NATICK, MASSACHUSETTS -- I've purchased two new Hyundais at Herb Connolly Hyundai in the past 3 years. I brought one of them in for a routine oil change on 6/18/08. Felipe, the service manager, waited on me and told me I was past my 30,000 mile service (34,442 was on the odometer). And that this was important because my automatic transmission fluid needed to be changed. I told Felipe I thought that was done at 70,000 miles, or more, per the manual. He said it's done at 30,000 miles because I was driving the car under "severe conditions". I asked him how he knew I was driving it at severe conditions and he said all of Massachusetts drivers drive their cars under severe conditions. I asked him what made Massachusetts severe and he said "the cold temperatures" we have here. I asked Felipe where it isn't severe conditions and he said Florida. I asked Felipe if there were any other conditions that determined "severe conditions" and he said he didn't know. He volunteered and gave me the Hyundai phone number and suggested I call them to discuss this with them. I declined the 30,000 mile service until I had a chance to research the "severe condition". Felipe told me my transmission warranty would be void as a result.
I followed up on Felipe's passing me off and called Hyundai. The Hyundai rep said "there is no geographical designation for severe conditions. Severe conditions are more a matter of driving habits and distance driven." The Hyundai rep also told me the "severe conditions" are listed in my car manual, and as long as I wasn't using my car normally under those conditions, I would have no warranty problems with the transmission. I do not normally use my car under the "severe conditions" listed in the manual.
Obviously Felipe and the Hyundai rep have opposite views of the definition(s) of "severe conditions". The rep is supported by the manual and other Hyundai printed matter. Felipe offered me no support to his opinion.
IMO, Felipe was wrong:
1. When he said all Massachusetts drivers come under "severe conditions",
2. Florida doesn't have "severe conditions",
3. Implied severe conditions are designated geographically,
4. That my car is used under severe conditions,
5. That my transmission warranty is now void as a result of not changing it's oil on 6/18/08,
6. That he didn't know the 7 conditions related to transmission severe conditions and review them with me to determine if my car is used under those conditions,
7. Telling me to call Hyundai to learn these conditions, and
8. Telling me a technician looked at the oil on the end of the dip stick and determined it was due for a change (I doubt that's possible, but that's another issue.).
IMO, Felipe is either an ignorant Hyundai Service Manager, or, attempting to drum up needless service charges for their customers.
I reported my experience in writing to Adam Connolly (I believe the owner). While he didn't justify or criticize Felipe's actions, he said he supported him. That leads me to believe Felipe's attempt to perform needless service on my car at my expense is a Herb Connolly company supported action. I would highly recommend avoiding this company for automotive repairs.