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  • Ben Beck

Is My Car Buring Oil?

Has anyone ever had an old car that burned oil? If you have then you know that checking the engine’s dip stick regularly to make sure the engine has enough oil is critical. Combustion engines without enough oil to lubricate the various moving parts will seize up and fail. Oil lubricates the various component parts in your engine and is necessary for your engine to function properly. There is really no repair that will fix a engine once it is seized – rebuilding the engine may repair it depending on the extent of the damage but more often the solution is a complete engine replacement. Both options tend to be very expensive and better avoided by proper engine maintenance.


Owners of certain model year Hyundai and Kia vehicles for years have been experiencing excessive oil consumption and oil leaks which are causing their engines to seize and stall. On September 12, 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) launched an investigation into what is believed to be loosening drain plugs when traveling at high rates of speed and allegedly flimsy material construction. The investigation follows an excessive oil consumption class action lawsuit filed by eight Hyundai and Kia vehicles against Hyundai and Kia on April 12, 2022 for federal violations of warranty laws. The lawsuit alleges that five different engine types are affected: Nu, Gamma, Theta, Lambda and Kappa. Class members allege that the issuance of a recall is long overdue and that Hyundai has been aware of the defect for years.


The result of the alleged defect is that thousands of owners and lessees of new Hyundai and Kia vehicles must constantly check oil levels and add oil beyond that which Hyundai and Kia recommend in the maintenance guide (much like an owner of a very old and used vehicle). However, overfilling the engine oil above the fill line as a solution is not a viable work-around since oil above the fill line partially submerges the crankshaft and cause engine oil to foam which reduces lubrication. Putting too much oil in the engine also can over-strain the engine and damage seals and gaskets cause further engine leaks.Similarly, resulting residue from oil buildup in the wrong places can damage the exhaust and combustion systems and prevent the engine from properly operating.Failures of the component parts will require expensive engine rebuilds or complete replacement which.


Class members are seeking, among other compensation, extended warranty coverage for problems resulting from excessive oil consumption and oil leaks that occur outside vehicle’s warranty. The lawsuit alleges that Hyundai is denying warranty repairs during the warranty period for related oil consumption and oil leak problems when owners are unable to produce maintenance records. When Hyundai and Kia do provide warranty coverage consumers are experiencing long times for appointment scheduling and replacement parts which is compounding frustrations of owners and lessees of affected vehicles.


More frustrating is that to confirm the defect, owners and lessees are having to undergo oil consumption tests which require two separate visits to the repair shop. On the first visit the dealership removes all oil from the engine, refills the oil reservoir (keeping track of precisely how much oil was added), releases the car and then, after typically 1,000 miles of driving, the car is brought back a second time and the oil is removed again, the volume of which is measured against the amount of oil added on the first visit. A substantially lower volume of oil in the reservoir on the second visit indicates a problem – the vehicle is either leaking oil or consuming too much oil.


There are more than 5.2 million potentially affected vehicles in the NHTSA investigation and a yet to be determined total number of class members. The vehicles that could be affected are listed below:


NHTSA Investigation

Class Action Lawsuit1

2012-2020 Hyundai Elantra

2009-2018 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

2019-2021 Hyundai Kona

2022 Kia K5

2020-2021 Hyundai Palisade

2010 – 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

2010-2012 and 2015-2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2013 – 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

2019 Hyundai Santa FE XL

2006 – 2019 Hyundai Sonata

2009-2010 and 2015-2021 Hyundai Sonata

2011 – 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2011–2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2016 – 2019 Hyundai Sonta Plug-In Hybrid

2010 – 2015 Hyundai Tucson

2010-2013 and 2015-2021 Hyundai Tucson

2018 – 2019 Hyundai Tucson

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

2011-2021 Hyundai Veloster

2020-2021 Hyundai Venue

2019 – 2013 Kia Forte

2010-2021 Kia Forte

2010 – 2013 Kia Forte Coupe

2017-2020 Kia Niro

2005 – 2020 Kia Optima

2011-2020 Kia Optima and Optima Hybrid

2012-2021 Kia Rio

2011 – 2020 Kia Sorento

2011-2020 Kia Sorento

2012-2021 Kia Soul

2011 – 2021 Kia Sportage

2011-2020 Kia Sportage

2018-2021 Kia Stinger

If you are experiencing an excessive oil consumption or persistent oil leak in your Hyundai or Kia vehicle then we may be able to help you. Visit The Lemon Law to learn about your rights under the California Lemon Law or contact The Beck Law Office, APC today for a free consultation.

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