Hyundai highlights safety with redesigned Sonata

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NAMYANGJU, South Korea (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co. says it has focused on improving safety features and gaining a premium image with its fully redesigned Sonata sedan.

The revamped midsize family sedan represents the automaker's efforts to win back South Korean customers increasingly buying foreign vehicles and to regain the lost U.S. market share.

Hyundai said the sedan uses a higher proportion of steel that is twice as rigid as regular steel to better protect passengers. The price will be announced later this month in Seoul.

The company's business last year was marred by massive recalls and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's finding that Hyundai and its sister company Kia had overstated gas mileage estimates.

Hyundai's profit and sales in South Korea fell in 2013 despite record annual sales.

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