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A recent federal court judgment in California has approved a settlement in a case involving defects in Kia and Hyundai engines. These Kia and Hyundai engine recalls put the Korean automaker into a billion-dollar legal liability. Following this class-action ruling, you might be eligible for a free engine replacement if you possess a qualifying 2011-2019 Kia or Hyundai car or SUV.

Do I qualify for the free new Kia and Hyundai engine replacement?

A white Kia Sportage Hybrid is driving on the road.
The Kia Sportage Hybrid | Kia

According to The Drive, the settled lawsuit for the class action case in 2021 offers 2011-2019 Kia and Hyundai owners a warranty extension that could translate to a free engine replacement. In recent years, thousands of consumers owning Kia and Hyundai models report engine breakdowns have become more common and cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Although millions of vehicles may qualify for free engine replacement, the owners have been paying for these repairs over the years. Some owners may not even know about the warranty extension.

WCPO reports that some Kia and Hyundai models, like the Hyundai Sonata, Tucson, and Santa Fe Sport, may qualify. Some years of the Kia Optima, Sorento, and Sportage also might qualify. There are exceptions to this list, especially for those without maintenance records and those who didn’t submit their vehicles for the 2019 computer software recall. You can find more information on whether you qualify for the free engine replacement by visiting the Kia engine official settlement webpage or the Hyundai warranty extension webpage.

Kia and Hyundai model engine problems

For several years, the Theta II engine has recorded many troubles. The complaints range from melted engine wire, smoke, and burning odors. Others had engine or issues with the anti-lock brake system. Many YouTube videos show these engines blowing up with low miles. These cases are evident even in Kia and Hyundai vehicles that have adhered to the specified maintenance cycles. 

Many Sonata and Optima owners have reported tapping and knocking engines even with regular oil changes and maintenance. Unfortunately, these vehicles have ended up with second or third owners who don’t know about the issue. Some may qualify for a free engine replacement. Instead, the extended warranty will enable them to get new engines with better performance. 

Other major recalls for Kia and Hyundai models

In 2019, an ECU reflash recall connected to knock sensors in Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Over the last six years, many Kia and Hyundai models have been the subject of investigations and lawsuits. More than 10 recalls have been done to correct defects that caused non-crash fires and stalls.

In 2015 and 2017, Hyundai recalled the 2013-14 Santa Fe Sport and 2011-14 Sonata to correct defects in engine components. The 2012-14 Sorento, 2011-14 Kia Optima, and 2011-13 Sportage were also recalled due to similar issues. Over a million Kia and Hyundai models have been identified to correct engine problems. These engines include turbocharged 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter engines. The 2.0-liter machines recorded the highest frequency of non-crash fires, and the risk was higher for the aged vehicles.

In 2019, Hyundai recalled some 2017-2018 Santa Fe Sports, 2016-2018 Santa Fe, 2014-2015 Tucson, and 2019 Santa Fe XL because of the malfunctioning anti-lock brake system that may cause an electrical shock. Eventually, this caused engine compartment fires. In the same year, Kia Motors America recalled the 2014-2016 and 2016-2018 K900 Sportage too. This recall was because of the hydraulic electronic control unit that may have caused engine fires due to an electrical short.


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