A new problem to my car’s High-Voltage battery


July 11th (Sunday): this morning I wasn’t able to start the car whose dashboard showed the alarm you can see below. I therefore called Road Assistance because the Kona blocked my driveway and I could not exit with any other car; the car was taken to a deposit and delivered tomorrow to the authorized Hyundai service point (Autorino in Cava Manara, the closest to my house).

July 12th at 9AM I call to get information and to arrange a replacement car: the call center promises to have someone call me back a.s.a.p., but that never happens. I call again at 2PM and then at 4:15PM with identical results (i.e. nobody calls me back) so I have no idea what happened to my car. This behaviour mirrors exactly previous contacts I had with said service point. i.e. they never call you back.

As for the problem itself, it had happened identical in early April, while I was in Mantova on a work trip. The car was taken to the local Hyundai service point (Gruppo Ferrari) where it remained for nine days after which I got it back with the assurance that “the problem was fixed” an optimistic assessment which, as it turns out, was not justified.

PROBLEMS

  • My first problem is the unbelievable rudeness of the personnel at Autotorino which, despite my three calls only decided to call me this morning after I filed a formal complaint for poor service in writing.
  • The second problem are the many technical issues of this car. On top of the two I described, I had another three service stops due – I think – to a malfunctioning 12V battery, and I say “I think” because nobody was able to explain what the issue was or what they did to fix it. I think you will agree that for a two-years old car this is NOT acceptable.
  • The third problem is that this car is essential for my job: I travel a lot (one of the reasons I chose an electric car): a replacement car is a partial remedy, given it costs me a lot more to operate, and only if the issue happens when at home. In the episode of Mantova I had to waste a half-day to go get the car when it was fixed, but if that happens when I am in Napoli? Or next month (assuming I get it back by then) when on vacation in Sicily? Do you genuinely expect me to travel 3.000 kilometers to get it back?
  • The fourth problem is the fact that I am a long-time arthritis sufferer; my driving licence requires I drive only cars with automatic gearboxes; since it is impossible for me to speak with the service point, I cannot make them aware of this essential requirement.

CONCLUSIONS

I have read media reporting about a recall for the replacement of the HV battery for problems that seem similar to the ones I have, and I wonder if this behaviour isn’t simply a delaying tactic yo avoid performing such an expensive replacement under warranty. It would certainly help if Hyundai or its service points were a bit more forthcoming in explaining to its paying customers what’s wrong and how it’s going to be fixed.

It is fairly evident that the product you sold me was defective since the start and I am very close to defer the whole matter to a lawyer to obtain a replacement or a full refund, including damages and time lost.

UPDATES

July 14th: this morning I get a call from service workshop who asks two questions whose answer was in the letter I had sent (see above) and promises to have me recalled to figure out the issue of the replacement car. Obviously no one calls and therefore at 3PM I pay a physical visit to the workshop where they offer the most unlikely excuses for their rudeness in not calling me back and say that:

  • they are investigating, no diagnosis is yet possible.
  • the decision about the replacement car is up to Hyundai Motor Company Italy. I make clear that in a week I am due to depart for my already-paid-for holiday, that they have “investigated” for three days already, and that when the same exact problem happened in Mantova two months ago, the replacement car was issued in no time at all; I also remind them that my driving licence requires an auto gearbox car.
  • they have no clue about what happened in Mantova: apparently the information system doesn’t log the maintenance episodes by VIN number across the service network. I suggest not to perform again the same software updates performed in Mantova.

July 14th: in the evening service calls again stating that the Call Center “is about to call me” to sort out the replacement car issue, but I get no call.

July 15th: in the evening I get the call from the Call Center. I go through the list of my (simple) requirements: I live in Pavia, I can only drive cars with auto transmission; I then state upon request my drivetrain preferences: electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, petrol, diesel in that order.

July 16th: the ability to listen to its Customers is without question one of the best characteristics of Hyundai Motor Company Italy. Upon receiving the SMS announcing my car is ready I go to the rental company where I find…. a diesel car with manual transmission! Since I was going apeshit, and sensing he could be the innocent target of my wrath, the rental employee manages to find a car with auto transmission (but still diesel).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s