Kia Must Face Claims Over Sorento Motor Flaw

     (CN) – Unhappy Kia Sorento buyers can amend claims the automaker knowingly sold them vehicles subject to catastrophic engine failure, a federal judge ruled.
     A class action filed against Kia Motors America Inc. alleges that the 2002-2009 Sorento was designed with a defective crankshaft assembly that breaks off the spring guide pin and causes the engine to fail.
     The plaintiffs also assert the company had “longstanding knowledge of the problem,” but failed to inform them Sorentos are “predisposed to have the front pulley balancer snap.”
     The initial complaint asserts claims for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA) and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; breach of express and implied warranty; negligence; and breach of contract.
     The plaintiffs sought damages for “costly repairs” and “diminished intrinsic resale value,” as well as declaratory relief.
     Kia moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim on March 5, 2013, and though the plaintiffs moved to amend their claims later that month, they did not file a proposed amended complaint until last month.
     The amended complaint adds several new plaintiffs and includes additional fraud counts under common law as well as Ohio, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington state law.
     The plaintiffs propose a class of current and former owners and lessees of first generation 2002-2009 Kia Sorentos equipped with a Hyundai-manufactured 3.5L 24-valve DOHC V6 engines.
     U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer partially denied the motion Tuesday, rejecting claims under Washington and South Carolina law, and for all but one consumer under Ohio law.
     But he went on to say the plaintiffs can add claims under Florida law, finding that alleged misrepresentations to consumers about their warrantees and other matters satisfied the standard under Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

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