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Class action suit lodged against Hyundai over peeling paint

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Hyundai Auto Canada is facing a class action lawsuit over alleged peeling paint on four of its models.

Class certification has been requested in the District of Montreal Superior Court with Michel Allard as the representative. Allard bought a 2017 Elantra in 2019. At the time, the complaint states it was in perfect condition. However, three months later, the paint began peeling off the hood in patches.

Two colors, white and pearl white, are particularly known to peel more than other colors, according to the suit. If certified, the class action would include all leasees and owners of Elantra, Sonata, Santa Fe, Sorento, Accent, and Genesis models as well as a subgroup of Quebec residents.

Repairer Driven News reached out to Hyundai Canada to ask if the cause behind peeling paint has been determined. The OEM replied, “Unfortunately, with the ongoing litigation, Hyundai Canada cannot comment any further at this time.”

Hyundai hasn’t issued any recalls over the paint issue.

“In recent years, a phenomenon of detachment by patches in Hyundai brand vehicles, more particularly in ‘white’ or ‘pearl white’ color, and even more particularly at roof level, has been observed everywhere in North America, in particular in the United States,” the complaint states.

“For example, Toyota recently increased the term of its base protection from four (4) years to fourteen (14) years in response to the occurrence of paint chipping issues on vehicles with ‘blizzard,’ ‘pearly,’ or ‘super white’ paint due to a manufacturing defect.”

In Allard’s case, Hyundai covered the first repair but then more peeling began last summer on the left front fender and roof of the vehicle, near the windshield.

Hyundai declined paying for those repairs because the paint warranty had expired, to which Allard wrote an appeal. The appeal was also denied in March. By April 24, rust and degradation of the paint was present in several places on the vehicle. That repair cost Allard $4,581.52.

The repairer he took it to said the cause was a paint defect. During repairs, Allard drove a courtesy Elantra of the same year and color, which also had paint degradation. The suit also notes a Facebook group dedicated to the paint issue in Hyundai vehicles.

“Paint degradation in the vehicles covered by this action occurs prematurely compared to the vast majority of vehicles of the same age that were built by the defendant or by other manufacturers,” the complaint states. “The speed of degradation of the paint and its generalized extent go beyond what constitutes normal wear and in no way meet the legitimate expectations of consumers, in particular the plaintiff.”

The suit alleges Hyundai breached the Consumer Protection Act by failing to meet the obligation to inform the buyer of the issue.

Relief requested includes:

    • Payment to each of the class members for repairs — either completed or estimated, the difference between the sale price of the vehicle and the diminished value, and/or the cost of what the lessor would overpay for “excessive wear and tear” by the end of the lease term;
    • Payment to each of the class members as determined by the court for damages due to breach of the obligation to inform;
    • Punitive damages; and
    • Legal costs.


Featured image: 2017 Hyundai Elantra (Provided by Hyundai)

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