200,000 Hyundai and Kia cars face class action lawsuit over fire hazard

200,000 Hyundai and Kia cars face class action lawsuit over fire hazard

Nearly 200,000 Hyundai and Kia cars in Australia are at the center of a class action lawsuit over a defect that can start a fire – even when the car is parked.

Nearly 200,000 Hyundai and Kia cars sold in Australia between 2014 and 2020 are at the center of a class action lawsuit alleging faulty braking technology, with lawyers seeking compensation for owners – whether or not their car caught fire.

The lawsuit – filed in the Victorian Supreme Court – concerns about 136,800 Hyundai cars sold in Australia between 2014 and 2020.

Another 56,000 Kia vehicles with the same fault and fire risk could also be involved in the same case, totaling about 193,000 vehicles.

The cars that were the subject of the lawsuit were previously recalled due to a risk of fire – caused by a fault in the anti-lock braking system. However, some owners claim that they never received the safety bulletin when they bought the vehicle second-hand.

A Hyundai owner involved in the lawsuit — led by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers — said Nine messages Her car caught fire on Christmas Day after she had just picked up her elderly grandparents. A passer-by helped them out of the burning vehicle.

Another Hyundai owner’s car suddenly caught fire while sitting in the garage at home, which was parked under her bedroom.

“It could have been a fatal catastrophe. We were very lucky to have smoke entering the house from the garage. Had we not caught on early, the whole house would have almost certainly blown up,” Ms Johnston said in a media statement from the law firm.

Owners of any of the affected vehicles are entitled to join the class action lawsuit free of charge – win or lose – even if their car did not catch fire and did not suffer major brake damage.

The lawsuit concerns the following cars:

  • Hyundai Tucson 2014 to 2020
  • Hyundai Santa Fe 2015 to 2018
  • Hyundai ix35 2015 to 2015
  • Hyundai Genesis Sedan 2014 to 2017
  • Hyundai Genesis G70 and G80 sedans 2018

Legal recourse could be extended to:

  • Kia Sportage (2016 to 2019)
  • Kia Stinger (2016 to 2019)

“These are the cars that families buy and would expect to be able to put in the garage without the risk of spontaneously bursting into flames,” said Andrew Watson, Maurice Blackburn’s national head of class actions.

The law firm leading the class action lawsuit against Hyundai says it is preparing a similar case against Hyundai’s sister brand Kia, which uses the same technology.

“This is a serious defect affecting hundreds of thousands of vehicles with potentially catastrophic consequences for vehicle owners and bystanders,” Watson said in a media statement.

“Consumers expect the vehicles they buy to be safe to drive, safe to park in their garage and free from defects that could result in loss of life.

“Hyundai and Kia have not lived up to those expectations and must be held accountable for putting unsafe vehicles on the road.”

Mr Watson said the class actions would accuse Hyundai and Kia of “failing to comply with the guarantee of acceptable quality under the Australian Consumer Law and engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct”.

As previously reported, the failure of the anti-lock braking system was the subject of a recall due to a fire hazard; An electronic control board can short out when exposed to moisture.

This creates the risk of a fire in the engine compartment, even when the vehicle is parked and the engine is not running.

Following a series of incidents both domestically and internationally, vehicle owners have been advised to park their vehicles outdoors in an open area and away from homes, other buildings or materials that could be flammable, such as garages or carports.

A statement from Hyundai Australia said: “Hyundai Motor Company Australia puts the safety of our customers first. We take the safety and reliability of our vehicles seriously. We have always stood by our products and will continue to do so by providing our customers with the support they need.” . We are disappointed with the class action lawsuit but will carefully review the allegations before commenting further.”

A statement from Kia Australia said: “We are aware of a proposed class action lawsuit by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. However, we have not received any official notification on the matter and as such will not be making any further comments at this time.”

Hyundai and Kia owners can verify whether their car is the subject of the class action by contacting the law firm at ABSDefect@mauriceblackburn.com.au.

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Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, most of his time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motor editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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