Complaint / review text:
I bought a used 2004 Saturn L-300 wagon from Maroon Kia Auto Group on November 19,2011. The day I purchased the car the service engine light was on. I was told by the sales person Charlie Bryan that it would be checked and turned off and it did not come back on that there was no problem. When Charlie returned I asked about the service engine light and he told me the
car needed an oil change and that I should bring it back on Tuesday November 22.
During the 3 days I had the vehicle I noticed a strong smell of anti freeze. When I brought the car for the oil change on November 22 I advised the serviceman of the smell. He agreed to look into it. I also asked him what code came up when they looked at the check engine light the day I purchased because my mechanic wanted to know. The serviceman stated that he did
not know the code and could not find out because it was probably cleared.
Later that day I received a call that the oil change was done and that I could pick up the car but that they found a leak in the intake manifold gasket and I would need to bring the car back and leave it for a few days to have it repaired. It was at this time that I was introduced to the service manger Anthony Pomo. I also asked Mr. Pomo about the code that came up the day I purchased the car and he said it was something simple like the gas tank lid not being tight. But I was still not told what the code was. I brought the car back to them on the day after Thanksgiving, November 25th and was given a rental car because
they thought they would need the car until the middle of next week.
Around the 29th or 30th I called to inquire about the car and they told me it would be a little longer probably by December 3rd. December 3rd came and went and I reached out to the service center several more times and left messages to find out why
it was taking so long and whether there was a larger problem then they had initially thought. My calls were not returned.
On December 8th I called and asked to speak to the General Manager of Kia, Mr. Ken Johnson and explained to him my concerns about the car, the length of time it has been there and not receiving calls back. He stated that he was not aware of the situation and would look into it and get back to me.
Later that same day I received a call from one of the servicemen explaining that they found a leak, repaired it, put the car back
together again and did a pressure test. The pressure test revealed there was eat another leak further inside and they had to take it apart again and repair that leak.
At this point my husband and I were growing more concerned about the problems with the car and the fact that we were only given a 30 day warranty and the car was in the shop for so much of that time that I called the general Manager and asked for him to extend the warranty by the number of days they had by car. He stated that they would not extend the full warranty but
that they would extend it for just the work they had done while it was in the shop, however that would not include anything else going wrong with the car.
I started to research lemon laws and spoke to a few attorneys that said to me that if my car had been a 2005 it would have qualified for lemon law but unfortunately mine is a 2004.
I sent several letters of concerns to Kia asking them why is the car taking so long and again asking for specific clarification on what the service engine code was the day I bought the car. Mr. Anthony Pomo advised me that the code was a PO455 for large evaporative emissions but again stated if the light has not come back on that it was probably just a gas cap not on tight.
I wrote, faxed, mailed and / or hand delivered several letters to Kia over the next few days. My warranty stated that if there was a material defect on the car that the dealer could not fix after 3 times in the shop or over the course of 20 cumulative days that the dealer was obligated to repurchase the vehicle and refund the full purchase price. My husband and I were so concerned at this point because so many more days had gone by and no calls and no car.in many of these letters we advised of the 20-day rule as it was quickly approaching.
Finally, on December 14th I received a call at 1pm stating the car was done and I can come pick it up. It had been exactly 20
days at that point so some lawyers I had spoken to said I could exercise our rights under the warranty and ask them to repurchase the vehicle so we could get something else because we no longer had any confidence in this car.
As you will see in the attached letters and documentation this conversation did not go well with the general Manager Ken Johnson. Please refer to the letters dated December 14th and December 17th.
I returned their rental on December 14tth but I did not pick up my car as I hoped to be able to have them honor the warranty. The next day after realizing what it would cost to hire an attorney my husband and I knew we could not fight the BIG car dealer so I went and picked up my car on December 15th.
