This class action lawsuit on behalf of a class of all current and former owners and leasees of certain Kia Sorento, model year First generation (2002–2009) equipped with a Hyundai-manufactured 3.5L 24-valve DOHC V6 engine. It is alleged here that these engines were designed with a defective engine crank sprocket and balancer, in that the design of the balancer sticks out too far and weighs too much, breaking off the spring guide Pin and causing the front pulley bolt to break, which then causes catastrophic engine failure, loss of power steering, loss of the charging system, loss of the cooling system and loss of control of the vehicle, and is a hazard to owners and other individuals who may be in harms way.
As alleged, through a common and uniform course of conduct, the Defendants’ knowing failure, despite their longstanding knowledge of the problem, to disclose to Plaintiffs and other consumers that Kia Sorento (2002-2009), vehicles (collectively, the “Class vehicles”) are predisposed to snap the front pulley bolt resulting in the ejection of the front pulley, which then sets off a chain reaction of shredding all the belts attached to it including the power steering, battery charging system, and cooling system, all resulting in severe heat buildup, loss of steering control while being driven, loss of power while being driven, hazardous accident potential and engine failure, and metal debris, resulting in serious and expensive damage to, and/or catastrophic failure of the engine within the Class vehicles (collectively, the “front pulley balancer bolt problem”). Not only did Kia actively conceal the material fact that this particular component is defectively designed (and requires costly repairs to fix), but it also did not reveal that the existence of this defect would diminish the intrinsic resale value of the vehicle. Furthermore, through a common and uniform course of conduct, Defendants have failed to honor both federally mandated and voluntarily offered warranties that would have required them to repair or correct, at no cost to the consuming public, the nonconforming and/or defective vehicle(s).
The complaint alleges that Defendants have been aware for years of the true nature and cause of the front pulley balancer bolt problem in class vehicles. Meanwhile, Defendants made numerous affirmative statements touting the high-quality and reliability of the Class vehicles.
As a result of the front pulley balancer bolt problem and defective vehicle design, Defendants have benefited from collecting funds from Kia customers for vehicle service procedures such as unnecessary front pulley balancer bolt replacements, computer reprogramming and software updates, and troubleshooting and diagnosing front pulley balancer bolt complaints, when in fact, Defendants knew the true cause of such front pulley balancer bolt problems within the Class vehicles were the defective vehicle design.
Many owners and leasees of the Class vehicles have had to repair or replace their, front pulley balancer bolts multiple times, thereby incorporating costly front pulley balancer bolt repairs and/or replacements as needed to return their vehicles to expected operating condition.