October 20, 2004
Mr. Eric Surine
Dear Mr. Surine:
Fred Beans Hyundai
830 N. Easton Rd.
Doylestown, PA 18901
I am writing this letter to describe to you a disappointing experience I had with Hyundai Motor America and Fred Beans Hyundai in particular. I brought my car in to be serviced because the check engine light was on. Like any person on a budget I was glad to hear that the cause of the light was a catalytic converter and that this item was covered under my warranty. I dropped my car off on the evening of October 14th after informing Nicholas Weisel that I would not be able to pick the car up until Tuesday, October 19th as I would be out of town.
I received a message from Mr. Weisel on Monday, October 18th that, although they had replaced my catalytic converter, they could not remove the O2 sensor from the old converter. He informed me that this meant that I would need a new O2 sensor and that it would be $119. He stated that he had talked to the district representative on my behalf, in order to see if this part could be considered under warranty, but the representative had said no, because my car was no longer eligible for the emissions warranty.
I spoke to Mr. Weisel on Tuesday, October 19th. At this time, I explained to him that I did not agree that I should have to pay for the cost of the O2 sensor, because when I had dropped my car off at Fred Beans, I had a working sensor in the car. I still maintain that this sensor is not broken. How am I to know that every means to remove it was attempted before deciding that it needed to be replaced? Why should I not assume that Hyundai, or even Fred Beans, makes sure that the O2 sensor will not be able to be removed in order to ensure that each service made “under warranty” will cost the owner something? After speaking with Mr. Weisel, who in fact seemed to agree with me that having to pay for the sensor was unfair, he gave me the telephone number for Hyundai Consumer Affairs.
I had a lengthy conversation with “Steve,” at Hyundai Consumer Affairs who was very nice, but basically informed me that because my mileage was considerably over 60,000 miles, his hands were tied in regard to the replacement of my O2 sensor. In fact, Steve told me that the district representative had more authority in this matter than he did. He advised me to go into the dealership to speak to you and ask to speak to the district representative myself, and that if I was not given his number, I should probably have my car serviced elsewhere in the future. However, at this point, I realize that any course of action, even to taking the time to write this letter, is probably futile. A customer should never be told “my hands are tied here.” Each employee of Hyundai should be empowered to take any course of action to ensure the customer has a positive experience. I am not asking to be given a brand new car. I am asking someone to understand that I should not have to pay for a sensor that I had no part in making irremovable, that is not even broken, and was being replaced during the process of a repair covered under warranty.
Neither Hyundai nor Fred Beans seem to show any regard for customer or brand loyalty. For a company to allow a disappointed customer to hang up the phone or walk out of their place of business without doing everything they can to make sure they leave happy tells me that you could care less whether or not my next car purchase will be a Hyundai. Maybe you have already become resigned to the fact that anyone who purchases a Hyundai will be a one time purchaser once they experience not only the lack of part quality, but also the misrepresented “best warranty in the business.” In spite of this, perhaps some thought should be given to the other potential customers with which each disappointed Hyundai owner has contact. Imagine if each Hyundai owner today went and told only one other person in the car market to steer clear of Hyundai, and that person listened. The cost could potentially be millions, and all for a $119 part here, a $119 part there. I intend to tell more than one person. In fact, I intend to post this letter on my website.
This is not an isolated incident. I have already had to replace my mass airflow meter twice in the four years I have owned my car. Once it was taken care of under warranty. However, the second time it failed, it was only 2 years later, and was no longer under warranty. This is a non-maintence part, and should not have failed twice in such a short period of time. I am also already having an oil consumption issue, which is ridiculous for a car I purchased new in 2000.
I would love to speak with someone at Hyundai Motor America about any of these issues if anyone is interested. It is my sincere hope that this letter prompts some action and some changes in your customer service policies.
Lori L. Renner
Cc: Anthony Lukanski, General Manager
Finbarr O'Neill, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor America
Better Business Bureau