FeganScott filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit on behalf of Hyundai and Kia vehicle owners and lessees, claiming the automobile manufacturers sold hundreds of thousands of vehicles with a potentially deadly defect that can cause spontaneous engine compartment fires, resulting in damage to 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 remain charged with an electrical current even when the car not running. This, coupled with a defect that allows moisture to enter the electrified components, creates the risk of fires erupting.
Hyundai and Kia acknowledge that the ABS module and HECUs defects put the cars at risk of catching fire even after the vehicles remain parked for days at a time.
The lawsuit alleges that Hyundai and Kia were aware of the dangerous defect in its vehicles years before they warned the public. In fact, nearly a decade before Hyundai acknowledged the risk, owners reported to federal regulators that they woke up in the middle of the night to their garages on fire, which resulted in the total loss of their belongings.
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. Moreover, Kia and Hyundai’s proposed solutions fail to address the need for a comprehensive remedy that would remove the risk of ABS modules and HECUs erupting while someone is driving the vehicle — a fact that Hyundai has acknowledged.
The lawsuit seeks to represent all current and former owners and lessees of 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.
As of September 3, 2020, Hyundai and Kia recently recalled approximately 600,000 new vehicles including the 2013 – 2015 Kia Optima, 2014-2015 Kia Sorento, and 2013- 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe.
The amended complaint, filed 11/13/20, adds additional plaintiffs and includes allegations related to vehicles containing the same ABS module defect, which were recalled subsequent to the filing of our initial complaint. Specifically, on August 27 and September 4, 2020, Defendants disclosed that the defect was found in over half a million additional class vehicles (2013-2015 Kia Optima; 2014-2015 Kia Sorento; 2019 Kia Stinger; 2013-2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport; and 2019-2021 Hyundai Tucson).
Read on for case updates and media coverage.