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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, which 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.

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

A red Kia sign with the logo. Some of the cars at the dealer could qualify for a free engine replacement.
Kia logo | Getty Images

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 the free engine replacement, the owners have been paying for these repairs over the years. Also, most of these vehicles are on their second or third owner, and the owners may not know about the warranty extension.

WCPO reports that some of the Kia and Hyundai 2011-2019 models that may qualify for the engine replacement include Hyundai Sonata, Tucson, and Santa Fe Sport. Others are Kia Optima, Sorento, and Sportage. 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 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 from the engine, and 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 engine maintenance. Unfortunately, these vehicles have ended up with second or third owners who don’t know about the hidden secrets of these models. The good news is those with information about the free engine replacement may no longer have to pay hefty fees for engine repairs. Instead, the extended warranty will enable them to get new engines with better performance. 

Other major recalls for Kia and Hyundai models


Mercedes Recalls Some 2022 EQSs Over Electrical Fire Risk

In 2019, an ECU reflash recall connected to knock sensors in Kia and Hyundai vehicles. In the last six years, many Kia and Hyundai models have been the subject of investigations and lawsuits, and ten 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. As well, 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 recalled to correct engine problems. These engines include the turbocharged 2.4 liter and 2.0-liter engines. The 2.0-liter engines 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 and eventually engine compartment fire. In the same year, Kia Motors America recalled the 2014-2016 and 2016-2018 K900 Sportage models because of the hydraulic electronic control unit issues that may cause engine fire due to electrical short.