Q: The engine on my car has seized and is a write off. Should the manufacturer accept any liability?

asked by on November 24, 2016

Hello, I purchased a brand new diesel santa fe from the dealer and it has been book serviced at the same dealer ever since. The car has had a number of electrical and mechanical issues over the years, all of which we have had fixed at the dealer garage. Over the last 12 months, the car has been in workshop for a warning light recall, crankshaft oil warning light, various sensor issues resulting in breakdowns and requiring expensive repairs. Recent repairs include the replacement of a crank position sensor and intercooler. It had only been out of the shop for ten days after a full service then the car broke down again. It was towed to the dealer who found that the engine was totally seized. "Seized engine due to failure of injectors, copper washers/ ‘o’ rings on injectors failed causing a loss in compression, causing a build-up of carbon in the engine, this build-up of carbon has blocked the oil pickup and caused engine to seize" Hyundai refuses to fix/replace

My car has 137000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Unfortunately, your car is outside the warranty period, so legally speaking, they do not have to warranty your motor. It is unfortunate your car has suffered so many failures and very frustrating for you because you have done what you new to do to take car of your car, and that failed.

As far as the exact findings that contributed to the motors seizing, the only way they could be liable is if something they had done during an earlier repair created the failure. I can say that clogged oil pick up screens are a result of not changing the oil frequently enough. Many cars have details that contribute to this happening more easily than other cars. I know of problems such as this from at least one make model and drivetrain from every manufacturer. It can be argued that these causes are the sole reason for oil changes. So really, it is spitting hairs when it comes to this topic as it is really a weakness of the ICE (internal combustion engine).

I can say, I solely purchase Toyota’s because of their superior quality in circumstances such as this. Even they have had such issues in the past and may still have this issue with one particular motor. Even so, if the oil is changed before it gets to dirty, it will not fail in this manner, and this is true for almost all motors.

If you really wanted to argue with Hyundai further, you will need a lawyer and the second, third and maybe more opinions of several other technicians. Honestly, it will cost you more than the value of a new car. Which is what I recommend at this time.

Good luck!

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