Her Kia caught fire, but she’s locked out of the $760 million deal
CLEVELAND – *UPDATE: Kia is responding to our inquiry. See reactions below.
Recalls followed after scores of Kia and Hyundai cars caught fire in dramatic fashion, and now it looks like the companies are settling a major lawsuit worth around three-quarters of a billion dollars. A local woman whose car exploded said she was not happy with the deal.
“I wonder does that include me?” asked Shirley Boyers of Hiram. She has many questions. “I was scared… Where is this taking me in all of this?”
A few years ago we reported on Boyers driving her 2012 Kia Rio Hatchback. She was almost home when her check engine light came on.
“Smoke started pouring through my vents,” Boyers said. “When I stopped my car, flames shot through my vents!” Luckily, she was able to get out of the car and was not injured.
Just announced, there is a court hearing scheduled for tomorrow where a settlement for a rash of car fires from both Kia and Hyundai is likely to be handed over $760 million to some 4 million customers and their attorneys.
These are the models included in the billing:
• 2011-2019 Hyundai Sonata
• 2013-2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
• 2014-2015 and 2018-2019 Hyundai Tucson
• 2011-2019 Kia Optima
• 2012-2019 Kia Sorento
• 2011-2019 Kia Sportage
These models had 2.0 liter or 2.4 liter engines with gasoline direct injection engines. Boyers’ Rio was direct-injection petrol, but a 1.8-liter engine.
“It still happened to me,” Boyers said.
And according to complaints filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, fires have happened to other people with the same Rio model as Boyers, but they are not in this settlement.
“Why am I expelled? Why am I not there?” Boyers asked.
Jakob Moyer from Canton is someone who could be entitled to money from the settlement. We told you about his 2013 Kia Optima and what happened in the fall of 2018. “I see my buddy fly up, leave the left lane, overtake me, pull me off the road. He yells, ‘Get out of the car! It’s on fire!’” Moyer said. He also avoided injury.
As for Boyers, she now plans to contact her attorney. “Kia has to get this right, not just me,” she told us. “There are also other people who have had Rios that have caught fire.”
We reached out to Kia for comment. Here’s what we heard back:
“Kia Motors America recognizes that customer safety is paramount and is committed to addressing every thermal incident. All automobiles contain combustible materials and a vehicle fire can be the result of a number of complex factors such as: B. a manufacturing problem, inadequate maintenance or installation of aftermarket parts, improper repair, arson or any other non-vehicle source and must be carefully investigated by a qualified and trained investigator or technician.
Claims relating to damage to a Kia vehicle, including fire, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If a fire is determined to be the result of a Kia manufacturing issue, KMA will work with the customer to find a satisfactory resolution of the matter.
Regarding the Boyers case, there were no open recalls for the vehicle at the time of the incident. After a third party investigation into the incident, the cause and origin of the fire were undetermined and the customer has settled with her insurance company. KMA offered to review all out-of-pocket expenses for goodwill reimbursement and the customer has not contacted KMA for further discussion since December 2018. Therefore, KMA has closed the case.”