More Hyundai owners claim sudden acceleration problems

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 28 at 12:21 AM

Linda and David Kline traded in their Hyundai Santa Fe after a crash last month, but they still plan plan to file complaints against the car maker, with the Texas Attorney General, and  the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

They also plan to take Hyundai to small claims court. 

"We don't want this to happen to other people," said David Kline. 

On January 4, Linda Kline was driving her Hyundai 2012 Santa Fe on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth.  Her daughter was sleeping inside the car.  The Hudson Oaks mother remembers being stuck in stop-and-go traffic when she claims the vehicle's engine started to roar.

"All of a sudden, I have my foot on neither the accelerator or the brake and the engine just started revving and it sounded like it was in full throttle," she said.  "I was screaming, 'I can't stop it!'"

The car came to a stop when she hit a truck.

"I was able to get it enough over that my left fender hit his back right," she said. 

The car had more than $6,000 in damage. The Kline family had it towed to a repair shop. 

Days after the crash, they notified Hyundai and filed a complaint. The couple received a letter dated January 29 informing them the Santa Fe had been examined.

The letter frustrated the family, because it referred to another Hyundai model, a Veloster.

"We don't own a Veloster," said Mr. Kline. "We never have, so the letter calls into question the whole validity of the entire letter."

Hyundai sent them another letter earlier this month. It states that the company inspected the vehicle and found no problems.

"We have reviewed the materials provided and inspected your Santa Fe. The entire acceleration system, including the pedals and throttle, the brake system, and the transmission was thoroughly reviewed and checked.  We were unable to find any malfunctions or defects....we must respectfully deny any liability in connection with the accident."

In St. Louis, Missouri, Sheila Price reported a similar problem.  Hyundai picked up her 2007 Santa Fe Wednesday morning.  The company plans to check that vehicle.

Price claims she had a "sudden acceleration" problem last year on a highway.

"I kept messing with the gears, kept hitting the brakes," she said.  "It wouldn't stop, and then it stopped when I put it in neutral."

News 8 contacted two car experts about "sudden acceleration."  Both said this issue is extremely rare.

"I've never seen a car suddenly accelerate, except for the driver accelerating the pedal," said Bobby Likis, the host of the Bobby Likis Car Clinic radio show. "I've just never seen it in my 42 years of automotive service."

But the Kline family believes there is a problem. They never drove their Santa Fe again.They bought a new vehicle, but they vow to keep searching for answers.

"I did not want Linda or Holly, my daughter, in that car again, because I know [Linda] didn't do anything to cause that wreck, and the next time it might have very serious or different results," said David Kline. "We are concerned about safety."

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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