Anyone in California, New York or Illinois who bought or leased certain Hyundai or Kia vehicles with a dual-clutch transmission and experienced shifting problems or loss of power.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys are looking into certain Hyundai and Kia models that were recalled in late 2022 due to a problem with the electric oil pump in their dual-clutch transmissions. It’s believed that the recalls may not have adequately addressed the underlying issue – and the attorneys are now looking into whether a class action lawsuit can be filed on behalf of drivers who have experienced transmission problems.
What Problems Are Drivers Reporting?
Harsh, jerky, erratic or hesitating shifting or a complete loss of power while driving.
Which Vehicles Are Under Investigation?
Certain Hyundai Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, Sonata, Elantra N, Veloster N and Kona N vehicles, and Kia K5 and Sorento vehicles (the full list can be found below).
How Could a Lawsuit Help?
A lawsuit could help drivers get back money for repairs and possibly force the automakers to provide a free fix for the potential transmission problems.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org want to hear from people in California, New York and Illinois who lease or own the following vehicles and experienced shifting problems or loss of power:
2021-2022 Hyundai Santa Fe
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
2021-2022 Hyundai Sonata
2022 Hyundai Elantra N
2021-2022 Hyundai Veloster N
2022 Hyundai Kona N
2021-2023 Kia K5
2021-2022 Kia Sorento
The above vehicle models were subject to October 2022 recalls relating to an apparent issue with the electric oil pump in their dual-clutch transmissions that could cause the cars to completely lose power while in motion. The attorneys believe the recalls may have been insufficient to address the underlying transmission problem and are looking into whether a class action lawsuit could be filed on behalf of drivers.
Hyundai, Kia Dual-Clutch Transmission Recalls
Hyundai and Kia each issued a recall in October 2022 of certain 2021-2023 vehicle models that were determined to be potentially unsafe due to a possible defect in their dual-clutch transmissions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recallreports, the transmission’s high-pressure electric oil pump may malfunction and cause the vehicle to go into a “fail-safe” limited-mobility mode before disengaging the transmission clutches and completely losing power. The recall notices warned that a complete loss of power “could increase the risk of a crash.”
Letters mailed to owners of the affected Hyundai and Kia vehicles (listed above) in early December 2022 instructed them to bring their cars to an authorized dealer for inspection and possible repair. The letter from Kia offered more details about the apparent issue, explaining that the electric oil pump in the transmissions of affected vehicles may fail “due to a supplier error.” In that case, the letter stated, the check engine light would come on and the car would display a “stop safely immediately” message, after which the vehicle could be driven for about 20 or 30 seconds before the transmission drive gears disengage.
The automakers’ remedy involved inspecting the recalled vehicles to determine whether the electric oil pump had malfunctioned and, if so, replacing the dual-clutch transmission. If the malfunction was not detected, dealers were instructed to perform a software update to the transmission control unit to prevent the “improper” triggering of the fail-safe mode (i.e., limp mode) “when certain transmission oil pump faults are detected.”
Drivers Report Transmission Problems Even After Recall
Some drivers of the affected Hyundai and Kia vehicles have pointed out in online forums that the recalls did not address the underlying problem of the oil pumps failing and, in most cases, only provided a software update to change how the vehicle responds to a detected failure.
“As for the DCT [dual-clutch transmission] recall; it is to fix the limp mode on the car, not the actual underlining issue. The reprogramming increases how long one can drive in limp mode along with some other slight changes to improve how the DCT handles but nothing major … The real issue is a bad oil pump within the DCT unit; if that fails it is my understanding that Hyundai will replace the whole DCT unit. Some dealerships are not doing this and simply doing the recall which doesn’t fixes [sic] the actual issues for Hyundai models that are getting a [check engine light] code due to the DCT.”
Some Hyundai and Kia drivers complained that they still experienced symptoms of the transmission problem – including shaking, shuddering, hesitating, jerking and hard shifting – after having the recall performed. Others questioned their vehicles’ reliability in light of reports that the dual-clutch transmissions were still failing.
How Could a Lawsuit Help?
A class action lawsuit, if filed and successful, could help compensate owners and lessees for repairs and replacements, as well as the loss of value of their vehicles. It could also potentially force Hyundai and Kia to come up with a fix for the apparent transmission problem.