KIA Sorento hell!!!

You will never believe the hell I've been through the past 4 months. I live in the Montreal area where KIA has a pretty good market
penetration. This story is scary enough to give any Sorento owner the chills. The story begins.... Four months ago (mid February) on a night that saw the thermometer dip to -35 Celsius I was coming back from a meeting with a real-estate agent. I had decided to sell my land in the furthest backwater suburbs of Montreal. I had just gassed up, a full tank, and was feeling snug as a bug in my warm Sorento. While driving on the on-ramp to a secondary highway (about 40-45 km/h) I suddenly hit a patch of black ice. The vehicle swerved and skidded as I tried to get out of this predicament. Unfortunately, there was nothing to do as my Sorento, now in a sideways skid, hit the snowbank on the side of the road. Next thing I knew the SUV was in a slow roll over the snowbank and while on it's roof skidded into a ditch. Dazed but relatively unhurt, held in my seat by my seatbelt, I shut off the engine and CD player and decided to get the heck out; after all the tank was completely full and wanted to avoid any nasty surprises. The impact while not hard enough to activate the airbags was hard enough to crumple the front of the roof and break the windshield. With the driver side door completely blocked by snow I had to clamber out the front passenger door. Standing about 15 feet away, legs trembling, I looked at my Sorento, wheels pointing toward that cold black sky, steam hissing from the engine, my heart about as broken as can be. Then reality set in and called the provincial police to let them know what had happened. I was lucky that at that moment a kind soul (never did get her name) called me in to her car to warm up while I waited for the police to arrive. A few minutes later and I was filling out an accident report in the back of the police cruiser. It was at that point that I realized that somehow I had gashed my leg below the knee and the lower pant leg was red with blood. Still can't figure out where in the car I could have done that. Anyway, after refusing an ambulance I performed some battlefield first-aid and patched things up while I waited for the tow truck and flatbed to rescue my Sorento. When they did arrive I watched from inside the police car as they turned her back over on to her wheels and got her out of the ditch. The damage didn't seem too bad considering what had happened. The impact had evidently been softened by the snow and the passenger side was miraculously unscathed. They then got her on to the flat bed and I accompanied my car to a local body shop. A couple of days later I went back to check out the car and after determining that the place did merely acceptable bodywork, I was wary of having them do the work so I arranged for my close friend's BMW dealership to do the work. I knew that they had an excellent bodywork operation and was lucky that my friend was able to squeeze me in. Here is where the real horror show started. Firstly, the body shop told me there was at least a 45-day wait for the Sorento's roof. It had to be shipped from Korea!! Because of this delay, the car had to sit outside for close to 2 months outside while the parts slowly trickled in. We (BMW and myself) found this unacceptable that KIA Canada did not stock the parts in country but being a new model I swallowed the pill and accepted the reality of it.
Cut to scene of clock hands spinning, calendar pages flying off…. (just like in those old movies).
Two and half months had passed and the car was still being worked on. Nearing completion, some mechanical issues needed addressing, namely the wiper assembly and a very disturbing sound coming from the starter. For this the BMW dealership farmed out the work to Bourassa KIA in Laval. The wiper assembly had to be repaired twice, seems they forgot to do some work and BMW had to return it a second time. The starter was supposedly replaced despite the fact that it still made a very disturbing sound when started. Bourassa KIA's explanation was that there was rust on the flywheel and that the sound would disappear over time. Oddly, however, the sound kept getting worse, and we (BMW and myself) were skeptical about what had REALLY been done to repair the problem. All this time I was paying $515 a month for the lease + $125 a month for the insurance. The insurance allowed up to $1200 for taxis and rentals. While sufficient for repairs taking a month or so, this was nearly not enough for the length of time required for my car. I'm not faulting my insurance company (TD Insurance) though. They were helpful and understanding in their own way.
So throughout one of the coldest winters to date I humped it using public transportation or taxis and the occasional car rental, all the while paying for non-usage of my car. BMW Laval does not have loaners but they did the best they could to help me out (I got the free use of a Mini Cooper demo on a couple occasions). Well, we're now in late May and I finally got the Sorento. The bodywork was impeccable! The color matching was perfect and anyone looking at the car would never have guessed what it had been through. I took her on the highway for a test drive and pushed the speed to about 150 KMH without even a vibration. That was good! Unfortunately, every time I started the car I was reminded about what had transpired. After several days of use the starter decided to stop cooperating and the Sorento was back on the flatbed on its way to Bourassa. After keeping it several days (of course they had no loaner for me so I had to rent a car) they told me the battery had died and needed recharging..... BUT IT STARTED FINE MINUTES BEFORE IT HAD DIED A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO (NOT TO MENTION THE SOUND WAS STILL PRESENT AND GETTING WORSE)!!! After 3 solid weeks of driving I noticed the starter was really beginning to complain, to the point that I was unable to start car with the key and had to use the remote starter. I decided I better bring it in to my dealership Montreal KIA. Surely they could do a better job.... They also had no loaners and so I had to rent a car (are you folks seeing a pattern here). (It get's better). So I brought it to them and explained that the starter was on it's way out. I also told them that Bourassa had said it was rust on the flywheel. 'No problem Mr. so and so, blah, blah, blah... . We'll take care of it, blah, blah, blah... .'
