Entries in Hyundai (6)


'Sudden Acceleration' Hyundai Crash Caught on Camera?

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Korean officials are now investigating whether dashboard camera video that shows an elderly Korean couple speeding through crowded city streets and then plowing into another vehicle at 80 mph is evidence of sudden, uncontrolled acceleration by the vehicle.

Footage of the May 6 crash, in which 17 people were injured, was posted on an Internet forum by the couple's son, who told Korean media he didn't think that the police or the auto manufacturer would believe that the crash was caused by sudden, unexplained acceleration.

The son, who would only give his family name, Kwon, to Korean media, said his father, the driver, suffered fractured ribs and fingers, and his mother needed an operation to stop internal bleeding.

The incident, which occurred in heavy traffic in Daegu, one of South Korea's largest cities, was captured by a camera mounted on the Sonata's dashboard and facing forward. In the 29-second clip, the car accelerates quickly from a complete standstill. The driver weaves in and out of traffic, trying to avoid impact as his wife blurts, "Oh my God, what is going on?" The driver then slams into the back of a stopped car at 129 kilometers per hour.

On Monday, the Korean government said it planned to investigate the incident, and that it is also investigating several other incidents of alleged sudden acceleration.

In a statement to ABC News, Hyundai Motors said, "The Vehicle is being inspected by the Korean National Forensic Service. There is no time estimate for the conclusion of the investigation."

On May 5, Hyundai announced that all its cars are now manufactured with brake override systems, which are designed to stop sudden acceleration incidents. According to Korean media reports the vehicle from the Daegu crash was a 2009 Sonata.

ABC News has reported extensively on alleged sudden acceleration incidents in Toyotas. Toyota recalled millions of vehicles to address sticking accelerator pedals or misplaced floor mats. In all other cases, Toyota attributed complaints of sudden acceleration to "driver error," saying its research has shown the driver mistakenly pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hyundai Uses Baboons for Car Durability Test

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/GettyImages(LONDON) -- Dozens of baboons were caught on camera jumping on, scratching at and generally trying to destroy a Hyundai New Generation i30 hatchback vehicle parked in a safari park in Britain this week. Still, this was no monkey business. The episode was staged by the carmaker in an attempt to prove the new model vehicle’s durability.

Hyundai sent the car into the Knowsley Safari Park, near Liverpool, England, and let a few dozen of the park’s notoriously messy baboons loose.

In a video posted to YouTube this week, the baboons are seen treating the car as their own playground, which is exactly what the South Korea-based carmaker wanted.

Hyundai is billing the New Generation i30, the European equivalent of the Elantra GT in the U.S., as a car specifically designed for families.  So the company says the baboons were used to demonstrate that the car could survive damage inflicted by children, or, as the company calls them, the “little monkeys in the back.”

The Knowsley Safari Park baboons were chosen for their well-known love of tearing park visitors’ cars apart, the company says in a description of the test posted alongside the YouTube video.

Billing the test as the “first endurance test of its kind in the U.K. by a car manufacturer,” both Hyundai and the park say it was a success.

“I’ve seen thousands of cars pass through this enclosure, get mobbed by monkeys, and none have lasted the distance as well as this Hyundai,” reads a review by David Ross, the park’s general manager.  “These baboons are incredibly inquisitive. If you put them on any car they will scour it for the weak points and find any faults. At one point there were 40 monkeys in the car…that’s 10 times the size of the average human family!”

“You have to be pretty brave to subject a car to the most rigorous quality testers in the world, and the monkeys certainly gave our New Generation i30 a thorough examination,” Hyundai said in a statement.  “The fact that it survived with only a few scrapes is testament to the way a modern Hyundai is designed and engineered.”

To compensate the baboons for their time, Hyundai says it donated $1,600 to the Primate Society of Great Britain, one of the safari park’s supported charities that helps monkeys and apes in captive care.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GM, Ford and Chrysler Topped Japan's Big Two Automakers in May

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- May was a momentous month for Detroit's Big Three automakers.

For the first time since 2006, monthly sales of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler vehicles in the U.S. surpassed those of Japanese carmakers Toyota and Honda.

Of course, Toyota and Honda had a unique reason for sluggish sales.  Their production was severely disrupted due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan.

Overall, Toyota sold 33 percent fewer cars in May than a year ago, while Honda's sales were also down 23 percent from May 2010.

May didn't turn out to be all that great for either GM and Ford, which saw sales dip slightly, while Chrysler enjoyed a 10 percent sales improvement from a year ago.

The big winner was South Korean car company Hyundai Kia, with 53 percent more vehicles sold in May, outselling Honda in the U.S. for the first time in its history.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Six More Small Cars Receive Top Safety Award

Fstop/Photodisc/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- The number of small cars that have been named Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grew to 22 Thursday, when the organization announced the latest vehicles to earn the prize.

After evaluating 13 small cars, the IIHS awarded the top crash-test rating to six models: the 2012 Ford Focus and Honda Civic, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra, Lexus CT 200h, Nissan Juke, and Toyota Prius.

Dodge Caliber, Honda CR-Z and Insight, Nissan's Sentra and Versa, Scion xD, and Suzuki SX4 were also tested but they were not named Top Safety Picks.

To earn the top honor, cars must receive a rating of "good" in front, side, rollover, and rear impact crash tests, and have available electronic stability control.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hyundai Ends Its Vehicle Buy Back Program

SEBASTIAN DERUNGS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In response to a recovering U.S. economy and a drop in unemployment rates, Hyundai has decided to remove a program it created to help car buyers during times of employment instability.

The South Korean automaker started the Hyundai Assurance Program in January of 2009.  Under the program, customers who bought a new vehicle from the company could return it and get their full money back if they lose their job.

But on Friday, Hyundai will end the program, citing a lack of interest in the offer and an improving economy.

"We felt that the program for job loss had run its course and its national progression," said Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor.

Trainor added that few people were asking about the program, which "might be a sign that the economy is getting better."

In total, Hyundai ended up buying back about 350 cars over the life of the program.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Honda Named The "Greenest" of Them All

Photo Courtesy - PR News Foto/Honda(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- The Union of Concerned Scientists has released its fifth list of the "greenest" automobile fleet, a measure of cars' emissions and gas mileage.

The group measures the emissions and the fuel efficiency of eight automakers' entire fleets to determine its rankings. Detroit's big three again rank at the bottom. "In a genuine three-way photo finish, Honda wins the title of greenest automaker, marking five-for-five for Honda in our automaker rankings," says Jim Kliesch, senior engineer with the organization who wrote the report.

Honda finished just one point ahead of Toyota and Hyundai, which tied for second place. Chrysler gets the dubious honor of being at the bottom of the list. According to Kliesch "Chrysler is the worst automaker in this year's analysis, a distinction that it's held in four of our five assessments".

Courtesy 2010 ABC News Radio

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