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Hyundai Motor America is recalling more than 10,000 hybrid vehicles containing clutches with potentially dangerous oil leaks.
The Fountain Valley, California-based manufacturer will recall 10,156 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vehicles built between Nov. 16, 2016 and Sept. 20, 2017, according to their report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filed April 24, 2018.
Hyundai reported the affected vehicles contain hydraulic clutch actuators with metal burrs in their inner housings. These burrs can damage the oil seal, letting oil leak and accumulate in the phase cap area. This can potentially cause electrical shorts and in some cases fires. Hyundai’s subsidiary Kia Motors America recently reported the same problem affecting 27,029 2017 Kia Niro vehicles.
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Hyundai’s Korean parent company learned in March 2017 from component supplier Luk of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany they received warranty part returns with slightly burned phase caps from 2017 Hyundai Ioniq vehicles. Hyundai investigators found no reports of vehicle fires but began recovering warranty return parts for further analysis.
Hyundai and Luk engineers found burrs within the clutch actuators’ inner housings in June 2017, determining they likely originated during manufacturing and could, over time, damage the oil seal. Luk implemented a production change to eliminate the burrs and reinforced the inner oil seal as well.
Hyundai continued analyzing warranty return parts and conducting on-vehicle testing, eventually replicating conditions where the leaking oil could cause fires. The company notified all affected affiliates on April 20, 2018 they would conduct a safety recall.
Hyundai will notify owners and dealers will inspect the hydraulic clutch actuator caps for leaked oil and replace the assembly if needed, or replace the cap with additional sealant. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 20, 2018. Concerned Hyundai owners can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to assist you. Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.