The number of complaints about defects in imported cars halved since last year but rose 4.6 percent for Korean brands. Sales of imported cars rose 19 percent from last year but a mere 2 percent for domestic cars.
According to the Korea Consumer Agency on Thursday, a total of 2,940 car defects were reported in the first 10 months of this year, up 1.8 percent from a year ago. Sixty-eight complaints were filed about imported cars, down 51 percent from last year's 140, but complaints about domestic cars went up by 125 cases from last year's 2,747.
Complaints about Ssangyong cars increased by 27.2 percent, about GM Korea vehicles by 21.3 percent, and about Kias by 11.7. Hyundai, dominating the domestic market with a 37.6 percent share, was the subject of 43.1 percent of all complaints.
Among individual models, GM's Lacetti Premier was subject to the most complaints, especially about bumpy gear changes and leaky windows. Hyundai's new Grandeur HG was the runner-up with complaints about the exhaust coming into the car.
The Hyundai Sonata YF came in third with reports about suspension noise. Kim Jong-hoon of the consumer watchdog said, "Although domestic automakers advertise various cutting-edge technologies, there are still some very basic problems such as rocky rides and water leakage."