Eric Lai answers readers’ auto beefs every week for Wheels.
Q: I’m a senior. In August 2012, I signed an “Intent to Purchase” agreement on a new white Elantra Touring GLS at a Hyundai dealer for $17,529 with cargo cover, cargo net, floor mats, paint protection and undercoating.
They couldn’t find one in my colour, but had a black one with a decal. I’d already made a down payment, which I thought wouldn’t be refunded, so I agreed to take it.
On delivery, I showed the salesperson my Intent to Purchase agreement. My address and trade-in vehicle model were incorrect. He made corrections and asked for my bank draft, but never returned my copy of the agreement. Regrettably, I didn’t read the details of the Vehicle Purchase Agreement when I signed it and took the car.
More from Eric Lai:
My insurer later advised that my Elantra’s VIN isn’t for a GLS, but an L, the cheapest model. The dealership had adjusted the costs so their black L model totalled the same $17,529 as a white GLS that I wanted.
The L model is a complete disappointment compared to the GLS that I test drove. The GLS has many standard features the L doesn’t and, to add insult to injury, the cargo cover didn’t fit properly. I returned to the dealership, told them they changed the purchase agreement to their benefit, and demanded things be rectified. They refused to look into the matter. Also, my replacement cargo cover came from an auto recycling company, not Hyundai.
I admit I was negligent on safeguarding myself as a purchaser, but I feel I’ve been wronged. I should be driving the vehicle I paid for, not something that conveniently fits the price tag.
A: Chad Heard, public relations manager for Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. replies:
At time of purchase, the 2012 Elantra Touring was available in three trims: L, GL, and GLS. The dealership sales records indicate the reader negotiated two prices, one for a GL at the price cited in her letter and another for a GLS model that cost approximately 10 per cent more. Both quotes included a handful of accessories and a vehicle trade-in. A purchase agreement was created for a GL model — at the previously-agreed price for a GL — and was signed by the reader. Our records confirm the VIN of the reader’s vehicle is for an Elantra Touring GL. (Electronic Stability Control was added part way through the model year, which her vehicle has. These were designated GLC.)
Regarding the cargo cover, Woodstock Hyundai determined there was a defect in the original unit and was able to source a new replacement unit from AutoValue Hyundai, a registered Hyundai dealership in Niagara Falls.
Eric Lai adds:
It’s not surprising this customer is confused and suspects deception. Frankly, the dealership staff created the problem for themselves when they failed to accurately indicate the vehicle trim level on the sales contract, which is a legal document. The trim level is incorrectly listed as “black” rather than L, GL or GLS.
Got a beef? Send it to Eric Lai at email@example.com. Include year, make, model and kilometres of autos cited, plus your name, address and telephone number. Personal replies cannot be handled due to volume.
Columns Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND â€œAS AVAILABLEâ€ BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STARâ€™S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X