Founded in 1944, Kia Motor Corporation is the second-largest automobile manufacturer in South Korea. Kia Motors America began doing business in the U.S. in 1992, and offers a line of vehicles that includes the Kia Cadenza, Kia Forte, Kia Optima, Kia Sorento, Kia Soul, and Kia Sportage. In 2015, Hyundai Motor Company acquired a minority stake in Kia to form the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. The automaker’s current slogan is “The Power to Surprise,” which boasts affordability along with quality and performance of Kia models. Nonetheless, consumers have made numerous complaints about defects over defects.
Timothy Abeel & Associates, P.C. represents Kia owners and lessees in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If your Kia has been in for numerous repairs while under a manufacturer’s warranty, you may have a valid Lemon Law claim. Our experienced consumer law attorneys will fight to enforce your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Common Kia Defects
Although Kia owners and lessees have made a number of complaints over the years, many have not been covered by recalls. At the same time, Kia Motors has announced recalls of vehicles due to potential axle defects, rust, faulty brake switches, and airbag defects, among others
Kia Engine Recall Controversy
In May 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into Hyundai and Kia’s handling of a 1.6 million vehicle recall due to a defect that could lead to engine failure while vehicles were being driven.
In 2015, Hyundai recalled 470,000 model year 2011-2012 Sonatas for possible engine failures. The problem was attributed to metal debris that wasn’t removed from the engines during the manufacturing process which could clog oil passages, leading to engine failure at highway speeds. At the time, Kia didn’t recall any of its vehicles because the engines were produced on another assembly and were not affected.
In April 2017, Kia finally announced the recall of 618,000 vehicles for the same problem, after many vehicles experienced engine failures, leaving owners with expensive repair bills. However, it appears that Kia had knowledge of the defect previously. In fact, in mid-2016, Kia issued an extended warranty of 10 years or 120,000 miles from the time the vehicle was new due to the engine issues reported by consumers.
The defect was initially discovered by a Hyundai worker who blew the whistle to the South Korean government, which then recalled 240,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles in 2015. This incident was also reported to the NHTSA. Both automakers face class-action lawsuits related to the defect.
Although Kia has stated that the company is unaware of any accidents, the recalls were prompted by what is called “anticipatory risk concerns.” The affected models include the 2011-2014 Optima, 2012-2014 Sorento and 2011-2013 Sportage.
Other Kia recalls
In addition to the engine failure issue, Kia has also announced other recalls.
In March 2017, Kia recalled certain 2011-2014 Optima, 2012-2014 Sorento and 2011-2103 Sportage vehicles. Engine manufacturing errors could cause premature bearing wear within the engine, resulting in the engine seizing and increasing the risk of an accident. Dealers were instructed to inspect the engine assembly and replace the engine if necessary.
In February 2015 Kia Motors America announced the recall of certain model years 2016 Sorento vehicles due to an improperly soldered component in the accelerator pedal assembly, causing the vehicles not to accelerate, increasing the risk of an accident. Dealers were instructed to replace the accelerator assembly.
Experienced Kia Defects Attorney
Although the quality, performance and safety of Kia vehicles has improved over the years, defects and recalls are not uncommon. In fact, the engine recall controversy was a black eye for the South Korean automaker. If you have purchased or leased a Kia that experienced defects that have gone unrepaired, call the Lemon Law attorneys at Timothy Abeel & Associates.
We are well versed in the applicable state and federal consumer protection laws and will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If your claim is valid, you may be entitled to a replacement vehicle, a repurchase, or a refund. Under the Lemon Laws of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, you may also be able to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. If your Kia needed repeated repairs while under the manufacturer’s warranty, or was the subject of a recall, you may have a valid Lemon Law claim. Call our office today for a free consultation or fill out the contact form on our website.
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