FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- Hyundai Motor America will expand the protection offered by the innovative Hyundai Assurance program with Hyundai Assurance Plus, adding 90 days of payment relief to the existing protection plan.

Hyundai Assurance Plus is part of Hyundai's Spring Sales Event, which runs from Feb. 23 to April 30, 2009.

Hyundai Assurance, which debuted in January, allows consumers to return any new Hyundai leased or financed in 2009 if the owner unexpectedly loses his/her income within one year of the purchase date. Both Hyundai Assurance and Hyundai Assurance Plus are available at all participating Hyundai dealerships nationwide.

Hyundai Assurance Plus provides a one-time, 90-day payment relief benefit in the event of involuntary unemployment or physical disability. For qualifying consumers, this benefit helps them keep their vehicle for three months while attempting to replace their income. Hyundai Assurance Plus pays the lender a lump sum equal to 90 days of loan or lease payments.

To qualify for Hyundai Assurance benefits, consumers must have made at least two scheduled payments on their loan or lease, be current on all payments and have been employed for at least 90 days prior to the purchase. Consumers who utilize their payment relief benefit can still return their vehicle within a year of the qualifying event under the terms of the program. This payment is not pro-rated and never has to be re-paid, even if the owner regains health and/or returns to work inside the 90-day period. The total payment relief benefit provided to an owner will be deducted from the Hyundai Assurance maximum benefit of $7,500 if the vehicle return option is exercised.

"We continue to look for ways to help consumers in this challenging economic environment, so we're offering unprecedented financial protection when they finance or lease a Hyundai," said Joel Ewanick, vice president of marketing. "With our 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty, Hyundai Assurance, and now Hyundai Assurance Plus, we're telling consumers that we are all in this together, and we'll get through this together."

Hyundai Assurance and Hyundai Assurance Plus are complimentary for the first 12 months of the financing or lease date for all Hyundai models financed through any lender or financing source. The programs are available to any consumer, regardless of age, health, employment history or financed amount of the vehicle.

Covered circumstances for Hyundai Assurance include: involuntary unemployment, physical disability, loss of driver's license due to medical impairment, international employment transfer, self-employed personal bankruptcy and accidental death.

Payment relief benefits under Hyundai Assurance Plus are available in the event of involuntary unemployment and physical disability.

Hyundai Assurance is offered to Hyundai Motor America exclusively by WALKAWAY USA LLC.