$75-125 Million for Hyundai Owners
Stueve Siegel Hanson, as settlement counsel for Hyundai owners around the country, reached a settlement with Hyundai Motor America resolving claims that Hyundai overstated horsepower on over 850,000 vehicles sold over the last 10 years. The Superior Court in Orange County, California granted final approval of the settlement on August 2, 2004. The settlement provides that Hyundai will pay owners of effected vehicles up to $225, or at the owners choice, a dealer credit for up to $325. The settlement is valued between $75 million and $125 million.
The case was aggressively litigated over the last several years. Earlier, Stueve Siegel played an instrumental role in obtaining a ruling from a Texas court that rejected an earlier proposed settlement offering little relief to Hyundai owners. SSH successfully argued that the plaintiffs' lawyers in Texas conducted no discovery and did no due diligence in cutting this deal, which was preliminarily approved by the Beaumont court. SSH, along with other firms around the country, intervened in the action and were permitted to take discovery into the fairness of the settlement.
Texas Judge Gary Sanderson originally approved the settlement, but then he reversed himself after citing evidence presented by Mr. Siegel and other lawyers that Hyundai may have deliberately inflated the horsepower of the vehicles. In his ruling, Judge Sanderson said the lawyers had submitted evidence that the horsepower ratings "were approved by high-level decision-makers at Hyundai, and that Hyundai's actions may have been influenced by a desire to enhance its competitive standing in the marketplace."
The cases stem from Hyundai Motor America's acknowledgement last September 2001 that it had published incorrect horsepower ratings for 1.3 million vehicles in marketing materials dating back more than a decade.