Hyundai and Kia recall 218,000 New Cars as they discharge significantly more of the air pollutant nitrogen oxide than the legal limit

Hyundai and Kia are voluntarily recalling 218,000 Tucsons and Sportages after a study by the South Korean Ministry of Environment revealed that they discharge significantly more of the air pollutant nitrogen oxide than the legal limit. The ministry checked four new models launched by Hyundai, Kia, Renault Samsung and GM Daewoo to see whether they comply with emission standards, and found that that the Tucson 2.0 and Sportage 2.0 discharge 21 percent and 18 percent more NOx than the acceptable standard. Current regulations allow the Korean environment ministry to order the responsible carmakers to stop releasing or selling specific models, but the ministry decided to recommend they voluntarily recall already sold cars and improve those currently in production by the end of this month.

Eight out of nine Tucsons and all six Sportages inspected failed the test. Usually such high emission levels are discovered in cars that have been in use for some time, but this was the first time they were found in vehicles straight off the conveyor belt. Since September 2009, 120,000 Tucson 2.0 have been sold, and since April 2010, 98,000 Sportage 2.0. Hyundai and Kia are reportedly unhappy with the inspection, claiming that the ministry intentionally imposed harsher conditions when testing the cars like shaking the car body excessively. Last year, all Tucsons and Sportages passed similar inspections conducted under normal driving conditions.

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