Hyundai Motor Company is recalling 129,000 U.S. vehicles for an engine issue that could potentially increase the risk of a fire. According to a Reuters news report, the recall covers 2015-2016 Veloster, 2012 Santa Fe, 2011-13 Sonata Hybrid and 2016 Sonata Hybrid vehicles because connecting rod bearings inside the engine may wear prematurely, which could damage the engine over time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says if damage is found, dealers will conduct inspections and the engine will be replaced.
Recall Details and Prior Penalties
Hyundai said all vehicles involved in the recall will receive an enhanced engine control software update containing a new Knock Sensor Detection System that monitors engine vibrations for unusual patterns potentially indicating an abnormal condition with the engine, such as a damaged connecting rod bearing. Last week, Hyundai and Kia Motors’ U.S. units agreed to a record $210 million civil penalty after U.S. auto safety regulators said they failed to recall 1.6 million vehicles for engine issues in a timely fashion.
NHTSA said Hyundai and Kia agreed to consent orders after it said they had inaccurately reported some information to the agency regarding the recalls. Hyundai said it would pay a total civil penalty of $140 million including an upfront payment of $54 million, an obligation to use $40 to take safety performance measures and an additional $46 million deferred penalty if it does not meet requirements. That settlement covered recalls in 2015 and 2017 for manufacturing defects that could lead to bearing wear and engine failure.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Vehicle fires are without a doubt a serious matter. They have the potential to result in burn injuries and smoke inhalation injuries, both of which can prove lethal. If you have suffered injuries as the result of a dangerous or defective auto, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Those who have lost loved ones due to defective vehicles may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the automaker seeking compensation. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options. If you suspect that an auto defect caused your car accident and/or injuries, it is important that you preserve the vehicle in its current state, unaltered, so an expert can examine it for evidence of defects, malfunctions and design flaws.