In a recent fairness hearing, U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman announced that she would grant final approval to the proposed settlement agreement between Hyundai and class claims from consumers alleging that the Hyundai Sonata contains a defective engine.
Named plaintiff, Elizabeth Mendoza, originally filed the class-action lawsuit in the spring of 2015. Mendoza claimed that the 2.4-liter Theta II engines that are installed in various Hyundai Sonata models contain a defacer that causes them to fail. The class alleges that the defect is due to faulty connecting rod bearings. Specifically, that when the bearings fail they cause metal debris to spread throughout the engine by way of the engine oil.
The settlement—which was originally reached between the parties in July 2016—reimburses affected owners of Hyundai Sonata cars from 2011-2014 for the cost of repairs associated with the engine defect. Hyundai has agreed to cover costs of repairs to affected engines as well as replacement engines, and additionally, the Defendant will cover any extraneous costs such as towing fees and rental car expenses.
In addition to the monetary reparations, the company is also doubling warranties on all new and used Hyundai Sonatas from 5 years to 10 years and from 60,000 miles to 120,000 miles. As a concession to class members who own Sonatas with more than 120,000 miles, Hyundai will offer a 90-day window for class members to bring in the vehicles in for needed repairs.
Final approval of the settlement is scheduled for early 2017.
Hyundai Sonata Defective Engine Class Action Lawsuit is Elizabeth Mendoza v. Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd., et al., Case No. 5:15-cv-01685, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
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