Hyundai Motor Co. is very serious about quality, something that Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and Associates, as well as other third parties, have recognized.
One major example of how it handles doubts about quality is when it investigated complaints from Australia that the printing on interior door trim items like the lock controls and window was strangely smearing like wet paint in 2009. The best engineers of Hyundai were baffled by the reports at first.
There were only two cases in Australia, but the company’s Executive Vice President Shin Myeong-ki, chief of quality control, ordered a full investigation. The company was well on its way to be a global powerhouse due to huge strides in improving quality.
Shin could not afford any slip that would slow down that momentum. This is one example of how the quality-conscious company fights hard to bury its old reputation of offering poorly built vehicles.
Shin shared in an interview that when they received the complaints, they were worried that it would be a global problem. Investigation revealed that a certain perfume brand was reacting with the printing like a solvent. Shin related that they had to buy boxes of various brands to test which perfume was the culprit.
The company was able to identify it, but Shin declined to reveal what it is. Today, Hyundai had changed the formula of the printing on the interior door trim items, and continues to test vehicles for reactions to perfumes.
Taking a meticulous approach to such details is one way that the company has transformed its image from a slacker in reliability and quality to an industry leader in just a decade.