How to battle alleged void car warranty?
May 31, 2019 11:38 AM   Subscribe

I own a 2014 Kia that I have maintained well. I received an engine recall notice for replacement and lifetime warranty and before bringing it in, my car died due to malfunctioning crankshaft sensors. It's a fairly new recall, and my car is still under power train warranty with 50k miles. This is my mistake, but I've taken my car to several different stations for oil changes (always on time), due to poor customer service or wasn't satisfied. I wasn't able to get into the dealership because of location. Anyway, I failed to keep all of my oil change receipts and they are now telling me that they will not service the recall and that my warranty is void because they can't ensure I've properly maintained my vehicle.

My question is, there was an engine recall regardless of my maintenance. Is this just an uphill battle I'll never win because I don't have proof of maintenance? I was able to run to a couple stations and printed the last few but don't have the most recent as they have since shut down permenantly.

Oil changes are suggested by the manufacturer much earlier than what statistically is shown as necessary for maintenance- is this a valid argument? Has anyone had an experience in dealing with these issues?

At this point, I'm happy to take my car off the lift and go trade it in for another manufacturer vehicle as I have paid it off and just don't feel like battling a voided warranty car in event something else goes wrong. It just doesn't seem right, although I suspect it happens often.

I should not that I've always had issues with this cars engine, it always burna oil, and they always tell me there's sludge when there shouldn't be because of my maintaining the vehicle. Everytime I took it in, they would said we cleaned it up changed oil filter and all looks good, we can't find any issue.

Any advice helpful!
posted by MamaBee223 to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Servicing a recall should not be dependent on warranty status.

Step one is to complain to Kia USA (which is notorious for a shitty dealer network btw). Insist that you did maintain the car to standard intervals, muster whatever proof you have (do you have credit card statements showing charges from the changes where you didn’t get an itemized receipt? Those should be gettable online even from quite a while back) and fight this. It’s bullshit. If you did maintain the correct interval (prob 7500 miles, there might be different duty schedules) and they *can’t show any existing damage, related to the alleged failure to maintain* then they’re legally full of shit. Tell them you’ll tell the story all over social media too. They’re facing a bad market and declining sales. They don’t want that.

You are under *no obligation* legally to get a car under warranty serviced at a dealer shop. Lots of people believe this and lots of dealers imply it when making a sale. But lesson learned — get receipts and save them scrupulously, and if you DIY keep your receipts for the oil and filter etc. A quick photo of the fresh filter under the hood and one of the odometer reading (and I also photograph the receipt) at each change is also good insurance.

Good luck. Making noise is your best initial approach.
posted by spitbull at 12:05 PM on May 31, 2019 [5 favorites]

I’ve had parts replaced on my Ford vehicle due to recalls. There was never any request for proof of maintenance or anything, I just brought the car in and they did the work free of charge. So I think you are being bullshitted here. I think if you complain to Kia corporate they might be able to help, and you should not have to show proof of shit.
posted by a strong female character at 1:21 PM on May 31, 2019 [4 favorites]

As far as I know a recall is legally obligatory on the manufacturer irrespective of warranty coverage or changes of ownership and for several years after the recall is issued. One thing to be clear on is whether it’s a formal federal recall or a voluntary manufacturer,s “technical service bulletin” (TSB). People often say “recall” for both.
posted by spitbull at 1:41 PM on May 31, 2019 [4 favorites]

Pretty much same thing happened with our 2011 Kia Sedona. We missed one oil change (couldn’t find the receipt) and they claimed sludge and voided the warranty. This after YEARS of issues that were never adequately addressed or fixed. Since our Kia dealership was so far away we decided to just cut ties and go to an independent mechanic. Yeah, it’s all out of pocket/no warranty work - however we felt good with our decision when a really troubling issue arose (brake issue that caused the calipers (?) to burn up and the wheels would start smoking and the wheels would lock up). We decided to take it to the dealer to see if they could determine what the issue was and we were hopeful that there might be some warranty help. Kia had my car for over a week - wherein I had to pay for a rental - and they claimed that they could never replicate our problem and gave us the car back and sent us on our way. 5 miles down the road the front wheels started smoking and locked up. Point of that story is, even the dealership service department had no clue what was wrong with the vehicle which made them absolutely useless. After about an hour, we were able to limp it to our independent friend mechanic. He had it two says and completely fixed. Warranty or not, Kia couldn’t fix our vehicle and were pretty incompetent. We now pay for all our repairs but at least the car is actually getting repaired as opposed to sitting with Kia and getting absolutely nothing done.
posted by Sassyfras at 2:36 PM on May 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

This exact thing happened to me with a 2014 Kia. I had to pay a $6000 repair when the shaft or something broke even though I thought it would be under warranty. Then I received the recall notice. I sent a copy of my repair bill and the recall notice and very politely asked for a refund on the repair - since the failure was exactly what was being recalled. And corporate national Kia sent me a check!
posted by visual mechanic at 12:04 AM on June 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

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