- Why did I get a notice package?
- What are these lawsuits about?
- Why is this a class action?
- Why is there a settlement?
- How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
- Which vehicles are included?
- If I bought or leased a Class Vehicle that has not had problems, am I included?
- What if I am still not sure if I’m included?
- What does the Settlement provide?
- How do I make a Claim?
- When would I get my reimbursement?
- What if my Claim is found to be deficient?
- How can I request arbitration if my Claim is denied?
- What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?
- How do I get out of the Settlement?
- If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue for the same thing later?
- If I exclude myself, can I get the benefits of this Settlement?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- How will the lawyers be paid and will the Settlement Class representatives receive service payments?
- How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
- What is the difference between objecting and excluding?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
- Do I have to come to the Fairness Hearing?
- May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- How do I get more Information?
Why did I get a notice package?
According to Kia’s records, you bought or leased a Class Vehicle in the United States. This may also include a Class Vehicle you purchased while abroad on active U.S. military duty.
The Court has ordered a notice be sent to you because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit and about your options in that lawsuit before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, and after objections and appeals are resolved, Kia will provide payments and other benefits agreed to in the Settlement. The notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
To view a copy of the Notice, click here.Back To Top
What are these lawsuits about?
The people who filed these lawsuits are called Plaintiffs, and the companies they sued, Kia Motors Company (“KMC”), Kia America (“KUS”), and others, are called Defendants. The Plaintiffs allege that the Class Vehicles suffer from a defect that can cause engine seizure, stalling, engine failure, and engine fire. The Plaintiffs also allege that engine seizure or stalling can be dangerous if experienced. The Plaintiffs also allege that some owners and lessees have been improperly denied repairs under the vehicle’s warranty. KMC and KUS deny Plaintiffs’ allegations.Back To Top
Why is this a class action?
In a class action lawsuit, one or more persons, called “Class Representatives” (in this case Cara Centko, Jenn Lazar, Christopher Stanczak, Rose Creps, James Kinnick, Wallace Coats, Maryanne Brogan, Andrea Smolek, Danny Dickerson, Robert Fockler, Amy Franklin, Donald House, Dave Loomis, Joseph McCallister, Arron Miller, Ricky Montoya, Lynn North, Mark Rice, Reid Schmitt, James Smith, and Chris Stackhouse), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people and those similarly situated are a “Settlement Class” or “Settlement Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.
The Court in charge of the cases is the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the cases are known as In re: Hyundai and Kia Engine Litigation, No. 8:17-cv-00838-JLS-JDE and Flaherty v. Hyundai Motor Company, et al., No. 18-cv-02223 (C.D. Cal.). District Judge Josephine Staton is presiding over this class action.Back To Top
Why is there a settlement?
The Class Representatives and Defendants agreed to a settlement to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation, including a potential trial, and so that the Class Members can get payments and other benefits, in exchange for releasing Defendants from liability. The Settlement does not mean that Defendants broke any laws and/or did anything wrong, and the Court did not decide which side was right.
The Class Representatives and Defendants entered into a Settlement Agreement that was preliminarily approved by the Court, which authorized the issuance of the notice. The Class Representatives and the lawyers representing them (called “Class Counsel”) believe that the Settlement is in the best interest of the Settlement Class Members.
This website and the Notice summarize the essential terms of the Settlement. The Settlement Agreement, along with all exhibits and addenda, set forth in greater detail the rights and obligations of all the Parties. If there is any conflict between this website, the Notice, and the Settlement Agreement, the Settlement Agreement governs.Back To Top
How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
Judge Staton decided that, for the purposes of this proposed Settlement, everyone who fits this description is covered by the Settlement:
All owners and lessees of a Class Vehicle who purchased or leased the Class Vehicle in the United States including those that were purchased while the owner was abroad on active U.S. military duty, but excluding those purchased in the U.S. territories and/or abroad.
