A New York resident alleges in a proposed class action that certain 2.0-liter GDI turbo-charged engines and 2.4-liter GDI engines found in 2011 through 2016 model year Kia and Hyundai vehicles are defectively designed. The engines, which the complaint refers to as the “Theta II” engines, can allegedly “lose power, make noise, develop engine knock, misfire and/or stall” as a result of restricted oil flow.
“The failure to have sufficient engine lubrication can ultimately result in complete and catastrophic engine failure while the Class Vehicles are in operation at any time and under any driving conditions or speed,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit claims the defendants—Hyundai Motor America; Kia Motors America, Inc.; Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation—have long known of the alleged defect yet have “routinely refused” to repair the affected vehicles at no cost to drivers. The defendants have also refused to disclose the existence of the defect when class vehicles are brought in for repair, the suit continues, choosing instead to “actively conceal” the cars’ engine issues until the vehicles start having “significant mechanical problems necessitating costly repairs.” Furthermore, despite National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) complaints and apparent evidence of the defect in internal company records, Kia and Hyundai have yet to recall potentially affected vehicles or reimburse customers who paid out-of-pocket for repairs, the lawsuit claims.
Vehicle models affected by the alleged defect include:
2011-2016 Hyundai Sonata;
2013-2016 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2011-2016 Kia Optima;
2012-2016 Kia Sportage; and
2014-2016 Kia Sorrento.
Initially filed in New York in January, this lawsuit has recently been removed to U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.