— A Hyundai Smart Trunk lawsuit settlement has received preliminary approval for former and current owners and lessees of 2015-2017 Hyundai Sonata cars.
The Smart Trunk technology allegedly triggers the trunk to open when the key fob is within the proximity range, all without touching the trunk or lid. Associated with the trunk lid is the torsion bar which is described as a component that promotes the opening and keeping open the trunk lid using torsional force.
Four Hyundai models were originally included in the class action lawsuit, including the Azera, Elantra, Genesis and Sonata. But the only model to survive to reach the settlement stage is the Sonata equipped with Smart Trunk technology.
According to the one Hyundai customer named as the plaintiff, the Smart Trunk should open when the key fob is near the car, but the trunk lid doesn't open far enough to ensure a customer won't be required to touch the lid.
Although Hyundai agreed to settle the Smart Trunk lawsuit to save on the expense of a long trial, the automaker "expressly denies any wrongdoing alleged in the Action and does not admit or concede any actual or potential fault, wrongdoing, or liability in connection with any facts or claims that have been or could have been alleged against it in the Action."
Hyundai Smart Trunk Settlement Terms
A Sonata owner or lessee who has a documented complaint, repair or warranty claim related to the trunk not opening far enough may receive a $50 debit card or $100 dealer credit.
Proof of making a complaint must be provided, whether the complaint was made to Hyundai, a dealership or on a public complaint forum online. Payments will be made by using debit cards valid for 180 days from the dates of issuance, with the expiration dates printed on the debit cards.
Torsion Bar Replacement and Smart Trunk Credit
Sonata customers who believe the trunks are not opening at least 7.5 inches may make appointments with Hyundai dealers for inspections of the cars.
Based on Hyundai's technical service bulletin (TSB 19-BD-222, Trunk Lid Torsion Bar Inspection and Repair), if a Hyundai dealer determines the Smart Trunk opens less than 7.5 inches, technicians will replace the torsion bars.
If the Sonata is outside Hyundai’s 6.5 year/78,000 mile extended warranty, the replacement parts will be covered by Hyundai’s standard 2 year/unlimited mileage replacement parts warranty. After installation of the replacement torsion bars, Sonata customers are entitled to submit one claim for a $70 dealer credit.
If a customer believes the Smart Trunk fails to open 7.5 inches, the customer can make a second dealer appointment for technicians to again replace the torsion bars. A customer may also submit a claim for payment of a $100 debit card or $200 dealer credit.
However, the settlement says the inspection and trunk repair is only available for Sonatas within the 6.5 year/78,000 mile period.
Hyundai Smart Trunk Warranty Extension
Sonata cars that are under warranty as of the effective date of the Smart Trunk settlement will receive torsion bar warranty extensions to cover 6.5 years or 78,000 miles.
However, if the Sonata is outside the warranty period as of the settlement final approval date, the torsion bar warranty extension period is 18 months or 18,000 miles.
Reimbursement for Out-of-Pocket Expenses
An affected Sonata customer who has incurred any out-of-pocket expense for trunk repairs prior to the end of the claims submission period will be entitled to submit a claim for reimbursement of those repair expenses.
Reimbursements are made with the issuance of debit cards and any money still left on the cards after 180 days will revert to Hyundai.
Attorneys for Hyundai Sonata customers will see a payday of $829,000 as long as the federal judge gives final approval to the settlement agreement.
Sonata customers who want to learn more can visit SonataSmartTrunkSettlement.com.
The Hyundai Smart Trunk lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania - Joshua Riaubia, et. al., v. Hyundai Motor America.