Hyundai, Kia Facing Class-Action Lawsuit In Canada Over Scheduled Maintenance
12 October 2019 - autoevolution
After losing the six-speed manual for 2019 in the United States, the Kia Rio and its brethrens are between a rock and a hard place in Canada over what is written in the owner’s manual.
More to the point, a misinterpretation of the scheduled maintenance is the subject of a class-action lawsuit.
The mess-up started in 2012 when complainant Thérèse Martel bought a Rio in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Scheduled maintenance for the cutesy subcompact model should be done every 12,000 kilometers as per the owner's manual, but that mileage doesn't apply for the Quebec area.
Cold weather requires more frequent service, namely six months or 6,000 kilometers according to Kia Canada and the dealership that sold her the car along without highlighting which service interval applies. This led Martel and her partner, Michel Lacasse, to forward a class-action lawsuit and seek $985 in damages. That would be the amount of Canadian dollars the couple paid for extra service in the two years they've owned the car.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports about a second incident on the other side of the country, and this time around, the Hyundai Ioniq enters the scene. Nick La Riviere drove his car "in a temperate climate, where years have gone by without a day below zero." This is the reason the owner figured out that he could schedule the first visit at 12,000 kilometers, but Hyundai and the dealership had a different opinion.
"They told me I need to follow it because I might be driving in negative 40 or plus 40, which of course is crazy for Victoria, where we've got very mellow, gentle weather," he told CBC. Hyundai Canada said the customer service agent made a mistake, but is that enough given the precedent from 2012?
The automaker forwarded a statement to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and said that it "generally considers all of Canada to be a severe usage area when it comes to maintenance — but only in terms of weather." So to speak, it's Hyundai to blame for listing the regular maintenance schedule (a.k.a. the primary maintenance schedule) in the manual ahead of the severe-usage servicing plan.
We're not dealing with miscommunication here, but an automaker who tries to dodge warranty claims by listing the longer servicing intervals ahead of the severe-usage maintenance plan without informing the customer which of the two applies in the area where they live and drive.