BUYERS BEWARE of Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai and Vinart Dealerships
Several years ago, I purchased two used vehicles at the same time from Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. One of those vehicles happened to be a 2005 Mercury Montego. At the time, I trusted the salesperson and believed that I was getting a good deal on the vehicles. The day after I drove my Montego home, I noticed that there was a problem with the dashboard electrical system.
These are the problems that existed:
All of the dash instruments and gauges would go out, I lost power to the vehicle, the rear lights would go on, reverse lights would turn on resulting in me being pulled over several times, stereo had really loud static, check engine, transmission and charging systems lights went on, all gauges would pin for several seconds, gauges would pin even after the vehicle was turned off resulting in me purchasing 3 brand new batteries for the vehicle, automatic door locks would become inoperable, power windows are inoperable, caught fire inside the driver’s side door with smoke coming from driver’s side mirror, airbag light turns on and off, at times the entire dashboard is dark and no speedometer. The list goes on and on.
The next day, I contacted the dealership and tried to speak to the salesperson who sold me the vehicles, later to find out that she had been fired that same day. I spoke with the service department and had them look over the vehicle. They returned it to me telling me that the problem was taken care of. Two days later, the same problems existed and I contacted the dealership once again. I brought my car into the dealership and they ran a diagnostics test on the vehicle, telling me that nothing showed up on the diagnostics test but that they replaced some fuses and that I was good to go. Again, I returned home with my vehicle. It turns out that the problem was never repaired and I spent several more months dealing with the service manager in order to have my car looked at properly and repaired. Again…nothing. In fact, every time that I contacted the company, they acted as though they had never seen this problem before and had no idea of its existence. Every time I contacted them, they acted as though this was all new to them and that my call came as a surprise. Every time I contacted them, I needed to re-explain my entire situation to them. Again, a tactic to delay repairs to my vehicle on a pre-existing condition.
Months turned into years and still the same problems existed with no answers from the dealership and several service managers later. This was an ongoing problem that I just learned to deal with over time until two weeks ago when my driver side door caught fire. This was the final straw! I contacted Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai explaining the issue once again and was told to take my vehicle to Koch 33 Ford in Easton, PA for a complete diagnostics test. When it was finally diagnosed, the service manager at the Ford dealership explained to me that it would need an Instrument Cluster costing over $600.00. When I asked why this problem wasn’t found by the Phillipsburg Hyundai dealership several times, he explained to me that the Hyundai dealership does not have the equipment to properly diagnose the problem. I was again told that they had not experienced problems like this before. Well, that’s a load of crap!!
When I contacted Andy Wright, the owner of the Vinart Dealerships, I was contacted by Kevin Wagner, Service Director at the Vinart Dealerships. After playing phone tag for numerous days, I left a message requesting that they repair the electrical problem with my vehicle. I received one final message stating that the Vinart Dealerships will not take responsibility for the electrical problems and that I would need to cover the costs in order to repair the vehicle myself. In addition to this, I was approached by Bryan Hubert, Service Manager at Koch 33 Ford and was told that my vehicle would probably not last more than a year and that he would highly recommend getting out of the vehicle. I was told by him that he would highly suggest that I traded the vehicle in for another vehicle at the Vinart Dealership. WOW!! I couldn’t believe that on top of not repairing the electrical problems that existed from the day that I purchased the vehicle, that they also had the nerve to try to sell me a new car. Currently, I still owe $3,500.00 on the Mercury so why in the world would I purchase a new car. I was hoping that this vehicle would last me until it was at least payed off.
It turns out that I am not the first person to experience these problems. Hundreds of other people just like myself have fallen victim to this same issue that affected thousands of Ford vehicles in 2005. The problem affected Ford Five Hundred, Freestyle and Mercury Montego vehicles built before 02/17/2006. A TBS bulletin was sent out by Ford on August 18, 2006 describing this problem as an (INTERMITTENT INSTRUMENT CLUSTER TSB 06-17-9 OPERATION—INCLUDING GAUGES SWEEP/RESET— MULTIPLE WARNING LIGHTS ILLUMINATED AND/OR REVERSE LIGHTS STAY ON—VEHICLES BUILT BEFORE 2/17/2006). It is impossible for the dealerships to have not known that this was a problem. In fact, Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai knew that this was the issue from the day it was sold to me several years ago and it could have been repaired while still under warrantee but I was pushed off so many times. I truly believe that this was a clever ploy by the Vinart Dealerships so that they did not have to take “responsibility” for my vehicle. In fact, I even purchased an extended warrantee on my vehicle which was worthless as well.
Another issue that was interesting about my vehicle is that Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai and the Vinart Dealerships did not properly disclose information to me about the vehicle. The Carfax report that was shared with me when I purchased the vehicle did not show any accidents with the vehicle. Interestingly enough, when I took the bumper off of my vehicle to change the headlight on my car, I noticed that the entire front end had been refurbished and pieced together. Obviously due to a front end car accident that was NEVER disclosed to me when I purchased the vehicle in good faith.
This being said, it is deplorable that Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai and the Vinart Dealerships does not stand behind their products. I saw this quote on a negative BBB report in response to an unhappy customer that stated, “We have been in business for over 30 years and we have a longstanding reputation for quality customer service. We take our reputation very seriously.” If this is truly the case, then why am I in this current situation? Why are you not providing the “quality customer service” that you claim to say you have? This posting should not come as a surprise to you as I contacted you stating that I would be taking my story and making it public if the problem was not resolved. I even contacted you several days before making this public, giving you an opportunity to resolve the issue, but I received no response from you.
Before purchasing a new or used vehicle, I would highly recommend that the buyer beware. Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai and the entire Vinart Dealerships should be ashamed of themselves for not properly handling this serious safety issue for myself and my family. It is ashamed that a $600.00 repair to a vehicle needed to result to this. Below is a list of all of the Vinart Dealerships throughout the Lehigh Valley. Thank you for taking the time to read this very important letter. Hopefully it prevents other customers from being scammed in the future.
Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai – 164 State Route 173, Stewartsville, NJ 08886
Lehigh Valley Hyundai – 675 State Avenue, Emmaus, PA 18049
Lehigh Valley Acura – 333 State Avenue, Emmaus, PA 18049
Lehigh Valley Honda – 675 State Avenue, Emmaus, PA 18049
Vinart Collision Center – 3115 Berger Street, Allentown, PA 18103