Help - Fender damage during replacement of tensioners on 06 Sonata

Discussion in 'Hyundai Sonata' started by Pat Thompson, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Pat Thompson

    Pat Thompson Guest

    Can someone like hyundaitech help give me something close to the shortest
    time needed to replace timing chain tensioners in an 06 Sonata plus do an
    oil change? A Hyundai dealer here in Rochester, NY had the car in for two
    days for the repair and the day after getting it back I noticed a polishing
    compound/tape line along the top ridge of the left front fender; as well as
    around the whole fender after more inspection. After seeing these lines I
    looked closer at the fender and it had undergone a "repair" where the swirls
    of larger grit sanding marks are obvious under apparently a new clear coat.
    The repair is such that nobody would except this from a collision repair
    facility. The poor repair quality suggests that haste was made in repairing
    the fender damage.

    Now I had just finished a 4,300 mile vacation and the car's front, hood, and
    both front fenders had many, small streaks from bug hits, and I didn't wash
    it after vacation or before taking it in for the tensioner repair and oil
    change. After seeing the swirl marks I realized that there were no bug
    streaks obvious on the left front fender anywhere, or any other road grime,
    in fact there are at least three bug streaks that are now silver-gray and
    under the new clear coat.

    Anyway, I took pictures of all this to document it, including pictures of
    the right front fender's bug hits and road dirt for comparison, and then
    took the car to the dealer today and confronted the guy that sets up the
    service times, he denies the car was damaged there. He says the car was up
    on a lift for a day and a half and they don't have any equipment for repairs
    or painting, they send that out. Well, considering the way the repair looks
    I believe them. I did about as good at repairs on my rust buckets when I
    was a kid.

    I was told I could come back on Monday and talk to the actual service
    manager, which I will. If this dealership doesn't 'fess up and take care of
    the $200 estimated damage repair I'll have no choice but to take them to
    Small Claims Court. I'm hoping the time lines, bug streaks, and pictures
    convince the Judge that the dealer is lying. But I'm also asking for any
    other information that may be useful if I have to take it to Court.

    Right now I have the car setting in my garage, unwashed, and I'm using my
    other car until I can come up with the best case to present for getting this
    dealer to repair, or pay for the proper repair, of this damage.

    Is it any wonder nobody trusts auto dealers and few mechanics anymore?? I
    always dread taking my cars in for maintenance or repairs because of this
    type of possible damage.

    So, again, a likely time to do the repairs if in a hurry is greatly
    appreciated. If anybody has any other suggestions that may help in handling
    this, like talking to a regional Hyundai Rep. or listing a complaint in the
    local BBB, etc. please feel free to suggest them.

    Thanks for any help.

    Pat Thompson, Jul 22, 2007
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  2. Pat Thompson

    Bob Adkins Guest


    Sorry to hear that. Isn't that just outrageous?

    If I were the service manager there, I would have called the customer
    within 10 minutes. How in the world can you ever trust that dealer

    Sometimes I get a little too excited over these things, but my first
    instinct is to tell them "Either fix it, or I'll expose you". In other
    words, they pay for a good body shop to do a competent repair, or you
    go the local newspaper, TV stations, Internet, e-mail and telephone
    Hyundai corporate, etc.

    Maybe just ask the SM to let you talk to the owner. Tell him that all
    you want is fair treatment. It's hardly fair to ding up your car and
    try to hide it like a little kid. I don't think most owners would
    approve of the way you was treated. If he doesn't make it good, then
    he deserves to be exposed.

    Good luck, and do keep us posted!

    Bob Adkins, Jul 22, 2007
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  3. Pat Thompson

    Pat Thompson Guest

    I obviously don't trust him anymore.

    I do like the car though, even with the initial hassles (see radio story
    below). I've only had the car about 2 1/2 months. It's actually one from a
    rental fleet a local independent dealer picked up from an auto auction.
    This dealer was recommended to me by friends. Only problems so far were the
    radio/CD changer and tensioners, everything else has and does work fine. A
    day after buying it I found out it wouldn't load CDs. Not an issue I
    thought since it was still well under warranty.

    It didn't appear to use a drop of oil over about 4,500 miles while on
    vacation. I also averaged close to 28 MPG on the trip. In fact on one
    stretch of pretty flat roads at a constant 60 MPH and only a couple of stops
    I averaged 32 MPG. So I'm getting the EPA numbers on mileage.

    The radio story is that it took four trips to this same dealer that did the
    tensioner to finally have a working radio/CD changer. The first trip was
    confirming the changer didn't work. The second was to install a refurbished
    unit, where it turned out the radio portion didn't work. On the third trip
    the second refurbished CD changer didn't work. The fourth trip was a new
    radio, which for some reason gave a disk error and wouldn't load CDs when at
    the dealer. He was going to have another new one overnight shipped because
    I was going to be going on a long vacation soon. Because of the vacation he
    said he would also look for a working radio/CD changer from the 06 Sonatas
    on his lot in case the next new one didn't work. For some reason on the way
    home from the dealer I tried "autoload" again and it started working and has
    worked since.

