Owners File Class-Action Against Hyundai and Kia
The court will need to decide on whether a new class-action lawsuit can move forward against Hyundai and Kia. The founding class member alleges that Hyundai and Kia sold thousands of vehicles with a potentially deadly defect.
The defect is related to the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system, according to the lawsuit and the hydraulic engine control unit. The lawsuit alleges that the ABS and HECU units remain charged with electricity regardless of whether the car is running. This can cause the units to ignite resulting in engine compartment fires. Since it doesn’t matter if the car is turned on or not, these fires can often happen at night when owners are still asleep. The vehicle could ignite objects in their garage leading to a full-blown house fire.
“Industry-Leading Warranty Programs”
Part of the problem for Hyundai and Kia is that they claimed in advertising that their vehicles had industry-leading warranty programs. However, when it came down to inform customers of a necessary recall, they allegedly knowingly waited to recall the dangerous vehicles.
The lawsuit mentions a complaint filed in 2010 by the owner of a Hyundai Elantra. Six months after purchasing the vehicle, it caught fire while sitting in the driveway with the engine turned off. The complaint was filed with the NHTSA. After, the NHTSA began receiving several such complaints of vehicles inexplicably bursting into flames while sitting in driveways in garages. There were stories of entire homes being taken out by the dangerous defect.
In fixing the problems reported by owners, the lawsuit maintains that Hyundai and Kia essentially resolved the issue of the vehicle bursting into flames while it was turned off, but it still runs the risk of bursting into flames while it’s in motion. Hyundai has acknowledged the fact that without a comprehensive remake of the engine, the underlying problem has no solution.
The problem is related to poorly designed components and the propensity for moisture to erode those components.
The article does not report any injuries or deaths related to the defects, but it does mention that some owners sustained significant damage to their homes because of the issue. Most homeowners have homeowners’ insurance that would have repaired any damage to the house itself. However, their insurance companies can sue Hyundai or Kia to recover money that they paid to repair the house. Further, the stuff inside the home is not covered by homeowners’ insurance, so they could be compensated for those losses.
The typical outcome of a class-action lawsuit avails purchasers to either replace or receive a full refund for the money they spent on the vehicle.
Talk to a Florida Defective Auto Parts Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident related to a defective auto part, call the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you recover damages for your injuries.