However, the Class excludes all claims for death, personal injury, property damage, and subrogation. The Class also excludes:
- Hyundai Motor America (“HMA”), Hyundai Motor Company (“HMC”), KMC, and KUS;
- Any affiliate, parent, or subsidiary of Hyundai Motor America or Kia America;
- Any entity in which HMA, HMC, KMC, or KUS has a controlling interest;
- Any officer, director, or employee of HMA, HMC, KMC, or KUS;
- Any successor or assign of HMA, HMC, KMC, or KUS;
- Any judge to whom this Action is assigned, his or her spouse, and all persons within the third degree of relationship to either of them, as well as the spouses of such persons;
- Individuals and/or entities who validly and timely opt-out of the Settlement;
- Consumers or businesses that have purchased Class Vehicles previously deemed a total loss (i.e., salvage) (subject to verification through Carfax or other means);
- Vehicle owners or lessees who rent or previously rented the Class Vehicle for the use of third parties;
- New and used motor vehicle dealerships engaged in the business of buying, selling, or dealing in motor vehicles;
- Banks, credit unions, or other lienholders; and
- Current or former owners of a Class Vehicle that previously released their claims against HMA, HMC, KMC, or KUS with respect to the same issues raised in this class action.
Which vehicles are included?
The “Class Vehicles,” for the purposes of the description in FAQ 5, are 2011-2018 and certain 2019 model year Kia Optima, 2012-2019 model year Kia Sorento, and 2012-2018 and certain 2019 model year Kia Sportage vehicles equipped with 2.0 liter and 2.4 liter genuine Theta II gasoline direct injection engines within OEM specifications.Back To Top
If I bought or leased a Class Vehicle that has not had problems, am I included?
Yes. You did NOT have to experience stalling, engine seizure, engine failure, or a vehicle fire to be included in this Settlement. If you still own or lease a Class Vehicle, you will be eligible to take advantage of the Settlement’s extension of the Powertrain Warranty to a Lifetime Warranty, as well as certain other benefits of the Settlement.Back To Top
What if I am still not sure if I’m included?
If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can ask for free help. You can review the information listed on this website or call 1-888-952-4827 and ask whether your vehicle is included in the Settlement. Whether you review the website or call the toll-free number, you will need to have your Vehicle Identification Number (“VIN”) ready. The VIN is located on a small placard on the top of the dashboard and is visible through the driver’s side corner of the windshield. It also appears on your vehicle registration card and probably appears on your vehicle insurance card. Your VIN should have 17 characters, a combination of both letters and numbers.Back To Top
What does the Settlement provide?
The Settlement provides the following benefits:
The Powertrain Warranties for the Class Vehicles will be extended to a Lifetime Warranty for the engine short block assembly, to the extent it was not previously extended under a service campaign. The extension of the warranty will cover the short block assembly, consisting of the engine block, crankshaft and bearings, connecting rods and bearings, and pistons, in those Class Vehicles owned by individual consumers that have completed the knock sensor program software update. With the exception of cases of Exceptional Neglect (defined below) and subject to the existing terms, limitations, and condition of the Class Vehicles’ original Powertrain Warranty, the Lifetime Warranty shall otherwise endure for bearing wear or damage irrespective of the Class Vehicle’s mileage, duration of ownership, or prior warranty engine repairs and/or warranty replacements.
The extension of the warranty covers all costs of inspections and repairs including, parts, labor, and diagnosis, for the engine short block assembly. Class members are suggested to retain all vehicle maintenance records after August 18, 2020, and if Kia believes there to be Exceptional Neglect, such Class members may be required to provide records for vehicle maintenance performed after August 18, 2020 to receive Lifetime Warranty repairs.
The warranty extension may be denied for “Exceptional Neglect” of the vehicle, which means (a) when the vehicle clearly evidences a lack of maintenance or care for a significant period of time of not less than one (1) year, such that the vehicle appears dilapidated, abandoned, and/or beyond repair unless such lack of maintenance was due to a Loss Event, as defined in the Settlement Agreement; or (b) where a Class member has failed to have the KSDS (“Knock Sensor Detection Software”) installed in the vehicle pursuant to the KSDS Product Improvement Campaign by a Kia dealer.
Kia will provide a free recall inspection for up to 90 days after the Final Approval Order for any vehicle where recall inspections were not completed, regardless of current mileage or prior repairs.