    Honestly, for the radio/CD issue the dealer was very apologetic and they
    really did seem confused as to why this was happening. In fact I called the
    dealer as soon as I could to tell him the new radio/CD was working and he
    said if it has any troubles to bring it back and that they'd take care of
    it. So up until this fender damage part I thought he was actually trying
    pretty hard to please me.
    Pat Thompson, Jul 23, 2007
  4. Pat Thompson

    Bob Adkins Guest

    You know, sometimes 1 bad employee can make a very good business look
    bad. If the whole story about your paint damage came out, it may be
    that 1 goofy employee did the damage and tried to cover it up. The
    service manager may have been just as surprised as you were about the
    paint damage. However, he needs to take a close look at your paint,
    find out what went wrong, and make it right.

    Good luck!

    Bob Adkins, Jul 23, 2007
  5. Pat Thompson

    hyundaitech Guest

    The quickest I know of someone doing this repair is about a day (8 hours).

    I don't have a good understanding of the damage/repairs to your car, so
    one of the things I wonder about is whether this was there when you
    purchased the car and you didn't notice it until now. Consider that any
    judge you go before will be in a position similar to mine. Of course, the
    pictures will help clarify matters.
    hyundaitech, Jul 23, 2007
  6. Pat Thompson

    Pat Thompson Guest

    Thanks Hyundaitech for this response and your many others in this group.

    The story has just about ended. I took it to two collision shops and asked
    for a "fair and realistic" cost to repair the "repair". One was a little
    under $400 and one a little over $400. Both said on the estimates that the
    repair looked like it had been done quickly and they could turn around a car
    with very minor fender damage in about 1 days work. One of the estimators
    verbally told me that the sanding swirls suggest too little drying time
    between applying the paint and then the clear coat. He also told me that
    the swirls may not have been there right when the repair was finished, but
    they could have occurred after two days in the sun from drying shrinkage of
    the insufficiently cured paint underneath. The bad news is they both warned
    me that I may have future problems because of the poor underlying surface
    preparation of this botched repair.

    I took these two estimates, along with one of Bob Adkins earlier posts
    indicating this work plus rear shocks (I suspect he meant struts??) can be
    done in about 6 hours, to the service manager. He called over the location
    manager and we basically had a heated discussion, including the idea about
    not seeing it when purchasing. That scenario is not possible because I used
    a Hyundai touch-up pen to fill in small stone chips right after I bought the
    car. One of them was where the "repaired" area is now and another one away
    from the damaged but re-clear coated area now has feathered edges.

    As part of these discussions the dealer showed me his "time stamped" work
    papers for my job, which would very likely be used in court, that showed the
    car was in the shop from something like 2 PM Tuesday until about 3 PM
    Wednesday. Personally I'm pretty sure you could stamp papers any time you
    want for the most part as long as the timing is conveniently coordinated.

    The near end story is that after about an hour of trading points the
    location manager said he'd pay $200 (basically half the estimate to save
    time and money on my part, for Small Claims Court filing fees, gas,
    vacation, etc., and his). I figured one in the hand is worth two in the
    bush, since I could lose the court case. So I'm expecting a $200 check to
    come in a few days.

    Bottom line, if the check is good, is that I'm basically out $200 and the
    dealer is probably out what it should have cost him, the $200 to me and
    maybe $200 to whoever "repaired" it. So the dealer more or less won this

    But, as far as the war goes, my consolation is that I interact with a lot of
    what could be (could have been?) his potential customers, and I think I have
    credibility with many people here at a large company in Rochester as well as
    friends outside the company such that at least a few are bound not to buy or
    get service from him after seeing the photos and hearing the story. So
    ultimately I suspect he'll lose more than I did. In the end this dealership
    was a HUGE disappointment and I'll start going to the other one in town
    that's further away, but not by much, from both work and home.

    All I can do is chalk this up to one of life's hard knocks.

    By the way, I do like the Sonata. In a couple years, when it comes time to
    buy a new vehicle, I may trade-in my 2004 Mercury Mountaineer towards an
    Azeri Limited. This of course assumes the Sonata behaves well from now
    until then. I like to have a backup vehicle, and something that I can haul
    a bit of cargo with, so I may trade the Sonata in for a good used SUV or 4WD
    pickup about that time also.
    Pat Thompson, Jul 24, 2007
  7. He may have won the battle, but will lose the war. Step 1 is to cash the

    Step two, of course, is to do what you are doing. Be sure we all know who
    the dealer is. He's already lost you as a customer. Be sure to send him a
    photo of you driving your new car next time you buy one. You may be out
    $200, but you can be assured with some devilish (but legal) thought, he can
    be out even more.
    Edwin Pawlowski, Jul 24, 2007
  8. Pat Thompson

    Paradox Guest

    I'd cash the check, and still get a TV station involved, they basically
    screwed you over.
    Paradox, Jul 29, 2007
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