What is considered reasonable repair time for motor vehicles

Hi there! I bought a new Kia in March 2020 from Melbourne with 7 year warranty. This year I took it to a Kia dealership in Canberra when it showed malfunction in the transmission. It has now been 10 weeks in the possession of the repairer. Every time I called to ask when it will be ready I was getting no firm answer. What are my consumer rights in this regard?
Appreciate your advice

3 Likes

Welcome @Alayain

You are going to get a number of members here who will help with advice. Or move this post into an existing topic where you may get advice from past problems.

3 Likes

I think I would be contacting Kia directly and making a complaint about the dealer. They should initiate a case and help you get some action out of the dealer and their total lack of service.

5 Likes

Hi @Alayain, welcome to the community.

From your post, it is assumed that the identified transmission fault is covered by the car’s warranty. As a result…

10 weeks is a very long time to wait for a warranty repair. Have Kia said why it is taking so long, such as it is the time to have a new transmission shipped by sea freight from South Korea? It might be that the 10 weeks delay for the repair can he easily explained.

Notwithstanding this, you would be within your rights to ask for a loan vehicle for the time the vehicle takes to get repaired. This hopefully has been offered/made available to you as one would not reasonably expect a fault covered by warranty to take so long, especially when the fault is something out of your control. Your inconvenience until repair is completed should be resolved by KIA

7 Likes

Hi there @Alayain and welcome to the community . Could you please let me know what model Kia you purchased . Also is the transmission equipped to the vehicle a manual or automatic ?. If auto is it a CVT or conventional torque converter auto ?

6 Likes

Hi @Greg, @phb and @vax2000 and thank you all so much for your very useful advices.
The model is Kia Stinger auto transmission and in warranty. Never been offered a loan of another car. The dealer seems to be experimenting with different types of spare parts replacement which does’t give any confidence on the final outcome of the repair. Whenever they are contacted they say the part we tried and thought would fix the problem didn’t fix it so we will try another part instead, is the never ending explanation they give.

4 Likes

That is what I would do. I previously had a Citroen C4 and while out of warranty it developed a nagging intermittent pollution system fault. It did not affect anything obvious but there was also obviously something wrong. It was being maintained by a Citroen specialist. They did exactly the same for two years replacing this part and that part at my expense. After the second year of ‘not fixed’ I tried a local generalist shop that told me more about my car in 15 minutes than the ‘specialist’ did in the 3 years I wasted with them.

They also told me about a recall that had not been done and sent me off to a Citroen dealer (who was excellent). They did ‘the’ recall, found another, and correctly identified the source of the fault in one go and fixed it. With the modern management computers they should not be trying ‘this and that’, they should be able to identify the problem quickly if not the first time - and fix it - if there is a code.

If you have a fault code not just a baulky or badly performing transmission this page should help ID the fault.

If there is no fault code I agree you should be getting Kia involved since the dealer is apparently not onto it and might never be excepting by blind luck.

A net search did not find any related reports of any let alone widespread Stinger transmission problems so your problem could be a rare one, yet replacing one bit at a time when there could be hundreds of individual parts in a small number of functional assemblies, trial and error, seems over the top. Ask for a new transmission or a loaner until they work it out. It appears you have 1 and possibly 2 other local (such as local means in Australia) Kia dealerships and thus service departments you could contact, but after 10 weeks invested in one you should put Kia in the middle to manage it from here on accepting that is not always easy or even possible with any auto manufacturer.

6 Likes

Kia is a very challenging manufacturer to deal with after sale. My most recent issue occurred when the car simply failed to start. Prior to calling out roadside assist and possibly needing a tow, I checked in with Kia to see what warranty conditions might apply. The upshot was that it would need to be towed to one of their service centres and wait there for over two weeks until a mechanic could even look at it. They wouldn’t provide me with roadside assist because I’d had my latest service done by an independent mechanic.
Prior to that, I’d been experiencing performance lags which they said they could only examine if I brought the car to their service centre at the time of the lag (?!). Turns out this is a known problem and there is a class action pending.
Prior to that again, they refused to update GPS software without my paying $250, despite this being explicitly included for the first two years - all they would say was that the policy had changed “after” I’d bought it.
The customer service people at Kia head office have never been helpful, only ever rude and argumentative.
The only thing that ever worked was involving the ACCC. Simple online process which brought prompt rectification by Kia.

