Be careful when buying a new Hyundai (or used model). Some Hyundai sales reps are prepared to tell you anything to make the sale. And, some Hyundai dealers are really committed to making huge profits off their sales departments.
All of the following examples happened at Hyundai dealers. The names are omitted because it’s not possible to know the final outcome of the stories. However, they are common enough that they are worth sharing.
Free Towing for Routine Maintenance
The first one is one of our favorites because it is such a blatant lie and will most likely get you kicked off a great benefit.
A Reddit poster said she was looking at a 2021 Hyundai Palisade. But she was concerned about driving an hour each way for service. The sales rep said all she would have to do is call Hyundai roadside service and it would gladly tow her car in for routine maintenance.
Um, that’s a lie. The website clearly says, “Hyundai Roadside Assistance will tow your vehicle to the nearest Hyundai dealership or authorized service facility if your vehicle is inoperable, even for non-warranty-related tows, such as accidents.”
Can you imagine how quickly roadside assistance would ban you if you kept calling for tows for oil changes? Tows of at least 50 miles?
Fixing a Rim Will Cost $700
Another Internet post we came across was for fixing road rash on an alloy wheel for a 2019 Hyundai Sonata. The dealership suggested buying a new rim in the $500 to $700 price range. For one rim.
What’s so crazy about that? You could buy four aftermarket rims for $500. Also, there are services that can fix road rash on tires. For probably $100 if you didn’t want to swap out your rims.
Moves like this is why dealerships get bad reputations. And, aftermarket suppliers get a lot of business.
Bait & Switch
This is an ongoing problem. Hyundai dealers will list cars for sale on their websites. You call ahead to confirm. “Yes! We have the cars and will pull them up for you. Come on down!”
When you get there, the vehicles are nowhere to be found. The sales manager laments the cars have already been sold … “but while you’re here, we have these other models you might like.”
Dealers do this because it puts you at a disadvantage. All of your pre-purchase research goes out the window. You end up trying to compare apples to oranges. Dealers like doing this because they maintain the upper hand.
Don’t trust dealers who pull this. It’s just an indication of their bad business practices. OK, can this happen legitimately? Not really. A dealership who doesn’t know it is advertising sold cars is inept.
Requiring Additional Items
This is a big problem when it comes to financing. A dealer will tell you that items like extended warranties, guaranteed auto protection, and service plans are required for financing. Dealers will add these items to your financing so you end up spending lots more than the plans are worth, which is basically nothing.
As the Federal Trade Commission points out, they’re not mandatory. The best way to avoid this scam is to arrange your own financing before buying a new or used car. Then the dealer can’t set artificial conditions on your financing.
Has any of this happened to you? Are we missing other common bad practices? If so, add your comments below and help other new and used car buyers not get ripped off.
Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.