Hyundai Production Stalled After Fatal Supplier Accident

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
hyundai production stalled after fatal supplier accident

While we fully expected to issue rolling updates on factory shutdowns as industry suppliers struggled to catch up to manufacturers in the aftermath of coronavirus lockdowns, the last few have been impossible-to-predict curveballs.

Honda found itself at the mercy of digital criminals who held its network for ransom, forcing numerous factory shutdowns around the globe as it tried to make sense of the attack. Meanwhile, Hyundai has had to belay assembly in South Korea after an employee at supplier Duckyang Industry Co. fell into the machinery.

The fatal incident stopped production at the supplier, leading to parts shortages at Hyundai that required work stoppages on numerous production lines — including those responsible for the Palisade and Kona.

Details are scant at the moment, though union officials claim authorities are investigating what’s assumed to be a horrible accident so the facility can get back to showering the automaker with much-needed components. According to Reuters, Duckyang is responsible for various interior parts; Hyundai’s nearby Ulsan facility was already operating without many in reserve.

Health concerns kept the supplier shut down for the pandemic, contributing heavily to the 4.1 billion won ($3.4 million) operating loss Duckyang reported in its Q1 regulatory filing from May.

It has since done everything in its power to catch up and turn that loss around. Hyundai says it doesn’t expect much downtime from the incident and believes Duckyang will be operational by early next week. It also announced a factory stall in Ulsan and warned that other production lines may be impacted if supply chains don’t resume soon — though there seems to be little danger of that.

[Image: Hyundai]

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  • Mikey Mikey on Jun 14, 2020

    At GM we were issued personalized locks ..Employee name, serial number, and photo, one key. Using a bolt cutter before tracking down the employee , was grounds for dismissal. Hourly and salary employees all were required to refresh their Lock out training annually.

    • Redapple Redapple on Jun 14, 2020

      Lock Out- Tag Out Violations are very serious. I ve never heard of one on my plant.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Jun 14, 2020

    Unfortunately I have been involved in the investigation of multiple workplace fatalities. Generally they result in charges being laid against the employer. Usually they result in the equipment involved and/or area being shut down for an extended period, but not the remainder of the facility, unless other serious infractions are discovered. In some facilities, the staff will not return to work until a religious ceremony has been conducted to 'cleanse' the area. In Canada as of 2017 the majority of workplace fatalities were among workers over the age of 50. Often experienced workers who had become somewhat 'lax' in their safety practices. For an effective lock-out/tag-out, you have to lock out the energy at the panel, and at the machine. Use locks for which only you have a key, and include a tag with your name, date and time. You also must ensure that any latent energy in the machine has been expended. We have witnessed machines such as punch presses complete a cycle after their electrical energy has been locked-out. A block of some kind should be used to prevent them from doing this. Anyone cutting off a lock should immediately be disciplined/discharged unless proper procedures have first been followed and a safety rep is present.

  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on Jun 15, 2020

    there were TONS of these on the road back then in southern california. for a time, their dealership occupied the largest, most opulent corner lot at the cerritos auto square, on studebaker/166th st. i think after their fall, lexus took the place for a while. building had been torn down/redone and is currently in VWs hands. all too rich for me. at the time i was riding an 87 honda elite 80 to my job at toys r us down the street, and to cerritos college. a little over a buck to fill the tank for a week wasnt bad for someone who rarely made over $100/week at the mcjob.

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Jun 15, 2020

    Arthur; You are absolutely correct about releasing all the potential energy on a machine. Electrical energy is the first, but not only step. It could be tensioned springs, hydraulic pressure on an accumulator,or simply the weight of a component which would settle once that disassembly begins. Also I agree that in this age, deadly accidents are the result of bypassed regulations. I once witnessed a severe mauling because the mechanic working on the machine didn't bring the lock's key with him. Although the lock was placed on the circuit breaker, it was left unlocked. Another worker came by, saw the open lock, removed it and energized the machine.