A California federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement that would resolve a putative class action in which Hyundai Sonata owners claimed their engines failed and Hyundai dealers allegedly declined to replace them under warranties. U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled that Hyundai Motor America’s proposal to provide extended warranties and prospective repairs if needed was fair. Certification of the settlement class was also approved by Judge Freeman in her order.
The affected vehicles include Sonatas from model years 2011 to 2014. Plaintiffs claimed check-engine light problems, unusual sounds from engine compartments, and sudden engine seizures and stalling. The Plaintiffs claimed that dealers frequently didn’t replace the engine, citing the drivers’ alleged failure to regularly change the oil or failing to keep service records.
Under the proposed settlement, Hyundai will reimburse Sonata owners who paid for engine block replacements or repairs within 10 years and 120,000 miles of the vehicle’s original sale or lease, including rental car and towing expenses incurred as a result of the engine failures. The company will also compensate Sonata owners for loss of resale value if they suffered an engine failure, but sold or traded in their vehicles rather than paying to replace the engine. For those customers who haven’t yet experienced engine issues, Hyundai will mail them a pamphlet describing the alleged engine defect.
Eric H. Gibbs and David Stein of Gibbs Law Group LLP, and Joseph G. Sauder and Matthew D. Schelkopf of McCuneWright LLP, are serving as co-lead interim class counsel. The case is In Re: Hyundai Sonata Engine Litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.
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