Daryan Coryat says she can’t believe it when a Barrie, Ont. The Hyundai dealer presented her with a $7,000 repair bill for her SUV.
Coryat wants Baytowne to help Hyundai pay the expense and says the dealership failed to properly take care of their 2013 Hyundai Tucson while the vehicle sat on its lot for eight months awaiting a new engine part.
“They didn’t want to help at all,” says Coryat, who lives on the outskirts of Barrie, about 70 miles north of Toronto.
She says she took her SUV to the dealer in August 2021 when it broke down. Hyundai Canada eventually agreed to the repairs as the broken part was recalled for 2013 Tucsons.
“It took about eight months for the part to get here due to COVID and parts shortages,” Coryat told CBC Toronto.
She says Baytowne told her the vehicle would be ready in April 2022, but the check engine light came on as she drove it out of the lot, and Coryat immediately noticed problems.
She immediately took it back to the dealer, and Coryat said they charged her for an inspection and offered her $7,000 for new repairs. When more than $900 in sales tax was added, the bill came to $7,918.98
“They told me there were so many other things wrong with it now that weren’t originally wrong when they did the initial diagnosis in September last year.”
The list of things that needed repairs included the intake manifold, rear 02 sensor, flex pipe, upstream 02 sensor, muffler, both rear brake calipers, rear brake pads, rear brake discs, both front brake calipers, front brake pads and front brake discs .
CBC Toronto reached out to Baytowne Hyundai, but the dealership declined a request for an interview.
A “very bad year” for vehicle repairs
George Iny, the director of the Automobile Protection Association, says Coryat’s experience is a cautionary tale. He says it’s been a “very bad year” for vehicle repairs, particularly for Kia and Hyundai customers, due to widespread parts availability issues.
“Today there are hundreds of people in Canada waiting for parts, maybe thousands,” said Iny.
He says dealers are responsible for looking after vehicles in their custody while they await parts.
“They know they are taking care of vehicles in their own inventory that are theirs,” he said.
“You would expect them to exercise the same level of supervision or attend to a customer’s vehicle.”
Iny says that means starting the vehicles from time to time, moving them around and ideally not parking them outdoors for long periods of time.
He also says the bill for Coryat’s Tucson repairs is “incredibly padded.”
“The overall price of this work is outrageous when you look at a nine-year-old car,” Iny told CBC News.
He says the cost of the brake job is “outrageous” and an aftermarket shop would probably have charged her half the total cost for repairs, or maybe less if they could offer used parts.
“I have seldom seen a case of repair abuse like this.”
Iny says that in such cases, arrangements can often be made to reduce labor costs or substitute the automaker for parts.
Coryat says she called Hyundai dealers in three nearby cities, who each confirmed what she suspected.
“All three of these dealers said the seizure of these parts stems from sitting on a lot for so long throughout the winter,” she said.
CBC Toronto reached out to Hyundai Canada, which said it was in direct contact with the customer and was actively investigating the matter.
“Hyundai Canada takes the concerns of its customers very seriously and will continue to investigate the situation to determine the appropriate next steps,” the automaker said in a statement provided to CBC Toronto.
Customers can take home cars awaiting repairs
Coryat wished she had been told it would take so long for her to make separate arrangements.
“I feel like I could have been made aware of these things if they had looked at my vehicle and the time it had been sitting before they got the part.”
She says she understands an agreement would need to be reached on the cost, but still hopes others facing similar circumstances will speak up.
“It’s not one person’s fault, but maybe we can come to a compromise.”
Iny says the dealer probably didn’t know it would take eight months, but should have known it would take more than four to six weeks and made separate arrangements with the customer.
He says customers can take their cars home without fear of losing their spot in the repairs queue.
“If you look at it, it’s an advertisement for never taking a nine-year-old car to a dealer.”