Hyundai, Kia agree to settle class-action lawsuits over engine fires, vehicle defects

Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America have agreed to settle two class-action lawsuits filed against them over complaints of engine fires and vehicle defects.

The auto companies have entered into an agreement which will grant the plaintiffs – owners of certain vehicles equipped with Theta II gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines – various compensations and reliefs for their complaints, which include cash reimbursement for certain past repairs and related expenses, such as towing and rental cars; cash compensation for certain past trade-ins, sales and in lieu of certain repairs; lifetime warranty coverage for short-block assembly repairs for original and subsequent owners; free installation of the knock sensor-detection system software update; free inspection and repair or replacement of damaged engines; and various goodwill compensation for customers inconvenienced by previous lengthy engine repair times, denied warranty coverage and vehicle loss of value, among other provisions

There are 2.3 million Hyundai vehicles – 2011-2019 model year Sonata, 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Santa Fe and 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 Tucson – and 1.8 million Kia vehicles – 2011-2019 model year Sportage, Sorento and Optima – with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter GDI engines that are included in the settlement.

The court is expected to review the proposed settlement for preliminary approval this month. Assuming preliminary approval is granted, notices will be sent to individual class members pursuant to the terms of the settlement.

"Reflecting our commitment to customer satisfaction, Hyundai is pleased to resolve this class action litigation," Jerry Flannery, chief legal officer, Hyundai Motor America, said in a press release. "This settlement acknowledges our sincere willingness to take care of customers impacted by issues with this engine's performance and recognizes the many actions we are already taking to assist our customers."

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Hyundai Motor America, Inc 10550 Talbert Avenue Fountain Valley, California 92708