The Hyundai Avante and Ioniq compacts and the Kia Niro crossover have been recently ordered to recall from the Korean government due to defects of electric power steering motor connector manufactured and supplied by LG Innotek, a components subsidiary of LG Group.
The problem is Chinese industrial trainees, who worked at LG Innotek, damaged the electric motor parts on purpose due to low wages. It shows that conglomerates have problems with managing employees.
Defects of electric power steering motor connector can cause their steering wheels to feel heavier while driving that can lead to fatal accidents. Therefore, there are concerns that poor management of automaker subcontractors is threatening the safety of consumers.
According to South Korean automobile industry sources and news reports, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport issued the mandatory recall order for 430 Hyundai’s Avante and Ioniq and Kia’s Niro vehicles equipped with the defective motors.
LG Innotek produced the motors and supplied them to Hyundai Mobis in December last year. Chinese industrial trainees and South Korean employees manufactured them at the same production line. Hyundai Mobis used the defective motors in electric power steering systems and then in the Hyundai Avante later.
LG Innotek currently runs automotive electronic device and light-emitting diode (LED) production lines in Yantai and Haizhou, China. Forty Chinese industrial trainees, who belong to the subsidiary in Yantai, stayed at South Korea for six months to receive manufacturing assembly training at the LG Innotek’s plant in Osan, Gyeonggi Province. Four of them were discontented with their salary and drank together on December 22 last year and then came back to the plant to damage motor connector pins on purose.
There are about 2,600 Hyundai and Kia Motors cars that used the defective motors, and 1,600 out of them were delivered to consumers at home and abroad. Currently, 1,200 cars, which were delivered to foreign customers except for 430 cars at home, have been also recalled.