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Kia and Hyundai Agree to Preliminary Settlement to Resolve Vehicle–Theft Litigation Brought by Consumers

For Immediate Release

Primary Press Contact: James Barton 414–488–1822

Secondary Press Contact: Michael Cerjak 414–488–1985

Barton Cerjak S.C. is pleased to announce that Kia America, Inc. and Hyundai Motor America have agreed in principle to a resolution of consumer class claims relative to a defect that made certain vehicle models easy to steal. The firm filed the first consumer class action case against Kia and Hyundai in June 2021 concerning this defect well over a year before any other cases were brought. The case was filed in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court and then removed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. A redacted, publicly available version of the amended complaint is available here.

“We started this case to try to make a difference in our community,” said firm co–founder James Barton. “The City of Milwaukee was under siege given the rash of stolen vehicles, and when no other firms were willing to take on Kia and Hyundai to hold them accountable, we decided we had to do something. We’re pleased that the hard work our firm did and the resources we expended raised awareness of the issue and ultimately contributed to this resolution. We hope the fix developed by Kia and Hyundai will be implemented quickly, that all affected owners will be appropriately compensated, and that this problem will soon be in the past. Our firm remains committed to ensuring that all those who have been affected receive justice.”

After the first–filed case was unsealed and became public in July 2022, over 60 additional copycat suits were filed across the country. The cases were then consolidated and are now pending in multi–district litigation before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where the United States operations of Kia and Hyundai are headquartered. The next step in the process requires court approval of the proposed nationwide settlement.

For more case information, including photographs or interviews, please contact James Barton or Michael Cerjak. For more detailed case filings and information that has taken place since the case was filed, please visit our website, which includes an overview and detailed timeline of the litigation.