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Hyundai, Kia Resolve Engine Litigation

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Oct. 15, 2019—Automakers Hyundai and Kia have reached an agreement to resolve class action litigation with owners of certain vehicles equipped with Theta II gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines in the U.S. and South Korea.

The total amount earmarked for the settlement is around $758 million, reports Reuters. The U.S. portion of the settlement involves 4.17 million vehicles with the Theta II, which has been plagued with problems. Some 1.7 million were recalled for risk of engine fires.

In a press release from Hyundai, the company said that the agreement will provide various cash compensation options, lifetime warranties, free inspection and repair of the covered engines, and installation of a software update Hyundai and Kia introduced after the case was filed to enhance safety and address this engine's performance.

Vehicles in the settlement include 2.3 million Hyundai (2011-2019 Sonata, 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Santa Fe, and 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019 Tucson) and 1.8 million Kia (2011-2019 model year Sportage, Sorento, and Optima) vehicles with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter GDI engines.

Terms of the settlement include:

  • Cash reimbursement for certain past repairs and related expenses, such as towing and rental cars;
  • Cash compensation for certain past trade-ins, sales, and in lieu of certain repairs;
  • Free inspection and repair or replacement of damaged engines;
  • Lifetime warranty coverage for short block assembly repairs for original and subsequent owners;
  • Free installation of the knock sensor detection system software update;
  • Various goodwill compensation for customers inconvenienced by previous lengthy engine repair times, denied warranty coverage, and vehicle loss of value, among other provisions

The court is expected to review the proposed settlement for preliminary approval in October 2019, according to the press release.

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