Hyundai settles engine defect class action

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This settlement resolves lawsuits that were filed against Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Motor Company alleging that an engine defect caused stalling, engine noise, or oil lamp illumination in the 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata with a 2.0 liter or 2.4 liter gasoline direct injection engine.

The settlement extends the Powertrain Warranty for the engine short block assembly. It also provides cash reimbursements for certain repairs and repair-related expenses, such as rental cars and towing. The settlement also provides cash reimbursement for certain trade-ins and sales of unrepaired vehicles.

To qualify you must have bought or leased a “Class Vehicle,” which are 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 model year Hyundai Sonatas with a Theta II 2.0 liter or 2.4 liter gasoline direct injection engine.

To file a claim or get additional information, visit the settlement website at https://SonataEngineSettlement.HyundaiUSA.com

Hyundai named in class action over undisclosed defect in the engine’s rotating assembly of 2011- 2015 Hyundai Sonatas

hyundai-LARGE

 

 

Plaintiff and the class members she proposes to represent are owners or lessees of 2011- 2015 Hyundai Sonatas that were manufactured with an undisclosed defect in the engine’s rotating assembly. The rotating assembly cannot withstand the long-term stress generated within the Sonata’s combustion chambers and fails within the useful life of the engine (most failures occur between 60,000 to 90,000 miles). When the rotating assembly fails, it does so without warning and causes the engine to seize suddenly—leaving Sonata drivers without power and struggling to maneuver the vehicle to safety.

As alleged, rather than addressing this safety problem by warning drivers and recalling its dangerous vehicles, Hyundai has concealed the problem from consumers and implemented a concerted practice of denying warranty coverage for failed engines. Hyundai tells Sonata owners that they must submit a complete record of the vehicle’s maintenance history before making a warranty claim—even though it knows that Sonata engines fail regardless of owner maintenance and that the faulty rotating assembly is responsible. For those warranty claims that are submitted, Hyundai’s practice is to deny them based on inadequate maintenance records or improper maintenance. Hyundai denies that engine failures are widespread in Sonata vehicles and blames its customers for the problem—forcing them to pay as much as $10,000 for an engine replacement.

Plaintiff seeks to certify a class action against Hyundai for violating California’s consumer protection laws. Among other things, Plaintiff seeks an order requiring Hyundai to immediately disclose the existence of the rotating assembly defect and its associated risks to all existing and prospective customers, to repair the defect and all resulting damage in Sonata vehicles free of charge, and to cease selling Sonatas through its dealerships until the defect is repaired.

 

COMPLAINT

 

Hyundai Motor America recalls 2008-2010 Elantra vehicles over failure in electronic power steering

Hyundai Motor America is recalling certain model year 2008-2010 Elantra vehicles manufactured June 1, 2008, to April 30, 2010, and 2009-2010 Elantra Touring vehicles manufactured November 1, 2008, to April 30, 2010. The electronic power steering (EPS) electronic control unit (ECU) may sense a discrepancy in the steering input signals and, as a result, disable the steering power assist.

If power steering assist is lost, greater driver effort would be required to steer the vehicle at low speeds, increasing the risk of a crash.

Approximately 204,768 vehicles are affected by the recall.

 

Hyundai named in class action lawsuit over false and deceptive conduct associated with sale of Blue Link Telematics System

 

The class action lawsuit challenges the unlawful scheme engaged in by Defendant Hyundai Motor America (hereinafter “Defendant” or “Hyundai”) in the selling and continued servicing of its telematics remote monitoring feature, “Blue Link Telematics System.” The term “telematics” refers to the branch of information technology that deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information. The term has evolved to refer to automobile systems that combine global position satellite tracking and other wireless communications for automatic roadside assistance and remote diagnostics, first popularized by General Motors Corporation with its OnStar system.

