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Hyundai Cars to Ditch Cigarette Lighter Socket

Oct. 3, 2013
Company will instead provide a USB power point and said it was the 'the first auto company in the world' to make the change.

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor (IW 1000/56) said Thursday it would stop putting cigarette lighter sockets in cars made for the domestic market in favor of a USB power point.

The South Korean auto giant said its decision would affect all passenger cars and SUVs sold at home from this month.

A company spokesman said the automaker was "the first auto company in the world" to make the change.

He said the company would survey consumers in other countries to see whether the change should be adopted elsewhere.

Hyundai's decision followed a domestic survey that showed many drivers used the lighter jack to charge mobile phones or tablet computers rather than for lighting cigarettes.

Car lighters themselves are no longer offered as standard in the United States and Europe, with the socket often treated instead as a general purpose auxiliary power source.

Hyundai said its in-car ashtrays would remain the same and smokers could buy a USB-powered cigarette lighter.

Hyundai, together with its smaller affiliate Kia, is the world's fifth-largest automaker. It sold 4.4 million cars worldwide in 2012.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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