Whistleblower gets $24M in Hyundai-Kia engine recall case

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FILE- This combination of file photos shows the logo of Kia Motors, top and Hyundai logo, bottom. The U.S. government’s road safety agency has paid more than $24 million to a whistleblower who reported that Hyundai and Kia moved too slowly to recall over 1 million vehicles with engines that could freeze up or catch fire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the award is the first it has paid to a whistleblower. The penalties from both automakers totaled $81 million. The agency didn’t identify the whistleblower in a statement Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 announcing the payment. (AP Photo, File)

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government’s road safety agency has paid more than $24 million to a whistleblower who reported that Hyundai and Kia moved too slowly to recall over 1 million vehicles with engine problems.

We previously reported that Hyundai and Kia recalled over 591,000 vehicles in the U.S. for leaks that can cause fires.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the award is the first it has paid to a whistleblower.

It’s also the maximum percentage allowed by law of penalties paid by the automakers. In November of 2020, the agency announced that Hyundai and Kia would pay $137 million in fines and for safety improvements in an agreement to resolve the engine problems.

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