Singapore probes Hyundai cars for sudden acceleration

AP News
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Posted: May 17, 2016 5:23 AM
Singapore probes Hyundai cars for sudden acceleration

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore's Land Transport Authority said Tuesday it is investigating Hyundai vehicles following reports of accidents involving sudden acceleration while reversing.

In a statement, the authority said it was looking into cases of Hyundai vehicles having "unintended acceleration in reverse gear."

"It is premature to draw any conclusions at this point in time," it said.

The statement gave no further details, but the local newspaper Straits Times cited recent incidents involving taxis from operator ComfortDelGro, which leases Hyundai Sonata cars, among other models. It is Singapore's largest taxi operator with a fleet of 17,000 cabs.

Hyundai Motor said it is looking into the matter.

"We will fully cooperate with LTA or any other authority in Singapore," it said in a statement.

South Korean consumers have lodged complaints about accidents that they believed were caused by sudden unintended accelerations, not necessarily in reverse gear. But past government probes have found no evidence that this was linked to faulty vehicles.

At a public demonstration in 2013, the government tried to reproduce conditions that were believed to cause cars to suddenly accelerate without intention but those attempts failed. The ministry concluded that it was "reasonable" to conclude the phenomenon of "sudden unintended acceleration" does not exist.

Hairdresser Roger Choo, 45, said he experienced sudden acceleration while driving from the Thai cities of Krabi to Phuket in a rented Hyundai Sonata a few years ago.

"I heard a loud revving from the engine compartment and thought it was turbo kicking in," he said. "But the car kept speeding even after we released the acceleration pedal."

"Fortunately for us, the road was long and clear of traffic," said Choo, who managed to stop the car after putting it in neutral gear and switching off the ignition. "Once we calmed ourselves down, we started the engine and all was back to normal," he said.

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AP Business Writer Youkyung Lee in Seoul contributed to this report.