Kia dealerships will provide a free loaner vehicle of comparable value if requested, until repairs are completed. If no loaner vehicle is available, Kia will provide full reimbursement of reasonable rental car expenses up to $40 per day. (See below for how to make a Claim for rental car reimbursements.)
You do NOT need to submit a Claim Form to receive this extension of the Powertrain Warranty for the engine short block assembly under this Settlement.
You must have the KSDS Product Improvement Campaign completed by a Kia Dealer to receive the Lifetime Warranty extension.
The deadline for this benefit passed on August 9, 2021.
You may receive full reimbursement of any towing expenses or other out-of-pocket expense reasonably related to obtaining a Qualifying Repair, and up to $40 per day for rental car expenses, based on the following requirements:
The expense was reasonably related to obtaining one of the following Qualifying Repairs
- Any repair to the engine short block assembly, which includes the engine block, crankshaft and bearings, connecting rods and bearings, and pistons.
- Repairs to any other components (such as the long block assembly, battery, or starter) if paperwork shows the work was an attempt to address (i) engine seizure, (ii) engine stalling, (iii) engine noise, or (iv) illumination of the oil lamp. (Repair costs will not be reimbursed if the paperwork reflects that the repairs were plainly unrelated to the short block assembly.)
- It does not include repairs caused by a collision involving a Class Vehicle, unless the collision was directly caused by a Class Vehicle failure otherwise subject to a Qualifying Repair, such as an engine fire.
- You make a timely Claim within 90 days of (i) the date on which the expense was incurred or, (ii) the date the expense was paid, whichever is later. In order to file a new claim please visit Kia's site at https://customercare.kiausa.com/Request/NewRequestThetaClass.
The deadline for this benefit passed on August 9, 2021.
If your Class Vehicle suffered an engine fire that would have otherwise been addressed by a Qualifying Repair that caused you to lose the vehicle because either the cost of the repair was too great or you had to dispose your vehicle at a loss, you may receive compensation for the value of the vehicle, and an additional $140 goodwill payment. You must make a timely claim within 90 days after the engine compartment fire occurred to be considered for this benefit.
The amount of compensation will be based on the maximum Black Book value of the vehicle, provided that you submit a Claim demonstrating the fire originated from the engine compartment and was unrelated to any sort of collision.
The vehicle’s maintenance history or lack thereof before the repair diagnosis will not be a basis for denying or limiting compensation under this section (excepting limited Exceptional Neglect circumstances). Exceptional Neglect means (a) when the vehicle clearly evidences a lack of maintenance or care for a significant period of time of not less than one (1) year, such that the vehicle appears dilapidated, abandoned, and/or beyond repair unless such lack of maintenance was due to a Loss Event, as defined in the Settlement Agreement; or (b) where a Class member has failed to have the KSDS (“Knock Sensor Detection Software”) installed in the vehicle pursuant to the KSDS Product Improvement Campaign by a Kia dealer within 60 days from Notice Date, or within 60 days of mailing of KSDS campaign notice, whichever is later.
To be considered for compensation, submit a claim using the Claim Form. In order to file a new claim please visit Kia's site at https://customercare.kiausa.com/Request/NewRequestThetaClass. After you submit your Claim, you will be contacted and advised of the process for evaluation of your transaction and proposed compensation. If you are unhappy with the proposal, you can elect arbitration through the Better Business Bureau (“BBB”). Kia will pay for the BBB-Administered arbitration except in cases where an arbitrator determines the Claimant's claims were brought in bad faith.
If you have lost faith in your Class Vehicle as a result of an engine failure or engine compartment fire and you purchase a replacement Kia vehicle you may be entitled to a rebate. You must complete the Claim Form to be entitled to any rebate, but may qualify for up to the following amounts: for model year 2011-2012 Class Vehicles $2,000; for model year 2013 and 2014 Class Vehicles $1,500; for model year 2015 and 2016 Class Vehicles: $1,000; and for model year 2017, 2018, and 2019 Class Vehicles $500. You must make a timely claim within 90 days of the engine failure or fire to be considered for this benefit.
The Settlement provides that KUS will distribute an informational pamphlet to Class Members that provides further recommended guidance on the maintenance of the engines in the Class Vehicles and that reminds Class Members of the available inspections and repairs.Back To Top
- The expense was reasonably related to obtaining one of the following Qualifying Repairs
How do I make a Claim?
