Santa Ana, California – A California superior court has ruled that a lawsuit that seeks to represent Hyundai Sonata owners in a case involving sub-frame corrosion can proceed. The case claims that the automaker knowingly sold Sonata models with defective sub-frames.

The court found that a claim filed by Nicholas Cirulli under the California Legal Remedies Act has merit. In the lawsuit, Cirulli claims Hyundai failed to tell customers that the sub-frame on Sonatas lacked corrosion protection and caused premature decay. Cirulli also claims Hyundai had full knowledge of the defect but did not warn customers.

The lawsuit seeks to represent Hyundai Sonata owners who purchased a vehicle any time between 1999 and 2004.

The suit claims that the car’s sub-frame lacked sufficient and effective drain holes that would allow road materials and water to drain, causing premature corrosion. The lack of drain holes also prevented Hyundai from treating the sub-frame with anti-corrosion coating. The sub-frame serves as the steering support and anchors the front suspension.

Cirulli said that his sub-frame failed at 83,000 miles (133,575 km) due to severe corrosion, causing him to momentarily lose control of his vehicle as he approached a stop sign.

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