We’re lucky to live in a world where automakers suffer the consequences of being negligent. That’s important as it keeps manufacturers in check and reminds them they should never play with people’s safety.
U.S. consumers recently sued both Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors over an alleged defect that reportedly made vehicle engines catch fire. This lawsuit is now serving as an excuse for officials to look into investigating the two automakers.
According to news reports, 350 drivers reported complaints. They accuse both companies of producing vehicles that catch fire even in the absence of collisions. Consumers claim the firms concealed the defect, endangering their safety. On Dec. 14, victims’ lawyers filed the class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Impacted consumers first turned to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to report the complaints. Now that these incidents led to the lawsuit, regulators are investigating how the problem may impact the vehicles and what errors are causing the engine to catch fire. The Southern District of New York even opened a criminal investigation into the matter.
Following the reports and the probe, Hyundai and Kia recalled 1.6 million cars in the United States. The 2011 through 2014 vehicles all potentially have engine problems.
The lawsuit claims the equipment issue restricts how much oil may flow to engine parts. This may cause the engine to experience premature wear and failure. As a result, the lawsuit says, engines suffer seizures and fires.
This issue reminds us that not all automakers are on top of important safety standards when it comes to producing their vehicles. This means consumers are the ones who hurt the most.
The Center for Auto Safety, a non-profit consumer watchdog, was one of the first organizations to call for the automakers to issue a recall. However, the advocacy group urged the two companies to recall 2.9 million cars.
This story must serve as a reminder to drivers. If your car is presenting equipment issues and you were involved in an accident as a result, you must report the issue to the regulators. Automakers have a duty to make sure their vehicles meet safety standards and these reports will help officials to keep these companies in check.
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