By Choi Kyong-ae
SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Group said Friday it will offer a lifetime warranty for its Theta 2 engine following massive recalls and an agreement in a U.S. class action lawsuit.
Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said they will provide lifetime warranties to the owners of vehicles equipped with the Theta 2 gasoline direct injection (GDi) engine produced between 2011 and 2019 after reaching an agreement to resolve class litigation with U.S. owners of the vehicles that have the engine installed, the group said in a statement.
Hyundai and Kia will also offer some cash compensation options, free inspection and repair of the subjected engines and the installation of a software update program to U.S. owners of eight models made by the carmakers, it said.
The companies didn't reveal how much cash compensation they will provide to U.S. customers.
"Reflecting our commitment to customer satisfaction, Hyundai is pleased to resolve this class action litigation," Jerry Flannery, chief legal officer at Hyundai Motor America, said.
"This settlement acknowledges our sincere willingness to take care of customers impacted by issues with this engine's performance and recognizes the many actions we are already taking to assist our customers."
In 2015 and 2017, Hyundai and Kia recalled a combined 4.17 million vehicles in the U.S., the world's most important automobile market, and 520,000 models in Korea, bringing the total to 4.69 million units. A class action lawsuit was filed in 2018, and the agreement came on Friday, he explained.
The models equipped with the Theta 2 GDi engine are Hyundai's Sonata and Grandeur (or Azera) sedan, Santa Fe sport utility vehicle and Veloster N high-performance car, as well as Kia's K5 and K7 sedans and Sorento and Sportage SUVs.
The court is expected to review the proposed settlement for preliminary approval this month.
"As domestic customers have not filed a group lawsuit against the faulty Theta 2 GDi engine, the companies will provide a lifetime guarantee only for the engine," a Hyundai official said.