AUTOMOBILES

Hyundai and KIA vehicles in Kenya safe - dealer

In Summary

• The agency further said the new probe is not limited to engine components and may cover additional vehicle systems or components.

• Marshalls which was delisted from the Nairobi Securities Exchange in 2017 due to financial challenges is an authorised dealer of KIA motors.

 

Detectives sieve through evidence on a Landrover discovery seized by KRA for being misdeclared.
KRA intercept high end vehicles Detectives sieve through evidence on a Landrover discovery seized by KRA for being misdeclared.
Image: CHARLES MGHENYI

Motor vehicles dealer Marshalls East Africa has denied reports that KIA and Hyundai vehicles in Kenya have faulty engines.

Yesterday, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced investigations to nearly three million Hyundai and KIA vehicles globally over fires.

The agency further said the new probe “is not limited to engine components and may cover additional vehicle systems or components.”

The moves, which NHTSA says was triggered by thousands of complaints from users of the vehicles is likely to prompt mass recalls.

“We service Hyundai customers who come to the workshop, and we have not heard cases or even seen any vehicles with that kind of a problem,” Marshalls East Africa business development manager Joseph Kimeu said.

He said most vehicles which come to them for servicing are mainly for normal repairs and panel beating.

Marshalls which was delisted from the Nairobi Securities Exchange in 2017 due to financial challenges is an authorised dealer of KIA motors.

Hyundai Motors Kenya abruptly exited the Kenyan in 2017. The global firm turned to Twitter to apologise to its customers for any inconvenience caused.

At the time, most of the brand new cars by Hyundai had a warranty covering 100,000 Kilometres or five years, whichever came first.

According to car dealer Auto Arena Kenya which acted as Hyundai Kenya dealer in 2017, the car manufacturer exited the Kenyan market under unclear circumstances. This is according to the firm's director Aleem Moledina.

 The investigation by NHTSA covers the 2011-2014 KIA Optima and Sorento and the 2010-2015 KIA Soul, along with the 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe.

From the six million vehicles reported to have been affected by the engine fire risk since 2015, Hyundai and KIA together have recalled over 2.3 million vehicles.

As of 3;36 pm yesterday, Hyundai Motor shares had fallen 1.24 per cent while KIA motors fell 0.99 per cent as shown in the Korean Stock exchange.

In a statement, Hyundai said it was cooperating and added it has been in “frequent, open and transparent dialogue regarding non-collision engine fires.”

KIA said it will continue to work with NHTSA and “openly shares information and data with NHTSA on all matters pertaining to vehicle safety.”South Korean prosecutors are also conducting separate investigations into the automakers over the recalls, raiding their offices and summoning executives for questioning.