Hyundai Motor Group’s president for research and development Kwon Moon-sik, as well as two other executives, has resigned over a series of quality issues that has undermined the carmaker’s reputation. The quality issues have forced the carmaker to recall a number of vehicles in South Korea, United States and other countries.
The South Korean carmaker also faced several consumer complaints over quality issues at its home turf. Hyundai group chairman Chung Mong-koo has been a hardliner for vehicle quality and has been known for abruptly dismissing executives, some of whom had been rehired. Kwon was tapped as r&d president shortly before Hyundai and Kia Motors admitted overstating the fuel economy of more than 1 million vehicles in North America.
His stay at Hyundai only lasted for just more than one year. In October, Kwon chaired a domestic media event for the new Genesis premium sedan. Two executives in charge of engineering and electronics technology also resigned from Hyundai, to "take responsibility for a series of quality issues," the carmaker said in a statement. The carmaker has since replaced the three executives who resigned.
The carmaker said the personnel change shows their “firm commitment to quality management and reaffirms [their] will to continuously improve r&d competitiveness.” Last week, Hyundai disclosed it would expand a recall of Genesis sedans in the US to address a potential brake issue. This brings the total recalled vehicles to nearly 150,000 units in the US and South Korea.