"I bought a Hyundai Tiburon for my daughter because it was supposed to have the best warranty. She was driving it and the clutch went - no slippage, no warning. She was stranded by herself in the country."
John Cross (not his real name) of Kansas thought he was buying a reliable car for his daughter. She had a long commute to college in Colorado Springs.
"We bought it used and realized she wasn't getting the 100,000 miles warranty but 50,000 miles was fine. I had driven it the week before and it was fine. Luckily she had a cell phone when the Hyundai broke down and called her grandfather. He took her to his farm and had the car towed there. I thought it might have been the linkage - I have an automotive background; I was a line mechanic and foreman for 19 years.
I told her to call Hyundai, and we sent them the warranty. A wrecker came down to Colorado Springs and took it back to the dealership where we purchased it. They had it for a day and my daughter did not get a back-up car. This was a big inconvenience.
They estimated over $2,000 to put in a new clutch, mainly because of the fly wheel. They said it would have to be replaced but I didn't agree with them.
They also had a long list of other non-warranty things they found wrong and needed replacing or repairing. With my training I knew all the sales gimmicks: they try to entice you to spend more money. I told them I wasn't willing to pay that and asked them why the clutch wasn't under warranty - I assumed the power train warranty would cover the clutch. They said it was a 'wear item' and I had no recourse except to buy a new clutch.
I said that I would think about it and get some other estimates. So I checked around and found out the high failure rate on these cars. Then I went on the Internet and found a lot of people in my same predicament. Also there was a service bulletin out about fly wheel problems.
I got estimates for $1,200 and I made arrangements to get it taken over to the dealership. In the meantime, I had a week's vacation coming up so I loaded up my tools and investigated myself. I took out the clutch, found out the clutch facing was burned on the disc and the clutch cover showed signs of heat but the fly wheel as far as I could see had no problems whatsoever.
So I bought an after-market clutch and just took sandpaper, broke the glaze on the fly wheel and put it back together. And that was a few months ago.
I was disappointed at the warranty and the representation by Hyundai, even buying it used. Everyone in my family drives a standard, and we all know how to drive. We haven't had any clutch problems in the past.
I felt that the warranty was misrepresented to me and Hyundai was the highest estimate for the repair. Of course Hyundai could argue they would use original parts with the warranty - for what that is worth. And they weren't about to match someone else's estimate. When I was talking to them I got the impression that they had gone through this so many times with so many other people: they had eliminated any gray area. When I worked in a GM dealership, when you had a car that had any problems, they worked with the customer and gave a courtesy adjustment.
Hyundai gives you nothing, no customer service. And definitely not making good on its warranty."
We recently posted an interview with another disgruntled Hyundai customer, [Bill Parfait Jr.] regarding his Hyundai Tiburon complaint. Bill had to have his clutch replaced and he just sent us this report:
"I thought you might be interested to know the heavy duty Spec II Kevlar clutch I had installed at the Hyundai dealer went up suddenly with only 4,000 miles on it. I will keep you posted; I had it towed back to the dealer."
Bill Parfitt Jr.
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|. By Jane Mundy|
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