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#44 of 250 Kia Warranty Is No Warranty
Mar 23, 2007 (5:48 am)
THIS IS LENGTHY BUT PLEASE STICK WITH ME HERE! My 2004 Kia Sedona has 24,000 miles on it and is still in the 3 year 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper part of the warranty (the car has an additional warranty of 10 years, 100,000 miles).
In early December of 2006, the check engine light came on and the car immediately lost power. My daughter limped it back home from about a mile away. AAA towed it the next day to Albert Kia in Rehoboth. MA. We had purchased the car there in 2004 but it was a Herb Chambers dealership at that time. In any case, about 3 days later, the service manager from Albert Kia called and said the car had a blown engine and that it would be replaced under warranty. However, we needed to bring in all the oil change records because we had never had the car serviced there and they had no record that the car was properly maintained.
We went to our mechanic and he ran all the oil change and service records for the car. Within 2 days, these were brought to Albert Kia and we were told that the engine would be ordered and the car ready in about a week. Once the week passed, we called the dealership to see how things were going. Mr. Albert informed my daughter that the entire service department was let go and he was closing his business. I called Kia USA and informed them as to what had happened. Later that day, the rep from Kia USA told me that they were going to tow my car to Balise Kia in Warwick, RI. By days' end, the car was at Balise.
Two days later, Scott, the service manager at Balise, called to tell me that he and the district manager had looked at the car and it was determined that it had 5 liters too much oil in it. I mentioned to Scott that a blown head gasket would make it look like there was too much oil because in those instances the oil mixes with the radiator fluid. Scott said the oil looked too thick for that to be the case.
I called Mr. Albert from The now defunct Albert Kia to see if he could locate his former service manager as the diagnosis he made was never entered into the computer system so there was no proof of his original diagnosis. Mr. Albert said he would try and about 5 hours later he called me back to report he had had no success in reaching the old service manager.
I told Scott that the service manager at Albert Kia had already diagnosed the car and reported a blown engine, never once mentioning anything about too much oil or any other abuse to the car. We were told the engine would be ordered and the job performed under warranty. Scott said the district manager had made the determination and that there was nothing he could do for me. I called Kia USA again and spoke with the rep. She said that she would bump the case up to a higher authority. I asked her if I could speak with the DM directly before she did that. She basically said that the DM's don't typically speak directly with the customers. That, she said, was the purpose of her job. I demanded to speak to the DM before the case was bumped up. She called the DM (with me on the line) and it went to voice mail. She left my name and number (I could hear the entire conversation). So, I waited 5 days for this DM to call back before calling Kia USA again. The rep now said my case was bumped upstairs. I explained that I clearly had wanted to speak with the DM before this happened but it happened anyway. I was told that I would be contacted within 72 hours for my side of the story. Within the 72 hours, Jeff from Kia USA called and informed me that he had my case. After a brief review of the entire story, Jeff asked me to fax over the service records to him.
He said once he had those, he'd see what he could do. I had the service records re-printed once again from the mechanic and faxed them over to Jeff the next morning. That was on January 9th, 2007. I called January 16th to make sure the papers were there and to see what progress had been made. When I called the number and extension Jeff had given me, it went to voice mail for a gentleman named Andrew. I pressed "O" for the operator, as I thought I had been connected to the wrong extension. It was the right extension. Turns out that Jeff was no longer with the company. The operator said to leave the message with Andrew. She said that if Andrew was the new case worker he'd call. If not, he'd call anyway to let me know who's working on the case now.
Russell Stuart from KIA USA called back to say he was the new case worker. He had reviewed the case but was trying to find out where Jeff had placed the copies of the service records. I re-faxed those over to him to save the time and effort it would take to locate these for the third time. Russell Stuart called back later in the week to tell me the decision was final and that Kia would not cover any part of the repair. The repair would rest on me. The DM, he said, has refused to reverse his decision. I questioned Russell about the previous diagnosis from Albert Kia of a blown engine and he said "maybe the service department was let go because they were incompetent". To my understanding, the whole dealership folded up due to money problems. So now Russell and Kia were dismissing the original diagnosis as one of incompetence. Russell said, "Mr. Brosco, I'm not saying that you under-maintained your vehicle - I'm saying that you OVER-MAINTAINED your vehicle. I asked if I could take this to an unbiased mechanic, one who would have nothing to gain by the decision (like a AAA certified mechanic).
