Questions and Answers

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The information below was compiled from a combination of online research and speaking to  Techs at a Hyundai Dealership.  There is no public research available to determine when or if an engine may fail, but there are some indicators as to the likely hood of a failure.

Based on the information available to me, oil management is key to postponing or avoiding catastrophic engine failure of the Theta II engine by showing you how to; 

  • Slow the deterioration process of the engine,
  • Monitor your engine
  • How to contact Hyundai should you need to make a claim, and…
  • How to avoid having a claim denied.

What are the details of the settlement?Click here to download a copy of  the settlement from Hyundai’s website outlining the terms and conditions of the class action lawsuit; pay particular attention to;

      • Vehicle’s eligible 
      • Terms of eligibility
      • Compensation
      • Disqualifiers
      • Contact information

Oil Changing is key to postponing catastrophe – Can you imagine lathering up with a bar of soap with grains of dirt embedded in it.  In stead of a smooth layer of soap film,  the soap would feel like sandpaper. 

The abnormal wear of the Theta II engine’s internal parts of the engine is experiencing the same thing you would feel.  This occurs without warning and lead to  catastrophic failure.

Changing the oil regularly is like rinsing the dirt off of the soap; the more you change it the less likely the oil passage ways will block the flow of oil to the bearings.

The higher the mileage, the more frequently you should change the oil, (3,000 miles instead of the factory recommended change interval).

Is one model year better than another? – According to the Hyundai techs the vast majority of the engine exchanges they perform are the model years 2011 to 2015, but this does not exclude subsequent years.

What if I purchased a used model on the list and the engine goes bad? – If you purchased any of the models with the Theta II engine included in the suit, you are entitled to the extended warranty and other compensations outlined in the agreement. 

My sources say they replace an average of 40 engines per month with the majority of them having been owned by 3 or more different owners.   

Should I purchase a used model Hyundai or Kia if it is on the list? – I recommend not purchasing any of the models on the list unless you can verify the original engine has been replaced.  This information should be available on a CarFax report or can be verified by a Hyundai, or Kia dealer.

Are there early signs of potential engine failure?

It seems there is a direct link to oil consumption and engine failure.

If your vehicle has less than 50,000 and the PCV valve needs to be replaced 10k to 20k miles, assume the oil filter is clogging up prematurely and your engine is probably going to need to be replaced. (Tips on recognizing clogged PCV valves can be found on page 66 of DMR Handbook)

If you see the signs mentioned; to monitor for more severe warning signs, turn the air condition fan down low and turn the radio off to listen to the engine at idle and when accelerating.  If you hear a knocking sound that increases and decreases with engine seed; this is a clear indication the engine is in dire need of replacement and should be only be driven to the dealership.  

Am I guaranteed a new engine, NO?

If you have maintained the vehicle properly since owning it you will be should be approved for an engine replacement. 

If you have not properly maintained the vehicle and have no records of maintenance since owning the vehicle, there is a high probability your claim will be denied; and or, even with proper maintenance, if the vehicle has been involved in a substantial accident to the front end collision, your claim may be denied.