Two consumers have filed a proposed class action lawsuit in which they argue the recent recall and repairs offers by Hyundai and Kia for vehicles equipped with defective gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines are inadequate given the level of risk assumed by those who for years drove vehicles with potentially dangerous engines.
Model year 2012-2016 Kia Soul vehicles were recalled, the lawsuit says, due to a catalytic converter design defect that could lead the component to overheat, which could cause abnormal combustion in an engine and damage pistons and connecting rods. Model year 2011-2013 Hyundai Tucson SUVs, the suit continues, were recalled due to improper sealing during engine production, which could allow oil to leak and damage an engine. Kia Sportage vehicles made between 2011 and 2013, according to the suit, were also recalled due to improper engine sealing. All of the aforementioned defects, the lawsuit stresses, can cause a vehicle to stall during normal operation, or cause an engine fire.
It was only recently, years after the GDI engine problem first came to light, that Hyundai and Kia began recalling and/or repairing affected vehicles, the case says. As the lawsuit tells it, however, this late remedy is inadequate for consumers who “bore the risk” that their cars could stall suddenly or burst into flames while driving. The lawsuit alleges defendants Hyundai Motor America, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Corporation knew or should have known of the apparent defects with the GDI engines in 2011-2013 Tucson, 2012-2016 Soul, and 2011-2012 Sportage vehicles yet failed to disclose the issues to customers or offer repairs. The case further chides the defendants for failing to recall and/or repair the allegedly defective vehicles for years, which apparently led to “hundreds or thousands of engine failures, sudden stalls, and fires.
From the suit:
“In the past, Hyundai and Kia have recalled numerous vehicles with GDI engines to repair defects that could lead to engine fires, but fires have recurred despite the recalls, and Hyundai and Kia are recalling many of those vehicles yet again for the same problems. Consumers have every reason to suspect that a recall at this late date will not be an adequate solution to the defect. These consumers also have every reason to suspect that now that the problem has become known and publicized, the resale values of their vehicles has likely plummeted. These consumers did not get the vehicles they bargained for at the time of purchase, have gone years without an adequate repair, may have suffered diminished resale value, and cannot now be made whole merely by recalling and repairing the vehicles.”