Illinois residents who own a Kia or Hyundai vehicle may have heard of fires involving cars from these two brands. The Center for Auto Safety reported a total of 276 across 44 states with 25 fires in Florida alone. This data spans up to the first week of January 2019. It turns out, however, that a certain Kia employee had warned the automaker back in 2017 about an issue that could be contributing to the fires.
The man was formerly a member of the warranty department at Kia's U.S. headquarters in Irvine, California. While performing Kia dealer audits, he noticed the defective repair work that some dealerships were doing on recalled engines and that this was resulting in highly flammable fuel pump leaks.
During a warranty operations meeting in November 2017, the man told his superior about the fire hazard but met largely with indifference. In December 2018, he left his job, alleging that he was fired for his raising of safety concerns.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in New York City is investigating whether Kia and Hyundai held the engine recall repairs properly or not. Kia and Hyundai, for their part, have announced that they will be recalling more than 150,000 cars and SUVs for fuel pump issues. It appears, then, that the former employee's concerns proved legitimate.
Unfortunately, some accidents do occur on the road because of defective car parts. Those who believe they were the victims of an automaker's negligence may want to see a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim. The lawyer might have an investigation started and request evidence from the other side via the discovery procedure. Once the case is ready, the lawyer may be able to negotiate for a settlement out of court. If one cannot be achieved or if the defendant offers an unreasonably low amount, victims may litigate.