Our attorneys filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of 2011-2014 model year Hyundai Sonata owners whose vehicles suffered premature and catastrophic engine failures. The lawsuit alleged that Hyundai sold Sonata vehicles with defective rotating assemblies in the Theta II 2.4 L engines that cause sudden and catastrophic engine failure. Hyundai denied the allegations.
In January 2017, Judge Beth L. Freeman in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California approved a settlement that we expect will soon go into effect and which will resolve the In re Hyundai Sonata Engine Litigation , Case No. 5:15-cv-01685 (N.D. Cal.). The settlement benefits are listed below.
The settlement applies to owners and lessees of a Class Vehicles, who purchased or leased the Class Vehicle in the United States, excluding the territories, or abroad while on active military duty (“Class Members”). Class Vehicles are 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonatas with a Theta II 2.0 or 2.4 liter gasoline direct injection engine.
For more information, please review the settlement website at https://sonataenginesettlement.hyundaiusa.com/.
Warranty Extension: Hyundai extended the Powertrain Warranty for Class Vehicles. The extension of the warranty will cover the engine short block assembly consisting of the engine block, crankshaft and bearings, connecting rods and bearings, and pistons for 10 years and 120,000 miles (whichever comes first) from the original sale or lease of the vehicle. The 10-year / 120,000-mile extension of the warranty continues even if the vehicle is sold.
The extension of the warranty covers all costs of inspections and repairs including, parts, labor, and diagnosis, for the engine short block assembly. Coverage under the extension of the warranty cannot be denied on the grounds of improper vehicle service or maintenance history (excepting limited exceptional neglect circumstances).
Hyundai dealerships will provide a free loaner vehicle if requested. If no loaner vehicle is available, Hyundai will provide full reimbursement of reasonable rental car expenses.
Class Members do not need to submit a Claim Form to receive this extension of the Powertrain Warranty
Reimbursements for Past Repairs and Related Costs: Money that Class Members spent on certain Class Vehicle repairs before class notice was disseminated were eligible for reimbursement in full, based on certain eligibility requirements. The deadline for submitting these claims is January 26, 2017.
Hyundai Sonata Complaint
The federal class action lawsuit alleged that Hyundai sold Sonata vehicles with defective rotating assemblies in the Theta II 2.4 L engines that cause sudden and catastrophic engine failure. When the rotating assembly fails, it does so without warning and causes the engine to abruptly seize, according to the complaint. The complaint also alleged:
Rather than addressing this safety problem by warning drivers and recalling its dangerous vehicles, Hyundai has concealed the problem from consumers and implemented a concerted practice of denying warranty coverage for failed engines. Hyundai tells Sonata owners that they must submit a complete record of the vehicle’s maintenance history before making a warranty claim—even though it knows that Sonata engines fail regardless of owner maintenance and that the faulty rotating assembly is responsible. For those warranty claims that are submitted, Hyundai’s practice is to deny them based on inadequate maintenance records or improper maintenance. Hyundai denies that engine failures are widespread in Sonata vehicles and blames its customers for the problem—forcing them to pay as much as $10,000 for an engine replacement.
Sonata Owner: ‘The engine just died.’
Consumer complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) describe how Sonata engines may cause the vehicles to knock or rattle, stall or seize up, or shut off completely while the vehicle is running. Some Sonata owners describe their vehicles as “running very rough,” “hesitating,” “knocking,” and “rattling,” while others indicate that “the engine has seized,” “the engine had locked up,” or “the engine just died.” For one Sonata driver “driving down HWY @65MPH,” the “car lost power.”