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Automakers woes could result in auto product liability claims

The decision over which vehicle to purchase is a personal one that is often guided by price, reputation and safety ratings. Unfortunately, any auto maker can produce a model that fails to meet expectations and can lead to consumers suffering serious injuries or significant property losses in the event that a vehicle proves to be defective. Arizona residents who have sustained damages or received injuries due to a defective car may have a basis for filing an auto product liability claim.

News recently broke concerning a joint investigation into two recalls issued by the automakers behind the Hyundai and Kia brands. The recalls concerned an engine failure that increased the likelihood of a car accident. The foreign-based automaker is ranked number five for its two brands but is experiencing significant declines in its stocks after news of the joint investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which is a division of the Department of Justice, in collaboration with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

The recalls over an undisclosed engine problem involved several models in the Hyundai and Kia lines. It is unclear whether the defect lead to anyone suffering any serious injuries. The investigation could lead to the imposition of heavy fines and possible criminal charges. There is a second investigation being conducted independently by the NHTSA into whether enough vehicles were included in the 2015 and 2017 recalls.

The South Korean automakers have reportedly set aside an estimated $885 million to address the engine recalls. A spokesperson for the DOJ would not confirm the reports concerning the investigations as it does not offer public statements concerning active cases. If any Arizona resident suffers physical harm or significant property losses due to an allegedly defective vehicle, he or she is entitled to seek just compensation through the filing of an auto product liability civil suit.

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