Hyundai Motor America and Kia North America have both had their share of problems that go beyond the most recent recall for 3.4 million vehicles due to engine compartment fires in their 2010 to 2019 vehicles.
Indeed, there are many other complaints and safety issues that lemon law attorneys have handled on behalf of frustrated car owners. Often these types of cases involve some of the newer models made by the Korean auto manufacturer. Among the most recent complaints are safety issues such as unusual noises, check engine, and low-oil lights, as well as parts delays that leave owners without their vehicle or in a rental car.
Johnson Attorneys Group has already helped clients with similar problems in Hyundai and Kia vehicles. We obtained settlements from auto manufacturers for safety issues as well as repeated problems that were unfixable. Here are just a few of the problems our California lemon law firm is aware of that might qualify for a buyback, reimbursement, or replacement from the auto manufacturer.
Hyundai, Kia Engine Fire
Hyundai and Kia are currently recalling nearly 3.4 million vehicles in the U.S. due to engine problems. Specifically, the automakers are advising owners to park vehicles outside due to the risk of engine compartment fires. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported the problem results from the anti-lock brake control module potentially leaking fluid. If this happens, the brake fluid could cause an electrical short and possibly set off a fire whether the vehicles are parked or being driven. Owners are also being warned to park away from any structures until they are fixed.
The recalls cover multiple car and SUV models from the 2010 through 2019 model years including Hyundai’s Santa Fe SUV and Kia’s Sorrento SUV.
The NHTSA reports that the anti-lock brake control module could leak fluid. If that happens, there could be an electrical short which could ignite a fire whether the vehicle is parked or being driven.
Kia also recently recalled 120,000 of its Niro vehicles due to the risk of an engine compartment fire. Specifically, Kia is recalling 121,411 of its 2017-2022 Kia Niro and 2018-2022 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrids vehicles because a fluid leak may result in an engine compartment fire.
Hyundai, Kia Transmission Problems
Hyundai and Kia problems go beyond the engine. Last year both brands recalled more than 120,000 vehicles due to transmission problems. The automakers recalled the 2021-2022 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2021-2022 Hyundai Sonata, 2021-2022 Hyundai Veloster N, 2022 Hyundai Elantra N, 2022 Hyundai Kona N, 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, 2021-2023 Kia K5, and the 2021-2022 Kia Sorento.
The problem is circuit boards used in both the Kia and Hyundai transmission oil pumps were not soldered properly. What was happening was a loose component detaches and puts the vehicle into a fail-safe mode that shuts down the transmission to prevent further damage.
Owners reported receiving a warning chime and the message to “stop safely immediately.” Federal safety regulators were told drivers had roughly 20 to 30 seconds to pull over safely before their transmission disengaged. The settlement required Hyundai and Kia to inspect all affected vehicle, update software and replace the entire transmission if needed.
Strange Noise in Kia and Hyundai Vehicles
Some owners are being told that unusual noises in their Kia or Hyundai are normal, but drivers disagree.
The owner of a brand new 2022 Elantra N-Line complained to the dealership that his 6-speed manual sometimes made a loud humming noise in first gear. It sounded like the emergency brake was on and it kept getting worse the more the vehicle was driven. In his case, the Hyundai dealer explained that the first gear is very small and so it spins very fast. Also, the N-Line is a performance transmission that is not meant to be in first gear for long periods. However, after the owner continued to complain and file a lemon lawsuit, Hyundai finally had their master mechanic check out the car and replace two sticky rear calipers.
While that owner eventually got his problem resolved, it was only after many complaints and the threat of a lemon lawsuit that he got his vehicle fixed.
Check Engine Light
The check engine light signals the owner of a vehicle that there’s a problem coming from the engine. While this could be a serious matter, it could also be just a faulty gas cap or sensor failure. No matter, drivers should take such warnings seriously for their own safety as well as the safety of their passengers. In some cases, it may just be time to schedule preventive maintenance such as an oil change. However, if not, it could be a major issue that could result in engine failure. If the light is flashing, there could be a more serious issue such as a misfire and that could lead to the catalytic converter overheating.
Owners Frustrated Waiting for Parts/Repairs
Thieves are targeting 2011 to 2020 Kia and Hyundai owners after social media posts shared how easy it is to steal them with just a screwdriver and a USB cable.
However, not only are owners of these vehicles losing their cars, but the returned vehicles and others needing repair are facing a parts shortage that’s leaving many victims waiting months to get their cars repaired.
A spike in auto thefts is being traced back to an online video that shows people how to easily steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Many of the stolen vehicles are being found days later, often with paint damage, smashed windows and broken ignitions.
The increase in thefts has caused a major backlog for certain parts. The dealerships, repair shops and body shops are unable to fix the vehicles until those parts are available.
That’s left owners of damaged vehicles with no choice but to park their car for weeks and sometimes months while they wait for shipments of parts to arrive or become available.
Owners complain they have to pay for car rentals just to get by or take other methods of transport.
In May, both Kia and Hyundai agreed to a $200 million class action settlement to compensate victims of car theft. Additionally, the auto manufacturers will pay to install anti-theft features to owners of 2011 to 2020 models. If your vehicle is in the shop for 30 days or more, ask a lemon law attorney to review your potential claim.
California Lemon Law Attorney James Johnson 1-(877) 465-8161
If you purchased a Hyundai or Kia with engine problems, a faulty transmission, or any other vehicle with repeated problems or some other safety issue, it may be time to call for help.
California Lemon Law Attorney James Johnson will review your case at no charge and let you know if it qualifies as a lemon.
We recommend that you obtain an invoice for all repairs and recall visits from the dealership. These documents will support your potential case. Should the vehicle experience repeated issues or become a safety risk, these documents support the Lemon Law Claim. Contact us for a free case review at 1-(877) 465-8161.
— Published on Oct. 12, 2023
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