Recently, I my 2002 Elantra (125k miles) in for some service, and it wound up needing quite a bit of work, which I had been expecting. Brakes, tires, belts, ect. The cost of repairs put me back ~$1500. While this is approaching the worth of the car, I decided since it had been doing so well as of late, that if I put in some money now it should get me through another couple of years.
One recurrent issue however is the Check Engine Light. I had it in for Midas for my last visit, and they suspect the problem is because of a crack in the exhaust manifold. Initially, Midas called Hyundai and was told my car was covered by a 2005 recall for that exact issue. I took the car to Hyundai, where they told me it was not covered. Long-story short, I determined my car came off the assembly line 1-day after the cut-off date for the recall. I find it highly coincidental that my car just missed the cutoff, but seems to be exhibiting the exact same symptom as the cars covered by the recall. The cost of the repair quoted by Midas is ~$450, God only knows what the dealer would charge me. Not to mention, my car has recently begun sputtering (to the extent it feels like it is about to stall out of me) the first time I press the gas pedal after it has been started...which doesn't seem to be a related issue.
At this point I'm frustrated, I took a gamble and put $1500 into the car hoping it would buy me another couple of years...but it now seems like I could end up paying another $500+, unless I can somehow convince Hyundai to man-up and cover the expense to replace what I can only assume is a faulty exhaust manifold that is conveniently covered by any 2002 Elantra assembled up until the day before mine was.
I am looking for some advice as to what my next course of action should be. What's the best way to contact Hyundai on this (letter vs phone call)? I'd like to being as high up on the chain as possible, especially since the dealer has already been clear there's nothing they can do, would their consumer affair department be the best place to start? and where would I move from there?
I was hoping my sob story about having put my faith in the quality of their product to last for another couple years might garner some sympathy, but is there any chance that Hyundai would actually step up and cover this repair despite not being covered by the recall? If not, I wonder whether or not I'm better just going ahead and moving on from my Elantra when it finally dies on me despite having put in so much money recently, or have faith that the exhaust manifold replacement will be my last major issue for some time to come...