Daryan Coryat says she could hardly believe it when a Barrie, Ont. Hyundai dealership handed her a $7,000 repair bill for her SUV.
Coryat wants Baytowne Hyundai to help help pay the cost, saying the dealership didn't take proper care of her 2013 Hyundai Tucson while the vehicle sat for eight months on its lot waiting for a new engine part.
"They didn't want to help out whatsoever," said Coryat, who lives on the outskirts of Barrie about 110 kilometres north of Toronto.
She says she took her SUV to the dealership in August 2021 when it broke down. Hyundai Canada eventually agreed to the repairs as the part that broke was under recall for 2013 Tucsons.
"It took about eight months for the part to get here due to COVID and part shortages," Coryat told CBC Toronto..
She says Baytowne told her the vehicle was ready in April 2022, but the engine light went on when she drove it off the lot and Coryat noticed immediate problems.
She took it back to the dealership right away, which is when Coryat says they charged her for an inspection and quoted her $7,000 in new repairs. When more than $900 in sales tax was added, the bill came to $7,918.98
"They told me so many other things were now wrong with it that weren't originally wrong with it when they ran the initial diagnostic back in September of last year."
The list of things needing repairs included the intake manifold, the rear 02 sensor, flex pipe, upstream 02 sensor, muffler, both rear brake calipers, rear brake pads, rear brake rotors, both front brake calipers, front brake pads and front brake rotors.
CBC Toronto reached out to Baytowne Hyundai, but the dealership declined a request for an interview.
A 'very bad year' for vehicle repairs
George Iny, the director of the Automobile Protection Association, says Coryat's experience is a cautionary tale. He says it's a "very bad year" for getting vehicles repaired, especially for Kia and Hyundai customers, due to widespread issues with the availability of parts.
"There are hundreds of people in Canada today waiting for parts, maybe thousands," said Iny.
He says dealers are responsible for looking after vehicles that are in their care while they await parts.
"You know they look after vehicles in their own inventory that belong to them," he said.
"You would expect them to exercise the same oversight or take the same care of a customer vehicle."
Iny says this means starting the vehicles from time to time, moving them around and ideally not parking them outdoors for long periods of time.
Furthermore, he says the bill for Coryat's Tucson repairs is "padded beyond belief."
"The price for this work is outrageous overall when you look at a nine-year-old car," Iny told CBC News.
He says the cost for the brake job is "egregious" and that an aftermarket shop would likely have charged her half as much for the total cost of repairs, or perhaps less if they were able to offer used parts.
"I have rarely seen a case of repair abuse like this one."
Iny says arrangements can often be made in instances like these to reduce the cost of the work or have the car manufacturer pitch in for parts.
Coryat says she called Hyundai dealerships in three nearby towns, who each confirmed what she suspected.
"All three of those dealerships said that the seizing of those parts is from sitting on a lot that long through the winter," she said.
CBC Toronto reached out to Hyundai Canada, who said it was in touch with the customer directly and are actively investigating the matter.
"Hyundai Canada takes the concerns of its customers very seriously and will continue to look into the situation to determine the appropriate next steps," said a statement from the automaker provided to CBC Toronto.
Customers can take cars waiting for repairs home
Coryat wishes she had been told it would take so long so she could have made separate arrangements.
"I feel like I could have been made aware of these things if they'd even taken a look at my vehicle and the time that it sat prior to getting the part."
She says she understands an agreement would have to be struck in terms of the cost, but still hopes that others who face similar circumstances speak up.
"Not one person's to blame for this, but maybe we can come to some sort of compromise."
Iny says the dealership probably wouldn't have known it would take eight months, but should have known it was going to be more than four to six weeks and made separate arrangements with the customer.
He says customers can take their cars home without having to worry about losing their place in the queue for repairs.
"If you look at this, it's an advertisement for never taking any nine-year-old car to a dealership."