— A Kia connecting rod bearings lawsuit has been filed that alleges three models of vehicles have defects that restrict the flow of oil through the connecting rod bearings and to other areas of the engines.
The engines can allegedly fail at any time while driving any speed, leaving owners in dangerous driving conditions once the engines stall. According to the plaintiffs, damage to the connecting rod bearings causes metal shavings to appear in the oil.
Included in the proposed class-action lawsuit are the 2015-2016 Kia Optima, 2015-2016 Kia Sportage and 2015-2016 Kia Sorento equipped with Theta 2-liter and 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection engines.
Plaintiff Chris Stanczak leased and eventually bought a 2015 Kia Optima LX. In August 2016, Stanczak heard an unusual engine noise when accelerating, so he took the Kia to a dealer that same day. Eight days later the dealer said there were metal shavings inside the engine and the engine would need to be replaced.
The plaintiff asked for the repairs to be made under warranty, but the request was denied. The plaintiff took the car home to get a second opinion about the engine, but on the following day the Optima's engine seized and failed while traveling about 35 miles per hour.
Stanczak paid $180 to have his vehicle towed back to the Kia dealer where it remained from August 31, 2016, until October 3, 2016. The plaintiff says he was initially told the long block needed to be replaced, but the necessary parts were on backorder. Stanczak then contacted Kia’s corporate offices and requested that Kia cover the repairs under its warranties, but Kia declined.
The plaintiff claims he also requested rental car coverage since he was without his vehicle, which Kia also declined. The automaker also said the long block for his vehicle was no longer in production and they needed to order a used long block.
Stanczak was allegedly told it would cost about $3,200 for the used engine, so he asked where Kia was ordering the engine from so he could check the price. Stanczak says he found the price for the engine was actually $2,210 and that the dealership was attempting to charge him a $1,000 “finder’s fee” on the engine.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff purchased the engine himself from Kia’s source and had it shipped to the dealership, then had to pay another $1,980.00 for labor to install the used engine in his vehicle.
Other owners report paying more than $5,000 to replace engines in the affected Kia vehicles, not counting the expense of rental cars while waiting for repairs.
The plaintiffs claim that not only did Kia conceal the engines were defective and prone to failure, the owners also have vehicles worth much less than they should be.
According to the lawsuit, owners and lessees have told the automaker and dealers about the engine problems, but Kia still refuses to fix the vehicles even when they are under warranty.
The Kia connecting rod bearings lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California - Christopher Stanczak and Rose Creps, et. al, v. Kia Motors America Inc., et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by McCune Wright Arevalo LLP.
The Theta II engine has previously been the focus of a class-action lawsuit except it was the Theta II engine installed in Hyundai Sonata cars. The lead plaintiff sued after claiming a dealer wanted to charge $4,500 to replace the engine.
The Sonata lawsuit alleges the Theta II 2.4-liter engine can seize after the connecting rods start to fail, sending metal debris traveling throughout the engine and contaminating the oil.
CarComplaints.com has complaints about the Kia vehicles named in the lawsuit.