Monday, November 26, 2012

Kia America, You Broke My Heart

My husband and I, Canadian citizens, purchased our very first car, a 2012 Kia Soul, on October 31, 2011. We were living in Allen, Texas at the time, as my husband was on a work visa with a software company.

When we purchased our car from Southwest Mesquite Kia (Mesquite TX), we asked both the salesperson, Jerry, and the assistant manager of the dealership Kelsey, if we would be able to import the car into Canada. They assured me that it would be no problem. Since we only had 22 months left on my husband's work visa, the terms of financing were stiff. We were able to put down $10K on the car (which was meant to pay for hotel expenses my husband incurred during his work relocation) and paid $500 a month through a State Farm car loan (3.95% compared to the dealership offering us 16%).

Fast-forward to August 2012. My husband fell ill from medical negligence. We were not feeling welcome nor supported by his company and looking at returning to Canada. I investigated Transport Canada and the Registrar of Imported Vehicles website. As bad luck would have it, out of all the late model cars manufactured in the USA, only the 2012 and 2013 Kia vehicles were not allowed for import into Canada. If I had purchased a Toyota, a Ford, a Hyundai, or even a 2011 Kia Soul, I would have been fine. I'd still have to pay duty and make some small modifications, but I could live with that.

I contacted RIV and asked why the 2012 Kias were not on the list. I was directed to contact Kia America. I was spoken to by one of their higher up customer relations people. He could not tell me what the delay was or even a timeline. Right up until the week we were set to move, the 2012 Kia Soul we purchased was not allowed to be imported into Canada.

We sold our car on September 19, 2012, a car we paid $20,500 for, for $14,000 to CarMax, after less than a year. Kia America was absolutely useless in all of this. In addition to their complete lack of help and consideration, the dealership failed to tell me when I bought my car that even if I was able to import it, that the stellar 10 year warranty was with Kia America and I'd have to make arrangements with Kia Canada at additional costs if I wanted my car to be serviced on Canadian soil. When I asked about the warranty issue after I found out about not being able to import my car, the dealership's assistant manager said he had no idea that their warranty didn't cover Canada as well. A complete lack of communication and training from headquarters down to the dealerships.

Kia America and Southwest Mesquite KIA. You broke my heart. I still cringe when I see a Kia Soul on the car. I want so bad to get another one, but you treated me so poorly. You cost me $6,500. Why should I give you a chance again? It'd be really nice if Kia America or Kia Canada stepped up to the plate, apologized and maybe helped with a discount on a new Soul.

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