In order to file a new claim please visit Kia's site at https://customercare.kiausa.com/Request/NewRequestThetaClass.
Deadlines for certain benefits passed on August 9, 2021, but you may still seek reimbursement for other benefits. Please review the table below.
Claim Deadline Lifetime Warranty (upon completion of KSDS) N/A, Claim filing is not required for this Claim. Reimbursement for Past Repairs Passed. Reimbursement for rental car/towing/other costs associated with a Qualifying Repair Within 90 days of the date the expense is incurred or within 90 days of the date the expense is paid, whichever is later. Compensation for inconvenience due to repair delays Within 90 days of the date the repair is completed, whichever is later. Loss of Value for Sold or Traded-In Vehicles Passed. Loss of Vehicle by Engine Fire If engine compartment fire occurred after August 28, 2020, no later than 90 days after fire occurred. Rebate Program For Lost Faith of Vehicle If engine failure or fire occurred after August 28, 2020, no later than 90 days after engine failure or fire occurred.
When would I get my reimbursement?
Payment for approved Claims will be mailed beginning August 10, 2021, per the terms of the Settlement. Payments for future eligible claims will be made on a rolling basis. Payments can only be distributed upon passing of the deadlines listed in the Initial Determination Notice or Final Determination Notice.
If your request for a Dealer Service Card was approved, Kia will provide the card separately to you. Please reach out to Kia Consumer Affairs directly for questions about the status of your Dealer Service Card.Back To Top
What if my Claim is found to be deficient?
If a Claim is found to be deficient and is rejected during the review process, the Settlement Class Member will be notified of the deficiency. The Settlement Class Member will then have an opportunity to remedy the deficiency within 35 days of the notice.Back To Top
How can I request arbitration if my Claim is denied?
In order to request BBB-administered arbitration, you must first have received a final determination that your Claim was denied. Your final determination letter will include information as to how to initiate the arbitration process, including how to request arbitration and where to send your request. Once Kia receives your request, the parties will have at least 30 days to attempt to resolve the matter before you may initiate your case with BBB National Programs. Arbitration fees will be paid by Kia, except in cases where the arbitrator determines the Class Member’s Claims were brought in bad faith. If you have any questions about the process, please contact KiaEngineSettlement@kiausa.com.Back To Top
What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?
Unless you exclude yourself in writing as described FAQ 15, you will be treated as part of the Settlement Class. That means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against KMC, KUS, or other related entities or individuals (as listed in the Settlement Agreement) about the legal issues in these cases if the Settlement is approved, including but not limited to claims of false advertising, deceptive practices, fraud, breach of implied or express warranties, lemon laws, unjust enrichment, strict product liability, and negligence. You will not be able to sue even on existing claims that you may already hold against KMC, KUS, or other related entities or individuals listed in the Settlement Agreement. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will applied to you and legally bind you.
However, nothing in this Settlement will prohibit you from pursuing claims for: (i) death; (ii) personal injury; (iii) damage to property other than to a Class Vehicle; (iv) subrogation; or (v) any and all claims that relate to something other than a Class Vehicle and the alleged defect here.
If you have any questions about the scope of the legal claims you give up by staying the Settlement Class, you may view Section VI of the Settlement Agreement, or you can contact the lawyers representing the Settlement Class, listed in FAQ 18, for free, or speak with your own lawyer at your own expense.Back To Top
How do I get out of the Settlement?
The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement passed on October 30, 2020.Back To Top
If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue for the same thing later?
No. Unless you excluded yourself (opt out), you gave up the right to sue KMC, KUS, and other related entities or individuals for the Claims that this Settlement resolves.
If you have a pending lawsuit against KMC, KUS, or related entities, speak to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately. You must have excluded yourself from this Settlement Class to continue your own lawsuit if it concerns the same legal issues related to the Class Vehicles and the alleged defect in this case, even if it involves other causes of action, including but not limited to, false advertising, deceptive practices, fraud, breach of implied or express warranties, lemon laws, unjust enrichment, strict product liability, and negligence. The exclusion deadline was October 30, 2020.
