Hyundai . . . we’ve got a problem!
Five or six weeks ago, the right rear door on our 2016 Hyundai Tucson stopped working. Just like that! It simply wouldn’t open. The locked/unlocked indicator on the inside worked, but the door wouldn’t open.
There hadn’t even been a hint of a problem when it suddenly chose not to open.
So I did what most everyone does in such situations — I turned to Google. And I discovered that, sheesh, Hyundai has a problem with vehicles whose doors suddenly decide not to open.
If you own a Hyundai, you should know that this type of thing isn’t rare. If you don’t believe me, just go to Google and type in “Hyundai door won’t open.” Be forewarned, though, because the response volume just might leave you agog.
Anyway . . . having established via Google that this predicament was out of my league as a mechanic, I went to see Doug Morley at Advance Auto Service on the Trans-Canada Highway in Kamloops. We’ve been taking our vehicles there for more than 20 years, so it was only natural that I would pay him a visit.
Doug did some digging and discovered that there exists a Technical Service Bulletin dated May 25 that covers a warranty extension involving door latch replacement for certain Hyundai vehicles.
“Certain Elantra and Tucson vehicles may experience an internal or external door handle being inoperative or requiring repeated attempts to open the door,” the bulletin reads. “If this condition occurs, replace the affected door latch.
“The warranty coverage for the door latch has been extended to 10 years (unlimited mileage) from the date of original retail delivery or date of first use, whichever occurs first, and is valid for original and subsequent owners.”
Unfortunately, the warranty extension is applicable only in the U.S. That’s right . . . it doesn’t include Canada.
Doug promptly checked with Kamloops Hyundai and was told that the local dealership wouldn’t help because the warranty extension doesn’t cover vehicles in Canada. He then called Kelowna Hyundai and was told they would gladly replace the defective piece in “good faith.”
A day or two later, Dorothy, my good wife, decided to visit Kamloops Hyundai. She always would rather deal with someone face-to-face, rather than by phone or email. So away she went. After hearing her out, the woman behind the counter phoned someone, presumably a higher-up in the dealership, then hung up and told Dorothy that they couldn’t help us.
For my next trick, I visited the Hyundai Canada website, found its email form and sent them a note explaining our predicament and asking when the U.S. warranty extension might be available in Canada.
I waited a week and when I hadn’t received a reply, I sent another email to Hyundai Canada, pointing out that I hadn’t received a response to my first email.
This time I did get a response.
“We regret to learn all the experience that you encountered with your 2016 Tucson and the Kamloops Hyundai dealership,” the email read. “We can certainly understand the frustration this has caused. Please be advised as the manufacturer we are here to honour the warranty and will repair or replace most components exhibiting a defect in material or workmanship within the parameters of the warranty.
“We understand that you are inquiring about the difference in recalls and warranties between the United States and Canada. Hyundai Auto Canada and Hyundai Motor America are two separate companies. They are owned and operated independently, with each operating in their own nation’s economy and market.
“We do not show any recalls for this VIN, and the warranty has elapsed based on time. Therefore, Hyundai Auto Canada is not in a position to provide any assistance in this matter.”
In other words, go pound sand.
So . . . despite the fact that having a rear door that won’t open would seem to be a safety issue — what if you open the door, put your child in a seat back there, get hit on the left rear door by another vehicle, then discover that the door won’t open? — only a dealership about two hours away was willing to repair a component that obviously was defective.
While we truly appreciate the graciousness offered our way by Kelowna Hyundai, our Tucson was back in the shop at Advance Auto Service one morning last week.
Doug Morley and his crew have always been there for us, so we chose to pay them to repair the door, and that’s exactly what happened.
While we will continue to take business their way — yes, we will be back in two or three weeks to get winter tires put on — you can bet our next vehicle won’t be a Hyundai.