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We bought a brand new Hyundai Sante Fe Elite CRDI (MY09) in August 2009 from a dealer here in South Australia.
We paid $45000 including on road costs for the vehicle. The car usually has a Recommend Retail Price (RRP) of $46,990 plus on road costs. We thought we had a good deal.

But after only eight months of ownership, we've been left stranded on the roadside on six separate occasions requiring road side assistance or other mechanical assistance. We have a young family and bought this car for safety and reliability. We've been left with no reliability and we've tried every avenue to try and get Hyundai to replace the car, but yet have not had a satisfactory outcome.

Our problems started in October 2009, when the car had just done over 2000 KM. We pulled out into traffic and had little to no power, the car was jerking down in the road in a dangerous manner. It was very unsafe to drive, additionally my wife was pregnant at this time.

We took the car to the nearest dealer who said it was a faulty sensor. The car was off the road for about a week while the part came from Sydney and the car returned to us.

On the 12th December, the same fault occurred again. Exactly the same symptoms, again very unsafe to drive. My wife was now 35 weeks pregnant and driving with her mother and our two year old daughter. The car again loses power on a major road leaving her in a vulnerable position. She limps the car to the same dealer. She is then told that the car cannot be looked at until the 11th of January, which incidentally was the scheduled date for her C-section. We are told there are no loan cars available. She calls me at work in tears and obviously distressed. I thought something had happened to the baby. We tell them we cannot be without the car due to the pregnancy and what happened next amazes me to this day.

The dealer (Adrian Brian Hyundai, by the way) reset the ECU and told her to drive the car home and return it at a later date. The car was not safe and it was not roadworthy. They put my heavily pregnant wife and two year old daughter back in a car that was potentially life threatening. After many lost hours at work and several phone calls, they found a loan car for us but carried a $5000 excess. We were told the car wouldn't be worked on until at least Christmas and most likely into the new year. We were also told by Adrian Brian we should have dealt with the dealer we bought the car from, despite clearly being a warrantee issue.

At this point I did speak to the dealer we bought the car from who suggested we bring the car to them. When I tried to retrieve the car, disassembly had already commenced despite being advised otherwise.

Three days later we get a call saying it’s all fixed. That some “contamination” had been found in the gear box, the fluid had been replaced and all would be ok. Later we found out that the real problem was there was a leak in the radiator that had allowed coolant to mix with the gearbox oil, however when we collected the car, there was no mention of the radiator which had been "repaired" and no mention that coolant had been filling up the gearbox.

No more than 1500 kilometres later, again the same problem occurs for a third time. This is when we first complained to Hyundai Australia. We spoke to a service representative who revealed they knew of the car from the 2nd repair. They told us that coolant had contaminated the gearbox and was likely the gearbox would need to be replaced.

We took the car to dealer and the gearbox and radiator was replaced over a period of just over a month. The car has now had about two months accumulated in repair despite being owned for about six months at this time. We requested a replacement vehicle but was denied. Its our belief we were entitled to one at this time, but Australia has no lemon laws and the process would be painful if a legal route was to be taken.

To be fair, some other options for repair were offered that may have made it quicker, but to us was unsatisfactory. They offered to recondition the damaged gearbox or replace the gearbox from a demo model. To us the only option was to replace the gearbox with a new one. The car was returned to us with a new gearbox and radiator and thought our drama was over.

But April 3rd over the Easter weekend, we were returning home with our new born and our other daughter when we again break down. This is now the fourth event. A intercooler hose has blown off and is refitted by the RAA. The RAA suggests we get the car checked by the dealer and something is not right with the car.

We suspect that we're dealing with something that was probably caused directly or indirectly from the first incident, but this is largely denied by Hyundai. By this point we've lost all confidence in the vehicle and demand a replacement vehicle from Hyundai.

Hyundai refuses our request for a replacement vehicle, we're told we are well covered by their 'award winning warrantee' and advised to take the car to the nearest dealer. More inconvenience. We complained and they offered then to come to us. The clamps are inspected for tension and advised they will come back in another week and check again. All clamps were found to be tight. The mechanic also suggests that these clamps would not have been loose from the dealership otherwise we would have had problems with them sooner.

On the 12th April, just prior to when Hyundai is due to return to inspect the clamps again, my wife is again left stranded on the road side with the same problem. The intercooler hose continues to come off. She is left on a dark street at night scared out of her mind. Road side assistance is again called. I ask Hyundai to escalate our request for a replacement vehicle.

Hyundai consider our request over about a week. Eventually offering to replace our car with a demo model 2010 Sante Fe Highlander quoting that there has been a specification change, or that we can pay an additional $3700 to replace our car with a new car, but of the current model.

We maintain and believe that our car is not fit for purpose and should be replaced with a new vehicle without cost. We have not had the new car experience that we should have had and we do not want a "demo" model. To us it would feel second hand and would not be like a new car. Our existing car is only eight months old and we have gone to great lengths to keep it in good condition. Despite the unreliability, it was very well cared for and I don't feel we would have the same attachment to a demo model.

We did appreciate that there was a specification change and offered to pay the $1500 difference in RRP between what our model was and the RRP of the new model. However Hyundai has rejected our counter offer.

During this time the car has broken down a SIXTH time. My wife will not drive the car anymore. At the time of writing, we are yet to find a resolution. I will not let my family in this car again. We believe we've been robbed of the new car experience which we will most likely never do again. We just want what we paid for.

Sorry for the length of the post, but if it prevents another person going through what we have, its worth it.

Stewart.
 

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QUOTE (stew @ Apr 28 2010, 09:19 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=317580
Hyundai consider our request over about a week. Eventually offering to replace our car with a demo model 2010 Sante Fe Highlander quoting that there has been a specification change, or that we can pay an additional $3700 to replace our car with a new car, but of the current model.
I would grab the demo 2010 Highlander offered, or if it was the wrong colour, pay the gap for a new one.

Obviously your car is a lemon and you should kiss it goodbye. I have had a few minor issues that have been dealt with promptly and efficiently by Stillwell Hyundai. If there were recurring problems like you have outlined I would not be happy either. If you follow this forum for a while you will see that most here are happy.
 

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A lousy experience by any measure for you and your family stew. You might consider a little internet time which could give you the contact details for the top end of Hyundai Australia. I would insist on talking to marketing manager and get them to personally review your case.
Not that its any consolation but our 08 crdi has not missed a beat.
Good luck
 
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