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Know the limits of your car's wear and tear

It’s important to recognize the origin of repairs and the warranty on your vehicle.

By Wheels Wheels.ca

Sep 16, 2011 3 min. read

Article was updated 12 years ago

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Q: I returned a 2008 Nissan Rogue after the three-year lease expired. The leasing manager asked for the VIN and mileage, had meS sign a return form, then removed my plates and I left.

Two weeks later, I received a $500 bill from Nissan for excess wear and tear (two front tires and a scratch on the bumper). My Nissan was in mint condition.

This is the fourth leased vehicle, all different automakers, that I have returned and the first time I’ve received a bill upon return.

Am I liable for the charges, which potentially could have happened after I dropped the vehicle off?

A: Didier Marsaud, spokesperson for Nissan Canada, replies:

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. The inspection was conducted by an independent third-party prior to the vehicle being moved from the dealership, and the charges referred to by your reader are for items that are considered beyond normal wear and tear of the vehicle. It is typical to charge for this type of repairs at the end of a lease.

Please be assured that we welcome the opportunity to review these charges with the customer and have attempted to contact him but, to date, have not been successful. As soon as we are able to review this with him, we are confident that we can resolve this matter to his satisfaction.

Q: I believe that a material deficiency (steel) or paint preparation issue is resulting in pitting corrosion on my 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited. I noticed the problem this spring when it had 90,000 kilometres after 18 months ownership. It now has 100,000 kilometres.

I followed my dealer’s advice to have a third-party check it, and they say it’s an original fabrication problem. The difficulty is pits take time to come through and I was over the 60,000-kilometre warranty when this was discovered.

Hyundai’s district manager looked at it and is sticking by their warranty limit. This has created a significant penalty to me, in trade-in/resale value, for a manufacturing defect.

A: Chad Heard, spokesperson for Hyundai Canada, replies:

It’s unfortunate to hear that your reader is unhappy with our company’s warranty policy. Hyundai Auto Canada and each of its dealers view customer satisfaction as a core value to the organization and the Hyundai new vehicle warranty program is part of a commitment to ensure customers feel confident in their purchase. The purpose of the warranty is to cover many components of the vehicle under normal wear and tear conditions for a defined distance or period of time.

Hyundai Auto Canada offers a new vehicle paint warranty of three years or 60,000 kilometres, whichever comes first, covering repair or replacement of defects discovered under normal use and maintenance. Our records indicate this vehicle has reached approximately 90,000 kilometres.

After explaining the company’s warranty program, Hyundai Auto Canada conducted two separate inspections of the vehicle and concluded the damage was the result of impacts from debris. As a result, this vehicle did not qualify for warranty coverage due to current mileage and the condition of the damage.

The dealership has offered a $500 credit toward the repair in an attempt to provide assistance to this customer, but the offer was rejected.

Got a beef? Send it to Eric Lai at wheels@thestar.ca. Include year, make, model and kilometres of autos cited, plus your name, address and telephone number. Personal replies cannot be handled due to volume.
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