4 Likes

Hi Bris,
I’m interested in learning more about your ACCC journey.
I too have a Kia issue in that my GPS head unit has been replaced 4 times since I brought the car new in 2017 and it is currently awaiting its 5th replacement. Each time it takes 6-9 months to get a replacement in stock so my car has effectively been without a fully functional head unit for over half of the car’s life. My dealer (also in Nth Canberra) said they can’t do anything. Kia HQ says I need to ask the dealer. They did however offer me an older model made by the same defective provider. When they do install a “new” one, it is actually refurbished and the maps on it are several years out of date. The CEO of Kia Australia has also not answered a letter I sent him so it is time to take it to the next level, hence this request for advice on how you got through their system.

2 Likes

Hi @TeddyMutt The process is pretty well delineated on the ACCC web site. I pulled together a chronology of events and copies of all the relevant correspondence to upload. It didn’t take too long to get a response and they’ll ask any questions to get clarification. I think they tend to act promptly when they can see that you’ve given Kia sufficient opportunities and time to resolve the issue in advance of the ACCC getting involved. Once they had all they needed, someone phoned me and asked if I was happy for them to make direct contact with Kia then it all came together quite quickly.
Good luck with it all!

5 Likes

Our slightly over 4 year old vehicle, with only 60000km recently suffered a major mechanical failure, requiring 2 turbochargers and an EGR cooler to be replaced. It is off the road. The manufacturer agreed to cover under warranty (outside express warranty period), for which we are grateful (even if we are entitled to this). Our issue is with the “reasonable timing”.

It took 4 weeks to diagnose the issue, a further 2 for approval to repair under warranty. Currently - we are at 11 weeks waiting, with the best estimate of repair being another 6-10 weeks as we wait for a ship to arrive - around 6 months end to end (assuming the repair is a success).

To make matters worse, Our car is in Darwin, and we have had to come back to Tasmania, leaving a heap of personal belongings behind in the car, and our caravan. It’s a massive imposition to us.

The manufacturer will not fly a part direct from Japan, which seems the obvious solution (it’s not a big item and would cut months of the restoration period). Is it reasonable that they should classify this as a major failure (I have used this term in emails with them, which they are reluctant to reply to), and should they assist us in returning the car home? We are about to return to the NT, buy a car and transfer all our belongings to it, and tow our stranded caravan home. It’s become an expensive failure for us, and we are at a loss as to how to push them for compensation.

3 Likes

Note that I have merged two similar topics with their chronological order preserved. Comments from the old topic may be helpful to the most recent as posted by @darrens.

3 Likes

I thought i had issues with my second hand car amd yours is new. I would moy count on anyone to help as i found out. Do it yourself is the best way to go.

That’s an excellent outcome, if only they had backed it up with a replacement vehicle while yours was off the road. Is it reasonable to ask would one have purchased the vehicle knowing one might loose the use of the vehicle for such a long time and for a failure so early in the life of the vehicle.

Warranties now are 5 years - 100,000km or longer for many vehicles.

There are always exceptions. RAM Trucks Australia “Eats Utes for Breakfast”, stands out in this comparison. A relatively uncompetitive 3 years - 100,000km for a vehicle promoted on being one of the toughest and best of breed?

Hi @darrens, what an extremely unfortunate situation you find yourself in. Something none of us would be willing to face.

In relation to claiming a refund for the vehicle, this is likely to be extremely challenging especially if this is the first significant problem you have had with the vehicle. If it was a re-occurring fault which hasn’t been able to successfully fixed, a known design fault with the model or the vehicle has has ongoing issues (such as what would be called a ‘lemon’), it would be clearer in relation to arguing resolution as a major fault under the Australian Consumer Law. From information provided, it appears it is a new, unexpected fault otherwise you would have indicated a problematic history. If it is a one off significant fault which is repairable, which appears likely, resolution would be as a minor fault under the ACL.