I was told that if anyone other than a Kia dealer looked into the engine, the warranty would be void. I was offered the opportunity to take this vehicle to another Kia dealer, but with the same DM, what would be the point. I went to Balise Kia to have the car towed by AAA from that dealership to a family mechanic. The first thing I did, upon seeing the car for the first time in over a month, was ask Scott, the Balise service manager, for a garage rag. I immediately went out to the parking lot and checked the oil. Much to my amazement, the oil was BARELY over the fill line. Where were these 5 extra quarts/liters? I went back inside and told Scott that the oil was barely over the fill line.
He told me that I needed to start the car before checking the oil. I immediately knew that I was speaking with someone who clearly knew nothing about cars. As the car was being placed on the flatbed of the tow truck, the Kia DM miraculously showed up and came out to the parking lot. This was the first time I had met him face-to-face or spoken directly to him. I asked where this extra 5 liters of oil was. He said that he never said that. I told him that Russell at Kia USA said that the extra oil was the problem with the car.
The DM checked the oil, noted that it was barely over the fill line and again said that he never said that the car had 5 liters of extra oil in it and that he'd call Russell to set the record straight. The DM removed the oil cap, looked at the underside and said, "Here
#45 of 250 Re: Kia Warranty Is No Warranty [chrissenior]
Mar 23, 2007 (7:22 am)
Looking forward to the rest of the story. You story is not indicative of all Kia products or experiences with service. It sounds like a string of bad circumstances.
The KIA DM(s) behavior so far, is pretty out of line and should be shouted far and wide.
There was another forum somewhere that I had seem some major suit VP of ???? from Kia participating in the discussion.
It would be good to pass this story on to them. Don't give up.
#46 of 250 Re: Kia Warranty Is No Warranty [ramblinmo]
Mar 23, 2007 (9:12 am)
Here's the rest of the story....enjoy!
Here's the problem - See all this sludge on the back of this cap? This car has never had an oil change.
So now we go from over-maintained to under-maintained. I asked if the sludge on the back of the cap was the result of a blown head gasket and what we were looking at was the result of oil mixing with radiator fluid. The DM said he thought not. I said, "If that's the case, where's all the fluid in the radiator overflow container? It was almost empty. The DM got mad and said to one of the mechanics, "Take the car into the shop. We're going to remove the front valve cover". The DM told me that if the underside of the valve cover had the same sludge on it as the oil filler cap did, he wasn't going to cover anything. The car was taken into the shop and the valve cover was removed. Once removed, I was called into the service bay and shown the results.
The underside of the valve cover had a thick, almost pudding-like buildup on the underside - but it was only on the left half of the cover. The other half looked pretty normal. I questioned why the sludge was on just one half. The DM said it was possibly the result of the engine being mounted in the car one inch lower on the left and favoring that corner. Sounded like total bull to me. I then repeated that the sludge, to me, looked like the result of oil mixing with radiator fluid.
At this time, my son (an ASE Certified Master Technician) was also on the phone speaking with the DM at the same time and hearing the conversation that all 3 of us were having. My son made the point that if the car had never had an oil change in the 24,000 miles of ownership, it would not look like this. In fact the DM even said to the both of us that If he knew nothing about this vehicle and saw this valve cover, he would have told me that the car had been driven 80,000 to 100,000 miles without ever having an oil change. He also seemed to be hinting that we may have turned back the odometer. This angered me greatly. I asked the DM to view the oil filter, which he did.
