Hyundai-Kia Engine Recall
Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, and we're talking cars. How are you doing today, Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well this morning.
Mark: So Hyundai and Kia, we spoken about this before, they have a pretty massive engine recall in, I probably bet it's worldwide, but I know for sure it's North America and CBC Go Public show just did a big program about this, talking about Hyundai and Kias engine problems. Do you have any new thoughts about this situation based on the program?
Bernie: Well, it's obvious that Hyundai and Kia are not doing a very good job of satisfying their customers because now of course, there's a huge, Go Public show and their class action lawsuits are in full force. So there's a definite problem, huge. And a lot of unsatisfied customers.
Mark: So the gentleman that was in the program, featured early in the program was, basically had his engine fail, was not aware that there was a recall, the repair shop that he went to offered him a used engine to be put in and after paying for it out of pocket and getting the new engine in, which was not cheap, then that engine failed. And Hyundai, now that there's a recall, says they're not paying for anything. So what do you think about that?
Bernie: Well, I think for the owner of that vehicle, it's a horrible situation overall and it's too bad he didn't know about the recall and I think Hyundai must've done him a big disservice not informing him that there was a recall. I mean, I just find that just incredibly slimy and why people hate dealerships and why it's probably actually good for my world, being in the independent auto repair shop business. But I do have to say that, you know, for this owner, he made a choice based on finances, you know, that a used engine would be a better option financially, but I would never put a used engine in a vehicle that has a recall or a problematic engine. Like I'm always very cautious when we put used engines in vehicles to find out what, what's the track record of the engine.
Recently we had a Toyota Echo, we did an engine job on. Toyota Echo nothing ever goes wrong with those engines. This vehicle had about, you know, 350,000 kilometres. The owner loves the vehicle. The engine wore out. We've got a nice low mileage engine. To me, that's a good deal, but when you get something like a Kia, which has a reputation, Kia or Hyundai with a reputation recall, you know, on an engine that that blows up, well that shop should never even given that customer the option, said, look, you know, we don't want to do this because it's too risky. You know, short of dismantling the engine may be looking at it, but then by the time you do that, the economics of changing the used engine are a kind of out the window. So, I mean, unfortunately that's the choice he made and unfortunately Hyundai is not stepping up to the plate because they really should, maybe not compensate him for the used engine because they never sold that to him. But at least, you know, get him a proper engine in his car that should have been done in the first place.
Mark: So what about Hyundais claim? They've come back and why they, they're denying his recall, paying for the first engine essentially because he didn't do proper oil changes. Or could not prove he'd done his, possibly he did his own oil changes. What do you think about that?
Bernie: Well I would say under a warranty situation, you know, covered by the vehicles warranty. You know, they have every right to demand the oil changes are done properly with the proper oils at the proper intervals. I mean, that's proper maintenance on the vehicle. It's not just about dealerships or the auto repair industry, you know, trying to get money out of people. I mean, it's a machine. It needs proper maintenance. So, you know, to me that's a pretty, that's a very legitimate thing to claim.
But this is a recall. This is a different situation. It's a known manufacturing defect. And I would think that they don't actually have the right to demand that. I don't know, I'm not a lawyer. I tried looking up some details on it. I wasn't able to find anything, but, so don't quote me on it, but I think, you know, this is why there's a class action lawsuit because they're obviously not satisfying their customers in ways that they could be.
And doing things like this is just, I mean, will this guy ever buy another Kia our Hyundai product? No. Will he ever tell anyone to buy one? No. So, I mean, they're just wrecking their own reputation along the way.
But I can't say enough of how important it is, we've talked a lot on our program about how important it is to change your oil at regular intervals. Hyundai claims, you know, every 12,000 kilometres, which to me is probably at the very edge of the limit of how often you want to change oil in a car like that because leaving it too long, just starts causing engine damage. But again, in this case, it's a recall for a known manufacturing defect. So I think it's a different situation.
Mark: So what about the slow delivery of the recall notice?
Bernie: I don't know what to say. I mean, that's just, you know, again, it's just foot dragging and really bad customer service. I haven't actually listened to the article. I've only read the transcript of it and they have quotes. I mean, you know, from someone who says they just don't care, you know, it's really, the truth is they just don't care is what I, is what I get out of it.
Mark: So they also speak about a couple with a 2013 Kia that had a similar engine explosion essentially, destroying the engine, but it's not covered by a recall because the engine is different and Kia claims that it doesn't have the same issue. And yet it actually responded the same way as the later engines are destroying themselves? What's that all about?
