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Hyundai, Kia Vehicles May Burst into Flames During Operation Class Action

2016 Kia Soul

What would you do if your car suddenly stalled on a highway or burst into flames? The complaint for this class action alleges that certain models of Hyundai and Kia vehicles with gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines have serious defects that the companies have concealed. The defects allegedly cause the vehicles to stall while at speed or catch fire.

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons or entities in the US (including its territories and the District of Columbia) who bought or leased one of the vehicles in question in this case. There are also California and Washington Subclasses.

These are the vehicles in question in this case: 

  • 2011-2013 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2012-2016 Kia Soul
  • 2011-2012 Kia Sportage

2011-2013 Hyundai Tucson: Over 120,000 of these SUVs are being recalled. The complaint says that “due to improper sealing during engine production, oil leaks can lead to engine damage, sudden stalls during normal operation, and/or engine fires.” However, the complaint alleges that even though Hyundai is recalling the vehicles, it does not know the cause of this defect and has not devised a solution to it. 

2012-2016 Kia Soul: Over 375,000 are being recalled. The complaint says that “the catalytic converter can overheat and become damaged, resulting in abnormal combustion in the engine, damage to the pistons and resulting connecting rod failure.” These problems can then lead to sudden stalls during driving and engine fires. Kia believes it can fix this by changing the catalytic converter software to a newer version. The complaint fears that this must require the involvement of, and testing by, environmental regulators.

2011-2012 Kia Sportage: Over 32,000 are being recalled. The complaint says that “the oil pan was not properly sealed during engine production. As a result, an oil leak can develop and lead to engine damage, sudden stalls during normal operation, and/or engine fires.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that owners of these cars have no more concerns. The complaint notes that Hyundai and Kia have recalled vehicles with GDI engine defects in the past over the dangers of engine fires, “but fires have recurred despite the recalls.” This means there’s some doubt about whether the companies really have fixes for these problems.

Also, the longer the problems go on, the more likely other consumers are to hear about them, This leads to a decrease in resale value for these vehicles.

The complaint alleges that Hyundai and Kia have concealed these defects for years and that they are currently recalling vehicles only because they were forced to do so by a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation. 

Alarmingly, the complaint claims, “Congress eventually summoned Kia and Hyundai executives to appear and testify about these defects, but these executives refused to appear.” The complaint alleges fraud by concealment and breaches of warranties, among other things.

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