November 9, 2011

∴ Another Day, Another @Hyundai Conversation

I spoke with Steve from Hyundai Motor America this morning. I had taken last evening to talk with my wife about the Sonata situation after receiving an offer from Steve yesterday afternoon. After forty days in the shop, @Hyundai is willing to replace my 2012 Sonata altogether because the sunroof problem isn’t fully repaired. Today’s conversation was to let him know whether I want to take him up on the offer, or continue with the repair.

I chose to stick with the repair for at least one more day. Here’s why.

There was apparently a breakdown in communication somewhere, because neither the dealer nor the field engineer were aware that the sunroof squeak happens when the chassis flexes through a turn or over uneven ground. I know I’ve said and written that several times, not the least of which during my original complaint to the service advisor. Water under the bridge at this point.

That flexing detail is important, because the engineer claims he has something additional he can do to the sunroof with that knowledge. More importantly, the engineer has been given some additional guidance from the manufacturer and assembly line engineers.

I’m told Hyundai has implemented a change in process at the Alabama assembly line for the sunroof, and that will trickle down to how he works on my car. I’m guessing that Hyundai didn’t implement the change in response to my one complaint, so I think I’m seeing evidence of a wider distribution of the sunroof problem.

If I take the offer of a replacement, the car they give me will likely be one from the dealer's lot or fresh off the truck in the coming week. Either way it will probably be from before the point on the line where they implemented the change, and I'll be set to repeat this exercise in a month or two.

As it was explained to me, a new car means a reset on the lemon law rules. If I encounter the squeaking problem with the new car I have to start all over again. My leverage to insist on a replacement or refund will be gone.

I’ll wait to hear what happens when the engineer finishes work on my car tomorrow afternoon before deciding whether I'll replace the car altogether.

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