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Hyundai  -  poor customer service and repair

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7:54 am
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The following is an account of how terrible the Service Dept and Management at Keith Hawthorne Hyundai in Gastonia, NC is:

Thursday July 22- I noticed that I had to depress the clutch pedal all the way to the floor to get the gears engaged. I told my Father and he said we would take a look on Saturday morning at the car.

Saturday July 24 - I found a small piece of metal from an O ring in the floorboard of the car. I called Keith Hawthorne Hyundai Service Dept and explained the issue. I was directed to bring the car in right then for them to take a look.

I removed my important items from my car prior to dropping it off at the dealership for diagnosis for a clutch problem.
I unplugged my radar detector and tossed the plug into the passenger floorboard. Also removing my car cell phone charge from the same location and my sunglass case from the ledge on the console.

I was told I would receive a call later that day with what they had found if they could look at it before they closed. I did get a call around 2 pm stating that I would need a new clutch master cylinder. The part would be ordered Monday, arrive on Tuesday and I should get my car back Wednesday. Did I need a loaner? I said no as I could borrow a car until then. I asked the price for this and was told $375.

Tuesday July 27 - I called to find that the part had not come in yet. I said I would need a loaner and would be there ASAP to get one. At 5 pm, I was at the dealership and told there were no loaners. A car off the lot was given to me instead. My Father met me at the dealership and over heard some of the following conversation" I spoke at length with Tonya and Joseph about why the parts needing repair were "wear and tear". Why was the thermostat sensor, 13 months old, not covered under a warranty? Joseph explained the issue of needing a coolant flush when I got the part in 2009. I was uncertain if this had been done. I asked Tonya to pull all of my service records. She told me she could not as she was new (6 months on the job) and would have Tom assist her. I authorized a coolant flush when the new sensor was installed. I authorized an oil change. I left unhappy with feeling like I was treated like I didn't know I was getting the run around on my service issues.

Wednesday July 28 - I called to check on my was not being worked on yet, but the part was in and my car was next in line for service.

Thursday July 29 - I called mid-day and was told my car was still on the lift, no time frame for completion. At 5:03 pm I received a call from Tonya and was told my car was ready. I could not pick the car up prior to the dealership closing, so I was told to come Friday at my convenience.

Friday July 30 - 5:30 pm I returned the loaner, paid $518 for the clutch master cylinder, coolant flush, oil change, etc minimal charges. When I got in my car, cranked the car to start the A/C, and I noticed my radar detector was unplugged because the adapter was not in and the interior glows when the car is running. I also saw where the top and side trim of my center console was melted. My car air freshener was lying on the floor mat.

I returned into the service area and asked for someone to come explain why my car was in that condition.
Joseph went to inspect my car. He opened the passenger side door and sat on the door frame as my purse was now in the passenger seat.
He picked up the plug and inserted it into the outlet. He then picked up the air freshener from the floorboard and turned it over to reveal black plastic melted on the freshener. Joseph then unplugged the detector.

We then went into the service bay to get the Mgr. Tom came to look at my car.
He also entered my car on the passenger side and sat on the frame. He plugged the radar detector is as well and flipped the freshener over. The freshener had gooey black residue on the side that was lying on the floor mat. He then told me that it is common for air fresheners to chemically react with plastic and this happens a lot. I told him that I had not left the detector plugged in. I told him that this is the way I found my car. When everything is plugged in and as normal, the freshener hangs on the knot in the detector cord flush with the underside of the well where the passenger's legs go. The excess cord is curled and stuffed under the floor mat. I didn't leave anything plugged into the lighter, and nothing was plugged in when I got into my car, but during the time at the dealership, someone had to plug the detector is for the melting to occur.

We went into the parts office. On the way, Tom said that it had probably happened a long time ago and I never noticed. I told him that it may not look like it today, but I wash and clean my car every week and it was not like that the last time I cleaned my car. The exact date was Thursday July 22 when I washed my car and wiped down the interior. He offered to have the interior guy try to fix the console. I refused to let someone try to fix my car when I had not left it that was. I requested a price on a new part. I asked why a 4 plus month old freshener that has never done this while the car sits at my work or home, now melts at their dealership. He said it just happens. The Parts Mgr said the part would be $118. I requested a new part be ordered and Tom said that it would take 20 minutes to install, and he would do that for free when the part came in. We agreed to set up at time for later in the first week of August. I requested I be called when the part came in and I would set up a time to swing by for the 20 minute install.

While on the way home, I got very emotional and pulled over because I know what I had done prior to leaving my car with the dealership, and I maintain my car to the best of my ability. I take pride in having a clean sparkly car. I realized that the dealership knew they had damaged my vehicle and were pushing me to believe it was not their fault, but mine. I began to realize that someone had plugged the adapter in and the freshener was hanging directly on the console. So, I called and made a claim with my insurance company.

Once I got home, and was organizing my items back into my car, I took photos to indicate the "freshness" of the damage. At that time, I noticed the shinny, gooey melted plastic was beginning to dry and harden. It then occurred to me that the damage had absolutely had happened just today, most likely between test driving the car for the repairs, or when it was moved around to the entrance of the service department for pick up.
I was never called regarding the console part arriving Tuesday.

