UPDATE 1-S.Korea Kia co-CEO Chung quits following recall

Tue Sep 7, 2010 6:36am EDT

* Chung, also vice-chairman, quit after nearly 86,000 recalls

* Kia names overseas marketing head Lee new vice-chairman (Adds new vice-chairman, details of recall)

SEOUL, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Kia Motors (000270.KS), South Korea's second-largest car maker, said on Tuesday its co-chief executive has resigned to take responsibility for nearly 86,000 recalls of some of its models, including the Soul compact sedan.

Chung Sung-eun , also a vice-chairman, quit Friday, Kia spokesman Michael Choo said, adding that Kia co-CEO and president Seo Yeoung-jong and co-president Lee Hyeong-keun would assume Chung's duties.

Lee, who oversees Kia's business abroad, was promoted on Tuesday to vice-chairman.

Kia, part of the Hyundai Motor Group, said in a statement on Friday it was starting a recall of nearly 86,000 vehicles worldwide, to repair wiring associated with the interior illumination in four models to prevent heat-related damage.

The recall affects approximately 36,000 Souls, 33,000 Sorentos, 8,000 Mohaves and 8,900 Cadenzas worldwide excluding China.

The resignation of Chung underscores the auto industry's rising concerns about product quality following Toyota's (7203.T) massive recalls.

Toyota was forced to recall more than 10 million vehicles for problems with unintended acceleration and braking issues, which cost the company billions of dollars and tarnished its image.

Shares in Kia closed down 0.2 percent on Tuesday, versus a 0.3 percent drop in the wider market .KS11. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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