Mechanic working on an engine of a Kia vehicle.

Engine Problems in Kia Optima and Sorento Vehicles

By: Sepehr Daghighian, Esq.

Kia Motors Corporation is a 75-year-old Korean multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Seoul. The Kia Sorento is a popular midsize SUV sold by Kia.  In spite of its popularity, the Sorento has recently fallen prey to several complaints of severe engine issues. Meanwhile, the Kia Optima is a sedan that features new technology and impressive amenities. However, in spite of possessing a reliable reputation in the market, the Optima has faced numerous complaints regarding engine failure issues. 

If you have faced any engine issues with your Kia Optima or Sorento, CCA is here to help! We invite you to call our experts today for a free consultation: (833) LEMON-FIRM.

What Are Some Common Engine Issues in Kia Optima and Sorento? 

The majority of the owners’ complaints for Kia Optima and Sorento vehicles are engine defects that buzzing sounds, engine failure, knocking sounds and more.

In both Optima and Sorento, Engine defects are persistent problems that don’t have easy solutions. Causes of Engine failure are vast; typically, they are categorized into four groups: Overheating, Miss-assembly, Lubrication, and Detonation issues. Unfortunately, many Optima and Sorento owners find that Kia’s dealerships are unable to timely fix their vehicles and their engines prematurely fail. 

Kia owners commonly complain of vehicle stalls and strange noises, before their engines completely fall apart.  For instance, one owner of a 2017 Kia Sorento described the issue as follows: “I leased a 2017 KIA Sorento EX V6 AWD on Feb. 23, 2017. Within two weeks, and less than 500 miles, there was a buzzing sound on start up that lasted for 5 minutes or so. The dealer I took it to took two days to diagnose the problem. The oil pump failed and the engine was full of metal pieces. The fix, replace the engine. This is the fourth KIA I have owned and it may be the last. I have contacted KIA customer support and they were not much help.”

Besides the issues discusses above, the Kia Optima has faced some serious engine reliability issues. Several of the complaints against the Optima mention excessive oil consumption, strange smoke from the tailpipe, and sudden stops. A user of the Optima 2016 model stated, “I was driving my car 2016 Kia Optima from Alpharetta to Decatur to attend church. I pulled into the parking lot of the church and parked. A few seconds after I parked, I began seeing lots of smoke coming from the right passenger side of the car. The police men who were in the parking lot directing traffic asked me to get out of the car quickly and began attempting to quench the fire with a fire extinguisher.” Another complaint against the same 2016 model was placed by another user, “My daughters 2016 Kia Optima is shutting off while driving. Sometimes it restarts after shutting down. Sometimes she has to hurry and put in neutral and restart as cars behind me don’t know the car has shut off. She feels very unsafe and is afraid someone is going to run into her. Took it to Kia dealer and they ran codes but nothing came up”. These issues can be extremely dangerous if not looked into at the right time.  

What Can I Do if My Kia Optima or Sorento is Subject Engine Failure?

Have you been noticing any severe or unrepaired engine issues with either your Kia Optima or Sorento, such as sudden stalls, excessive smoke, loud noises, or other problems? CCA’s team of experienced lawyers are here to guide you and help resolve your lemon law issues expeditiously and for a substantial settlement. Please feel free to reach out to us for a free hassle-free consultation regarding your vehicle. 

Contact our experts for a free consultation at (833) LEMON-FIRM.

Line of Hyundai vehicles at a dealership.

Dangerous Defects in Hyundai Genesis (2015-2019)

Hyundai Motors is a South Korean multinational automotive corporation, headquartered in Seoul, it was found in 1967 and now sells cars in 93 countries across the world. Hyundai Genesis is a full-sized, 5-seater luxury sedan that Hyundai boasts is comparable to some of Europe’s great automakers. Nonetheless, Genesis and Hyundai have been called out for a plethora of serious issues and defects with their vehicle. Some of these defects include engine stalls/shutoff, dead battery, excessive oil consumption, weak speed control, and much more. Despite several recalls and NHTSA investigations in the past, the issues seem to be persistent.

CCA is here to help if your Hyundai Genesis has suffered dangerous or unrepaired defects. We invite you to call our experts today for a free consultation: (833) LEMON-FIRM.

What are some of the Dangerous Defects in the Hyundai Genesis?

Over the past few years, Hyundai Genesis owners have reported a variety of issues, with most of them falling under the categories of Electrical, Powertrain, Engine, and Interior.

Electrical Defects: The majority of the complaints under the electrical category are regarding the dead batteries and electrical failure. Apparently, dead batteries issues usually occur due to an issue with the alternator; a defective alternator fails to keep the battery charged. Signs of a dead battery typically include warning lights, slow engine cranks, odd battery smell, and swollen battery. A 2015 Hyundai Genesis user described the issue as, “I have had the car 28 months. Dealer service agent says these batteries are only good for about two years. When I asked if they tried to charge the old battery, she said it couldn’t be done as it was dead. This is the first time that I have ever had a battery go dead after owning 20+ cars in my life including a previous Genesis. It looks like a good reason NOT to buy a Genesis in the future.”

