Hyundai and Kia vehicles allegedly have defective 1.6-liter Gamma GDI engines that cause fires.

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Hyundai Kia Engine Defect Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed
Hyundai and Kia vehicles allegedly have defective 1.6-liter Gamma GDI engines that cause fires.

— A Hyundai Kia engine defect class action lawsuit has been dismissed after the plaintiffs failed to plead the 1.6L Gamma GDI engines were defective. The class action lawsuit alleges the Gamma engines cause sudden stalling, excessive oil consumption, engine failures and fires in these Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

  • 2010-present Hyundai Accent
  • 2018 to present Hyundai Kona
  • 2010-2020 Hyundai Elantra
  • 2012 to present Hyundai Veloster
  • 2009 to present Hyundai Tucson
  • 2012 to present Kia Rio
  • 2010 to present Kia Soul
  • 2019-2020 Kia Forte
  • 2017 to present Kia Sportage

The 1.6-liter Gamma gasoline direct injection engines were designed to produce more power on less fuel, allegedly so Kia and Hyundai would be able to meet government fuel efficiency standards.

The plaintiffs allege that because of the relatively smaller size compared to other 4-cylinder GDI engines, a Gamma engine experiences even higher pressure. And the software of the engine control unit must be precise because the GDI engine requires the fuel valve to spray atomized fuel directly into the combustion chamber.

The plaintiffs allege Hyundai and Kia were pushed to meet demands during production and consequently made mistakes with the engine blocks, pistons, bearings and in the programming of the control modules.

According to the class action lawsuit, Hyundai and Kia knew as early as 2009 the Gamma engines had alleged defects that caused fires.

The class action alleges Hyundai and Kia fails to repair the engines under warranty and fails to permanently repair or replace the allegedly defective engines.

Hyundai and Kia owners filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of all U.S. consumers who purchased or leased vehicles with 1.6L Gamma engines.

Hyundai Kia Engine Defect Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed

In a motion to dismiss, Hyundai and Kia argue the entire lawsuit should be dismissed because the plaintiffs fail to state a claim as the lawsuit does not plead a defect.

Specifically, Hyundai and Kia say the class action lawsuit “blame[s] all purported engine issues on a purported decrease in manufacturing and assembly quality, not an inherently flawed design.”

The lawsuit also allegedly fails to describe any specific defect resulting from the allegedly poor manufacturing quality. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges several negative symptoms arise from engine defects, but the plaintiffs allegedly fail to explain how these symptoms result from a common cause.

Without that, Hyundai and Kia argue they couldn't have known about any alleged engine defect.

Judge Josephine L. Staton ruled the plaintiffs fail to allege "any specific design feature, component, mechanism, or function within the Gamma Engines is defective."

Instead, the plaintiffs claim the Gamma engines are “prone” to “stalling and engine fire,” “excessive oil consumption,” and “premature engine failure.” But the judge found these "generalized and disparate symptoms fail to put Defendants on notice of any specific defect."

Judge Staton dismissed the entire Gamma engine class action lawsuit but granted the plaintiffs the right to amend the lawsuit.

The Hyundai Kia engine defect class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Sara Pelayo, et al., v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc. et al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C., and Berger Montague PC.


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