Automobile manufacturers Hyundai and Kia are named for allegedly failing to recall thousands of cars containing a potentially life-threatening defect
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A Florida-based Hyundai Entourage car owner today filed a proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of Hyundai and Kia vehicle owners and lessees, claiming the automobile manufacturers sold thousands of vehicles with a potentially deadly defect that can cause spontaneous engine compartment fires, resulting in damage to their cars and homes and threatening the lives of many.
The cars’ defect revolves around the anti-lock brake system (ABS) modules or the hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU), sophisticated technological and mechanical safety features located under the hood. According to the lawsuit, the ABS modules and HECUs remained charged with an electrical current even when the car was not running. This, coupled with a defect that allows moisture to enter the electrified components, creates the risk of fires erupting.
According to Elizabeth A. Fegan, founder and managing member of consumer-rights law firm FeganScott, defendants knowingly waited to release recalls and disclose the defect despite the manufacturers’ claims to have “industry leading” warranty programs.
“Hyundai and Kia cannot claim to care about consumer safety with such blatant disregard for these life-altering and risky defects,” said Fegan. “These manufactures have abrogated their responsibility to their customers, and the public at large, and we intend to hold them accountable through this suit.”
The document cites a public complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by the owner of a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. The new, 6-month-old car caught fire after sitting in the driveway for nine hours with the engine off. The complaint alleges many other vehicle owners have reported similar accounts of their vehicles erupting in flames, including stories of entire homes being burned to a crisp and individuals narrowly escaping.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the suit seeks to represent the thousands of U.S. consumers who own one of the vehicles named in the complaint.
Additionally, the suit alleges that Hyundai and Kia car owners believed the manufacturers’ claims of being experienced in the design and manufacture of consumer vehicles with “industry leading” warranties. Named plaintiff Ramtin Zakikhani immediately lost trust in such claims after his car spontaneously erupted in flames while turned off, according to the complaint.
“As some of the most popular auto makers in the United States, Hyundai and Kia are trusted to keep consumers and their families safe,” Fegan noted. “Not only have car owners been betrayed, but they are forced to face deadly risks with expensive consequences for their homes, cars, and even their lives.”
Despite the eventual and delayed recalls of some of the models, the complaint alleges that recalls do not eliminate the risk of spontaneous engine compartment fires when the cars are running. Kia and Hyundai’s proposed solutions fail to address the need for a comprehensive remake to alleviate the risk of ABS modules and HECUs erupting while someone is driving the vehicle — a fact that Hyundai has acknowledged.
According to the complaint, “Had the Plaintiff and other class members known of the defect at the time of purchase or lease, they would not have bought or leased the class vehicles or would have paid substantially less for them.”
The lawsuit seeks to represent anyone who owns one of the class vehicles, including the 2007-2010 Hyundai Elantra; 2009-2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring; 2007-2008 Hyundai Entourage; 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe; 2006-2011 Hyundai Azera; 2006 Hyundai Sonata; 2006-2010 Kia Sedona; 2007-2009 Kia Sorento; and 2008-2009 Kia Sportage.
Consumers who are interested in learning more about this class-action suit are urged to send their contact information to [email protected].
FeganScott is a national class action law firm dedicated to helping victims of consumer fraud, sexual abuse, and discrimination. The firm is championed by acclaimed veteran, class action attorneys who have successfully recovered $1 billion for victims nationwide. FeganScott is committed to pursuing successful outcomes with integrity and excellence while holding the responsible parties accountable.
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