KIA USA / CITY WORLD -FORD/KIA - Do not by a KIA. Customer Service is Awful KIA USA is disinterested and the aulity is still poor

Posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 6:15pm CDT by 8a632184

Product: KIA Borrego


Location: 111 Peters Canyon RD.
Irvine, CA, 92606, US


Category: Other

As a Kia owner and supporter of the rejuvenated products and brands, I had to tell you about my experiences that are still going on with the dealer and service franchisee's/network that Kia seems to be straddled with.

On 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 your network are very suspect at best and downright dishonest and awful in reality.

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. THis was 7 days into leaving my car there with not even a call or return about my inquiries. 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 (of KIA USA customer service - don't waste your time) 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 as he was ignored by City World KIA as well. All he could say was sorry Mr. Caplan and do what I can, which is nothing because he also repeated as well as Kathryn Cima at corporate and Crystal Riley who closed my case after she did nothing to get my car fixed. This in and of itself was the most insulting since she ignored four phone calls that I made and when I called Justina, another service rep just to speak to someone on August 17, she at least called me back twice to tell me she had to send the case to the executive level because it was closed by Crystal (after Jason gave it to executive-he didn't and couldn't do anything). Amazing, shocking and insulting and my car still wasn't fixed.

So why should I get frustrated if my Borrego was lost at City World for a week? Why should I be upset that KIA USA did absilutely nothing to move my car along after I took my car out of CIty World KIA after they finally found it (yes they lost it) and asked if they should order the parts they need? Why then should I be insulted and feel demeaned after Lash KIA couldn't provide a loaner car (after I made a pleas with KIA USA to intervene on my behalf) because I waited a month to have Lash KIA get some parts in to do the work? Now it's three days that I am waiting for Lash KIA to finish their work on the Borrego and after I tell David, the service associate who I originally spoke to about my horrifying experience with CIty World KIA, he was upset and correcting me that I have to wait to get the additional parts in. Do they think at KIA that there customers don't need their cars? Do they treat all of their customers like this? So, I find myself once again waiting with no car, despite giving Lash KIA a month to get the recall parts and to do the work they needed to do and then to tell me that the car and the issues I've raised, and you'll love this, "are operating within manufacturers parameters". A euphamism for operating sub-standard, poorly, jumping all over the road, the 4wd was told to me to "hang up sometimes" when it is engaged and when you want to disengage it. WHAT? Are they kidding? SO after over a month, of waiting, and two weeks without a car, fixing the delaminated rotors myself for safety reasons, I am treated like an imbecile and KIA USA ignored me despite my sending emails to six of their executives and being promised a promotion for my troubles but then not hearing from Kathryn Cima again. WOW! I wonder if head office in South Korea is aware of the poor level of service and treatment of their customers in North America (and likely throughout the world).

Each time, I had to call the service department and they were upset with me when I inquired as to the status of the car. With City World I called after four days, then Friday, Saturday and didn't speak to "Nick" a service technician until the end of that first week, who was supposedly fired (he wasn't, he was hiding when I came to pick up my car). Otherwise, the claim by Carlos the service manager was that they were busy and I had 9 items to check. Then I found out that the special technician was out of town until the end of the week and this same thing happened at LASH when a seemingly competent Tania Santos went on vacation and my car was sitting there and only after aI called three times did I get David to call me back to tell me they were waiting for another part despite me trying desperately to avoid leaving my car at another dealership for another three plus days without any notice or updates.

On the basis that the service options for Kia automobiles is 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! How can Kia USA ignore an area with 16 million people????? I know if I worked for Kia, I would make every effort to get new licensees, with state of the art service centers, show rooms and sales and service people that can at least spell! I've owned Honda's, Acuras, Mercedes-Benz, Mazdas and BMW's over the years and not once have I been so blown away by the complete incompetence, indifference, filth, poor service, etc... by the KIA brand.

My bottom line is that Kia need desperately to upgrade all of the areas I mentioned and I'd be happy to them because I am thrilled by the renaissance over the years from the disastrous Hyundai Pony of the 80's to the thrilling designs and engineering of the line-up today. Unfortunately, the dealer and service network is so wanting and deficient that Kia will lose sales on that basis alone and it is truly a shame!

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 use regular uphilstery cleaner. Gee, thanks, considering that they are staining so easily, that my daughters damp swimsuits left water stains on all the seats in the back. Great quality!

Considering the service so far (or total lack thereof), I don't expect anything and absolutely will never buy a KIA or recommend one again. In fact what KIA has done (especially KIA USA's total lack on interest in assisting me with their "independent dealer network" and their promises that were left unfilled) is instead of bringing a customer back in the fold (I was excited to own the Borrego after having a Honda Pilot for five years, but quickly learned why I shouldn't be excited) they have created an absolutely incensed customer who will use every opportunity to enlighten anyone about the dealer network, the corporate reality of KIA USA as a paper kitten when dealing with their dealers and their customers.

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 anyone as they close the files without regard to if the case was resolved, 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 they 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 and likely I'll get some huge bill with nothing covered under the warranty despite the car having only 32,000 miles on it. 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, NO. 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, unfortunately, will never be one of them.


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