Wednesday August 4 - I called to confirm with Parts that it was in, spoke with Tonya in service and set up a 9:15 August 7 for the install.

Saturday August 7th - I went to the dealership at 9 am. I found Will Wiggins and asked if there was anyone at the dealership that cared to speak with me regarding how unhappy I was with the repairs and damage. He told me to speak with Anthony the GM. Anthony was not in, but Will would have him call me. Will suggested I wait on the install until I spoke with Anthony. I purchased the $127 console part, canceled my 9:15 am with Tonya in Service, and left. Mid-morning Anthony called and asked to hear my complaints. We set up a 4 pm later that Saturday to discuss the issues.
I met with Anthony B. The GM of Keith Hawthorne Hyundai on Saturday August 14. After an hour long meeting of explaining my concerns and issues regarding the current service problems/damage and some from June 2009, I was told that I would be reimbursed for the center console part I purchase and the labor would not be charged to me. I was told to set up an appointment with the Service Dept to fit my schedule. Anthony also told me he would pull my service records to review the issue of bring the car in for the A/C not blowing cold air in June 2009 and leaving with new rear brakes with the car mileage at 56, 000. He told me that if he found that I didn't' need the rear brake I would be reimbursed something for this issue. He tried to express that I would be made happy. He told me he had a meeting with Keith Hawthorne on Monday until 3 pm be he would follow up on all of this. Please call him and let him know when I've set up the install appointment for the console.

Monday August 9 - I called the service dept and spoke with Tonya on. I set up a Saturday August 14, 8 am to bring the car in for the console installation.

I called the dealership several times throughout the week to update Anthony on the appointment, but never could get him.

Friday August 13 - I called and was told Anthony was with someone, could Larry help me. So I spoke with Larry and told him I was bringing my car in on Saturday and would need to pick up my service records Anthony told me he would get. Larry said Anthony would not be in at 8 am, but see Larry and he would have what I needed. I told him I would be there at 8 and he said he would be there at 8:15.

Saturday August 14 - I arrived at the Service Dept and told Tom, the Service Mgr, that my car was not driving like it had prior to the Clutch Master Cylinder replacement. I felt the car was forcing me through he gears at a higher RPM and it had not done that before the repair. Also that the pedal was making a popping sound. Tom said he would have the service tech that owned a Tiburon to take a look since he was familiar with the model.

I went to find Larry. After talking with Will Wiggins briefly Larry arrived. I introduced myself and Larry asked me to give him a few minutes. Roughly 30 minutes later, Tom told me my car was ready. He also informed me that my clutch was going out. The disks were wearing done and I would need to replace it soon. First gear would start slipping and there was no way of knowing how long my clutch would make it. I was reimbursed for the console part and drove to the front of the dealership to find Larry.

A young man at the desk told me Larry was in a meeting for the next 30-45 minutes and I could wait. I had other appointments and left.

I took my car to Mz. Auto on Hwy 274. The mechanic test drove my car and informed me that the clutch was fine except that it needed to be adjusted. He explained why the RPMS were racing in correlation to the clutch not being adjusted properly. He felt like the previous mechanic had either not done the complete job when installing the master cylinder, or had intentionally done this so my clutch would wear out quickly. He advised me to get it fixed ASAP before I damaged the car. I set a 3 pm appointment for Monday August 16 for him to actually get under the car and see what was going on. He told me he would also check the clutch disks and let me see the life I have left on them. This process would take about an hour to and hour and a half.

I returned to Keith Hawthorne Hyundai at 1 pm with my Father to try and get copies of all my service records yet again. While my Father tried to find Larry or a Mgr, I went to Service to see Tom. Tome gave me a copy of that day's records and I asked for an explanation of the clutch issue. Tom drew a picture on the back of the paper to show me that he could not tell how bad my clutch was, except he was told by the service tech that drove it, they could feel it slipping since they don't drive it daily like I do. He explained that it was a lengthy process to get into the clutch to see the disks to let me know the actual life span I had left. I described a "window" but you can tell as it's dirty and hard to see.

I left service and returned to the showroom where I found my Father telling Anthony the GM how he felt I was getting the run around because no one would return my calls or give me copies of my service records. Anthony said he would get them right now. Larry walked by and my Father asked to speak with him. My father told Larry that he feels Larry dropped the ball with my and my issues. Larry was clear in the fact that he does not drop the ball and he would get someone to get the records right now. He said he never told me he would have the records and that is something service does. I reminded him that he told me to see him on Saturday morning and he would have everything I needed. I also reminded him that I told him I would be there at 8 am and he told me he would not be in until 8:15. Larry left came back and said I would have the records soon. Anthony brought me the copies and my Father and I left.

Monday August 16 - I took my car to Mz. Auto on New Hope Rd and had the clutch looked at. It was suggested to me that the clutch had not been adjusted when the Master Cylinder was replaced. The mechanic adjusted it and confirmed there was 25% life left on the Clutch disk. I should need to replace the clutch at around 100, 000 miles if I continue my driving pattern and maintenance. I was charged $25.00 for this adjustment. My car has been shifting great since a reputable, caring, and honest company fixed it.

I have all of my service records available to forward to anyone who is interested:


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

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