Lemon Law /

Consumer Advocacy Firm Takes Action Against Kia

Reprinted with permission from CBS News

(KDKA) A Pennsylvania Law Firm is taking action against an automaker for alleged brake defects and the case could mean money back for some consumers.

Marquita McClain says driving her new Kia Sephia is no problem, but getting it to stop is another story. "It takes forever to stop," explains McClain. "I have to start braking before I need to. It's like - dangerous."

The first time she took her car in for repairs, workers told her the rotors were the root of her problems. "Five months later I was having problems again - squeaking and it was taking a long time to stop," explains McClain, "so again I took it back and they said it's fine."

"If they buy it back, that's fine - if they fix the brakes, that's fine. Just so I don't have to be riding in fear."
- Marquita McClain, Joined Class Action vs Kia

McClain isn't alone. In fact, a Pennsylvania Law Firm has filed two class action suits against Kia Motors citing problems with its 1998, 1999 and 2000 Sephia models.

"All these vehicles are having problems with the brakes," explains Lemon Law Attorney Craig Kimmel, "very frequent rotor replacement - every three or four thousand miles on average, rather than fifty to sixty thousand miles on average."

While Kia does make repairs under its warranty, Kimmel says those repairs often don't last.

"What they have done historically is replaced the defective parts with more defective parts or redesigned parts which they claim fix the problem but really don't fix the problem at all, just redesign." Kimmel adds, "So what they are doing is letting the public do their research and testing for them."

When McClain heard that other Kias were having brake problems, she joined a class action suit against the company.

If you think you might be driving a lemon, Kimmel says you should save all your paperwork from the repeated repairs. Kimmel says he expects the suit to expand to include more models.

Meanwhile, representatives from Kia point out that the class action suit has not been certified yet, which means it's up to the judge to decide.

Kia also says consumers do better one-on-one with repairs and individual lemon cases than they do as part of a class action suit.

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