It is Serena Brejcha’s first new car but she can’t park it in her garage as it might catch on fire even when turned off.
It is Serena Brejcha’s first new car but she can’t park it in her garage as it might catch on fire even when turned off.

Drivers to sue after Hyundai fire recall

A Sydney law firm has begun investigating a potential class action against Hyundai after the carmaker recalled 93,000 Tucson SUVs that are at risk of catching fire even when turned off.

Despite the alarming fault, Hyundai has said it is still safe to drive the vehicles, although owners have been warned not to park in a garage or near "any structure".

That's a problem for Tucson owner Serena Brejcha, because there is no street parking in her cul-de-sac at Wodonga, on the NSW-Victoria border.

"It's crazy," Ms Brejcha said.

While there has been no report of a fire in Australia to date, there have been at least a dozen in the US.

The fault is in models made since 2015.

There is an increased risk of an electrical short circuit within the anti-lock braking system when it is exposed to moisture, which can lead to an engine compartment fire.

Ms Brejcha, 55, bought the Tucson two years ago. It was her first new car. She said she chose the SUV for reasons including it was relatively easy for her elderly mother to get in and out of.

Ms Brejcha has expressed interest in being part of the class action being explored by Bannister Law.

She said she had decided to speak publicly out of a concern that people who had bought a second-hand Tucson privately may not have received Hyundai's recall alert.

"How are they going to find out?" she said.

Bannister Law principal Charles Bannister said: "We want to hear from people about how this adversely affects them. What sorts of losses are they incurring?"

Mr Bannister said the firm had received reports from people whose car paintwork had been damaged by bat excrement and falling tree branches.

He said some owners, such as those living in apartments, had reported being unable to park on the street.

Mr Bannister said he expected it would be months before Hyundai had fixed the faults due to the need to bring in parts from overseas.

A Hyundai spokesman said "if a class action is initiated we will respond appropriately". The company had met its legal obligations, he said.

It was "difficult" to estimate when the recall would be completed due to the number of vehicles involved, the spokesman added.

A page on the safety recalls section of the Hyundai website says "You can continue to drive your vehicle. However as an added precaution you may wish to park your Tucson away from structures e.g. not in a garage."

To register an interest in participating in the possible class action, go to www.hyundaiclassaction.com.au

 

Originally published as Drivers to sue after Hyundai fire recall


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