Hyundai’s safety recall Campaign 137 was on the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, which may have caused my car accident with my 2012 Hyundai Elantra. I called the Hyundai Recall Campaign Center several times about my case. Many of the reps I spoke with either provided wrong information, inaccurate timeframes for supervisors to call me back, denied my request to speak to a supervisor, or hung up on me.
National Customer Care Rep Larry Bane managed my case. He refused my request to have my car tested in post-accident condition. During an oil change visit at my local Hyundai dealer, a service advisor recommended replacing my car’s yaw-rate sensor (the key component to the ESC system), and I approved.
More than five weeks later, Larry Bane’s first conclusion letter said, “Unfortunately, we were unable to inspect your vehicle in its post-accident condition since it had already been repaired.” The message ended by saying, “We believe your vehicle operated according to its design in the accident.”
The following week Larry Bane sent a second conclusion letter. This letter stated, “We have re-reviewed all of the available information regarding your accident, as well as the points raised in your most recent correspondence. Based on all of the available information, we continue to believe that our previous response is accurate and that your accident did not involve a product defect. With respect to the recall referenced in your correspondence (Recall 137), we do not believe that the condition that the recall seeks to address was present or caused your accident.”
Larry Bane’s supervisor Chris said, “We pride ourselves in customer service and delivering excellence to each and every person.” However, he said the decision on my case was already made, and there was nothing else he could do for me. Then he added, “I’m trying to be really honest with you. I’m in the business for helping people, and I want to make sure that I’m doing my part to make us close any gaps and make the process as smooth as possible for you, and unfortunately I don’t make any of those decisions.” I asked him to clarify Hyundai’s conclusion letters. He simply said, “That was the decision they made.”
Then I called the Hyundai Recall Campaign Center and spoke with supervisor Ethan. He suggested that “someone that doesn’t know how to write out a letter” could have composed the conclusion letters. Ethan concluded, “Honestly, those letters just sound ridiculous.”
I wrote a letter to Dave Zuchowski, the CEO of Hyundai Motor America. He didn’t address my customer service experiences or answer why Hyundai didn’t want to test my car in post-accident condition. He said, “We continue to believe that our previous response is accurate and that your accident did not involve a product defect.”
Do you think Hyundai was correct in refusing my request to test my car with the same yaw-rate sensor and ESC system at the time of the accident as part of the recall? Do you think Hyundai provided me great customer service? Do you think my next car should be a Hyundai?
I know there has been a lot of debate about the GAS MILEAGE this car can REALLY achieve - to the point Hyundai had to issue some corrections, Being honest, if you cannot drive a six speed manual CORRECTLY, you will not get the 43 to 44 on the hwy - AS ORIGINALLY CLAIMED. I am fully aware the vast majority of US drivers most likely learned to drive in an automatic, and I have met many, many US drivers who have no ability to drive a manual gear box correctly. I learned to drive in the UK in the 1970s - the manual was the only option in most cars and engine displacement was always around 1600cc. It is not that I perceive myself as a brilliant driver - perhaps just 36 years of experience in a stick shift. So, with respect - I KNOW this car can achieve 44 to 45 mpg on the highway - absolutely no problem - and I do not think I was given a MAGICAL ELANTRA -- so these complaints are really not legitimate IMHO. If you drive this vehicle carefully using good manual changes -- you will get the original 44 mpg performance - trust me, I have had this car since 2011 - so I do think this is a legitimate comment!
Purchased the Hyundai Elantra GLS in 2014 with 80,000 miles. This is a commuter car no doubt about that, and will remain a commuter car. Driven highway miles 75% of the time. Vehicle was in excellent condition when purchased, needed rear right strut to be replaced. Goodyear Assurance tires are quality and low noise coupled with the Elantra. Consistently get 36+ MPG mixed driving without being on the throttle. Throttle response is lacking due to drive-by-wire rather than cable. Steering is tight and consistent, but no feedback and feels 'dead' at slow speeds. Comfort in front and back is good for shorter distances and road trips 2 hours or more. Steering wheel controls are set up nicely and ECU is good at predicting driving with Cruise Control on. Factory CD player/media player controls aren't the best in how they're set up, but is fixed by installing an aftermarket unit. Available kit on this model is good; safety all around, flawless A/C, 6 speaker sound system, and cruise. However, for a 2012 it would be nice for some minor additions of factory steering wheel controls/power and memory seats, foglights to top off exterior.
Engine is noisy with lifter ticking, but common in the 1.8L Nu engine series. Possible to decrease lifter noise with revised lifters/more oil pressure? Transmission gearing is spot on for lower horsepower/torque power bands and excellent for 70 MPH interstate cruising. Shifting is chunky with the 6 speed, but direct. Shifter itself feels too light to navigate the gear box. Minimal maintenance has been required overall.
Suspension is tight, however, the 2012 also suffers from the Salt Belt States front coil spring recall (which is still unavailable for the 2012 and 2013 models); both front coil springs have snapped within a month of each other slightly damaging sidewalls of tires. OEM coil springs are nonexistent through dealers in the US. Canada sourced coil springs may be available.
Exterior styling is very nice and akin to Japanese cars (well done Hyundai exterior design team). Interior styling is nice as well and has a fluid-like look. Soft angles and a cockpit for front seats with plenty of room in the rear for adults. Interior's plastics do not feel chincy. Dash and center console are designed well, hiding clips to retain dash pieces rather than having screw holes everywhere giving the interior a one-piece design. Everything feels solid inside (revise the shifters to have more weight though!)
Overall, the MD/UD 5th Generation Elantras are a welcome design change for the manufacturer. Quality has increased dramatically over all of the vehicles. Like many asian manufacturers though, road salt is nearly unheard of and needs to be addressed for safety before selling.