Beginning in 2011, Hyundai introduced the Hyundai Blue Link Telematics System in certain models of its 2012 model year line-up, including the popular Hyundai Sonata. According to Hyundai, the Blue Link system “uses an enhanced cellular network, with automatic roaming, that optimizes connections and prioritizes emergency requests.” With Blue Link, Hyundai customers get automatic emergency assistance in the event of a collision, point-of-interest search and navigation assistance, the ability to remotely operate various vehicle features, and self-diagnostic vehicle reports. Though Hyundai owners must subscribe in order to receive the benefits of the Blue Link system, all necessary hardware for the Blue Link system is a “standard feature” included in the sale price of Blue Link equipped Hyundai vehicles.

Purchasers of Blue Link equipped Hyundai vehicles were provided with a trial subscription period ranging from 3 months to one year free of charge. Following the expiration of the free trial period, Hyundai owners had the option to pay for continued Blue Link subscription service or to pay nothing and allow the Blue Link subscription service to lapse. If Hyundai owners either did not subscribe to Blue Link or thereafter allowed their subscription to lapse, Hyundai provided a telephone number that the vehicle owner, or any subsequent owner of that vehicle, could call in order to reactivate the Blue Link service for a “nominal connection fee.”

At no time from 2011 through the end of 2014, did Hyundai inform purchasers of its Blue Link equipped vehicles that if owners did not subscribe to the Blue Link subscription service, the Blue Link Telematics hardware would be rendered nonfunctional and would require replacement at the customer’s expense if they, or a subsequent owner of the vehicle, desired to reactivate the Blue Link subscription service at a later time.

As alleged, on or about January 7, 2015, Hyundai notified owners of its Blue Link equipped vehicles whose Blue Link subscription services had been inactive for more than one year, that “If you do not reactivate your Blue Link services by January 15, 2015, your current Blue Link system in your vehicle will be permanently disabled.” In the same notice, Hyundai informed said owners that “[reactivating your Blue Link services after it is disabled will require a hardware change, dealer-assisted installation, and will cost a minimum of $500 to replace the telematics unit plus any applicable subscription fees.”

In threatening to permanently disable the Blue Link Telematics hardware, Hyundai forced owners of its Blue Link equipped vehicles to choose between: a) subscribing to the Blue Link service, that they previously had been informed was optional; or b) allowing the Blue Link Telematics hardware that they had purchased with their vehicles to be rendered non-functional, thereby devaluing their vehicles, and requiring a significant additional expense in the event they, or any subsequent owner, desired to avail themselves of the Blue Link subscription service.

As alleged, Hyundai’s actions constitute a breach of contract terms of the sale of Blue Link equipped Hyundai vehicle as provided for in the Monroney Sticker affixed to such vehicles which included as a “STANDARD FEATURE” the “Hyundai Blue LinkTM Telematics System.” It also constitutes a breach Hyundai’s representation to owners, as set forth in Hyundai’s Blue Link Handbook, that if they declined enrollment in the Blue Link subscription service, the Blue Link service could later “be reactivated by the owner or subsequent owners” for “a nominal reconnection fee.”

Complaint

 

Hyundai Motor Corp. and Kia Motors settled a class-action lawsuit alleging gas mileage ratings were overstated for $395 millon

After an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency, Hyundai and Kia Motors agreed to restate expected gas mileage in November 2012 for 1.1 million vehicles in North America. The automakers admitted they after overstated mileage claims on vehicle window stickers for 900,000 vehicles in the United States. The settlement impacts about 600,000 of Hyundai’s 2011-13 models and about 300,000 of Kia‘s 2011-13 models in the U.S.

Hyundai and Kia agreed to provide a lifetime reimbursement program to cover additional fuel costs associated with the rating change — plus a 15 percent premium in acknowledgment of the inconvenience to customers. Owners and drivers leasing vehicles are compensated based on their actual mileage and the fuel costs for the region in which they live; they must go to a dealership to have their odometers read.

The 2012 restatement reduced Hyundai-Kia’s fleetwide average fuel economy from 27 to 26 mpg for the 2012 model year. Individual ratings, depending on the car, will fall from 1 mpg to 6 mpg. Most vehicles saw combined city-highway efficiency drop by 1 mpg.

