Hyundai And Kia Propose $760 Million Class-Action Settlement Over Engine Fires

In their latest move to address engine issues in their cars, Hyundai and Kia have put aside 900 billion South Korean won ($758 million) to settle class action lawsuits in the U.S. and South Korea. The companies’ latest move comes after staging recalls for possible engine defects, including fires. U.S. regulators and prosecutors have also probed Hyundai and Kia for those issues.

On Friday, Hyundai Motor Corp said it would earmark 600 billion won ($508 million) from its July to September earnings as part of its proposed settlement. For its part, Kia Motor Corp would book the other 300 million won ($250 million), according to a Reuters report. The U.S. settlement affects some 4.17 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

A wide range of Hyundai and Kia fall under the settlement. Those include the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2013 – 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2011 – 2019 Hyundai Sonata and 2018 – 2019 Hyundai Tucson. Under Kia, the 2011 – 2019 Sportage, Sorento and Optima are affected. All vehicles have the companies’ 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter Theta II engines.

Fixes include engine repairs, possible replacement

The $760 million set aside to handle the settlement help cover repairs and other expenses owners had to pay out-of-pocket. Apart from the cash compensation, Hyundai and Kia said it would make things right with owners in other ways. Each affected vehicle will be eligible for an update to its knock sensors, part of a system that detects engine trouble and protects the engine should there be major issues. Damaged engines are eligible for inspection, repair or even replacement, depending on the situation.

All repaired engines will also receive lifetime warranty coverage if it undergoes repair. The warranty will transfer with the car, so additional owners will also have coverage.

The settlement still awaits court approval later this month. After it is approved, affected owners in the class-action lawsuit should receive notices.