My Hyundai Santro was delivered after repairs by KUN Hyundai, Chennai on 12th May 2007. My mileage now is 8 Km/L, a significant drop from the previous 12-13 Km/L. Overall I am not happy with the fact that the crankshaft etc., of the engine of a modern 21st century car failed prematurely around 26,000 Kms and around 2 1/2 years.
The series of delays in delivering the vehicle and escalating estimate of repair cost made me to:
1. Write to Hyundai Customer care service, Public relations and other departments in Hyundai India and South Korea.
2. Represent the problems to Hyundai through a friend at HMPL, Chennai.
3. Take the help of car magazines including AUTOCAR, WHATCAR, OVERDRIVE and TOPGEAR to deal with the problem at a professional level.
4. Present the problems on internet forums to take the help of the car driving public.
Eventually from the estimated Rs.35,000 the bill has been scaled down to Rs.6800 "as a Goodwill gesture" to quote Hyundai. Thank you Hyundai. My original complaint letter to Hyundai is also enclosed for perusal.
My Thanks to everybody for their support.
Complaint letter to Hyundai:
I have written to you earlier; since there has been no response from you I am writing again.
On April 25, 2007 my two and a half year old Hyundai Santro Xing TN 02 T **** with a odometer reading of just over 26,000 kilometers suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. On towing to KUN Hyundai in Mount road, Chennai (Madras), India I was told that the crankshaft has failed and needs to be replaced. Few days later I was told that several other parts of the engine have also failed.
My Hyundai Santro (also known as Hyunda Amica and Hyundai Atos Atoz in some countries - the car is exported in large numbers from India) was purchased in November 2004 from MPL Hyundai, Chennai and has had regular services at authorised service centers (MPL Hyundai and KUN Hyundai, both in Chennai), the last one just 2 weeks before the breakdown.
Mr.Balaji (Mobile no: 9840428764) of KUN Hyundai said that the repairs will be very expensive (more than Rs.35,000, which is more than 10% of the car's on-road price) and can return the car only after 10 days. Apparently the spares are not available in Chennai and the engine also needs machining. On 5th May, Saturday 2005 he informed me that spare parts are still not available and the repair will take more time. Today 9 th May 2007, more than 2 weeks after submitting my car, he tells me that the crankshaft, camshaft etc have been repaired but when the engine came back after machining from their workshop they found that it had not been done correctly (I can't understand why) and so they have to do it again which translates into more delays in delivering my car. No time frame has been set as to when my car will be delivered. Is this dealer experimenting with my car?
I am very surprised that the crankshaft, camshaft and other parts of the engine of my car have failed so early. 21st century petrol car engines are designed/ manufactured to last more than 1 to 2 lakh kilometers without any major repair; I am shocked with my bad experience.
I bought this car in November 2004 after reading several reviews, user opinions and road tests on the internet, various auto and car magazines and talking to relatives and friends who had this car. Not one review or road test in November 2004 or my circle of contacts who had the Santro had faced such problems. May be the November 2004 batch or this particular car engine has some manufacturing defect.
The problem is discussed on these forums:
I read about similar complaints about Santros purchased in November - December 2004; the link is below -
Here is one of them:
Posted: 2006-12-05 by Thomsson A Jobin Crankshaft of my Santro Xing 2004 model is defective
I purchased a Santro xing from Hyundai from a Kerala dealer of Hyundai India. The product did just 28000 kms and its crankshaft failed in just less than two years time and shockingly the company is not acknowledging this fact. I request all Santro Owners who purchased their cars around November 2004 to check their vehicle. I have raised the issue with company and am looking forward to their response on this issue and have not received any response till date.
One more at the same website:
It's true i also purchased santro xing xo model in dec, 04 and just recently in jan, 07, Hyundai has replaced the crankshaft motor, dynamo and the catalytic converter. I have done just 23560 km so friend lets together take the issue to Hyundai itself. The repairs cost me 16700 even when the car was under extended warranty. Contact me at - email@example.com
Sales manager, Hewlett-Packard company, Gurgaon
Here is a similar complaint I received on email:
On 5/7/07, Vijay wrote:
I read your review on Mouth Shut (http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Hyundai_Santro-124539-1.html). I had a ditto problem! Crank Shaft broke after only 36,000 Kms. Mine is a 2002 model though. Did you have to shell out the 35K or did your warranty cover it? Did you get any answers from the company? Any respite? I am in B'lore and I fear the dealer is taking us for a ride. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Vijay.
Here is another complaint made on 4th Jan 2007:
Santro engine overhaul at less than 40K kms!!!
My colleagues Santro is 4.5 years old and done around 38000 kms. Recently he noticed some issues with the car like dark smoke from exhaust and heavy vibration of the car when in 3rd and 4th gears. When brought to the notice of the Hyundai service centre, they said that the engine needs to be overhauled.
Estimate given was 25K for labor and if parts to be changed it could be another 10K or more. My doubts :
1. Why would a petrol engine need to be overhauled at 38K kms ? We know of cars that easily run a lakh kms and more without needing any overhaul.
2. Is the estimated cost looking OK ?
3. Any other Santro owners have faced this issue ?
I have asked him to take it to Electra Hyundai to get a second opinion. I request the help of the senior management of Hyundai to sort out the problem. My mobile number is 9884100910 and my email id DrLMurugan@yahoo.com.
A very disappointed Hyundai customer,