Hankook Tire’s professional reputation reached new lows in 2016. Having successfully sued Hankook for its defective and dangerous tire products, we’re not surprised that even a longtime partner like Hyundai Motors and its Kia subsidiary have had enough.
Last month, Hyundai Motor severed its relationship after a series of embarrassing recalls involving the Hyundai Genesis premium sedan. In 2014, the two closely aligned South Korean manufacturers were embroiled in a controversy after motorists driving the 2013 Genesis sedans complained about the unusually high level of noise and vibration. Hyundai then tested the vehicle, concluding it was the tires supplied by Hankook that caused the noise. Hyundai owners who ignored the first Hankook recall were later subjected to another recall because of tire sidewall defects.
“It is true that after we had to spend tens of billions of won to replace defective tires supplied by Hankook Tire, we decided to make more effort to diversify our suppliers,” a Hyundai Motor official told the Korea Times. “We have to say that our dispute with Hankook over the cause of noise in the 2013 Genesis hurt the partnership.”
We’ve learned an enormous amount about South Korea-based tire manufacturer Hankook Tire, having gone to trial against them numerous times on behalf of individuals who were injured in crashes caused by their defective tire treads and manufacturing processes. We’ve sued every major tire manufacturer in the market today, but Hankook really stands out in the degree of obstruction thrown up to keep us from obtaining the necessary records and other information in our litigation.
Case in point: on two occasions we obtained severe monetary and discovery sanctions for litigation discovery misconduct. In one of those cases, a Texas judge ordered Hankook to pay for plaintiffs’ counsel to travel to Hankook headquarters in Daejon, Korea, to inspect a plant where defective tires had been manufactured and to secure depositions of corporate representatives.
Motorists still using Hankook tires should waste no time in checking to make sure tires are not subject to recall.