— A Hyundai peeling paint lawsuit accuses the automaker of using self-healing paint that peels and bubbles on 2006-2016 Hyundai Santa Fe, Sonata and Hyundai Elantra vehicles.
The Hyundai peeling paint lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs Michelle Resnick, Tara Mulrey, Shelby Cramer, Paul Sandlin, Patricia Reynolds, Lauren Freed and Christopher Baker. The plaintiffs say the self-healing paint can peel and bubble in large sections that leave the cars looking terrible, sometimes with paint flying off in sheets while driving.
"Scratch Recovery Clear" and Peel?
Hyundai and Kia say they use an elastic chemical compound called "Scratch Recovery Clear" to help scratches heal by relying upon ultraviolet light to cause the polymer to enter a molten state that fills in scratches.
However, the lawsuit alleges these self-healing paints and coatings have created concern that long-term exposure to ultraviolet light, through sun exposure, would cause the polymers to break down, creating a constant “molten” state that would cause the paint to peel away from the vehicle.
The plaintiffs say the self-healing process won't work if the scratch is deeper than a surface scratch, such as a chip in the paint caused by a rock flying off the road and hitting the car. Further, there is a concern that if the self-healing process does not occur, the scratch or chip may cause further breakdown of the paint’s molecular structure, in essence triggering the technology to operate in reverse.
The plaintiffs point to Nissan, a company that used the technology in 2005 and stopped using self-healing paint and coatings due to customers complaining about peeling paint.
Failing to Meet Industry Standards
In the case of Hyundai, Sonata owners have complained to CarComplaints.com about paint peeling down to the primer and how Hyundai won't cover the cost.
"My 2011 Sonata the paint is peeling off the hood and trunk of the car. Brought it to Hyundai's attention when I noticed in the inside of my truck they told me I had to pay for it. Now it is peeling on the hood of my car. It is so bad the primer is showing. I have NEVER had a car the paint has peeled off, I wash my car all the time so it isn't because I don't take care of it. This is CRAZY!" - 2011 Hyundai Sonata owner / Norfolk, Virginia
"The paint on the roof of my Sonata is continuing to peel. It started in 2012, just at the lip where it meets the windshield. It was one small chip that has grown in size. The problem has spread all along this lip in different areas (not connected) and each area continues to get larger. Hyundai says I have to pay for the paint to be fixed." - 2011 Hyundai Sonata owner / Louisville, Kentucky
The plaintiffs claim the paint peels at rates and in a manner that fail to meet industry standards. That leaves owners living with the paint problems or spending a lot of money to fix the problems. In addition, the lawsuit alleges the self-healing paint causes a decrease in the value of the vehicles.
According to the lawsuit, Hyundai knows about the complaints but refuses to offer owners a remedy for the peeling paint and continue to insist the flaws are simply wear and tear.
The plaintiffs say they wouldn't have purchased the Hyundai vehicles or at the least wouldn't have paid what they did if the automaker would have mentioned the peeling paint.
The Hyundai peeling paint lawsuit alleges breach of express and implied warranties, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation and violation of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act and California's Business and Professions Code.
The Hyundai peeling paint lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California - Michelle Resnick, et al. vs. Hyundai Motor America Inc.
The plaintiffs are represented by Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group, McCuneWright LLP, Greg Coleman Law, and the Law Office of Jean Sutton Martin PLLC.
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