As of mid-August 2021, Hyundai and Kia are recalling over 600,000 vehicles over a defective trunk latch. This faulty trunk latch has the potential to stop functioning correctly, making it impossible to open the trunk from the inside. The automaker and consumers are concerned that unsupervised children playing near or around the car may become trapped inside. Here’s what affected Hyundai and Kia consumers need to know about this latest safety recall.
Understanding the Trunk Latch Defect
When temperatures rise, some Hyundai and Kia vehicles develop thermal cracks in the trunk latch. A thermal crack can occasionally render the trunk’s interior emergency release inoperative. Should someone be in the trunk when this happens, they may not be able to release the trunk latch and exit the compartment. So far, automakers state that they are not aware of any injuries related to this defect, but they are launching this recall out of an abundance of caution.
Affected Hyundai and Kia Vehicles
According to the safety recall campaign, affected vehicles include the 2018-2020 Hyundai Ascent, 2016-2017 Hyundai Azera, 2017-2018 Hyundai Sonata, 2016-2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2016-2018 Kia Forte, 2016-2018 Kia Forte Koup, and 2018-2019 Kia Rio. The automaker reported that over 40 warranty claims have been filed relating to this issue.
Steps Consumers Can Take
Kia and Hyundai announced that those affected by this recall would receive official notification by mail starting in early October 2021. From there, customers can schedule a time to visit the dealership to receive a replacement trunk latch, free of charge. Until then, those who drive or lease one of these vehicles should recognize the potential for the trunk latch to malfunction and exercise caution.
If you’re interested in learning more about your rights as a consumer under California lemon law, call Lemon Law Partners, LLP today at (510) 944-0336 to schedule a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable Berkeley attorney.