How The Hyundai-Kia Class Action Settlement Affects Your Legal Rights


How The Hyundai-Kia Class Action Settlement Affects Your Legal Rights

Hyundai and Kia recently entered a proposed class action settlement that could eliminate certain important rights you have under the lemon law in your State, if you own or lease any of the following vehicles with a 2.0 liter or 2.4 liter gasoline direct injection engine (“Theta-II” GDI engine):

  • Kia Optima 2011-2019 model years;
  • Kia Sorento 2011-2019 model years;
  • Kia Sportage 2011-2019 model years;
  • Hyundai Sonata 2011-2019 model years;
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2013-2019 model years;
  • Hyundai Tucson 2014-15 and 2018-19 model years.

In this article, we discuss how your rights under the lemon law may be adversely affected by a settlement in the class action lawsuit entitled In Re:Hyundai and Kia Engine Litigation, Case No. 8:17-cv-00838 (C.D. Cal.). We also discuss the options you still have, for a very limited time, to reject the class action settlement and preserve your rights under the lemon law. You will want to consider your options very carefully — particularly if your vehicle has already had multiple repair attempts for engine problems, oil or fluid leaks, drivability issues, or similar concerns. Simply stated, the more repairs your vehicle has already had, then the greater the likelihood is that the benefits available to qualifying vehicles under the lemon law could exceed the benefits offered by Hyundai and Kia under their proposed class action settlement.

In most States, the lemon law will require that manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia must actually repurchase or replace a defective vehicle if it has not been successfully repaired within a specified time or number of repair attempts. For vehicles that qualify under the lemon law, this typically means that the manufacturer must take return of the vehicle and refund your money, minus any credits provided by law to the manufacturer for mileage or usage. The compensation you may be owed under the lemon law can be very substantial, and it costs you nothing to invoke your lemon law rights because the manufacturer must also pay your attorney fees. At The Lemon Law Attorneys, we will review your vehicle’s repair history at no cost, explain your options under the proposed class action settlement and under the lemon law, and quickly provide valuable advice to help you determine which option makes the most sense for you. Again, it costs you nothing.

Compare that with the proposed benefits that Hyundai and Kia are offering under their class action settlement (which are fully detailed at, and you will find that those benefits are not free. They actually do come at a cost, to YOU. It’s called a “Release”, which means that if you fail to timely reject the settlement by excluding yourself and opting-out, then you will lose any and all legal rights that you may have, now or in the future, under your State’s lemon law. So, the “Release” that you give by remaining in the settlement, and doing nothing, could end up costing you, particularly if your vehicle has already had multiple problems or repairs.

The proposed class action settlement basically amounts to this: You keep the vehicle, you give up all your rights under the lemon law, and the manufacturers will keep trying to fix your engine under a “Lifetime Warranty” that applies only to a few specific engine components. They will pay for towing and rental car costs incurred due to certain engine repairs, and reimburse out-of-pocket payments you made for engine repairs that weren’t covered by warranty, plus an additional $140 to $280. If it took more than 60 days to complete an engine repair, the settlement provides for an “inconvenience” payment of an additional $50 if your engine repair lasted 2 to 3 months; $75 if the engine repair lasted 3 to 4 months; and $100 if your vehicle remained in the shop for a whopping 4 to 5 months due to an engine repair. If you want to buy another Hyundai or Kia vehicle after experiencing substantial engine problems with the one you have now, you may qualify for a rebate of $500 to $2,000. Finally, if your engine caught on fire, or if you previously took a big loss on a trade-in, there are provisions in the settlement for that, but they will only benefit a very limited number of people in those particular circumstances.

At bottom, the class action settlement may end up providing certain vehicle owners with less than what they could otherwise recover if the vehicle qualifies as a “lemon” under their State’s lemon law. If you take no action, you will give up all your rights under the lemon law, but if you timely exclude yourself from the settlement now, you can still preserve those important rights. The decision is yours alone to make, and we at The Lemon Law Attorneys can quickly help you determine which option makes the most sense for you.

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With just a few pieces of information you’ll know instantly whether or not you may have a viable Lemon Law claim against the manufacturer of your vehicle. Please take a moment to see if we might be able to help and remember, there is no cost to you for our services.