On my way home the service engine light came on so I brought it back to Anthony Pomo at Kia and the code revealed a problem with the CO2 sensor. He had me bring it back the next day to fix it. I did, Then I left there and on my way home the service engine light came on again. I brought the car back and they stated they used the wrong piece to fix the sensor and
corrected it and again I left. That was on December 19th or 20th.
Because of the pressure my husband and I put on Kia and the length of time they had the car they did extend my 30- day warranty, which would have ended on December 14th. The new date would be January 14th.
On December 23rd I received the one and only letter back from Kia. It was from Mr. Johnson, the General Manager. It stated that they did all they were obligated to do and that they only had my car 19 days.in his letter he states that the car was finished on December 13th but that I did not pick it up until the 14th. That is an out and out lie. I received the call at 1 pm on December 14th that the car was done but I did not pick it up until the 15th. Which means it was in fact 20 cumulative days of the car being out of service. It is clear on their receipt at well the day the car was done, December 14th.
Right after the New Year around the 5th or 6th of January a new light came on in my car. It was not the service engine light.
It was a light of a picture of a car with a wrench in it. According to the owners manual this meant there was a non-emission related service that the car needed. I brought the car back and spoke to Anthony Pomo concerned that there was a new problem and that by warranty end was fast approaching. I brought the car to him with the light on. He said he could not pull a code for it that they can only pull a code for the service engine light and this was the service vehicle soon light.
Mr. Pomo did not seem to know what this light meant and was flipping through my manual and then he decided that it must be a light telling us that it is time to change the oil. He stated that when you change the oil you need to reset it so the car knows when to tell you again that you need oil. He assumed that when they did my oil change that they must not have reset it so he turned the car to run, pumped the gas a few times and my service vehicle soon light went off.
I left thinking all was fine. A day or two later the same light came on, the car with the wrench in it. I referred to my manual and did the same thing Mr. Pomo did and the light went off. A few days later the same light came back on and then went off and came on and went off. The car drove fine but I thought it must have been trying to tell me that something is wrong. On Friday January 27, while the same light came on I went to a local mechanic and explained the problem with this light. They took 5 minutes to hook up a gadget a pull a code, which read PO455 large evaporative emissions leak. They were shocked that Kia
said they could not pull the code and also shocked that my service engine light was not on because it should be. The only light that is on is the service vehicle soon light, the car with the wrench it.
This local mechanic stated it could be a small or large problem but they would have to have the car to check it out. They stated that I would not pass inspection with this problem. Again they stated that the service vehicle soon light was supposed to come on for non-emission related problems and they were confused. They stated that my service engine light should be on
because it is emissions related.
On January 28th I called Anthony Pomo at Kia and explained to him what the other mechanic told me. He completely changed his
tune and stated that when I came in with that light on (the car with the wrench in it) that it was the oil light that was on. That is an out and out lie also. The oil light has never come on. I reminded him of the PO455 code that was on the day I bought the car. The mechanic I brought it to the other day says it is the same code, PO455. He said no, you came in with an oil light, which I
refuted. He said you must have a new problem that is no longer covered under warranty but I can bring the car in and they can do a smoke test but I will be charged going forward.
I did a little research on line about these codes and found that a person can disconnect the negative charge of the battery to make a service engine light go off but that if there is a problem it will reappear within a few hundred miles, which is exactly what has happened.
I feel that I have been lied to, mis-led and deceived by this dealership. I am now stuck with a car that is likely to be a money pit. I am currently unemployed and my husband and I just scrape by supporting our 2 children. I am confident that I would win a suit against this dealer if I could afford an attorney but of course I cannot. It seems to me that the BIG dealership always wins when they are not truthful because the little people like us cant afford to fight there big attorneys. My hope is that they will be forced to take back this vehicle and refund me in cash the value of my trade in so that I might purchase a vehicle elsewhere.
At this point I have the car and I cant pass inspection and I have to go to another mechanic and spend a bunch of money I dont have to fix a problem that was there from day one along with numerous other problems.