Class Action Alleges Hyundai Knowingly Put
Exploding Sunroofs on the Road
January 22, 2013
by Casey Neeley, firstname.lastname@example.org
In a class action suit filed January 14, counsel for plaintiffs
Linda, Sonia and Fernando Palacios of McAllen, Texas, allege that
Hyundai Motor America knowingly put consumers at risk by selling
Veloster models with faulty sunroofs.
In the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California, it reads, "Hyundai has actively concealed
the exploding sunroof defect from consumers."
Further, plaintiffs allege, "Even when vehicle owners present their
cars after the sunroof has exploded, Hyundai's policy is to simply
replace it with an identical, defective part, act as if the problem
has been solved and continue concealing the exploding sunroof defect
from prospective Veloster purchasers and lessees. Hyundai knew that
potential car buyers and lessees would deem the exploding sunroof
defect to be material such that reasonable consumers who knew of
the defect either would have paid less for the class vehicles or
would not have purchased or leased a class vehicle at all."
The Palacios say they were motivated to seek legal action after
they found the sunroof to Linda's 2013 Veloster had shattered.
"On or about December 4, 2012, the sunroof exploded while Linda
Palacios was parked. The explosion sent shattered glass all over
the car, damaging the seats," reads the complaint.
"The force of the explosion was so great that it bent the metal
frame surrounding the sunroof assembly," counsel further alleges
in the complaint. "By fortunate chance, Mrs. Palacios was not in
the car when the sunroof exploded."
Plaintiffs further contend that upon taking the vehicle to the
Hyundai dealer for repair they were told that there wasn't a known
issue with the Veloster sunroofs and the "repair may not be covered
under warranty." The Palacios allege further that the "dealership
offered to replace the sunroof but only with an identical part,
presumably containing the identical dangerous defect."
In the complaint the Palacios also allege Hyundai kept the information
of the defect from consumers to maintain sales of the Velosters
by saying, "Hyundai knows of the exploding sunroof defect and knows
that consumers are not aware of the risk that their sunroofs could
explode without warning. Nevertheless, Hyundai refused to acknowledge
that there was any problem for [more than] a year and has recently
issued only a partial recall
limited to 2012 Veloster vehicles manufactured from November 1,
2011 through April 17, 2012. Hyundai has still not informed current
owners and lessees of other class vehicles about the exploding sunroof
defect, has not disclosed exploding sunroof defect to purchasers
and lessors of 2013 model class vehicles and continues to market
and promote the 2013 model class vehicles as safe."
Hyundai officials say they recognized an issue with the sunroofs,
manufactured by Hankuk Sekurit, in October when it launched an investigation
after receiving multiple consumer
complaints through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA). After evaluating the complaints, Hyundai issued a voluntary
recall notice through NHTSA in December.
"There was an intermittent malfunction with the assembly and loading
robot and occasionally there was contact with the robot loading
arm and the sunroof glass," Jim Trainor, product public relations
senior group manager for Hyundai Motor America, told glassBYTEs.com/AGRR
magazine in a December interview. "That contact in some cases caused
damage to the glass which is what lead to the fracture of that glass
in the field."
Trainor provided the following statement in response to the lawsuit
Friday, "We haven't seen the lawsuit and are unable to comment any
Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com
for further updates on this case. Also look to the January/February
issue of AGRR magazine for more on the rising number of exploding
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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