Legal grounds: Article 30 of the Vehicle Management Act and Articles 31 and 40 of the Enforcement Rule and regulations on vehicle self-certification
Subjects and Contents: Car manufacturers (including two-wheeled vehicles), assemblers and importers need to assure (self-certification) that their vehicles are compliant with the rules on safety standards by themselves.
- Subjects: Large car manufacturers and importers such as Hyundai Motor, BMW Korea
Note, however, that the manufacturers whose production size and safety and performance testing facilities do not meet the requirements designated by the Order of the Ministry of Construction and Transportation need to receive confirmation from a performance testing institute (KATRI) for self-certification.
- Subjects: Small manufacturers such as special-feature vehicle manufacturers, and small car importers
What is noncompliance?
Noncompliance means that a vehicle is not compliant with the safety standards or it has some defects that may lead to the interruption of its safety operation. Since noncompliance refers only to serious defects directly related to safety, the following defects whose influence on the safety is negligible are excluded from the subjects of recall.
- Passenger convenience devices such as air conditioner and radio
- Abrasion of shock absorber, battery and brake, which need periodic inspection, maintenance and replacement
- Simple rust on the car frame panel
- Poor paint quality or scars on car accessories
Item 1, Article 31 of the Vehicle Management Act states that, "If a vehicle has any defects, its manufacturer shall immediately disclose this fact and take corrective action as per the order of the Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs."
If any car manufacturer, assembler or importer fails to disclose or take corrective action on its noncompliant vehicles, the Minister of Construction and Transportation may give a recall order and may also request a performance testing institute to inspect (noncompliance check) whether such vehicles have some defects (Item 3, Article 3 of the Vehicle Management Act), and KATRI conducts practical inspection.
Voluntary Recall and Mandatory Recall
Recall is classified into Voluntary Recall and Mandatory Recall. In most cases, recall is done voluntarily rather than mandatorily by the government. "Influenced Recall," which is conducted by a manufacturer voluntarily in the middle of noncompliance inspection conducted by the government, is also included in "Voluntary Recall." In the case of the USA where the recall system is actively operated, about 75 percent of cases are conducted by manufacturers voluntarily, and the rest belong to "Influenced Recall." For this reason, the manufacturer’s voluntary recall is becoming more common.
Difference between Recall and PL (Product Liability)
The recall system is a system wherein the manufacturer, assembler or importer notifies customers that the defect of its products causes—or may cause—human or property damage and quickly recollects the applicable products, taking appropriate actions such as repair, exchange or refund to prevent accidents and recurrence.
The PL system is a compensation liability system for loss wherein a manufacturer (the person or entity engaging in manufacturing, processing and importing products) shall compensate a person damaged by the defects of its products.
In other words, recall and PL have some commonalities since both protect the customer's rights and interests from damage; with the compensation program for customer's loss and PL, manufacturers directly compensate customers for their loss only after some damage actually occurs. On the other hand, recall is a more active system for protecting customers with its preventive measures by inducing manufacturers voluntarily or mandatorily to take corrective measures against their defective products before any safety accident takes place.
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