Blue Link is Not As Standard as Advertised

Key Points

  • Hyundai's Blue Link system can become permanently disabled if an owner's subscription is inactive for over a year.
  • Owners were told they could reactivae at any time for a small connection fee, but that hasn't always been true.
  • A class-action lawsuit says Hyundai has been dishinest or at the very least misleading about Blue Link features and subscriptions.
Superimposed red radiation sign over a Blue Link infotainment screen.
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#infotainment #technology

Messages that self-destruct and dastardly extortion – it all sounds like the plot to Mission Impossible, right? But it’s actually the story of Hyundai’s Blue Link systems. Pay up, or it’ll blow up ... or at least shut off. Ok, ok –– there’s no blowing up involved, but the self-destruct part is entirely possible and that threat of extortion has led to a class-action lawsuit.

What is Blue Link?

Hyundai started offering a “Blue Link Telematics System” in some of their 2012 vehicles. The system provides emergency assistance, navigation, as well as other features. The hardware for the system usually comes standard with the car and owners must maintain a subscription for the service. Pretty standard, right?

Starting in 2015, Hyundai started notifying owners that if you allow the Blue Link subscription to be inactive for more than a year, the system will be permanently disabled.

That’s right. Hyundai is giving owners a timeline and if they don’t pay up, the hardware of the Blue Link system gets the axe.

"Reactivating your Blue Link services after it is disabled will require a hardware change, dealer-assisted installation, and will cost a minimum of $500 to replace the telematics unit plus any applicable subscription fees."

Can you imagine if Netflix charged you $500 each time you wanted to resubscribe?

The system was advertised as a “standard feature” on the window stickers of new Hyundais and owners were initially told they could reactivate the system at any time for a small connection fee.

So why the sudden change of heart from Hyundai? I’m guessing it rhymes with money and … oh wait, no – it is money.

A class action lawsuit accuses Hyundai of failing to inform owners when they bought the cars that the system would eventually self-destruct and that the value of the car is now lowered without the option of the Blue Link system. All owners want is the option to resubscribe. The lawsuit seeks to:

  • Prevent the future disabling of the Blue Link hardware
  • Reimburse the subscription fees of those who felt forced to subscribe to maintain the value of their cars
  • Reimburse customers whose cars are no devalued because the Blue Link system is busted.

Lawsuits Regarding This Problem

Lawsuits about this problem have already been filed in court. Many times these are class-action suits that look to cover a group of owners in a particular area. Click on the lawsuit for more information and to see if you're eligible to receive any potential settlements.

  • Guy Coss v. Hyundai Motor America.

    A Hyundai Blue Link lawsuit alleges the automaker failed to inform owners the telematics system will be disabled if inactive for more than one year, and to reactivate the system an owner will allegedly be forced to change hardware at a minimum cost of $500.

    Status
    pending
    Class Vehicles
    • 2012 Hyundai with Blue Link
    Location
    California

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Hyundai generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

  1. 4th Generation Accent

    Years
    2011–2017
    Reliability
    34th of 50
    PainRank
    5.78
    Complaints
    119
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Accent
  2. 5th Generation Azera

    Years
    2012–2016
    Reliability
    19th of 50
    PainRank
    2.01
    Complaints
    27
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Azera
  3. 5th Generation Elantra

    Years
    2011–2016
    Reliability
    49th of 50
    PainRank
    45.43
    Complaints
    937
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Elantra
  4. 2nd Generation Equus

    Years
    2010–2016
    Reliability
    21st of 50
    PainRank
    2.68
    Complaints
    29
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Equus
  5. 2nd Generation Genesis Coupe

    Years
    2013–2016
    Reliability
    11th of 50
    PainRank
    0.86
    Complaints
    12
    Continue
  6. 3rd Generation Santa Fe

    Years
    2013–2018
    Reliability
    46th of 50
    PainRank
    19.69
    Complaints
    270
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Santa Fe
  7. 6th Generation Sonata

    Years
    2011–2014
    Reliability
    50th of 50
    PainRank
    68.11
    Complaints
    1312
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Sonata
  8. 7th Generation Sonata

    Years
    2015–2019
    Reliability
    45th of 50
    PainRank
    18.44
    Complaints
    277
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Sonata
  9. 6th Generation Sonata Hybrid

    Years
    2011–2014
    Reliability
    44th of 50
    PainRank
    17.3
    Complaints
    143
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Sonata Hybrid
  10. 7th Generation Sonata Hybrid

    Years
    2015–2020
    Reliability
    20th of 50
    PainRank
    2.59
    Complaints
    34
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Sonata Hybrid
  11. 3rd Generation Tucson

    Years
    2016–2020
    Reliability
    42nd of 50
    PainRank
    15.27
    Complaints
    345
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Tucson
  12. 1st Generation Veloster

    Years
    2012–2018
    Reliability
    38th of 50
    PainRank
    7.5
    Complaints
    118
    Continue

Further Reading

A timeline of stories related to this problem. We try to boil these stories down to the most important bits so you can quickly see where things stand. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts for your vehicle over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. Hyundai is being sued for permanently disabling Blue Link systems if a subscription has been inactive for more than one year.

    The plaintiff claims on or about January 7, 2015, Hyundai notified owners of its Blue Link vehicles whose Blue Link subscriptions had been inactive for more than one year. Hyundai told owners, “If you do not reactivate your Blue Link services by January 28, 2015, your current Blue Link system in your vehicle will be permanently disabled.

    Except, permanent didn’t mean forever if you’re willing to pony up the cash. The Blue Link handbook mentioned that disconnected services could be easily restored for a “nominal reconnection fee.” They just didn’t say what it was.…

    keep reading

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA