New York, NY: Kia Motors is facing a consumer fraud class action lawsuit over allegations that its Sorento model is prone to catastrophic engine failure.
The lawsuit, entitled Robinson et al v. Kia Motors America Inc. et al., Case No. 13-cv-00006 U.S. district Court for the District of New Jersey, claims that Kia Motors knowingly concealed a manufacturing defect in the crank sprocket of its 2002-2009 Sorento models. This alleged engine defect can lead to a catastrophic chain of events beginning with severe heat buildup, the release of debris, and subsequent loss of steering control, engine failure and the potential for a hazardous accident, the plaintiffs allege.
“Not only did Kia actively conceal the material fact that this particular component is defectively designed (and requires costly repairs to fix), but it also did not reveal that the existence of this defect would diminish the intrinsic resale value of the vehicle,” the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs further claim that Kia motors has been aware of the engine defect for several years, as evidenced by numerous online complaints, but has withheld this information from consumers while making numerous statements about the quality and reliability of the Sorento. As a result of Kia’s “scheme of false and misleading advertising and marketing” thousands of people have purchased a Sorento, without knowledge of the defect, in preference to another vehicle without the alleged defect.
The lawsuit also allege that Kia Sorento owners who sought repairs for their vehicles while under warranty received only temporary repair of damaged parts, which may have included using similarly defective parts.
Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that Kia profits from the alleged Sorento engine defect by performing unnecessary parts replacements, computer reprogramming and software updates, despite knowing the true cause of the problem.
The lawsuit seeks to represent a nationwide class of consumers that purchased or leased the first generation Sorento. It is seeking damages, injunctive relief, including a recall to repair the alleged defect, and more for alleged breach of warranties, breach of contract, negligence and violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The plaintiffs are represented by the Law Office of Schmuel Klein PC.