I asked if that was the original oil filter. He said it was not. So, I said to the DM, ok let's use your reasoning and say we under-maintained the car. Kia expects the oil to be changed every 5,000 miles. So let's say that we drove the car 5,000 miles and had the oil changed, as validated by the fact that the car does not have the original oil filter in it. The new oil would have been good to 10,000 miles. The car currently has 24,000 miles on it. Are you saying that the sludge I'm witnessing on this valve cover gasket is the result of driving with old oil for a mere 14,000 miles? The DM said no. That he had NEVER witnessed that much sludge on a car with 24,000 miles on it - still hinting that we may have turned back the odometer. I asked him if the tires on the care were the originals. He said they were. Which proved the car's mileage was, indeed, correct. So - with all that, the DM took digital photos of the valve cover and samples of the sludge to send to a lab for analysis. He said if the tests come back and there is something other than oil in this sludge, I will stand corrected and repair the car. Indeed a few days later, I was called and told the decision stood. The lab showed that nothing was mixed in the sludge. It was merely oil. A week later, the car was towed to my son's service garage.
It should be noted that Balise Kia went out of business, as well, a week after my car left their dealership. When my son looked at the car, a few days later, the first thing he did was run the car and let it warm up for about 20 minutes. Previous to this, the car had not been left to run for more than a minute since the check engine light first appeared. Upon warming up and taking the car into the service bay, my son removed the oil filler cap and surer than hell, the underside of the cap was the same color as the radiator fluid - a strong indication of a blown head gasket (my original diagnosis that was dismissed by the DM). In addition, the computer showed that the 2nd and 4th cylinders were skipping. In addition, these two cylinders are on the front of the motor - all the way on the left which is EXACTLY where we saw all the sludge build-up on the underside of the valve cover AND directly underneath the oil filler cap (explaining why there was this pudding-like sludge on the filler cap).
My son also found a Kia issued technical service bulletin stating that some 2004 Sedona models with the 3.5 liter engine had a defect that left a score mark at the #6 cylinder on the head, resulting in head gasket failure. My vehicle was built 4 weeks after Kia said they corrected the problem so Kia (who never even mentioned this service bulletin)will not lend any credence to this theory either. If my son takes apart the engine and finds the exact scoring at the #6 cylinder as described in the technical service bulletin, he will have voided the warranty. If a Kia dealer does the work, the same DM will be involved and he'll likely still refuse to cover the warranty work because we will have made a mockery of his original decision or he'll claim that the ar was made outside the service bulletin dates. In either case, I'm not going to be covered.
This is a vehicle that was well maintained. It only has 24,000 miles on it and has been very reliable up to this point. The 3 year/36,000 mile warranty is still in effect, as well as the 10 year/100,000 mile and we're just getting a run around. Let's also not forget that the original dealership diagnosed the car and said it had a blown engine. It should also be noted that in all of this I have never been handed one piece of paperwork from either dealership. NOTHING. We haven't been asked to sign anything.
There is NO PAPERWORK trail on any of this. Sure seems strange based on my experience with other manufacturers/dealers.
#47 of 250 Re: Kia Warranty Is No Warranty [chrissenior]
Mar 24, 2007 (3:02 am)
(Will this post get pulled?)
If you do a g o o g l e search for Kia forums, the first link you will find has a forum that has a person that says they work for Kia. Second post under the Kia Carens & Rondo forum titled "Just bought a Rondo EX V6"
You might want to share your story over there also. Sounds like this district manager needs a new line of work that doesn't involve dealing with customers.
Kia can't afford bad publicity and Edmunds has a ton of viewers.
If you haven't done a review of your Sedona, you might do so with an abbreviated version of your story. Just make sure you come back and give us updates and update your review if Kia makes good.
Mar 26, 2007 (5:23 am)
Very disappointing story. We are 2nd-time Sedona owners and obviously never had anything close to the experience you reported. Very sorry to hear about this.
The worrying thing for me is, why would the Kia District Manager act like this? It seems to me his job performance must be driven by how many 'incidents' he is able to deny/refuse company responsibility? It makes no sense why he would treat a customer so poorly, unless it really matters to him personally that he NOT agree for Kia to repair the engine.
The negative publicity of this story for Kia surely outweighs the cost -- what would this have been, a $1,000 repair? -- to just fix the vehicle in the first place?!
