Feds open probe into recall of Hyundai, Kia cars

Feds open probe into recall of Hyundai, Kia cars
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U.S. transportation safety regulators have launched a probe into a recall of nearly 1.7 million automobiles by Hyundai and Kia over engine problems.

According to Reuters, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will investigate the timeline of the three recalls to determine if they covered enough automobiles.

Both automakers could potentially face fines if the probe conducted by NHTSA reveals that the recalls were not conducted according to federal standards.

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A Hyundai spokesman told Reuters that the automaker will "sincerely" cooperate with NHTSA, maintaining that the recall was conducted in full compliance with U.S. regulations.

The probe was officially launched after a whistleblower who worked as an engineer at Hyundai told U.S. authorities in 2016 that both companies should have recalled more vehicles to fix the problem with the engine.

A year earlier, Hyundai only recalled 470,000 U.S. Sonata sedans, in fear that the issues  with the "Theta II" engines would increase the risk of a crash. At that time, however, Kia did not recall its vehicles despite the fact that they used the same engine, according to the report.

Both automakers later expanded their recalls, with Kia recalling 618,160 and Hyundai an additional 572,000 vehicles.