West Virginia drivers should know that the popular automaker Hyundai is facing a large fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after one particular vehicle model was reportedly discovered to have an auto defect. The fine came after the automaker reported the auto defect; however, the automaker did not report the issue promptly. This defect causes brakes to be less effective and could cause an accident.

Hyundai supposedly knew about these issues with the braking system as early as 2012. The brake fluid used from 2009 till 2012 did not prevent corrosion, putting owners of the Genesis in danger of a crash. According to the report, the automaker did not issue a recall, but instead simply instructed dealerships to change the bad brake fluid. NHTSA says that Hyundai refused to explain the consequences if a dealership or person failed to change the brake fluid.

Eventually, the automaker issued a recall just before an investigation was set to begin against the company over the brake fluid problems. NHTSA says that Hyundai demonstrated a lack of concern for their customers by failing to issue a recall in the proper amount of time. The automaker says that approximately 70 percent of the Genesis model cars that were affected have been repaired since the recall.

If a West Virginia resident has experienced a car accident or other issues because of the auto defect in a Hyundai, he or she may have legal options for a civil claim. Automakers have the burden of responsibility to keep consumers informed of safety risks and to provide safe vehicles to the public. By refusing to issue a timely recall, the automaker could be liable for damages or accidents that may have occurred.

Source: ETAuto.com, “Govt fines Hyundai $17.35 mn over brake defect“, , Aug. 8, 2014