A jury in the U.S. state of Montana has ordered Hyundai Motor to pay a staggering two-hundred-48 million dollars in punitive damages over a manufacturing defect in a Hyundai vehicle that caused a deadly car accident three years ago.
The jury also ordered that, of the total, Hyundai pay eight.six million dollars in damages to the families of the two teenagers that died in the July 2011 crash.
The verdict says a defective steering knuckle in the Hyundai Tiburon caused it to suddenly veer into an oncoming lane, where it crashed head on with another automobile.
The maximum cap for steering knuckle defects stands at 10-million dollars, but a judge in the state ruled the amount is not high enough to deter future wrongdoings by super-wealthy, multi-national firms.
In 2005, Hyundai Motors recalled 111 Tiburons manufactured over a one-month period that year due to steering issues, but it's unclear if the Hyundai model involved in the 2011 crash had been made during that time.
Hyundai Motor has called the damage award outrageous and says it will appeal.
It argues that a firecracker set off inside the vehicle might have caused the crash.
Eyewitnesses say they saw a firework explode in the car prior to the accident, but police say they found no evidence to suggest the explosion.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.