Hyundai and Kia are looking to extinguish the fallout from a number of engine fires by settling two class action lawsuits.
The settlement covers approximately 4.1 million vehicles in the United States equipped with 2.0- and 2.4-liter GDI engines.
On the Hyundai side, there are 2.3 million vehicles including the 2011-2019 Sonata, 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Santa Fe, and 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 Tucson. Likewise, the issue impacts 1.8 million Kia models including the 2011-2019 Sportage, Sorento and Optima.
Under the terms of the agreement, owners will receive cash reimbursement for certain past repairs and related expenses – such as towing and rental cars – as well as compensation for certain past trade-ins and sales. The companies will also inspect and repair (or replace) damaged engines and provide a lifetime warranty on “short block assembly repairs.”
The companies will also update the knock sensor detection system to “continuously monitor for symptoms that may precede an engine failure.” If the software detects a potentially serious issue, the malfunction light will blink continuously and the vehicle will be placed in limp mode which reduces power and acceleration. Limp mode attempts to limit engine damage, while also enabling owners to drive to a dealership to have their vehicle inspected and repaired.
Lastly, Hyundai and Kia will provide “goodwill compensation for customers inconvenienced by previous lengthy engine repair times, denied warranty coverage, and vehicle loss of value, among other provisions.”
The proposed settlement is expected to be reviewed later this month and notices will be sent to owners once it has been given preliminary approval.
In a statement, Hyundai Motor America chief legal officer Jerry Flannery said “Hyundai is pleased to resolve this class action litigation” and noted the “settlement acknowledges our sincere willingness to take care of customers impacted by issues with this engine’s performance.” His sentiments were echoed by Kia Motors America executive vice president and general counsel, John Yoon, who stated “this resolution is the result of good-faith efforts among all parties to resolve owner concerns.”