Hyundai, Kia Recall Over 1.8 Million US Vehicles

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Ahn Young-Joon

Shares of Hyundai Motors and its Kia Motors affiliate slumped on Thursday, after both companies said they are recalling more than 1.8 million cars and SUVs in the United States to address a potentially faulty switch and a loose headliner, according to U.S. safety regulators.

Hyundai and Kia tumbled 5 percent and 4 percent respectively in early trade in Seoul.

Hyundai is recalling 1,059,824 cars and SUVs and Kia 623,658 vehicles from model years 2007 through 2011 to replace a switch that could increase the risk of a crash, according to documents filed with U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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A Kia spokesman in the United States said the company was not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue, and did not have any information on whether the recall was being done in other countries. Reuters could not immediately reach officials at Hyundai.

In addition, Hyundai is recalling another 186,254 Elantra cars from model years 2011 through 2013 to apply adhesive strips to the headliner to prevent that part from becoming displaced during a side curtain airbag deployment and increasing the risk of cuts during a crash, the NHTSA said.

The malfunctioning stop lamp switch in the larger recall affecting Hyundai and Kia may cause the brake lights not to illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed, or cause an inability to deactivate the cruise control by pressing the brake pedal, the NHTSA said.

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Kia automobiles
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

That malfunctioning switch may also cause intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, prevent the shifter from being moved out of the park position or allow the driver to move the shifter out of park without applying the brake, or cause the electronic stability control malfunction light to illuminate, according to NHTSA documents.

Failure to illuminate the brake lights or disengage cruise control could increase the risk of a crash, while disabling the brake-transmission interlock could result in a vehicle rollaway, the NHTSA said.

Both South Korean automakers are notifying owners, and dealers will replace the switch at no cost.

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The affected Hyundai models include 2007-2009 Accent cars and Tucson SUVs, 2007-2010 Elantras, 2007-2011 Santa Fe SUVs, 2008-2009 Veracruz SUVs, 2010-2011

Genesis coupes and 2011 Sonata cars, according to the NHTSA.

The affected Kia models include 2011 Optima cars, 2007-2010 Rondo crossovers, 2007 Sedona minivans, 2007-2011 Sorento crossovers, 2010-2011 Soul cars and 2007-2010 Sportage SUVs.