A total of 1,308,758 vehicles have been ordered to be recalled this year through Wednesday in 172 cases, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation.
In the next one to two weeks, the number of cars subject to recalls is expected to exceed the country's record high of 1,369,925 vehicles in 2004, Ko Seong-woo in charge of recall matters at the ministry said over the phone.
"This year compulsory vehicle recalls by Hyundai Motor Co. and (its sister company) Kia Motors Corp. have sharply driven up the figure," the official said.
Hyundai and Kia, which together form the world's No. 5 carmaker by sales, were ordered to recall a combined 979,687 cars this year, accounting for 75 percent of the total figure, he said.
In May, a Hyundai Motor official blew the whistle on part defects, which affected 12 different car models, including the i30 hatchback, Sonata midsize sedan and luxury Genesis. It resulted in the country's first compulsory vehicle recall order.
In the same month, the company reinstated the 55-year-old whistleblower in his old job after dropping its lawsuit against him. But he quit the company a month later. (Yonhap)