Sedans & Coupes

Hyundai Settles Lawsuit for Dangerous Elantra Engine Problems

Hyundai generally has a good reputation for making cars that are reliable and safe. But of course, nothing’s perfect, and Hyundai is no different according to a recent lawsuit that was settled in court. Here’s a look at the lawsuit over the Hyundai Elantra’s alleged engine issues and what Hyundai is doing in response to it.

A recap of the Hyundai Elantra lawsuit

According to Car Complaints, Hyundai Elantra owners recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Hyundai alleging that the construction of the Elantra could ultimately cause engine failure among other potentially serious problems. This class-action lawsuit covered Elantras from the 2011 to 2016 model years, and a few Elantra trims were also affected by this lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged that the root cause of this problem was in the piston assembly of the Elantra, as the pistons would cause a ticking sound which is called a piston slap. Car Complaints wrote that piston slaps typically occur during cold weather, and they can cause damage to the car’s engine block, create oil sludge, or even potentially cause a total engine failure. 

This lawsuit was originally dismissed by the judge, but the judge allowed the plaintiffs to revise it in order to refile it. That’s what they did, and that’s when Hyundai decided to settle the lawsuit without going to trial.

What the Hyundai Elantra settlement means

Car Complaints wrote that Hyundai said that “there is nothing defective about the vehicles,” and additionally, Hyundai also denied all the allegations and denied any liability in regard to them. Regardless, Hyundai settled the lawsuit by rolling out a bunch of changes that will probably benefit Elantra owners. 

The main thing this settlement changes is the warranties on many Elantras. According to Car Complaints, Hyundai will now extend the powertrain warranty for eligible Elantra models to a total of 10 years or 120,000 miles. For other eligible Elantra owners who were not “the original purchasers or lessees or customers of certified pre-owned cars,” their Elantra’s warranty will get expanded to a total of 8 years or 80,000 miles.

There are a few eligibility requirements, though. Car Complaints said that eligibility will be determined by where the car was registered. While many states were included, many were also excluded largely based on how generally warm or cold the state is. On top of that, this warranty extension will only apply to certain parts of the short block assembly, and it’ll only apply if there’s a piston slap noise in the Elantra. 

Plus, there’s a lot of fine print too. For example, Car Complaints wrote that Elantra owners who don’t change their engine oil for “365 consecutive days or 15,000 miles” may not be eligible for this. However, if you are eligible, then Car Complaints also wrote that Hyundai will reimburse repairs and towing fees for eligible owners. 

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra is better, though

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Since this lawsuit only involved some relatively old Elantra models, customers shouldn’t really worry about the newer model years. Indeed, the latest model year of the Elantra is a pretty good car for its price. 

Starting at about $19,000, it’s not exactly the most fun or luxurious car, but it does its job well. It gets a pretty good fuel economy of about 33 MPG in the city and 41 MPG on highways, and for that price tag, it makes the 2020 Elantra a great choice for most families.

On top of that, since it’s a Hyundai, it’s also a very well-equipped car that’s safe and reliable. This alleged engine issue aside, Hyundai is still one of the most reliable and safe automakers on the market.