Hyundai Motor America Complaint - Hyundai does not exercise stewardship of their dealers
PO BOX 20850, CALIFORNIA -- The following letter which is self explanatory and explicit was sent to Hyundai on June 13th and received by them on June 15th. It was not even acknowledged. Apparently Hyundai is unconcerned about how their dealers treat their customers so long as they get their sales.
I recently sold the car I loved, my 2006 Hyundai Sonata Limited so I could buy the new 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited. I love my new Sonata as well, but my buying experience was a demeaning ordeal.
I purchased my new Hyundai from Flemington Hyundai (Hunterdon Auto Group). If this is the competency of the Dealers Hyundai employs, and you condone their interaction with your customers, it is unlikely that I would ever buy another of your products. I would advise anyone I relate my experience to, not to buy your products.
Following is the chronological description of my purchase:
After reading reviews, seeing the Sonata at two auto shows, visiting two local dealers and taking two test drives, I made a decision to purchase. At the beginning of the week of May 9th, I initiated a request for quotations via the AAA Auto Buying Program.
I received replies via email and telephone calls from 9 Hyundai Dealers, including Mark Vehling, Internet Sales Manager for Flemington Hyundai. He advised me that they had a Sonata Limited en route with the exterior and interior colors I wanted. My cost would be substantially less than any of the other 8 Dealers, ($2703 below invoice) and that was worth a trip 180 miles from my home in Maryland to Flemington New Jersey.
After a number of phone conversations and emails between Mark Vehling, and me, he combined into one email, a modified AAA quotation with the invoice price reflecting the additional factory installed accessories in the specific vehicle that was en route. He ensured me that there will be no additional charges. That my cost will be exactly as shown in his email, with the addition of their documentation fee ($229) also shown in the AAA quotation, and the Maryland State sales tax, title and registration fees. (A copy of the email is enclosed)
On Friday May 13th I authorized a $500 deposit on a credit card for the specific vehicle that was identified by VIN # in the email. I stated that I would be in New Jersey on Monday May 16th for a graduation and I could pick up the car then. Mark Vehling stated the car will arrive between May 23rd and May 31st.
On the evening of Monday May 16th, after returning from New Jersey I received a phone call from Danny Addonizio, identifying himself as Salesmen and Closer, and advising me that my car was in and asking me when I was going to pick it up. When I asked why he was suddenly in the picture, I had already had a deal via email with Mark Vehling. He advised me that delivery was turned over to him to expedite and explain the operation of the car to me, etc.
I asked Danny to email or fax a bill to me with the specific VIN. #, equipped as shown in our prior emails, and to include my sales tax, title fees and his documentation fee. I told him I will bring a certified check for the full amount when I pick up the car. Danny said he will call me back the next morning.
Danny never called me back. I called the cell phone number he gave me twice, and no one answered. I called the Dealer’s number and reached Danny. He said he didn’t call back because he did not know what the sales tax was in Maryland. I told him it was 6% and asked for a bill. He again pressed me to come and pickup the car but said he would call back with my specific cost.
Again Danny did not call back so I called Mark Vehling my original contact. He told me there must be something wrong with my phone. He was next to Danny when he called me twice and left messages for me. Mark Vehling then pressed me to come and pick up my car. I again asked for a bill with my total cost so I could bring a certified check for the full amount. Mark again pressed me to come and pick up the car. He said I did not need a certified check, that a personal check was acceptable. He said I did not need a bill or invoice as I had his email with my cost. He again assured me my cost is as agreed upon in his email.
That was their preliminary tactics. I should have quit at this point.
That evening, after making arrangements for my son to pick me up at the Cape May Ferry and drive me to Flemington NJ, I informed Mark Vehling that I would pick up the car the morning of Friday, May 20th.
We arrived at Flemington Hyundai shortly before 11 AM. I met Danny Addonizio and he asked if I would like to drive the car. I didn’t think that was necessary. I just looked it over to be sure it was not damaged and that it had the accessories we agreed upon. Danny then asked me to sit at his desk and he gave me the window sticker with the MSRP and he gave me an additional sheet with a list of additional options. He told me that they already installed wheel locks with an additional cost to me of $69. I told him I did not want them and to take them off. He excused himself and came back in about 15 minutes and said he would throw in the wheel locks free of charge.
Then he left. He literally ignored us for almost 2 hours. He returned briefly twice. Once to tell us the business office was busy with another customer while it was perfectly clear that no one was in the business office. The second time he told us their computer was down. Obviously they were stalling, trying to get my son to leave for work and not interfere with their con game. They were also pressing me for time, trying to wear me down as it was very stormy outside and they knew I had to drive home to Maryland.
Eventually we were invited into the business office. Danny stated that my son should not be there since he was not the buyer. I of cause would not abide by that. I was presented with a bill of sale for my signature. It did not include my $500 deposit or my $500 loyalty incentive. That was corrected after I pointed that out.
The bill of sale also had two additional preprinted, items both marked optional. “Appearance Package” for $200 and “Environmental Protection Package” for $395. I was told they put this on all cars and I would have to pay for it. I argued that it is an option I did not select and it was not on the confirmed agreement I had with Mark Vehling. After arguing for some time my son asked if we could speak to someone of higher authority. The Sales Manager then joined us in the business office. After a long discussion rehashing everything and getting nowhere, I again stated that I requested a bill of sale, with all charges prior to coming to Flemington. I wanted to bring a certified check. The Sales Manager excused himself for a few minutes and when he returned he said he confirmed what I said was true, that I had requested a bill of sale and was refused. In view of that, I can have the car for the agreed upon price in our emails. (Enclosed is the final bill of sale with the aforementioned items crossed out and my deposit and loyalty incentive added).
So ultimately I did purchase my car at the agreed upon price. But what should have been a cordial 30 minute business transaction turned out to be more than 3 hours of hell with a group of Professional Con Men.
It is a shame that Hyundai has worked so hard to develop a good reputation and a fine product, and that you can readily lose all of that with unprincipled, devious Dealers like this. Do you really want these unscrupulous people representing Hyundai?
Upon your receipt, I will wait for 10 business days before I forward my complaint to organizations and associations concerned with consumer protection, especially exploitation of senior citizens like myself.