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Hyundai opens world-class safety test centre in America

The Hyundai Motor Company has established a world-class, $51,4 million Safety Test and Investigation Laboratory (STIL) in Michigan in America to help enhance the safety of Hyundai vehicles and achieve the company’ goal of becoming a leader in automotive safety.

Hyundai opens world-class safety test centre in America

Hyundai Motor North America (HMNA) and Hyundai America Technical Centre Inc. (HATCI) last week celebrated the opening of the STIL, which will have 160 employees when, according to plans, it becomes operational by mid-October.

“It is a proud day for Hyundai Motor North America, with the opening of a world-class safety laboratory in the US,” said José Muñoz, president and CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America. “Hyundai recognized the importance of expanding its hands-on field safety evaluation and investigation processes to help ensure the safety of our customers. We strive to be a leader in automotive safety.” 

“Hyundai’s new Safety Test and Investigation Laboratory in Superior Township marks a significant investment in lowering traffic fatalities, increasing vehicle safety, and making communities around Michigan and the United States safer,” said State of Michigan Representative Jason Morgan at the opening ceremony. 

The new safety facility is a first of its kind by an OEM in North America that is dedicated to field safety. The facility includes a field crash investigation lab, high voltage battery lab, forensics lab, 400m-track and a vehicle dynamics area skid pad. The investment is focused on enhancing Hyundai’s safety commitment by helping with new technology development, identifying, and replicating vehicle field issues, expediting investigations, and conducting regulatory safety testing.

“The STIL differentiates itself from other automotive OEM laboratories through its dedicated purpose of investigating real-world crashes and field issues, typically done by outside vendors,” said Brian Latouf, global chief safety officer, Hyundai Motor Company. 

“Having such a capable and expansive safety and investigations laboratory in-house, will allow Hyundai to take a more proactive approach in determining safety issues and trends early-on. The Hyundai North American Safety Office is very excited to be an important contributor to our company’s future success through tackling quality, crashworthiness, and crash avoidance scenarios to protect customers and enhance our world-class safety organization.” 

David Harkey, president of America’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) said: “Like the impressive number of Hyundai Motor Group’s TOP SAFETY PICKs, the opening of this centre demonstrates the company’s deep commitment to creating a safe transportation system and the vision of a world where mobility does not come at the expense of people’s lives.” 

The STIL was developed in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) based on a 2020 Consent Order which required an investment in a safety facility of $25 million. Hyundai recognized the benefits in having a best-in-class crash facility dedicated to safety and investigations. Hyundai doubled its investment which exceeds more than $51 million.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa