A British Columbia man who had to replace the engine in his 2011 Hyundai Tucson twice, fronting the cost himself both times, says an active recall on the vehicle means the automaker should have footed the bill, CBC reports.
The recall on Rick Lingard’s SUV was issued on February 27, 2019 and concerned the vehicle’s oil pan, which Hyundai says can leak.
If the leak is not repaired, the engine could lose oil, and an engine without oil could seize. That’s exactly what happened to his Tucson in June, says Lingard — his engine seized while driving down the highway near Cranbrook, B.C.
He says after that, he took his vehicle to a Hyundai dealership where he was quoted more than $10,000 for a new engine. He then took it to an independent shop, which charged him over $7,000 to replace his engine with a used one with 40,000 km on it.
A few weeks later, that used engine seized, forcing him to replace it yet again.
Lingard says he was not notified of the recall on his Tucson until three days after the second engine failure. Despite being issued in February, the recall notice didn’t arrive in the mail until August.
In order to recoup the costs of an issue he felt certain was caused by this defect, Lingard submitted his receipts to Hyundai. But the automaker rejected the claim, saying his first engine failure was due to “insufficient engine maintenance, not the recall,” and that “the two are completely unrelated.”
“There are no service records provided to show any maintenance was ever completed on the vehicle for the first 100,000 km driven,” Hyundai wrote to Driving. “Over the subsequent 130,000 km driven before the engine failure, his average oil change frequency was only once every 20,000 km.”
The automaker also suggests the issue couldn’t have been related to the suspected defect anyway. “The […] potential oil pan leak which would cause a vehicle’s oil to drain out over time. The records Mr. Lingard provided show his oil was changed every 20,000 km on average, meaning that the vehicle was clearly able to maintain its oil supply and thus was not affected by this recall.”
Hyundai Canada says neither it nor the dealership was allowed to examine the vehicle after either failure, and of course can’t guarantee the replacement engine it had nothing to do with.
Nevertheless, Lingard is now joining a growing number of Canadians taking part in four separate class-action lawsuits against Hyundai and Kia for engine failures, says the CBC.