You probably should have demanded some paperwork at several points during this process. This leaves you in a much weaker position, since all parties involved can deny or claim pretty much anything they want.
#49 of 250 Re: Kia Warranty Is No Warranty [ramblinmo]
Mar 26, 2007 (11:13 am)
Thanks for the additional information. I do have an abbreviated version of this incident but I always go "full boat" if given the space because the whole scenario is almost unbelievable when told in its entirety. It seems the only way I can can make my point is to post this on all reputable sites. Thanks again for reading and for your guidance on where to take this from here.
#50 of 250 Re: Wow [bluedevils]
Mar 26, 2007 (11:53 am)
The car served us well so don't be down on a Sedona. I really took a chance with the brand in 2004 because it was the only 5 star crash-rated mini van at the time. I wanted safety for my daughter and granddaughter. I can't imagine what the motivation is for this DM to be acting this way. My lease is up in June and I was planning on getting another Sedona. Needless to say....I've canceled that thought.
#51 of 250 Re: Wow [chrissenior]
Mar 27, 2007 (8:28 am)
We took an even bigger plunge...bought a 2002 Sedona EX about halfway through that first model year. It was extremely reliable, very few warranty repairs, no non-warranty repairs. We traded it in 73k miles on a new 2006 EX. So far, we are pleased with the '06 after just 4k miles. This one has not been back to the dealer for any problems yet.
It just worries me that Kia's district/regional manager issue resolution process MIGHT really be terrible and very unlikely to do the right thing for the customer. I won't be selling my Sedona out of fear, but it sticks in the back of my mind as a down point.
#52 of 250 Re: Wow [bluedevils]
Mar 27, 2007 (12:14 pm)
Bought my 06 LX back in Oct. I have 5,000 on it and only a slow lead in one of the tires. I'm glad to here the good reports on the van. Reading all the bad one's gets me a little worried. I love it but the gas mileage could be better but then its not my daily driver so I can live with the mileage.
#53 of 250 Hyundai Entourage wont start(I have posted to Hyundai and Kia Edmond sites)
Apr 01, 2007 (1:29 pm)
My Entourage (4200 miles bought on Nov 25th build date of June 14,2006)would not start, I put the key in the ignition as always, dash lit up but the starter did not turn over, did not hear any click from the solenoid either. Hyundai towed it to the dealership on Saturday afternoon, and put the keys in the drop box, as service closed at 2:00pm
I read the manual but the Imobiliser (IC chip in ignition key) symbol (supposed to look like a mini van with a key on its side) did not appear on the instrument panel, so that was not it.
I read Edmonds town talk on the Entourage and Sedona sites, something was said about
(On Feb 16th James61 called the service manager at Kia of Cheyenne and found out) the part they replaced on brandih's Sedona was the Junction Box (the small fuse box located by the drivers left knee).
So, this morning I drove over to the Dealers lot, found my car in the back, I have an extra set of keys and remote. I removed the Fuse box cover (at the drivers left knee) and jiggled a bunch of wires behind the panel, one has a yellow connecter and clip which I undid, unplugged and replugged, but that did not fix it. Then I grabbed the bigger bunch of wires behind the fuse panel and next to the yellow connecter. It has some sort of gray plastic clip holding the wires close to the back of the fuse panel. I loosened the clip but could not unplug anything, I could not see well enough to know whether that was just a wire harness holder or a connector. Any way I wiggled the heck out of that bunch of wires but still it would not start. Then I wiggled the fuse panel itself (it feels a bit flimsy), and at the same time (for no particular reason), I set and undid the Parking brake. It caused a little vibration when the pedal returned to the off position. THE VAN STARTED RIGHT UP, AND HAS DONE SO WITHOUT FAULT ALL DAY TODAY (approx 12 times, lot of errands today).
I’m not sure how to report this to the dealer, but they have my keys and a towing bill, hopefully I can get this documented somehow in case this happens again (hope its not a lemon).
Thanks for listening… anymore updates?