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Breach of Warranty Claim Against Hyundai Can Proceed, Judge Rules

A New York federal judge refused Sept. 30 to drop breach of warranty claims in a class action suit alleging that Hyundai Motor America failed to issue a recall or provide a remedy for defective brakes for certain Sonata vehicles.

The motor vehicle maker had asked U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas to toss those claims. He disagreed, saying the basic warranty doesn’t exclude the braking system, Law360 reported.

WBM is representing lead plaintiffs in the case, which alleges defective brake assembly for Sonatas in model years 2006-2010. The alleged defect causes “significant” squealing and early deterioration of the rotors and pads. “These defects are unreasonably dangerous, as they can cause the braking system components to become severely worn and damaged, and may lead to a complete failure of the braking system,” the complaint said.

The suit says Sonata should have issued a recall to replace brake pads, rotors and calipers.

Judge Karas tossed out the suit’s claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment, reasoning that the plaintiffs were under contract with the dealerships, not the manufacturer, and that the unjust enrichment claims duplicate the warranty claims, Law 360 reported.

“The judge’s decision is good news for our suit, as he kept in the most significant portion of the allegations: that Hyundai did not honor its warranty when it failed to issue a recall and provide a remedy for brakes that were clearly defective,” said Gary Mason, WBM partner. “Car manufacturers must be held accountable for their poor workmanship that could result in a dangerous situation, in this case, the inability to bring a car to a stop properly.”

The name of the case is Marshall et al v. Hyundai Motors America, Case number 7:12-cv-03072 (S.D.N.Y).  Click here for a copy of the Order.