Multiple electric failure is another dangerous and recurrent issue amongst the Genesis models. Different users have had mixed experiences with electrical issues. The owner of a Genesis Luxury 3.8L explained the defect: “The car was great for about 2 weeks then all of a sudden the tpms alarm goes off, then the wipers start coming on and off. All my blind spot alarms turn on and off, also all the gauges even the gas gauge dies reads nothing. All this while driving down the road also the steering seems to get very tough like the power steering isn’t working.”

Engine Defects: Amongst all the problems reported against the Hyundai Genesis, engine defects seem to be the most prevalent and hazardous. The most common and recurrent issue is sudden engine shutoffs and stalls. A stall can be extremely dangerous in some situations; it also increases the risk of fatal accidents and injuries. One owners stated, “On December 23, my 2015 Hyundai Genesis with no warning died for a second time while I was stopped for a traffic light. As in my previous experience with this problem, there was no advance warning. At this time, I was in heavy traffic on a five-lane State Road with cars in each lane. I put on my warning lights, called 911, and prayed. The police and fire engine arrived about 10 minutes later, closed all five lanes of the road, and while I steered with their help, they pushed the car off the road to a safe area. I believe there is a serious safety issue.” 

What Can I Do if My Hyundai Genesis has been Indicating symptoms of any dangerous defects?

If your Hyundai Genesis model has been subject to any defects, such as the ones described above or others, CAA’s experts are here to help you find a viable solution. Our lawyers are experienced and well versed with issues plaguing the Hyundai Genesis. Best of all, all of your attorney’s fees will be paid by Hyundai and we will never send you a bill.  Feel free to reach out to us for a hassle-free consultation regarding your vehicle.

Contact our experts today for a free consultation at (833) LEMON-FIRM.

Kia Grand Sedona

Kia Sedona Fuel Rail Defects

Kia Motors Corporation is a 75-year-old Korean multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Seoul. The Kia lineup offers a wide range of vehicles, including luxury, sports, hybrids, SUVs, electric cars, and minivans. While the quality of Kia products have reportedly improved over the years, the Kia Sedona has recently suffered a series of defects and recalls arising from the vehicle’s fuel rail system.

Kia Sedona is a popular, family-sized vehicle that seats up to 8 passengers and features flexible storage, tech features, and a stylish design. Despite its stature in the market, Kia has faced numerous concerns regarding a leak in its fuel system. The problem is due to excess heat being generated in the engine compartment that causes a crack in the fuel rack, leads to a fuel leak and potential fire. 

If your Kia Sedona has suffered any fuel leak or fuel rail issues, CCA is here to help. We invite you to call our experts today for a free consultation: (833) LEMON-FIRM.

What are some common fuel rail issues reported by Sedona users?

In the past few years, Kia has recalled numerous Sedona models due to several complaints received against its fuel system. The core of the problems reported is mainly due to the faulty fuel rails. Generally, a vehicle’s fuel rail is a long, round metal bar that runs along the top of the injectors and supplies fuel to the engine’s intake manifold.  The recalls are essential because if the issue is unattended and aggravated, it could lead to fuel leaks and fires. According to Kia, there haven’t been any fatal accidents or fires in the past, and the recalls was purely a precautionary measure.

Nonetheless, one of most common issues reported by Sedona users were unexpected stalls and starting troubles. Customers explain that this problem is usually accompanied with a persisting gas smell, “Gas smell in car while in motion. Experiencing a sort of hesitation, like wanting to stall. Brought to dealer. Dealer identified issue- crack in fuel rail, leaking on engine. Item was not covered under warranty and quoted at just under $1K to repair.”

Almost all the complaints against Kia Sedona have included fuel leak or persisting fuel smell issues. A user described the issue, “We discovered a fuel leakage after getting gas, but did not discover this leak until after driving home from the gas station. There was a strong smell of gasoline and we noticed that the fuel gauge went down rather quickly. After getting home from the gas station, we noticed the smell of gas was still very strong and that was when we noticed the leak, on our driveway. In the time that we were driving, we had been leaking gasoline the whole time, and could have lost our lives on our way home. We took our Kia to be inspected and repaired and they discovered that the fuel rail was damaged: It had a crack along one side.”

What Actions Have Been Taken to Address the Fuel Rail Issues in Kia Sedona?

The Center for Auto Safety is closely monitoring the issue and recalls. According to Jason Levine, the center’s executive director, approximately 200,000 Sedona models have been recalled since their original petition against the problem.

As per the NHTSA website, users have reported fuel smells, fuel leaks, and cracked fuel rails. The automaker has notified NHTSA of all recalls and is continuing to contact affected owners.

Kia released a statement to reassure its customers, “Kia will reimburse owners for repair expenses already incurred pursuant to Kia’s General Reimbursement plan filed April 10, 2018.”

What Can I Do if My Kia Sedona is Subject to Fuel Rail Issues?

If you have been facing any of the issues discussed above or have been trying to contact the automaker regarding the recall without any luck, CAA is here to help. We are equipped with a set of experienced lawyers that are well aware of the issues plaguing the Kia Sedona and the latest updates. Feel free to reach out to us for a free and hassle-free consultation regarding your vehicle. 

