Hyundai Hit with Another Putative Suit For Faulty Power Steering Wheels

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel


On June 12, 2017, Hyundai was hit with another class action lawsuit over faulty power steering systems found in various models of the manufacturers vehicles. Plaintiffs claim the South Korean company violated the law of California and 29 other states, in addition to alleging breach of implied warranty, fraudulent concealment and unjust enrichment.

The class is led by two Oregon drivers—Houston Vinci and Jaehan Ku. The named plaintiffs are accusing the company of fraudulently concealing the defect despite countless consumer complaints and a similar lawsuit back in 2016 in which Hyundai agreed to notify Sonata drivers and dealers of the possible defect and replace the unit at no cost to the consumer. Plaintiffs also claim the faulty power steering, caused by conflicting steering wheel input data that actually turns the power steering off, renders drivers unable to react and avoid other vehicles and pedestrians on the road.

Vinci bought a used 2013 Accent back in June 2015 and was involved in a crash due to the defect in January 2016. Had the company disclosed the alleged defect, she claims she never would have purchased the car. She had various dealers service the vehicle after the original purchase and none were able to correct the problem, which ultimately led to her car accident.

Ku, a Korean student studying in Oregon, bought a new 2014 Elantra in March of the same year. In May 2016, his steering wheel locked up and caused his car to veer sharply to the left and the vehicle’s brakes failed simultaneously. The defect has been blamed for allegedly causing the crash into a barrier on the side of the highway, as the steering wheel was effectively inoperable.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database, there were 100 complaints of this likeness for Elantras and ten for Hyundai Accents. One such complaint reported the driver was unable to steer his or her vehicle away from a wooden wall and had no other recourse but to drive through it.

The case is Houston Vinci et al. v. Hyundai Motor America et al., case number 8:17-cv-00997, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.


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