Kia case # 2413018
To whom it may concern,
The following is a brief description of the ordeal that has become my new 2013 Kia Optima SX. While it is a beautiful car, the experience of the last 4 weeks or so have made me regret my decision to get it, and have solidified my opinion that nobody should purchase any Kia vehicle.
It has also shown me why the manufacturer, sales departments and service departments are kept under separate umbrellas: that way nobody has to take ownership of a problem. Very smart, but not very customer friendly.
On Monday, December 24th, as my wife pulled into our driveway in our new 2013 Kia Optima SX (with approx 2700 miles, purchased/leased on August 31, 2012 from Folsom Lake Kia) after running an errand in the rain the vehicle turned off/died in the driveway. My son, who was riding in the front passenger seat, noticed water dripping onto his feet from underneath the dash.
Attempts to restart the vehicle were unsuccessful. The accessories (radio, lights, etc.) worked but the push button start would not get the car to start.
I decided to wait to maybe allow whatever was wrong to "reset."
On Wednesday, December 26, all attempts to start the vehicle failed. Folsom Lake Kia Service Department was called and instructed me to press and hold the ignition start/stop button for 10 seconds which should override any errors and start the vehicle. This failed to start the vehicle.
I was then instructed to call Kia Roadside Assistance to have the vehicle towed to the service department.
Kia Roadside Assistance was called and a tow truck showed up at my residence approximately 1.5 hours later. The car was towed to Folsom Lake Kia and I was notified around 3pm that they had the car, noticed the water in the vehicle and would begin working on it immediately.
The vehicle was at Folsom Lake Kia service until January 9th at 5:45pm.
Apparently the windshield was improperly installed at the factory which caused water to leak into the dash which subsequently shorted out the vehicle's computer system causing the vehicle to not start.
When I picked up the vehicle in the 9th I was informed that the backup camera no longer functioned properly (when the car is placed in reverse the screen shows the "distance" lines on a black screen).
I had no issues with the backup camera prior to the vehicle being "serviced" at Folsom Lake Kia.
The service manager told me I would need to return with the vehicle to have it repaired. He said it would take approximately 1 hour.
I returned to Folsom Lake Kia Service Department on January 15th.
Upon my arrival, I pulled into the service drive as instructed and had to wait in my car for 20 minutes before any service department member spoke to me. Once my car was processed by the service person I waited 1 hour for them to repair the camera. They came back to tell me they don't know what's wrong with it and they need more time. When I asked how long they needed they didn't know.
So I took the car back because at this point it's not worth the time and inconvenience it would take to repair something that wasn't even broken prior to the vehicle being towed to Folsom Lake Kia.
This entire scenario has caused me much stress and inconvenience. I purchased a brand new vehicle to avoid these types of scenarios.
All of these issues were the fault of either Kia Motor Corporation or Folsom Lake Kia. This is a brand new vehicle which should never have experienced these problems.
While I understand that things happen that are sometimes out of the control of the car company and dealership.
However, the way the customer is treated is well within your control.
Since this is a brand new vehicle under warranty experiencing a catastrophic failure (I shudder to think what would have happened if the car died in the middle of the freeway or other dangerous situation) then I should not have been treated like this was a common repair. Since I was still paying for the vehicle I should have been given a loaner car that was as nice or nicer than my 2013 Optima to use while my vehicle was being fixed. Instead, it wasn't until 10 days later that I was even offered a rental car free of charge. Any other car dealer who takes pride in their vehicles and customer experience have loaner vehicles on hand for just these unforeseen situations.
At this point I will NEVER purchase another Kia for the rest of my life. And trust me when I say that anyone who has heard my story feels the same way.
Cars today are all relatively of the same or similar quality (with this exception) so any bad press for a manufacturer is very persuasive. Even if it is just word of mouth, for now.
The way I have been treated during this entire scenario is completely and utterly irresponsible. You have lost many potential customers and all future business from me and those I know.
For example, my in-laws were considering a new Sorrento for their next vehicle this year but after learning what I have gone through they will not even consider a Kia; whether new or used.
I agree that the Optima is a very nice vehicle which is why I decided to get it, but if a car is not backed by stellar customer service then it's not worth the trouble. I certainly regret my vehicle purchase/lease.
The funniest part is that I called Kia Customer Service to lodge a complaint. The lady I talked to was nice and said a "regional manager" would be in contact with me. This "manager" called me last Thursday at 5:30pm and left a message pretty much guaranteeing that I wouldn't be able to get a hold of him since it was after business hours. The kicker was he said he'd be off for the next week. Wow. Thanks Kia. Awesome customer service.
Now I'm hoping my car hits that magic 30-day unusable period so the Lemon Law comes into play. The more crap that goes wrong with this thing, the more I want to contact my lawyer friend and sue them for all they're worth. Unfortunately the cards are stacked against me.
1/23/13 update: now my wife's key doesn't work and now that I think about it the key hasn't worked since the vehicle died in our driveway on 12/24/12. I tried plugging it into the key receptacle in the glove box and the car still won't recognize it.
Yet another reason to not keep this car and never get another Kia again. It's like the nail in the coffin. I would never, ever recommend this company to anyone. It's just not worth the hassle. Since its related, I would never buy another Hyundai either. Guilt by association I guess, but this crap my family and I have gone through isn't worth a crappy wannabe luxury car company stuck in a Daewoo type cycle of poor customer service and incompetent employees.