Do not hesitate to contact our experts for a free consultation at (833) LEMON-FIRM.

Hyundai store with cars that have the theta II engine.

Hyundai and Kia’s Theta II Engines: Manufacturing Defects, Recalls, and Spontaneous Fires Are Just the Beginning

By Lauren C. Martin, Esq.

Hyundai and Kia’s 2.4-liter and turbocharged 2.0-liter Theta II engines are gasoline direct injection (“GDI”) engines that have been the subject of headlines and lawsuits for years. The vehicles equipped with the Theta II engine include the following:

  • 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • 2011-2014 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2013-2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  • 2011-2014 Kia Optima
  • 2011-2014 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011-2014 Kia Sorento
  • 2011-2014 Kia Sportage

Drivers of vehicles equipped with these engines have reported engine knocking, excessive oil consumption, engine stalling, engine failure… and if that isn’t enough, spontaneous fires. According to publications by Kia and Hyundai, faulty manufacturing of the vehicle has left metal debris around the engine crankshaft, which contaminates the oil and can (and will) create a very unhappy engine.  California consumers stuck with this unfortunate engine have complained to Hyundai and Kia for years about the incessant problems; to no avail.  While Hyundai and Kia have applied a series of “band-aid” fixes to the dangerous issues, their customers continue to suffer through a myriad of engine issues.  

In September 2015, Hyundai was compelled to recall 470,000 Model Year (“MY”) 2011 and 2012 Sonata’s to prevent engine failures and fires. In March 2017, Hyundai expanded the recall to include 572,000 MY 2013-2014 Sonata and Santa Fe Sport vehicles, also with the Theta II engine. On the same day, Kia recalled 618,000 Optima, Sorrento, and Sportage vehicles – also with the Theta II engine. 

By May 2017, following concerns reported by one of Hyundai’s own employees, NHTSA (“National Highway Traffic Safety Administration”) launched a formal investigation into Hyundai and Kia’s Theta II recalls, whether they covered enough vehicles, and their knowledge of the defects. 

The NHTSA investigation on Hyundai states, 

“On September 10, 2015, Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) field a Defect Information Report (DIR) recalling 470,000 MY 2011 and 2012 Sonata vehicle with “Theta II” engines (Recall No. 15V-568). Hyundai’s DIR described the defect as an issue involving manufacturing debris. Hyundai limited the population of recalled vehicles to those produced on or prior to April 12, 2012, stating that a process change in April 2012 resolved the issue of manufacturing debris.

On March 31, 2017, Hyundai expanded its original recall to include 572,000 MY 2013-2014 Sonata and Santa Fe Sport vehicles with “Theta II” engines (Recall No. 17V-226). The DIR continues to describe the defect as an issue involving manufacturing debris.

The recall query (“RQ”) is being opened to investigate both the timeliness and scope of Hyundai’s “Theta II” engine recalls, and Hyundai’s compliance with reporting requirements.”

The NHTSA investigation on Kia states,

“On March 31, 2017, Kia Motor Americas (Hyundai) filed a Defect Information Report (DIR) recalling 618,160 MY 2011-2014 Optima, MY 2012-2014 Sorento, and MY 2011-2013 Sportage vehicles with “Theta II” engines (Recall No. 17V-224). “Theta II” engines are a family of engines used by both Kia and Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai). Kia’s DIR described the defect as an issue involving manufacturing debris as well as a machining process causing an uneven surface roughness which could restrict oil flow within the engine.

Previously, on September 10, 2015, Hyundai filed a DIR recalling certain vehicles containing engines from the shared “Theta II” engine family, describing a defect as an issue involving manufacturing debris. Kia’s March 31, 2017, DIR states that Kia did not conduct a recall upon learning of Hyundai’s September 2015 recall because Kia’s “Theta II” engines were manufactured on a different production line and did not have the same manufacturing issue.

The RQ is being opened to investigate both the timeliness and scope of Kia’s “Theta II” engine recall, and Kia’s compliance with reporting requirements.”

In 2017, Hyundai settled the class action of Mendoza v. Hyundai Motor Co., Case no. 15-cv-01685, by agreeing to: 1) help vehicle owners pay the cost of repairs or replacements; 2) reimburse owners for rental and towing expenses; and 3) extend the warranties on these cars from 5 years/60,000 miles to 10 years/120,000 miles.  However, the Mendoza case was limited to only certain vehicles and many Kia and Hyundai vehicle owners continue to suffer through frustrating repairs and engine problems.  

Even despite the above NHTSA investigations and class action lawsuit filed, Hyundai and Kia have continued to have problems with their Theta II engines despite recalls and repairs. NHTSA investigations were opened again on August 21, 2018 and March 29, 2019 regarding the Theta II engines in Hyundai and Kia vehicles for continued engine failures that may cause stalling and non-collision fires. 

If you have purchased or leased a vehicle equipped with the defective Theta II engine and have experienced any engine problems, the lemon law attorneys at CCA are here to help. For a free consultation, contact us at (833) LEMON-FIRM.