If you are a Settlement Class Member and you did nothing, you remained a Settlement Class Member and all of the Court’s orders applied to you, you will be eligible for the Settlement benefits described above as long as you satisfy the conditions for receiving each benefit, and you will not be able to sue Defendants over the issues in this lawsuit.Back To Top
If I exclude myself, can I get the benefits of this Settlement?
No. If you excluded yourself, do not send in a Claim Form to ask for any reimbursement. But, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against KMC, KUS, and other related entities or individuals for the Claims that this Settlement resolves.Back To Top
Do I have a lawyer in this case?
The Court has appointed Matthew D. Schelkopf of Sauder Schelkopf, Adam Gonnelli of The Sultzer Law Group, Steve Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, and Bonner Walsh of Walsh PLLC to represent you and other Settlement Class Members. Together these lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own cost.
Matthew D. Schelkopf
1109 Lancaster Ave.
Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
1301 Second Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
1561 Long Haul Rd.
Grangeville, ID 83530
PLEASE DO NOT SEND CLAIM FORMS TO THE ATTORNEYS LISTED ABOVE.Back To Top
How will the lawyers be paid and will the Settlement Class representatives receive service payments?
At a later date, Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service payments to each of the named Settlement Class representatives, Cara Centko, Jenn Lazar, Christopher Stanczak, Rose Creps, James Kinnick, Wallace Coats, Maryanne Brogan, Andrea Smolek, Danny Dickerson, Robert Fockler, Amy Franklin, Donald House, Dave Loomis, Joseph McCallister, Arron Miller, Ricky Montoya, Lynn North, Mark Rice, Reid Schmitt, James Smith, and Chris Stackhouse. It will be up to the Court to decide whether Defendants will be ordered to pay any of those fees, expenses, and service payments. The Court may award less than the amounts requested by Class Counsel. Defendants will separately pay the fees and expenses and service payments that the Court awards. These amounts will not come out of the funds for payments to Settlement Class Members. Class Counsel will not seek more than $12,000,000.00 in fees and expenses or a service award exceeding $3,500 per named Settlement Class representative. Class Counsel will file their motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses by September 30, 2020. You may continue to check on the progress of Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees, expense and service awards by visiting this website.
Defendants will also separately pay the costs to administer the Settlement. The payment of Settlement administration costs will not come out of the funds for payments to Settlement Class Members.Back To Top
How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
The deadline to object to the Settlement passed on October 30, 2020.Back To Top
What is the difference between objecting and excluding?
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class and the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.Back To Top
When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court granted final approval on May 10, 2021.Back To Top
Do I have to come to the Fairness Hearing?
The Fairness Hearing was held on November 13, 2020.Back To Top
May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?
The Fairness Hearing was held on November 13, 2020.Back To Top
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing, you’ll get no reimbursements from this Settlement, though you will be entitled to the benefits of the Lifetime Warranty (if you continue to own or lease your Class Vehicle). Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against KMC, KUS, or other related entities or individuals about the legal issues in this case, ever again.
However, even if you take no action, you will keep your right to sue Defendant for any other claims not resolved by the Settlement.Back To Top
How do I get more information?
This website and the Notice summarize the proposed Settlement. More details are available in the Settlement Agreement and other court documents, which you can view on the Important Documents page, or all papers filed in this action are available online for review via the Public Access to Court Electronic Resources System (PACER) at https://pacer.uscourts.gov.
If you have further questions, you can contact KUS’s Claims Administrator via email at KiaEngineSettlement@kiausa.com, by phone at 1-855-951-0807 (Toll-Free), or write to them at Kia Claims Administrator, c/o Epiq, P.O. Box 3145, Portland, OR 97208-3145. You can also contact KUS at 1-888-952-4827 (Toll-Free) or contact Class Counsel as listed in FAQ 18.
Neither Defendants nor the Class Representatives make any representation regarding the tax effects, if any, of receiving any benefits under this Settlement. Consult your tax adviser for any tax questions you may have.
Other than a request to review the Court’s files at the Clerk of the Court’s Office, please do not contact the Clerk of the Court or the Judge with questions.Back To Top