— A Hyundai ABS module recall announced earlier this year allegedly wasn't good enough to protect Hyundai vehicles from fires.
And according to a class action lawsuit, previous Hyundai ABS module recalls haven't provided protection from fires that can occur when water corrodes the modules.
The Hyundai and Kia lawsuit includes these vehicles.
- 2007-2010 Hyundai Elantra
- 2009-2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring
- 2007-2008 Hyundai Entourage
- 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe
- 2006-2011 Hyundai Azera
- 2006 Hyundai Sonata
- 2006-2010 Kia Sedona
- 2007-2009 Kia Sorento
- 2008-2009 Kia Sportage
The class action alleges hundreds of thousands of vehicles were left unprotected following Hyundai and Kia recalls announced in 2016, 2018 and 2020.
The Hyundai and Kia vehicles allegedly have defects in the antilock braking system modules and hydraulic electronic control units which allow moisture to build up and corrode the components.
Corrosion can cause a short-circuit in the components because they stay electrically powered even when the vehicles are completely turned off. A short-circuit can easily start a fire, a problem allegedly experienced by the plaintiff who sued.
Because the modules and units constantly have electrical current running through them, the parts must be properly sealed to prevent water from reaching the circuit boards.
The ABS modules (found in Hyundai vehicles) and the hydraulic electronic control units (found in the Kia vehicles) are allegedly defective for a few reasons. First, the components remain charged with the vehicles turned on or off, and second, the modules and units should not allow moisture to enter them.
The plaintiff says he was sitting in his living room on March 26, 2019, when he heard a car horn coming from his garage. He says he also saw thick black smoke coming from his 2007 Hyundai Entourage.
The plaintiff claims his vehicle should have never caught fire because Hyundai and Kia knew about the dangers but did nothing about it.
In 2016, Kia recalled 2008-2009 Kia Sportage SUVs because water could enter the hydraulic electronic control units and create a risk of engine compartment fires.
In 2018, a Hyundai ABS module recall was announced for Hyundai Azera and Hyundai Sonata vehicles when Hyundai admitted the modules stay powered at all times.
But the class action alleges Hyundai ignored the real problem of moisture entering the ABS modules and how recall repair remedies would do nothing to protect the vehicles while they were turned on. In addition, the plaintiff claims hundreds of thousands of vehicles should have been included in the Hyundai ABS module recall.
Then in February 2020 a Hyundai ABS module recall was announced for about 430,000 Hyundai Elantra and Hyundai Elantra Touring vehicles.
Hyundai and Kia offered two forms of repairs for the module and unit problems. The 2016 recall had dealerships replacing the connector covers, and the units would be replaced only if corrosion was noticed.
And the 2018 and 2019 recalls had dealers installing relays in the fuse boxes to remove the electrical current when the vehicles were turned off.
According to the class action, the alleged repairs are Band-Aids because the repairs did nothing to prevent fires while the vehicles were turned on. In addition, the ABS modules and hydraulic units are allegedly still prone to moisture intrusion that causes corrosion and short circuits.
The lawsuit alleges Hyundai and Kia customers have lost the use of their vehicles, have lost money due to repair costs and now own vehicles that have lost their values.
The Hyundai ABS module lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Zakikhani, et al., v. Hyundai Motor Company, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by Lenze Lawyers, PLC, and Fegan Scott LLC.