Allow me to take you on a journey. For those that want to skip the fine details, scroll down for the TLDR.
In April of 2018, I went to Rick Case Hyundai in Davie, FL to purchase a car. I eventually settled on the new Hyundai Sonata, but they didn’t have it in black with a black interior. The salesman tried to convince me to take a different car, but I was insistent on the colors. So they said they would send for the car from another dealership. As we waited, my mother jokingly nicknamed the car The Phantom, because I really wanted it to be all in black. I had asked my parents to come with me to purchase the car, because I didn’t want to get bamboozled. The salesmen spent more time trying to convince my parents to buy the car than me, the person actually handing over the money. But that’s neither here nor there. I already didn’t have a great impression of this guy. As we waited for the car to be delivered, he gets a call from the neighboring dealership informing him that the car that was to be delivered had been crashed in the parking lot by the driver. They had no one else to drive the car to our dealership. So the salesman said he’d head over to pick up Phantom 2.0. He doesn’t leave right away, and it takes another two hours for him to return with the car. A car which had scratches that needed to be buffed out. Before we leave, he assures me that our relationship wouldn’t end here and that I should treat him as a friend and call him whenever I needed anything.
Fast forward a few weeks and I did indeed have cause to call upon our “friendship.” Not only was it ridiculously difficult to get ahold of him (wouldn’t answer his cell phone, or his voicemails), but when I finally did reach him, he was generally unknowledgeable and unhelpful.
After a couple of months it was time to take the car in for its first oil change. I brought it in on time, asked to be upgraded to the synthetic oil, and drove away thinking everything was alright. I drove it for about a week before I went on a three-week vacation to Europe. I returned and drove the car for another month without any issues when this happened.
As I was stopped at a turn, the engine light comes on and the car tells me to put it in park. So I put it in park, turn the car off, and try to turn it back on. The car won’t start, but the engine light, oil light and battery light all turn on. I had to ask my co-workers to help push my car into the parking lot of my office. Thankfully this didn’t happen on the highway. I immediately tried calling my “friend” and (surprise, surprise) he doesn’t answer. I call the main number and talk to a service agent. She confirms that yes, my 5-month-old car does qualify for roadside assistance and that I should call them. Roadside assistance confirms that I only have 6,600 miles on my car and that it’s covered under warranty. They arrive almost two hours later and when the tow truck lifted my car, a flood of oil coated the road. The guy looks it over and notices that there are no scratches or any indication that I had run anything over or damaged my car in any way. He turns to me after his inspection and says, “you’re going to need a new engine. The oil has flooded out and ruined it.”
I was forced to leave work early to escort my car to the nearest Hyundai dealership in Doral. Now it’s about 4pm and the service part of the dealership closes at 6. They told me that they were backed up and wouldn’t be able check my car out before they closed and I would have to wait until the next day to hear back about my car. In the meantime, because they couldn’t determine if the damage would be covered by the warranty, I had to pay for a rental car out of pocket. A deposit of $150. They assured me that once they determined the cause of the damage and that it is covered by the warranty, that my money would be returned to me.
The next day, I get a call in the late afternoon from the Doral dealership and they tell me this: The oil drain plug is missing and I need a new engine. They tell me that because the oil change was done at the other dealership that it’s basically their fault and the warranty does not cover the fix. The other dealership would be financially responsible for both the repair and the reimbursement of the money I would then be charged for the rental car. After several back and forth conversations with both the service managers at the Davie dealership where I bought the car, I was assured that because they use a special torque wrench or some such tool that there was physically no way for the oil drain plug to have become loose after two months and all of a sudden fall out. They called Hyundai and arranged for the fix to be covered by the warranty. They sent a tow truck to pick up my car from the Doral dealership and deliver it to them. I was to drop off my rental car the next day and come to their dealership to pick up a loaner car.
