It is not unusual for auto manufacturers to keep from the public information about potential dangers in their vehicles. After all, if California consumers learned that a defect or malfunction in a particular make or model is a threat to their safety, the reputation of the company will certainly suffer. When enough car owners seek legal help, they may combine their complaints into auto defect class actions so that more plaintiffs may seek relief in a single case.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently received information that over 300 Kia and Hyundai owners filed complaints with the Center for Auto Safety. The CAS has petitioned the NHTSA, asking the agency to investigate reports that certain models are experiencing fires even though they have not been involved in accidents. In fact, one Sonata owner returned to his car after shopping to find it overcome with flames resulting from an electrical short.
At least 229 car owners reported situations indicating the potential for engine fires, including melted wires, smoke or odors of smoke. In addition to these complaints, 120 vehicle engines actually ignited, and at least six people suffered injuries. Kia and Hyundai both claim they will cooperate with the NHTSA should the agency suggest a recall or any other measures. Kia also affirms that its vehicles consistently meet U.S. safety standards and often go beyond what the government requires.
Nevertheless, thousands of consumers deal with defects in their vehicles that place them at risk of injury. Auto defect class actions are a common way to resolve cases where many plaintiffs are involved in a similar complaint. For information about joining a class action lawsuit for a dangerous defect, many people in California consult an experienced attorney.