Notwithstanding this and as the repair is taking longer than expected/may be bordering on being unreasonable based on your circumstances or causing inconvenience due to your unique circumstances, there may be opportunity to negotiate some sort of resolution. Possibly something like a hire car suitable for towing a caravan back to your home and an airfare to return to collect the vehicle/putting it on the back of a truck once repaired to your home/near where you live for collection. It makes it difficult since you have travelled a long way from home.

As your vehicle is out of the formal warranty, the car manufacturer is unlikely to be willing to negotiate. While it may come at cost, it might he worth seeking legal advice. There is also legal aid (search for the post from @grahroll as there is an excellent post with information).

I wish you all the best in your endeavours to get an acceptable solution to you.

1 Like

Once upon a time, when cars were actually made in Australia, or some assembled here, naturally all the parts were here. And possibly only a day or so away even in far flung places if repairs were required.

Now, the parts are where the cars are built. And that means shipping from overseas. Sure, dealer service centers will stock ‘consumables’, but major engine parts like turbochargers are not consumables.

One of the consequences of being in a country that no longer has any car making, and is at the end of the earth from where the parts are made for many car brands. A long slow ship delivery, or a very expensive cargo plane trip away.

Hi @BrisLin , I had a win.

With no obvious prospect for sound resolution, I wrote to the GM of Kia (via hard-copy letter). I received no response so I wrote a second time, this I sent a second letter via registered mail. In this, I noted that the fault was a “major” failure and explained why I had categorised it as such in accordance with commercial law. I asked for a response within 28 days once again.

In the days prior to the 28-day deadline, I asked the Kia Customer Support team via email for confirmation that I would receive a response. They informed my that they don’t respond to letters.

After more stalling, I sought legal advice which held we should ask for a 100% refund for the car. Prior to lodging the court paperwork, Kia HQ reluctantly offered installation of an aftermarket unit and asked me to get quotes.

I provided quotes (just under $3k) for an aftermarket head-unit and professional installation which required multiple Aerpro adaptors and cables etc. Kia Accepted this.

Last week, I had the new head-unit (Pioneer DMH-ZF9350BT) installed and provided the invoices to Kia. I have now received full reimbursement but have been required to acknowledge that Kia would no longer be responsible for warranty of the head unit or it’s installation but the remainder of the vehicle’s 7-year warranty would continue as normal.

I chose this head unit due to its screen size and inclusion of wireless Android Auto so I have phone connectivity without needing to plug my phone in. The screen size is the same size of the hole left with removal of the factory unit (to within a couple of mm). Unfortunately, it didn’t fit back far enough in the dash to sit flush with the air-vents but it only sticks out by less than 10mm so it is not obtrusive. This was fitted with parts from Aerpro. Even though it doesn’t have a DVD player, it has HDMI input for attachment of a portable unit.

As an aside, whenever I see another YP Carnival, I ask the owners if they have ever had head-unit problems. Of the 6-7 people I’ve asked, 100% have told me of their frustration with repeated failures.

This whole process has been incredibly frustrating due to Kia’s reluctance to recognise they sold vehicles with known deficiencies. It was also very disappointing that Kia chose to ignore the problem or pass the blame to its supplier (Motrex) as opposed to paying to correct it. Whilst they haven’t said as much, I expect they only paid for mine when they realised that court action would most-likely cost more that replacement cost.

Bottom line for now: I appreciate that I have a head unit that actually works. I also won’t be buying another Kia and I won’t recommend friends consider them either.

Update: A photo is attached of the Pioneer head unit. The steering wheel controls and climate control functions work but the standard range of buttons immediately beneath the head unit no longer function. This has not proven to be an issue.

8 Likes

Thanks for the update @TeddyMutt as well as the info for a head unit that works in the vehicle.

4 Likes

Oh wow! What a saga - but what an outcome! Well done indeed Teddy. How ridiculous that you had to go through all of that to get some satisfaction.
As an aside to all the Kia issues being posted, I’ve registered to participate in the class action that’s unfolding against Kia’s defective engines in vehicles from 2011 onwards: https://www.kiaengineclassaction.com.au/ Costs nothing and the criteria are pretty broad. I ticked the box concerning the “sudden loss of power” which I’d continued to report to Kia since purchasing my Cerrato but to no avail. I added in issues with the cruise control which has always been useless as the car accelerates out of control all the time (again Kia says that’s normal). Who knows what might come of all this.