Bernie: Well, I think there's millions and millions of dollars at stake here, and I think they just want to you know, cover themselves, not pay any more money than they have to. So, you know, they've identified some as being problematic and I guess they found others that supposedly aren't. But again, when something like this happens and if it happens to enough vehicles with that same engine, perhaps they haven't cast the net wide enough, to actually bring in the problematic engine. So I can't say for sure. I mean, it could be for those people, it could be a one off issue. I mean, engines do have bearing wear and throw rods, and you know, it's possible. It doesn't say anything about their maintenance. I don't want to, I don't want to say anything. They've been very excellent maintenance customers and occasionally, something bad will happen.
But if this is starting to happen on these other engines, of course there should be a recall on that too, because the problem is wider than they think. But you know, auto manufacturers, I mean, we've just seen it with Volkswagen with diesel gate and the things that they did to cover up what they were doing, or even the Ford Pinto. I mean, apparently that fix for the Ford Pinto was a $3 metal ring around the gas tank filler. And yet, you know, when they were manufacturing, they actually knew it. They didn't do it. I mean, think like human lives. People died and they just, and people said, nah, it's three bucks, too much money over a million cars. So these are the kinds of people we're dealing with sometimes.
Mark: And the actuarial decisions of a few lawsuits is cheaper than us actually fixing everything. So one of the things they mentioned in the article and that we talked about before was that there might be a metal filings leftover from the manufacturing process in the engines, and that's what's causing these failures. What do you think happens with these engines that they fail so frequently?
Bernie: I actually haven't seen one or taken on a part you know, so I haven't seen it first hand, but there seems to be basically three recalls with Hyundai, three issues, major issues that are going on. And one of them is, you know, these engines just starting to knock suddenly and then basically blowing apart. They throw a rod, the connecting rod in the engine of the bearing wears out and it basically throws the rod through the side of the engine. That's what the hole is all about.
So anyways, the claim is some metal filings or some material were left behind in the manufacturing process and that gets into the bearings. I mean, these are very precision fit parts and it gets into the bearings, wears them out. It actually surprises me that they last as long as they do, if that's the case. That seems to be the main issue. But there seems to be a couple of other recall issues. There's an issue of a sudden fires occurring in some of them. And I believe there's two issues at hand here with those. One of them is oil leaks that occur and they happen right sort of over top of the hot exhaust system and that can cause a fire. So that's one issue.
And then the other, so that's not the same as this recall's being talked about here. But the other issue there's sudden engine fires that are caused by a fuel leak. And these are claimed to have happened after the engine recalls been done. And what is likely happening is that there's a high pressure fuel on these use a direct fuel injection system. The fuel pressure is extremely high. It's in the, you know I'm going to say 10 to 20,000 PSI range. So this is a huge high pressure fuel system, and the slightest amount of leakage, especially under high pressure, can cause a fuel to combust. So that's a, that's an issue. I think that there's a fuel line a lot of times when you do a service on vehicles with a direct fuel injection there's certain lines that are supposed to be replaced because they're just a one time use. They can't be torqued down properly again or be reliable. So I believe what's happening is they don't replace the line and then that causes a leak. So that's sort of the third recall. And again, they're not applicable to all the vehicles, but those kind of the three things that Hyundai and Kia are playing with right now.
Mark: I bet they can't wait for electric vehicles to come along soon enough. What are your final thoughts about this whole engine recalls situation, which applies to all manufacturers, in fact?
Bernie: Yeah, I mean, it's just a sign of, it's just poorly handled situation and like you're saying, the actuary, you know, there someone looks at and goes, well, it's cheaper for us to do this. And you know well, I've just seen it over the years. So many things. I mean, I'm surprised sometimes at Ford's still in business with, you know, some of the engines they built them and they built some good cars and they built some real garbage. And they seem to have somehow just survived, you know, some way. But, you know, my final thought is, you know, this is really bad, you know, bad PR for Hyundai and Kia. Bad customer care and you know, you pay for it in the end. If you take care of your customers, they'll come back. If you don't, they'll go elsewhere. There's lots of competition in the car world, so people will be going elsewhere.
Mark: So there you go. If you've got issues with your Hyundai or Kia in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. They'll look after you. They'll give you the honest truth, and they'll fix your vehicle and do it properly. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call and book ahead. They're always busy. Check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com there's hundreds, over 600 articles on there, about all makes and models and types of repairs. Over 300 videos on our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair. Check it out, and of course, we really appreciate you watching the podcasts, listening to the videos, watching the videos. Leave us a thumbs up or leave us a good review on iTunes. We really appreciate it. Thanks, Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks, Mark. Thanks for watching, listening. We really appreciate it.