I own a 2013 Hyundai Sonata which I purchased new from Fairfax Hyundai. With the purchase of the new car came “Complimentary Oil Changes and State Inspections for Life” which is what drew me to Fairfax Hyundai’s Service Center. Also, it was convenient to my work and I was provided a shuttle ride if needed to take me to my office. However, I have since learned the ulterior motives of the dealer in providing these complimentary services. Unfortunately, as a female, I was a little too trusting and as a result was exploited repeatedly. Fairfax Hyundai can not be trusted; they have proven undoubtedly that they do not have integrity and in fact are they type of service center that has unethical practices and what most people think of when they picture an auto repair service shop that preys on people, specifically females.
In the past 2.5 five years, I have caught the service technician and mechanic not, once, but on two occasions outright lie and try to convince me that my car needed service that in fact they had just performed at the recent prior visits. Here are the details:
October 2018 (54,429 miles) They recommend replacement of front brakes, rotors and brake fluid exchange ($130.00 just for fluid). I agreed and had the service performed.
I had to have the brakes and rotors replaced again (privately) less than 20,000 miles later because Fairfax Hyundai had the pads rubbing the rotors (didn’t grind them down to fit properly) the friction was so intense that it lowered my gas mileage by 6 mpg. When a family member replaced the pads and rotors for me, the gas mileage increased by 6mpg. So they are not only unethical but they employ mechanics who are inept at their jobs.
Just 16,000 miles and 1.5 years later (the maintenance schedule doesn’t ever call for a brake fluid exchange, only topping off the reservoir) while in the shop for a complimentary oil change, the service tech, Josh Durdaller, said that during the “routine courtesy inspection”, the mechanic checked the brake fluid and said it was really dirty and needed changed. They also recommended new spark plugs and a transmission flush. I reminded Josh that they just changed the brake fluid changed 16,000 miles ago. Josh was apologetic and said he is unsure why the mechanics would say that it was dirty. In an attempt to cover the error, they said maybe there is an issue with the fluid and offered to exchange it for free (which they probably didn’t even do while they had the car back in the service area).
February 2020 -(70,896 miles- during same appointment as above) -Transmission fluid exchange performed based on their recommendation even though the manual says 60,000 or more ONLY if continually driving in extreme conditions. However, I deferred to their judgement as the service advisor reported that the mechanic said it was in need of changing based on how it looked. Cost for the spark plugs and transmission fluid exchange $537.94
August 21, 2021 ( Just 8,000 miles later) Took it in for an issue covered by Hyundai due to a defect (steering) and once again they conducted a “routine courtesy inspection.” Josh reported that during the courtesy inspection the mechanic tested the transmission fluid and it was “really dirty and should be changed or flushed” To check the transmission fluid, the car would have to be put on a rack, a protective piece popped off, a bolt rand a plug removed (not as easy as just pulling a dipstick to check). However, during this “courtesy inspection” they didn’t bother to pop the hood to check fluids or they would have reported that the coolant reservoir was needing refilled. I declined the transmission fluid exchange service and later that evening went through my records to see when they had exchanged the transmission fluid and found that they had just exchanged it 8,000 miles earlier. They didn’t have have the decency to check my service record before offering me a service they had just performed 8,000 miles earlier and isn’t recommended for at least 60,000 miles.
Called and left messages for the service technician (no return call), service manager (no return call), and finally the director of Fairfax Hyundai Service. Brian Gor Who apologized for the oversight and agreed that should not have happened but was unwilling to refund any money spent in the service department as a result of their recommendations over the years. He acknowledged that it is understood why they have lost my trust. BUT he also made these statements which acknowledge that he is aware of this unethical and dishonest behavior- 1. Hyundai treats women fairly, this happens to our male customers just as often as it does to female customers. 2. The mechanics work off commission (the more items they can charge for, the more they make) and the service advisor is supposed to check the record when a mechanic makes a recommendation so that there are checks and balances.
After leaving a voicemail message for the Fairfax Hyundai owner on 8/24/21, Sam Mansouri, Mr. Gor called and offered a free 82,500 service to “extend an olive branch.” I declined.
To top it off, I received a factory touch up paint pen from Hyundai to touch up small nicks on the hood, bumpers, and roof only for the paint not to match and now I have big grey blotches on the white paint of the car. Hyundai (local dealership or the corporate Hyundai) won’t stand behind this either! My paint is ruined because they didn’t match the touch up paint to the original color (WJ versus WJR).
Luckily I kept all receipts, service records, and recommendations that were provided to me at each appointment. It is clear on the receipts the date and mileage that service was performed, and the duplicate recommendations based on the “visual inspection of the dirty fluids.” When looking through the receipts and recommendations from the past 8 years, it became clear to me that I was taken advantage of on many occasions. Multiple times during complimentary service, once they had my car in the bay, the advisor would call and say there was a nail in my tire and they could repair it (25.00-35.00 dollars). And most recently, I brought the car in for the complimentary state service inspection and was called by the advisor, once the car was in the bay, and informed that my tag light needed replaced and it would be approximately $30.00 (you can buy a pack of two for less than $5.00). I said I would just do it myself but was told that a rejection sticker would be placed on the car and I’d have to bring it back to be inspected again (they know time is valuable and most people won’t won’t to being it back). These are just two minor examples of how they slowly get their money back by having you bring your car in for complimentary inspections and oil chances. A scam to say the least.