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Hyundai, Kia Facing up to $210 Million in Fines Over Flubbed Recalls

Hyundai's North American division announced that it has reached an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) following an investigation into the manner in which it conducted a recall. The agreement stipulates that the company may be required to pay up to $210 million in fines.

The problem involved 2.4L and 2.4L Theta II four-cylinder engines found in 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata cars and 2013-2014 Santa Fe Sport SUVs, in which metal debris created during machining operations caused premature wear of bearings, which in turn could cause engine failure.

NHTSA's investigation found that the manufacturer failed to recall 1.6 million affected vehicles within a reasonable time frame and that Hyundai did not provide accurate recall information.

The penalties include a $54 million USD fine to be paid first, an agreement to spend $40 million to improve safety operations, and a potential additional $46 million fine that could be imposed at a later date depending on how Hyundai meets NHTSA's requirements under the new consent order.

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