A scathing proposed class action out of California’s Central District alleges Hyundai and Kia have equipped certain vehicles with gasoline direct injection engines that present the risk of spontaneous combustion.
Filed by eight plaintiffs, the 41-page lawsuit slams defendants Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors Corporation and Kia Motors America, Inc. for their alleged disregard for upward of 350 consumer complaints indicating the engines in a number of vehicle models could potentially catch fire in non-collision situations. The automakers allegedly concealed the defect, which the lawsuit says is evidenced in part by Hyundai and Kia’s CEOs’no-showbefore Congress when summoned to answer for the alleged safety defect in the following vehicle models:
- 2011-2019 Hyundai Sonata;
- 2013-2019 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport;
- 2011-2019 Kia Optima;
- 2012-2019 Kia Sorento;
- 2011-2019 Kia Soul; and
- 2011-2019 Kia Sportage.
According to the suit, Hyundai and Kia knew prior to the sale of the above vehicles that their engines were “prone to premature and catastrophic failure” due to inadequate lubrication. This issue, the case continues, blocks the flow of oil to an engine’s moving parts, which leads components such as rod bearings to prematurely wear out to the point that the engine can seize and shut down during operation. Engine seizure, the lawsuit says, can cause internal components to break and strike a hole in the engine, allowing fluids to leak and ignite.
The complaint rounds out in alleging that despite possessing knowledge of the problem, Hyundai and Kia have refused to kick off a mass recall, develop a proper remedy, “or answer to Congress and the American consumers” about the defect.