Zhiyong called for a rational attitude toward the exclusion of China from the recall, saying that efforts should be made to check whether there is really no need to recall the localized vehicles and whether similar faulty parts are used in domestic vehicles. Certain automobile manufacturers hold fluky mentality in China mainly because of Chinese consumers’ lack of awareness of protecting their own rights.
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