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Hyundai Kia Learns Lesson from Toyota

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Seoul South Korea February 5, 2010; Choi Hesuk writing for the Korea Hearald reported that Hyundai Kia Automotive Group will conduct a massive product quality review in light of the developments at Toyota Motor Corp.

According the group, its two carmakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. plan to make a special review on the quality of components supplied by parts makers and strengthen quality control systems.

The measures follow on the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group chairman Chung Mongkoo’s comments that emphasized the importance of safety and quality, group officials said. Chung touched on the issue at a strategy conference on Monday.

Chung also issued orders to analyze the cause of Toyota’s troubles and to closely follow the developments to prevent such a situation being repeated at Hyundai and Kia.

The quality review process will begin with parts makers producing safetyrelated components and expand to include manufacturers of other parts, with the aim of completing the process for all of Hyundai and Kia’s 500 or so suppliers within the year.

For the special reviews, the carmakers will also draw up quality control standards for their overseas suppliers.

The new standards will be applied to quality reviews conducted by the parts makers, which will then be followed up with tests carried out by personnel dispatched from Hyundai and Kia.

In addition, the two carmakers are said to be planning to introduce a training program for avoiding safetyrelated problems for employees of their local and overseas operations from this week.

Aside from the new measures, the company said that it had been operating a threepart quality control system for core components including accelerator pedals and brake systems that are at the center of developments at Toyota.

The first stage will be carried out by the parts manufacturer and the second stage will be conducted by the carmakers’ research and development team and the purchasing department.

The components that have passed the first two tests are then analyzed by Hyundai Mobis Co. that assembles modules used in Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

In contrast to Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, other local carmakers say that they have no special measures triggered by Toyota’s situation.

“Since taking office, president Arcamone has focused on quality as can be seen in his visits to production sites,” a GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Co. official said.

“We have no special programs planned, but with the new president emphasizing quality, related processes will be strengthened.

An official at Renault Samsung Motors Co. also said that the company quality has always been the company’s highest priority and that the company will continue to do so.