NHTSA Opens Investigation of Hyundai and Kia Oil Drain Pan Assemblies

Oct. 17, 2022

The Automotive Oil Change Association submitted a petition to investigate this defect in July, and it is pleased to see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launch this investigation. 

Oct. 17, 2022—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided to open an investigation into Hyundai and Kia in response to receiving a petition from the Automotive Oil Change Association from July 2022. 

According to a press release, the defect investigation will look into the oil drain pan assemblies of Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motor Company. The AOCA discovered a malfunction after three years of researching reports of inexplicable mid-interval plug-out allegations from Hyundai and Kia customers. 

This is a unique malfunction, according to the AOCA's research. It occurs without telltale leakage or malfunction indicator lights and often while driving thousands of miles after service. It is likely the result of the following: 

  1. Doublegasketing due to a paint-camouflaged factory gasket fused to either the plug or the pan
  2. Flimsy pan material that expands and contracts under pressure, which may include the kind of intense pressure and vibration associated with pervasive engine defects from Hyundai and Kia

The Auto Care Association, the Tire Industry of America, the Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades and the Automotive Services Association all also joined in on the petition for this defect investigation, which was submitted by the AOCA. 

Additionally, the Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association is now studying the development of reasonable parameters for  rebuttable presumption when a mid-interval plug-out is due to lack of recommended torque pressure at the last service, as well as when it isn't.