The ad — for the company’s upscale hydrogen-powered ix35 model — depicts a man trying to kill himself by inhaling fumes, but failing because the car gives off no toxic exhaust, Reuters reports.
One blogger, Holly Brockwell, whose father committed suicide in a similar manner, wrote, “I understand better than most people the need to do … something talkable, even something outrageous to get those all-important viewing figures. What I don’t understand is why a group of strangers have just brought me to tears in order to sell me a car.”
In a statement, Hyundai announced that it was removing the ad from YouTube and that it wished to “deeply and sincerely apologize for any offense or distress” that it caused.
This is third time in recent months that the automaker has suffered bad press. Recently it had to recall thousands of cars and was caught exaggerating its vehicles fuel-efficiency ratings.