— A Hyundai Palisade tow hitch recall allegedly did nothing to repair the Palisades equipped with tow hitch wiring harness modules at risk of catching fire.
According to a class action lawsuit, a Hyundai Palisade tow hitch recall announced in 2022 did nothing to help with an alleged loss of vehicle values.
Filed by three Palisade owners, the lawsuit alleges Hyundai failed to repair the vehicles in a reasonable amount of time, leaving owners without the ability to tow trailers.
The Hyundai class action includes 2020-2022 Hyundai Palisade SUVs, the same vehicles recalled in 2022.
The Palisades are equipped with tow hitch harnesses either as accessories at Hyundai dealers or as original equipment.
The Hyundai Palisade Tow Hitch Recall
The 2022 recall was announced after Hyundai confirmed three tow hitch module fire incidents and eight reports of melting in Canada. Hyundai was also aware of eight melting incidents in the U.S. but no reports of fires. There had also been no crash or injury reports.
According to Hyundai:
“Debris and moisture accumulation on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit board (PCB) may cause an electrical short, which can result in a fire” and “[a] fire while parked or driving can increase the risk of injury.”
The recall involved more than 250,000 Palisade SUVs, with about 40,500 tow hitch accessory wiring harness assemblies included with an accessory tow hitch or sold as a service part for use in 2020-2022 Palisades in the U.S.
Out of those, Hyundai estimated 1% of the SUVs may have been affected by the tow hitch problems.
Hyundai was still investigating the root cause of the electric problems when the tow hitch recall was announced. Palisade owners were told to park outside and away from structures until the vehicles were repaired.
Hyundai announced the recall while engineers were still working on a repair, so in October 2022 Hyundai mailed interim tow hitch recall letters informing owners that dealers would remove the tow hitch fuses. This meant trailer and turn lights would not work.
Hyundai's engineers finally determined water could enter through the 4-pin tow hitch harness connector, resulting in moisture contamination of the tow hitch harness module.
As a final Palisade tow hitch recall repair, Hyundai announced in March it would apply a new 15-amp fuse and add a wire extension kit with water inflow protection to the SUVs.
In addition, Hyundai offered Palisade owners reimbursements for "out-of-pocket expenses incurred to obtain a remedy for the recall condition."
Hyundai Palisade Tow Hitch Lawsuit Plaintiffs
Although federal safety regulators approved Hyundai's tow hitch recall plans and repairs, the plaintiffs claim it took Hyundai too long to repair the Palisades.
The plaintiffs also contend Hyundai hasn't "offered to reimburse owners or lessees for any out-of-pocket expenses."
"Hyundai’s sale of the defective Class Vehicles and failure to repair within a reasonable amount of time constitute a breach of its express warranty as well as the implied warranty of merchantability, and give rise to a claim for unjust enrichment. To remedy Hyundai’s unlawful conduct, Plaintiffs, on behalf of the proposed class members, seek damages and restitution from Hyundai." — Hyundai Palisade tow hitch lawsuit
The class action lawsuit was filed by these Hyundai Palisade owners who argue they could not tow anything due to the tow hitch problems.
- Brenda Hageman / Pennsylvania / 2022 Hyundai Palisade
- Richard Price / Utah / 2022 Hyundai Palisade
- Timothy Sage / Pennsylvania / 2022 Hyundai Palisade
The Hyundai Palisade tow hitch class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Hageman, et al., v. Hyundai Motor America.
The plaintiffs are represented by Lemberg Law, LLC.