Seoul: South Korea's largest automaker Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors planned to recall more than 2 million vehicles in South Korea and the United States for stop-lamp defects, the company said Thursday.
Hyundai will recall around 110,000 vehicles sold in South Korea, including Avantes made between July 2009 and March 2010 as well as Santa Fes produced between June 2010 and June 2011.
The number of vehicles subject to the recall in Seoul by Kia was about 50,000, including Souls manufactured from June 2010 to June 2011 and Sorentos from October 2010 to April 2011.
Ahead of the recall, Hyundai and Kia said they will recall around 1.87 million vehicles sold in the United States.
Hyundai will recall about 1.1 million vehicles in the United States due to the electronic defects that can prevent brake lights from illuminating and the cruise control from turning off. Kia will recall more than 600,000 cars for the same fault.
The recall stemming from the stop-lamp defect included Genesis Coupes, Santa Fes, Sonatas and Tucsons made by Hyundai between 2007 and 2011, along with Optimas, Rondos, Souls and Sportages produced by Kia during the same period.
Separately, Hyundai will recall more than 180,000 units of the Elantra, the company''s best-selling model in the United States, due to airbag problems.
The largest recall in the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group's history came around five months after the world's No.5 automaker suffered the fuel efficiency scandal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) charged Hyundai and Kia with overstating fuel mileage of around 900,000 vehicles sold in the United States during the 2011-13 model years.
The latest recall also came as their auto sales showed signs of recovery. Car sales by Hyundai and Kia in the United States jumped 30.6 percent and 18.4 percent each in March from a month earlier.
"The recall is the largest in the company's history, and it came as Hyundai and Kia are seeking to enhance brand images hurt by the fuel efficiency scandal. But, the recall's negative impact will be limited as the recall is not directly linked to the safety issue," said Suh Sungmoon, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities in Seoul.
Shares in Hyundai and Kia tumbled 5.05 percent and 3.27 percent, respectively, on the main bourse. The benchmark KOSPI declined 1.2 percent.