Class action lawsuit names Kia Niro hybrids, Kia Niro plug-in hybrids and Hyundai Ioniq hybrids.

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Kia Hydraulic Clutch Actuator Recall Failed, Alleges Lawsuit
Class action lawsuit names Kia Niro hybrids, Kia Niro plug-in hybrids and Hyundai Ioniq hybrids.

— Kia Niro hybrid hydraulic clutch actuator problems have caused a class action lawsuit which alleges at least 100,000 hybrid vehicles have defective hydraulic clutch actuators which control when the vehicles switch between the combustion engines and electric motor power.

Included in the Kia class action lawsuit are 2017-2022 Kia Niro hybrids, 2018-2022 Kia Niro plug-in hybrids, and 2017-2022 Hyundai Ioniq hybrids.

The class action alleges Kia refuses to properly fix the vehicles even though 121,000 model year 2017-2022 Kia Niro and 2018-2022 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid vehicles were recalled in 2023 for hydraulic clutch actuator problems.

According to the Kia Niro hybrid recall, fluid could leak into the printed circuit board inside the hydraulic clutch actuator and cause an engine compartment fire.

Kia estimated 1% of the recalled Niro hybrid vehicles may have been affected by the clutch actuator problems.

The lawsuit alleges the vehicles are still at risk of fires even after the recall was issued, but when the hydraulic clutch actuator recall was announced Kia had not received any fire reports. There had also been no crashes, injuries or fatalities.

However, the automaker knew of three confirmed and seven potentially related but unconfirmed incidents of localized melting.

Kia dealers were told to replace the hydraulic clutch actuators if needed, and technicians were told to install new fuses to mitigate the risk of a fire caused by an electrical short-circuit.

According to the hydraulic clutch actuator lawsuit, the fix offered by Kia does not repair the Niro hybrids. Calling the repairs, "barely a band-aid for a deadly Defect," the two plaintiffs who sued assert the hydraulic clutch actuators should be replaced in all the vehicles.

Kia Hydraulic Clutch Actuator Lawsuit — The Plaintiffs

The Kia hydraulic clutch actuator class action lawsuit was filed for more than $5 million by two plaintiffs.

Massachusetts plaintiff Amy Doucette purchased a new 2020 Kia Niro and took the vehicle to a Kia dealer in January 2024 due to the recall. The plaintiff complains the hydraulic clutch actuator was not replaced though a fuse kit was installed.

The plaintiff doesn't allege her vehicle experienced any hydraulic clutch actuator problems, but she claims she "is forced to continue driving the dangerous and unreliable vehicle." She also contends she isn't able to afford to replace her Kia Niro.

Georgia plaintiff Meredith Tongue purchased a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq in December 2022 when it had about 82,800 miles on it, a vehicle not included in the 2023 recall. The plaintiff asserts her vehicle began to have engine problems in July 2023 when trying to accelerate.

She took her Hyundai to a dealer in August 2023 when the Ioniq had about 95,500 miles on the odometer. She says the dealership did not replace the hydraulic clutch actuator, but the lawsuit doesn't allege the dealer diagnosed any clutch actuator problems.

The plaintiff says she is unable to replace her vehicle and "is forced to continue driving the dangerous and unreliable vehicle" which now has about 105,000 miles on the odometer.

The Hyundai and Kia hydraulic clutch actuator class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Amy Doucette, et al., v. Kia America, Inc., et al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lenze Lawyers, PLC, Fegan Scott LLC, and Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese PC.


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