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National Manager, Safety Evaluation & Assessment in Irvine, CA at Kia Motors America

Date Posted: 5/14/2018

Job Snapshot

  • Employee Type:
  • Location:
    Irvine, CA
  • Job Type:
  • Experience:
    Not Specified
  • Date Posted:

Job Description

National Manager, Safety Evaluation & Assessment

The purpose of this position is to assist KMA in responding to the increasing NHTSA critical analysis of manufacturer field defect information, as reflected in NHTSA’s recent decision to pursue potential penalty proceedings against KMA and other manufacturers.  This National Manager will be acting to directly extend the capabilities and responsibilities carried out by the KMA Executive Director for Product Litigation and Regulatory Compliance, whose ongoing responsibilities now increasingly are dedicated to daily contact and negotiations with NHTSA as the Agency ramps up its investigations of all manufacturers, including Kia, in both numbers and substance. 
A National Manager is needed to focus full time on using Early Warning techniques and sophisticated Field Data Analysis to identify at an early stage in a vehicle model’s history the defect issues which are likely to develop into serious safety issues requiring NHTSA mandated recalls.  An important part of their assignments will be to conduct analyses in a clear, concrete and detailed manner which permits both KMA and KMC to recognize the need for prompt action that can cut off higher risk later.  By reducing the company’s risk, KMA will incur lower costs for safety recalls, service campaigns and critical repairs, and allow KMC act more quickly to upgrade product quality, thus reducing later repair and warranty costs.  Such reduced risk will also reduce the number of large populations of vehicles subject to recall and thus reduce recall costs.  (i.e., the benefit of identifying and recalling 10,000 vs. 100,000 or more vehicles later).  The other ultimate benefit will be to reduce the risk of NHTSA action to seek penalties for Kia’s failure to initiate recalls within the “5-day” rule under Section 573, which now carries a penalty of up to $105,000,000. 


  • Analyze field and customer data to identify incidents that may be indicators of safety issues. Assist with NHTSA investigations and implementation of potential recalls.  Communicate with all relevant departments to identify detailed information about individual customer experiences and vehicle performance.  Quickly identify any issues necessitating imminent safety recalls.
  • Act as direct support for Executive Director, Product Litigation and Regulatory Compliance on recall analysis and decision-making.  Identify developing potential safety issues and provide advice and guidance to quickly complete investigations of such issues.  Procure legal advice from in-house and outside counsel to assess potential legal and regulatory issues.  
  • Supervise and coordinate work activities with the Legal Department’s Data Analysis Engineer(s) in conducting data analysis support for Early Warning work and for responding to NHTSA inquiries.  Make determinations as to which KMA field data, TREAD reports and NHTSA VOQ data should be collected and compiled.  Supervise the execution of such collection and evaluation efforts.  Be primarily responsible for maintaining procedures and communication links with all departments which are providing the source data for the Data Analysis Engineer(s).
  • Brief the technical analysis engineers in the Legal Department on potential technical safety issues in their field inspections and obtain feedback from them for evaluating specific potential defect issues of interest.  Review their reports and the reports from Product Quality Engineers to identify and further evaluate potential critical safety defect issues.
  • Conduct monitoring of NHTSA investigations and recalls and identify issues that have the most significance to the Agency.  Particularly focus on developing issues.  Review Kia models and components to identify issues most likely to be inquired about and pursued by NHTSA.  Upgrade evaluations for those components/models to look for potential trends.
  • BS degree in Engineering, Automotive Technology or other Automotive disciplines
Overall Related Experience:
  • 15 – 20 years of experience in automotive production and quality issues
Directly Related Experience: 
  • Effective work history demonstrating communication and teamwork skills
  • Employee supervisory and company management experience
  • Knowledge of production methods and quality and service procedures
  • Knowledge of safety related systems and components
  • Knowledge of engineering test procedures
  • Excellent working knowledge of current methods of quality and safety investigation and analysis
  • Knowledge of NHTSA safety investigations, recalls and procedures and familiarity with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS)
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to manage substantial amounts of data.
  • Proven ability to make correct judgment calls when confronted with complex fact patterns.
  • Strong ability to work effectively under extreme time pressure.
  • Excellent communicator at all three levels -- upwards reporting to more senior managers, working cooperatively with co-equal managers and supervising reporting staff.
  • Exceptional abilities at team building.
  • Thorough automotive technical knowledge of the components and systems which appear on NHTSA’s TREAD Act reporting  list.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively when potential safety issues are upgraded to a potential recall level to help resolve engineering and regulatory issues.
  • Excellent knowledge of Standard PC Software such as Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.

Kia Motors America offers an environment where we place a strong focus on our customer, embrace challenges and work collaboratively. If you’re looking for this type of a dynamic company, then Kia Motors America should be in your consideration for employment opportunities. Based in one of the nation's most desirable communities in Southern California. Our outstanding benefits package includes 100% paid health insurance, 401(k) plan, plus much more. EOE M/F/D/V. For more information about Kia, please visit our website at or


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