Little v. Kia Motors America, Inc.

No. UNN-L-800-01 (Law Division Aug. 20, 2003)

The Firm is co-lead counsel in this New Jersey class action against KIA.  Similar to the Samuel-Basset case in Pennsylvania. On August 20, 2003, the New Jersey Superior Court certified a class of New Jersey consumers to pursue breach of warranty and Consumer Fraud Act claims arising from the allegedly defective braking system.

Case Summary: On February 16, 2001 owners of 1997-2000 KIA Sephia’s brought suit against KIA Motors in the Superior Court of New Jersey, due to a defective front brake system which resulted in:

  • Brake pads and rotors to excessively wear out
  • Noise issues such as squeals and groans
  • Constant repairs and replacements

            The Court certified a Class and the lawsuit went to trial beginning in May 2008. On June 6, 2008 the jury issued a verdict in favor of the Class. The jury decided the front braking system was defective, that Kia did not take steps to fix the defect, and that Kia did not satisfy the warranty. The jury further decided that each Class Member suffered $750 in losses.

            On November 24, 2008 the Court decided Class Members should receive payments related to their individual front brake repairs. The Court later ordered that Class Members who want to receive a payment must submit a Claim Form.  Please use the documents below for submitting your claim.  We have also provided documents from both the case proceedings and the jury trial.

            On July 18, 2018 after successfully appealing the decisions of the lower courts, the Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate division issued an Opinion vindicating all of the Plaintiff attorneys work and solidifying the jury verdict from 10 years ago.

To quote the Courts Opinion:

     “Finally, defendant contends that the court should have decertified the class during the claim-form proceeding because repairs were unique to each member and the majority of the class members did not fit the claim-form criteria. This argument lacks merit because the claim-form proceeding should not have occurred. Further, failing to return a claim form does not prove that the class member incurred no damage. The court correctly certified the class. The cross-appeal is without merit.
We reverse the trial judge’s grant of a JNOV and remand for a determination of counsel fees consistent with this opinion. We do not retain jurisdiction.”

Court Opinions

Claim Form and Documents

Trial Documents