KIA Service and Customer Service Reach New Low in New York Metro Area
As a Kia owner and supporter of the rejuvenated products and brands, I had to tell KIA about my experiences that are still going on with the dealer and service franchisee's/network that Kia seems to be straddled with.
This past Thursday July 13, I brought my car in to City World Kia in the Bronx, which in and of itself was a nightmare. You see, the greater New York Metro area has very few dealers to choose from and those that are members of the network are very suspect at best including KIA of Brooklyn, especially the con artists at NEMET KIA, Smithtown where I bought the car (lied about it not having an accident), KIA on Central Ave. and now CityWorld/Bronx KIA.
Having called Jason at customer service (Kia USA), it was clear he could only be limited in his effectiveness as he constantly and repeatedly told me that the dealers were independent and that Kia USA could not directly get involved save for him calling their (City World Ford, Kia, Hyundai) to help the service process along. That was very frustrating since it is in Kia's best interest to make sure that their dealer and service network are not only trained well, but also provide the best service that they can as competition as you know is fierce.
Unfortunately, Jason didn't follow-up after I asked him if I could pass along my frustrations to the district manager (who he said is not available to the public) and we ended the call with him giving me an ID # 28-2003701. No call or any updates today from Jason and finally after four calls, Jason passed me off to another manager in customer service who has been MIA. Unfortunately, I'm not surprised.
So why am I frustrated if my Borrego has been at City World since Thursday? Well, it has been there with no communication whatsoever. I had to call on that Friday a week later, Saturday and didn't speak to "Nick" a service technician until just that Monday over a week later when he said (after likely being boosted to speak to me from the Jason call to the service manager "Carl") they were busy and I had 9 items to check. Then I found out that the special technician was out of town until tuesday when they would review some of my cars issues. So effectively, with no
communication, except by me, my car has been sequestered at this catch-all service bay (KIA's district manager should really see this place if he hasn't already) for at least 7days and I know nothing about what they have checked if anything, not to mention that nothing was fixed!
On the basis that the service options for Kia automobiles are so restricted in this area to ramshackle chop shops (City World show room sent me 6 miles to the service area, with bad directions printed out on a sheet. Their on-line service appointment system was a complete waste as the request and ensuing specifics about why I was bringing the car in was not even received by City World, so it's something of a phishing feature and yes, Kia should be concerned about this as this franchisee, or licensee is the face of Kia), including Kia in Brooklyn, another garage turned showroom with an off-site service garage, and the Central Ave. location which is even more of a disaster!
My bottom line is that Kia still has not fixed any of the items I requested, lost the car at City World and then in one quick day claimed nothing was wrong, save for replacing a bulb that I would have to let them order (I said no and took the car away as soon as they found it). KIA did nothing about the following issues;
1) The seals around the front passenger and drivers door droops down and has to be pushed back up.
2) The courtesy light in the rear hatch has to be replaced,
3) The shifting on the car is often delayed (today it went over 4,000RPM's up a hill before I had to let go of the peddle. I've read a great deal of this problem and it is supposedly corrected by Reflashing the transmission.
4) There is a thumping and popping sound under the front passengers seat when the car is hot or even sometimes when waiting at a light, or in park. Again, the forums are repleat with comments about it being either a heat shield issue that is warped, or a relay that is causing the popping sound. I will certainly be able to produce the sound when I bring in the car. You can also feel it under your feet when riding in the passenger seat. It is certainly not a normal characteristic of the car" as Bronx Kia told me.
5) Steering seems to be tight and concerned over a leak of fluid where condensation for the air conditioner runs under the car.
6) Check the suspension as when hits a seam in the road the car bounces over, when it hits a pot-hole, steering is lost momentarily, I know it's a truck frame and suspension, but it seems really disconcerting.
7) When 4x4 is engaged low, it won't come back to Drive sometimes. Have to turn car off, switch to neutral and gerryrig it to move in.
8) The Service Campaign CS005, replacing plastic rear seat-backs
9) How best to clean the cloth seats which seem to get dirty pretty quickly. Just advise.
10) Breaks were vibrating and when breaking also pumped so badly that I had to replace them and was told they were delaminating. I kept them since this should not be happening.
As for my poor car, I brought it in for the svc campaign CS005 (rear seat carpet replacements), defective windshield washer motor, defective hatch-rear light (doesn't turn on), wheezing and clunky CD player, popping and knocking sound under the passenger seat (which has been widely documented in the Kia forums online as a relay and heat shield defect - a design flaw from the Borrego design team that is embarrassing), slow shifting transmission (high revs, also a well documented flaw often requiring a reflash), 4 wd that gets stuck in low, requiring a reboot by shutting off the car and rolling it and other maneuvers to get it back in place), front brakes that have either got warped or de-laminating rotors causing serious vibrating and pulsing as well as tightening steering, a possible leak in the fluid and a severe alignment flaw that has already balled my front tires on the outside (no, I had no accident and no major pot-hole "visit"), the poor suspension which causes the vehicle to hop and jump over road seems and bumps (I understand that it is a truck tuned suspension, but it is unsafe to corner with the Borrego because of the serious steering issues when hitting any bumps at all). I neglected to tell them about the inside weather seals that are dropping off and need to be reset on all four doors, but hey, I just wanted them to deal with the safety issues. Oh and I asked about how to clean the cloth seats and all I got was a comment that someone will get back to me on that one (which considering the service so far is unlikely to happen).
So I am now at the mercy of Lash Kia after waiting two weeks and calling them a third time to see if the plastic seat backs were in so as not to leave my car there for weeks while they waited for the parts. As it is, I had to drive some 12 miles from my home to get bounced from the dealership (one of the garages I mentioned) to the service area because I couldn't bring myself to go to the Yonkers location. No communication from Jason or the service center and all I can do is smile and know why major corporations run into significant problems because their field experts don't have the ability to end licensee's relationships, or won't simply because they are selling cars. Imagine how many more you would sell if you DIDN'T have dealerships like City World Auto, Yonkers Kia, the fraudsters at Major World and Nemet (who tried to bait and switch me, posting cars they didn't have on-line), and Smithtown Kia who's finance manager lied to me and strong armed me into this car late at night (he was finally fired) and now I have a car that was used before me by a leasing company (after some research I found out it was a car rental company). Imagine how shocked and disgusted I was when I found that out!
So now I sit, waiting, expecting a call from KIA USA. Nothing. After emailing six of the KIA executives, they actually said they would provide my daughter with tickets to a concert that they were sponsoring, that didn't even happen as the marketing director never called back. I shudder to think how much more effort I'll have to make to get my car back without any damage being done to it. Can KIA USA Help, I didn't see the effort from the multiple apologies as well as excuses from the representative named Jason and being an independent licensee, City World certainly doesn't care (look who they keep company with? Major World, Nemet, Yonkers?). I am sad to say that Kia, with such great products, will be hampered by it's dealer network, but hopefully this letter will shake up the district managers and their managers. Then, Kia might sell even more cars and service them with happy, grateful repeat customers!
I simply want my break charges to be refunded to me and the warrantly work to be done by ANY KIA dealership an dto make good on the promise to my daughter about the tickets or promos for Vans Warped Tour or any similar premium instead of simply ignoring me. What kind of customer service is that?