New Jersey Court Asked to Reject Class Status in Kia Brakes Case

A lawyer for Kia Motors argued Tuesday before the New Jersey Supreme Court that thousands of plaintiffs in a case dating back nearly 20 years should not be treated as a class for the purpose of dividing up a $6.3 million award for faulty brakes.

“It is painfully clear that you cannot treat these people as if they were a unified whole, because they are not,” Kia attorney Roberto Rivera-Soto, a partner at Ballard Spahr, told the judges.

Lead plaintiff Regina Little filed the class action back in 2001 alleging that the brake system in Kia Sephias purchased between 1997 and 2000 did not adequately distribute heat, causing brake pads and rotors to wear down after only about 10,000 miles.

Because Kia’s warranty did not cover brake repairs, the vehicle owners had to pay out of pocket each time they needed new pads and rotors.