To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing this letter to formally file a complaint against Empire Hyundai of New Rochelle for fraudulent misrepresentation. On Friday, August 26th 2022, I contacted the dealership about a car they were advertising on their website for 25,000 miles, certified pre-owned with a retail value of $20,000. When I asked if it was available, they said yes and scheduled an appointment for me to come in to see Jose Vargas on the following day. They indicated it was $5000 down. On Saturday, August 27th 2022 at 11am, I went to see Jose with my son and wife. Jose proceeded to check his computer, asked me some questions. We asked about the vehicle that was advertised, requesting the Carfax for the car. He continued to check his computer for details on the car, stating there was a Carfax. We talked about terms, and then he walked away after the interview. Upon returning in about 20 minutes, he stated that he is sorry, the car was just sold and was unavailable. He told us not to worry, because he had another vehicle. This was a bait and switch strategy to get me into the dealer. They were not forthcoming or transparent with their inventory.
Jose proceeded to show us another vehicle for the same price range, $20,000 with 79,000 miles on it. It was a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 6 seater which turned out to be a lemon. He told me it was a 6 year commitment, and if I put a $5000 down payment my monthly payments would be $390. I agreed and Jose took me to the credit manager's office to process the application. When sitting in front of the credit manager I noticed he was sitting in silence and had a huge packet of papers that he was signing and preparing. When he ran my credit and produced a final document, the credit manager said my car payments would in actuality be $417 instead of $390. I got up out of my chair, walked out, and expressed my discontent. The credit manager was persistent and then said that if I were to pay with fidelity for 6 months, it would build my credit and I shall return to get into a 3 year lease vehicle for a brand new car. I asked him several times if this was true and he said yes, indefinitely in 6 months I would be guaranteed a leased vehicle. Jose and the credit manager who took the application confirmed it. I was still hesitant but because they were persistent, I took the vehicle home.
When I got home that same day, my family pointed out that the front grill was obviously broken. I called the dealership on Saturday and told them that they had sold me a damaged vehicle. I mentioned to them that by law, I had 3 days to terminate my contract and therefore I wanted to end it. The sales rep Jose Vargas said that he will speak to his manager and call me back. Jose calls me back within 30 minutes and said that if I were to bring the car back, they would fix the front grill for free- I was to see Mike when I got to the dealership. On Monday, I went back with my wife to see Mike. Mike inspected the car, and says that he can fix it because it was minimal damage. He said hold on a second, he goes into the complex, and comes out and proceeds to confirm that it indeed is an issue that can be fixed. He gives us an appointment to return on Wednesday, two days later to fix the front grill. On Wednesday, he changes his story and says that they actually will not be able to fix it for free. At this point, I felt taken advantage of because they strategically gave me an appointment for a time frame outside of the 72 hours permissible to cancel my contract. Upon running the clock, I voluntarily offered to contribute to the cost of fixing the bumper. I offered to pay half of it and they said yes, but then recanted and said no. In actuality, they never fixed the grill. It is still damaged to this day.
Another issue that I had with the company was the insurance for the vehicle. The credit manager assisted me in securing insurance for the vehicle at the time of taking the car out of the lot. He told me about Allstate insurance and asked for my credit card information to pay for the insurance. The following month, I got hit with insufficient funds. I was confused because I had given the credit manager my information to charge for the insurance and I was under the assumption that I had full coverage insurance. The insurance agent contacted me to inform me that there was no money in that account and that I had no insurance. In other words, they only provided insurance for me to walk off the lot, the dealership was able to process the first payment, but did not set me up to be charged for subsequent payments. Allstate specifically told me that the credit manager at Hyundai failed to tell me that I needed to apply for the insurance myself to ensure I was fully covered.
Little did I know, the brakes were also defective. The first maintenance call was 3 months after the purchase. The dealership called me and said to bring the car in. I called them to keep the appointment and at the last minute, they said that they have to cancel my appointment because they are booked. They gave me an appointment for 30 days later and they cancelled again, stating that they were too busy. They offered a third appointment, but I refused based on their prior cancellations. I asked if there was another option to handle maintenance. They offered a walk in service, first come first served. Because they were unreliable, I took the vehicle to change the oil on my own account. When I finally made it to the dealer's maintenance appointment, I was given a summary with over 9 issues with the car. They did not itemize a bill for me or told me how much it would cost to fix until I pressed the matter. The sales parts manager came with a calculator and told me that the bill would be nearly $1300. I was shocked at how many issues the car presented with because I had only owned the vehicle for 4 months and driven 2000 miles onto it. This gave me the indication that when they sold me the car, the car had already needed breaks. They had failed to fix the breaks, prior to selling the vehicle, therefore giving me an unsafe vehicle at the time of purchase. As a senior citizen, this is unacceptable.
I am requesting that the company cancel the contract and free me of my commitment to their company because they lied to me from the inception all the way throughout and they took advantage of a senior citizen. This company put me in a 6 year commitment, which I did not want. They persuaded me to sign up because they assured me that after 6 months, they would put me in a brand new 2023 vehicle with lease terms of 3 years and they were coercing and falsely advertising to a senior citizen to sell a lemon vehicle.
Victor M. Del Toro Jr