This is a class action on behalf of current or former owners and/or lessees of a 2011 – 2015 Hyundai Sonata with a 1.6- liter turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 4-cylinder engine.
As alleged, each Subject Vehicle is equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 4-cylinder engine. Upon information and belief, under normal use and with proper maintenance, the engines in Subject Vehicles suffer from inadequate engine oil lubrication, which causes the engines and their subject components to wear prematurely and ultimately cause catastrophic engine failure.
The connecting rod bearings within Subject Vehicles additionally suffer from failure caused by metal debris circulating within the engine via the engine oil. The oil contamination and inadequate engine lubrication cause the connecting rod bearings to break and release even more metal debris into the engine oil. Consequently, contaminated oil begins to recirculate throughout the engine, causing further engine damage and eventual catastrophic engine failure.
This is a class action on behalf of owners of 2009-2014 Impreza WRX vehicles (“class vehivcles.” Subaru introduced the class engines in the United States market in late 2007 for the 2008 model year. Class engines are predisposed to premature engine failure. Class vehicles are defective with respect to improperly designed and manufactured pistons and an engine management system and PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system that subjects class engines engine to premature catastrophic engine piston ringlands failure (the “Piston Ringlands Defect”).
WRX and WRX STi engines are high performance versions of the 2.5 liter displacement EJ series engines used in other model Subaru vehicles including but not limited to the Forrester, Legacy and Outback. These performance modifications nearly doubled the horsepower for WRX and WRX STi engines over the standard base 2.5 liter engine. These performance modifications that created substantially increased power output did not include necessary internal engine modifications to prevent damage to the piston ringlands.
Inadequate class engine piston ringland durability was caused by casting the class engine pistons from hypereutectic aluminum silicon (Al-Si) alloy. While this alloy has some strength attributes over conventional cast aluminum pistons, Al-Si pistons and in particular piston ringland are more brittle. This Al-Si materials selection and cast construction method resulted in insufficient strength pistons in class engines.
Another contributing cause to class engine failure was an inadequate PCV system that allowed excessive engine crankcase oil vapors to be introduced into the engine combustion chambers thereby lowering the overall fuel/air octane mixture. This causes increased combustion forces acting on the piston through a phenomenon know as detonation. Detonation is a well-known cause of internal engine component damage particularly including piston and piston ringland failure.
Failure of class engines due to the Piston Ringland Defect results in sudden power loss and/or stalling that severely compromises the owner’s ability to maintain vehicle control. The defective class engine components and engine management system also causes sudden an catastrophic engine self-destruction as overheated internal parts seize.
The failures in the class engines due to the Piston Ringland Defect pose a serious safety issue while the vehicle is being operated since there is loss of engine power without warning and the loss of power-assisted steering and reduced braking caused by lack of engine vacuum if the engine stalls. In class vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, the drive wheels will lock and cause loss of directional stability and steering if the engine stalls and the clutch is not immediately disengaged.
This consumer class action arises from defective Theta II engines found in hundreds of thousands of Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the United States.
As alleged, the Theta II engine’s fuel injection system causes contaminants to enter the engine’s oil supply. Initial symptoms of the Defect include a knocking noise from the engine, a reduction in engine power, and engine stalling events (the “Defect”). When the level of contaminants in the oil supply sufficiently thicken the Theta II engine’s oil supply, the engine fails, leading to an immediate loss of engine power and power steering. The Defect thus creates a safety hazard for not only the vehicle’s occupants but the occupants of nearby vehicles. Countless consumer complaints to Hyundai, Kia and traffic safety authorities detail the safety risks and economic burdens of vehicles prone to total and unexpected engine failure.
The only remedy for the Defect is replacing the engine with another defective Theta II engine. Though the Defect is covered by Defendants’ written 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranties, Defendants routinely deny warranty coverage to engines consumed by the Defect by blaming the engine-killing oil sludge on inadequate maintenance or the use of aftermarket oil filters.
Between 2015 and 2017, Defendants recalled 1.5 million vehicles with Theta II engines in North America. Each recall addressed knocking noises, engine stalls, and sudden engine failures. Though the recalls cover Theta II engines manufactured over a five-year period in at least two continents, in each instance, Defendants attributed the recall to the same underlying cause: leftover metal debris in the engine from the manufacturing process.
Reports suggest that in 2016, a Hyundai engineer informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) that Defendants have long been aware that the Theta II engines possess a design flaw affecting all Theta II engines. These reports are consistent with the experience of Plaintiff and countless other owners and lessees of vehicles with defective Theta II engines that have not been recalled (the “Class Vehicles”). Non-recalled Theta II engines are failing because of the Defect in numbers that in some cases exceed the failure rates of recalled vehicles.
This case seeks protection and relief for owners of the Class Vehicles for the harm they have suffered, and the safety risks they face, from Defendants’ unfair, unlawful, and deceptive trade practices.
Attorneys are investigating allegations that 2011-2012 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos were sold with a defective Totally Integrated Power Module (commonly referred to as TIPM). This defect causes the vehicle to not be able to start, and if it does start to shut off without warning. Apparently, Chrysler is aware of the problem but customers have been waiting for months or more to get a replacement TIPM because these are backordered.
If this has happened to you, please share your story.
If you are an owner of the above referenced vehicle experiencing difficulties with the TIPM and are interested in discussing your legal rights, please contact us via the contact a lawyer box below.
Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2012 Jeep Patriot and Compass vehicles manufactured October 18, 2011, through May 7, 2012. Due to an incorrectly manufactured transfer tube, the transfer of fuel from the secondary side to the primary side of the fuel tank may be interrupted, causing the engine to stall.
If the engine stalls while driving it may increase the risk of a crash.
Chrysler has agreed to notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel tank transfer tube free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during May 2013.
Ford Motor Company is recalling certain model year 2001 through 2004 Escape vehicles equipped with 3.0L V6 engines and speed control manufactured from October 22, 1999, through January 23, 2004. Inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the speed control cable connector could result in a stuck throttle when the accelerator pedal is fully or almost-fully depressed. This risk exists regardless of whether or not speed control (cruise control) is used.
According to the National highway traffic Safety Administration, a stuck throttle may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop or slow the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will repair the vehicles by increasing the engine cover clearance, free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on, or before, August 6, 2012. Remedy parts are expected to be available in mid-August 2012. Until then dealers will disconnect the speed control cable as an interim remedy, if parts are not available at the time of an owner’s service appointment. Owners may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.