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Hyundai Motors America Power Steering Failure Class Action

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2014 Hyundai Elantra

When a car’s steering mechanism fails, the results can include collisions, injury, and even death. This class action alleges that certain Hyundai Accent and Elantra cars have a faulty steering mechanism that made the steering wheel lock up and caused the plaintiffs to have accidents.

The class for this action includes all purchasers or lessees of the Hyundai Accent, model years 2013-2016, or of the Hyundai Elantra, model years 2013-1016, who purchased or leased the vehicle in the US, other than for purposes of resale or distribution.

The complaint alleges that a defect in Hyundai’s steering mechanism causes the power steering function to stop working abruptly, causing the wheel to lock or become difficult to turn. This steering problem, the complaint says, prevents drivers from taking measures to avoid other cars, obstacles, and pedestrians.

Plaintiff Houston Vinci owns a 2013 Hyundai accent. The complaint says that none of the promotional materials associated with the car disclosed the power steering problem. However, it says, she has experienced repeated problems with it, and although she has brought it to Hyundai dealerships for repair, they have been unable to correct the problem. On or about January 19, 2016, the failure of the power steering system caused her to have an accident.

Plaintiff Jaehan Ku has a 2014 Hyundai Elantra. In May 2016, the steering wheel locked up as he was driving the vehicle, causing it to veer sharply to the left. At the same time the brakes failed, so he was unable to stop before crashing into the barrier at the side of the highway.

According to the complaint, previous Hyundai models had a similar defect, but Hyundai took its time in acknowledging it. In 2016, the company issued a recall for a similar defect in 2011 Sonatas. In this case, the cause of the problem was conflicting steering wheel input data which caused the power steering to turn off.

The complaint alleges that the recent defects have generated a large number of consumer complaints, many of which can be found in the database of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It says that Hyundai has therefore known about the problem for a long time but has failed to notify consumers or take action. The complaint asks the court to require that Hyundai recall the vehicles, fix the problems, and make appropriate restitution.

The complaint’s allegations range from violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and other federal laws to violations of California’s consumer and other statutes. It also includes a long section of excerpts from state laws suggesting that a more extensive range of state complaints might be brought against the company.

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