The global settlement will resolve more than 50 lawsuits filed across the country to address the issue.

The proposed cash amount, which varies by vehicle model and ownership type, will result in an average payment of $353 to Hyundai owners and lessees. For Kia owners, the proposed average cash lump-sum amount will be about $667.

Hyundai and Kia owners can also elect other options such as a dealership credit of 150 percent of the lump sum amount, or a credit of 200 percent of the cash amount toward the purchase of a new Kia or Hyundai.

Additional information about the settlement can be found at hyundaimpginfo.com or www.kiampginfo.com.

Hyundai named in class action lawsuit over misrepresenting fuel efficiency of 2011-2013 Elantra vehicles

The lawsuit claims Defendant Hyundai Motor America touted that its Elantra vehicles would get approximately 40 miles to a gallon.  As alleged, in truth the vehicles would only get mileage in the low 30’s which was materially different that what was advertised and promised to consumers.

Kia Motors and Hyundai Motors named in class action over miscalculating standard mile per gallon usage on automobiles

Kia Motors and Hyundai Motors (“Defendants”) market and sell numerous models of vehicles in the United States, including the following 2011 through 2013 models: 2013 Hyundai Accent, Azera, Elantra, Genesis, Santa Fe, Tucson and Veloster; 20I3 Kia Rio, Sorento, Soul and Sportage; 2012 Hyundai Accent, Azera, Elantra, Genesis, Sonata, Tucson and Veloster; 2012 Kia Optima hybrid, Rio, Sorento, Soul and Sportage; 2011Hyundai Elantra and Sonata hybrid; and 2011 Kia Optima hybrid (the “Subject Vehicles”).

Over the past two years, Defendants have uniformly represented in product advertising that each of the Subject Vehicles will obtain a standard mile per gallon range. However, based on a federal government investigation spawned by many consumer complaints, both Defendants have recently admitted that the calculations for these ranges were miscalculated and uniformly wrong. This is material to consumers, since as stated by Gina McCarthy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”): “Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy.”

According to the EPA, this is not a situation where the company complied with EPA testing procedures in accordance with regulations promulgated by the government, but rather admittedly failed to comply with such procedures and regulations. This action does not seek to alter or amend Defendants obligations for providing correct mileage calculation statements, which Defendants admittedly did not do. These representations were made in the Subject Vehicles’ advertising, including brochures, billboards, and publicly disseminated commercials.

As alleged in the complaint, Defendants engaged in an extensive advertising campaign emanating from California and taking place throughout the United States and Canada. Part of the goal of this advertising campaign was to convince consumers that many Subject Vehicles achieved gas mileage in the 40 mile per gallon range, which is a very important threshold for marketing purposes. While the differences vary, in almost all the circumstances in question as a result of the downward adjustment the vehicles will not reach that level — a fact that was and is material to Plaintiff and the reasonable consumer who purchased or leased at least one of the Subject Vehicles.

Because of this deceptive advertising campaign, and the claims made therein, Defendants have charged a price premium for the Subject Vehicles and/or increased demand therefor. While Defendants have attempted to address this admitted problem by offering consumers debit cards, they either know or reasonably should know what they are offering will not reimburse consumers for their actual out of pocket losses as the debit card is only for certain mileage differences, requires them to visit their car dealer for “verification” purposes, is not in cash such that they can count on the entire amount not being used, and fails to provide compensation for the fact that many consumers, such as Plaintiff, would not have bought or leased these vehicles at the prices they did if the true facts had been timely disclosed.

This action is brought by Plaintiff on behalf of a class comprising all similarly situated consumers who purchased or leased one or more of the Subject Vehicles other than for resale or distribution and seeks to halt the use of a “refund” program that does not fully compensate consumers for their losses and does not operate as a release of claims, or at a minimum ensures it is an offset against actual losses, as well as to correct the misperception that such false and deceptive advertising has created in the minds of consumers and obtain full redress for those who purchased or leased one or more Subject Vehicles.