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Hyundai To Replace Cigarette Lighter Sockets With USB Ports

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EDITORS NOTE; New Hyundai models sold in North America do not have a cigarette lighter and haven't for years.

Seoul Korea October 2, 2013; Lee Ji-yoon writing for The Korea Herald reported that Hyundai Motor has recently made an unprecedented decision within the global automotive industry - removing the cigarette lighter jack from all its vehicles.

The Korean carmaker said Tuesday that it will replace cigarette jacks with powered USB ports in all Hyundai-brand passenger cars and SUVs sold in Korea from October.

The decision is expected to affect vehicles sold only in Korea, said a Hyundai official, hinting that its adoption could be extended to overseas markets in phases. Hyundai affiliate Kia Motors has yet to make any decision, he added.

Coupled with the recent antismoking sentiment here, many drivers these days do not use the cigar jack for smoking instead they charge their cellphones or tablet PCs using a portable adapter.

In a survey Hyundai recently conducted on its 600 customers, 84 per cent of respondents said they are not using the cigar lighter. When offered two options - USB port and cigar jack - 92 per cent picked the USB port.

The company said it would take one hour for a smartphone to be fully charged using the newly-attached USB charger, almost seven times faster than when using a separate portable charger.

Hyundai said there would be no changes in car price following the decision, adding that after-sales services are offered to the device as well and the in-car ashtray will remain the same.