When I drop off the rental car, the Doral dealership insists that the Davie one is still responsible for reimbursing me, so I don’t get a full refund of my deposit. They had charged me $114 for 3 days of driving their rental car. I go to the Davie dealership and get a longwinded explanation of how the new washers that are used on the oil drain plugs of the newest Sonatas are super thick and that normally the washers are supposed to flatten out when tightened, but that these new ones do not. The service manager tells me that he even brought out a guy from Hyundai to inspect my car and to open a report on this issue. Apparently, mine is not the first case of this happening. He assures me that he’ll take care of all of the invoices and not to worry. I asked him about how long it would take to get the engine, because I was told by his subordinate that they’d have to order a new engine from Korea. He says, no, they have warehouses all over the country with parts. He wouldn’t have to order my new engine from Korea. He then asks some random worker to set me up with a loaner car. The guy takes me back to the front, hands me a key fob and tries to usher me out. I stop him and say, what about my check for the deposit money? He asks me for my receipt and rental car paperwork, which I provide and he makes copies of. He staples his copy together and files it away. I am again ushered out, without a check in hand. I assume they are going to mail it to me and quite frankly, I didn’t want to spend another minute there. He doesn’t take me to inspect the car, just hands the key over and watches me walk off.
Not a day goes by when my new loaner car informs me that it has no windshield wiper fluid and that it needs to be serviced in 500 miles. I drive about 53 miles round-trip to work, not including any other stops. For those of you that hate math, that means I would have to bring in the car for an oil change a week after driving it. Why would they give me a car that has to be serviced in a week? Good question. I have no answer for you. But as I went about my business during that week, I noticed that I still had not received my check in the mail for the money they were supposedly going to reimburse me. Saturday rolls around and I take the car in for its oil change. I inform one of the service managers about the issue and ask him if they’ll lend me a different car or at least bump my oil change up to be the next one serviced. He assures me that he will, and that it should take 45 minutes or less. I go to the waiting room and proceed to watch literally everyone else in that room leave before someone comes to tell me the car is ready about 1 hour and 10 minutes later. Again, I ask about my check before leaving. The service manager tells me that their accounting department is closed on weekends and he’d have to call on Monday to verify. He even makes a whole production out of adding a reminder on his computer and assures me he’ll call first thing Monday morning.
Monday rolls around. No call. Tuesday rolls around. No call. I leave a voicemail for him at the end of the day asking him to call me back. Wednesday rolls around and I keep calling until I get ahold of him. He gives me some flimsy excuse about being understaffed and that he was going to call right now to find out. Hang up. Calls me back and tells me that no check has been sent, because they need my receipt and paperwork. I tell him that the guy who had given me the loaner car had made copies of the paperwork. He asks me if I remember the guy’s name. I don’t. I ask him if they don’t file their paperwork. He tells me he’ll look for it and hangs up. I get a call a couple of hours later where he tells me that he only found the receipt for the deposit reimbursement, and not the rental car paperwork. The xxxx thing was stapled together. But ok, fine, I take pictures of the paperwork and text it to him along with the question “have you guys received an engine, yet?” He replies, “We are still waiting on the engine to come in.”
I get a call from him the next day to tell me that he spoke with his boss and that they talked to the people from the Doral dealership. They agreed the Doral dealership would refund the money directly to my account and that I should see it in one or two days. Great. Two days pass and I still don’t have my money. I call the following day and leave yet another voicemail. No one calls me back. I send a text message letting him know that my patience has been worn thin and to at least call me to tell me what’s going on. The following day, I don’t hear from him, but I do get a call from the Doral dealership telling me they are going to refund my money right now and send a picture as proof (since my bank account won’t reflect it for another 2 days).
And, to add insult to injury, the loaner car that I have been driving these three weeks has a giant “Rick Case Hyundai” branded across the sides of the car. So I’ve been giving these people free advertisement when the last thing I want to do is send anyone to their doorstep.
TLDR: I cannot convey the level of ineptitude, lack of care, and overall horrible customer service I have received since buying my car from Rick Case Hyundai six months ago. I wouldn’t wish my experiences dealing with every level of their organization on my worst enemies. I still have no idea when they’ll receive an engine and fix my car. And despite their insistence that it was a factory part issue, the fact of the matter is, they did the oil change, screwed the oil cap in place, saw the washer wasn’t flush with the car, and still let me drive out of there without any warning to the potential danger. So yeah, I do blame them. And when I get Phantom 2.5 back, I might very well sell it back to them, just so I never have to deal with them again.