Hyundai, Kia Settle ABS-fire Suit

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Complainants in a class-action lawsuit alleging certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles sold in the U.S. had defective anti-lock brake (ABS) modules which could result in their vehicles spontaneously catching on fire, this week asked a federal judge in California to certify the settlement they came to with the Korean automaker.

Earlier this month the two sides agreed to a settlement which could result in costing the auto company some $326 million in a deal covering more than three million vehicles from the model years 2006-2021.

The motion to accept the settlement was filed by 18 vehicle owners in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California. U.S. District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. had tentatively approved the settlement in October; the agreement was finalized this month.

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The agreement would end three consolidated class actions filed in 2020 against Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Motor America Inc., Kia Corp. and Kia America Inc., alleging approximately three million vehicles had defective ABS modules that could short circuit and spontaneously catch fire.

The settlement provides for extended warranties covering all future costs class members incur arising from the defective ABS module, one free inspection of the ABS module in class vehicles, as well as reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses already paid stemming from a defective ABS module.

Additionally, class members whose vehicles were deemed a total loss after an ABS module-related fire would receive the maximum “Black Book” value and $140 goodwill payments for their cars, according to the motion.

The Hyundai class vehicles in the litigation include model years 2014-2021 Tucson; 2007 and 2017-2018 Santa Fe; 2013-2015 and 2017-2018 Santa Fe Sport; 2019 Santa Fe XL; 2006-2011 Azera; 2017-2020; 2007-2010 Elantra; 2009-2011 Elantra Touring; 2006 Sonata, and 2007-2008 Entourage.

The Genesis class vehicles include Genesis G80 sedans; 2019-2021 Genesis G70 sedans, and 2015-2016 Genesis.

The Kia class vehicles include model years 2008-2009 and 2014-2021 Sportage; 2007-2009 and 2014-2015 Sorento; 2013-2015 Optima; 2018-2021 Stinger; 2006- 2010 Sedona; 2017-2019 Cadenza, and 2016-2018 K900 vehicles —which were also the subject of recalls by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA’s recall notices said Hyundai and Kia strongly urged the owners of affected vehicles to park their cars outside and away from homes and other structures until their vehicles could be repaired. NHTSA said the anti-lock brake system module could malfunction and cause an electrical short, which could result in an engine compartment fire while parked or driving.


Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.