Later that day I got a call from the service manager at KIA Montreal telling me that the problem with the starter was caused by my remote starter, the Compustar (search this group for Compustar, one of the best high-end car starters on the market). He goes on to tell me that it was not installed properly and was damaging the Sorento's starter. I disagreed with him stating that the Compustar was installed by probably the best installer in Canada (he teaches other installers how to install the Compustar). Also the remote starter worked flawlessly before the accident. In any case they would not cover the repairs under warranty (despite a 'new' starter having been installed a month earlier). This would end up costing me close to $600 for the starter and another $800 if the flywheel was damaged. I told them to not carry out any work and that I wanted a second opinion on this. I decided to bring the car back to Bourassa, the dealership that supposedly had fixed the problem in the first place. In fact the service manager said I should have done so in the first place since the KIA dealerships are franchises and are not related, that he would have done the same to save $1500 and that he was washing his hands of this affair (how's that for service and support).
OK.., sigh..., grumble..., at least I had a functional car, or so I thought.... . When I went to KIA Montreal to pick up my Sorento, they charged me $75 for diagnostics, which I paid without a fuss. They assured me that I could still use the car with the remote starter. When it came time to start her you couldn't believe my frustration when the starter failed to engage. I went to complain and the head mechanic came out to tell me I was SOL and went on to lecture me about how this remote starter had damaged the starter. Yes, but when I brought it the starter was still working... In effect I just paid $75 for them to finish off the starter. Now that's a good deal!!!
Now I was faced with having to arrange for a flatbed (again) to bring the Sorento to Bourassa. When I broached the subject of who was to pay KIA Montreal said they would not even contribute (despite their recent role in finishing off this damned starter from hell). OK, more grumbling... and 2 hours later the flatbed finally arrives (all the while I kept thinking of Michael Douglas' portrayal in Falling Down). ALL RIGHT, an hour later (+ $75 for the towing) and I arrived at Bourassa who told me they would work on my car as soon as they could. They also told me they were out of loaners so if I wanted a car I would have to rent one!!! By now my energy is spent and I just want to get the hell out. ":OK, I'll rent" (even though the car was there for repairs relating to something they should have fixed in the first place a month ago). By now you're figuring 'OK, there's light at the end of the tunnel for Mike' right? WRONG! The next day the service manager at Bourassa KIA calls me up to tell me that they were 'advised' that the starter problem was due to the remote starter and that they would not repair the starter and flywheel if I didn't pay for the work. When I asked who had advised them they replied "KIA Montreal". "How nice!" I thought to myself. KIA Montreal went out of their way to 'advise' Bourassa KIA. When I asked if they carried out a diagnostic the service manager told there was no point in second-guessing the diagnostic made by KIA Montreal. "How very nice!" I thought to myself as visions of lawyers danced through my head. That's IT! Now I was really pissed. I told them to not do a thing on my car until I called KIA Canada, which I promptly did (and should have months ago). I was relieved to hear a very sympathetic voice on the other end of the line; taking note of everything I've just told you. I was told that my call was being given high priority and that someone from head office in Toronto would be calling me Thursday or Friday (which btw they didn't). more sighs...
Now I'm stuck in limbo waiting to get this issue settled! In the meantime I've signed up with the Automobile Protection Association (a Canadian watchdog organization with some b@lls) to see if they can help me out with this predicament.
Please understand that I love (if it is possible to love inanimate objects) my Sorento. I was the second person in Quebec to get one (one of the very first in Canada) last September. It was love at first site and I had all the faith in the world that this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Unfortunately, the recent events I've been through have shaken my faith, not so much in the product, but in the support network.
Thanks for letting me vent!
Mike
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

SNIP
And what a rant it is. I appreciate your frustration, but let me see if I have your story straight. First you have installed an aftermarket remote starter, which at least in the US will not void your factory waranty (more on that in a moment). Next, you get into a middlin' sized accident where you roll your Sorento over, then let it sit out in the weather for over two months, let a shop that does not work on Kias repair it, and when your starter begins to fail you go dealer shopping to find one who will buy into your belief that somehow it's now Kia's problem.
Well, OK.
Now then here in the US, aftermarket equipment will not void your factory waranty (as I've said before), but there are some catches. The biggest is that you have to show that your equipment and/or your operation of the vehicle didn't directly contribute to the failure. For example, if you had installed several hundred amps worth of electrical accessories, it would be unreasonable for the factory to replace your alternator under waranty when it finally died a painful death. In Kia's defense, they have a trained mechanic telling them (and you) that apparently faulty installation of an aftermarket remote starter was the cause of your starter's premature demise. Maybe true, maybe not. On the other hand you have, well, nothing. I fear that based solely on what you've told us Kia is currently under no obligation to fix something they believe you are responsible for breaking, and your only hope appears to be small claims court. You'd better bring along your installer to testify for you, because they are sure to have an affidavit from their mechanic supporting their side. Then again there is no proof that the accident wasn't a contributing cause, or even the long wait out in the elements, or the fact that the BMW dealer wasn't certified by Kia to repair your truck. At this point, I'd start making the case that the accident was the contributing cause and have your insurance company foot the bill for a new starter. I think it's pretty much your only hope, but you'd better hurry because I doubt you'll be insured by them for much longer after this regardless.
I really don't know what else to tell you, other than I think you'd better polish up your story a bit before you go before a judge. However, from the sheerly mechanical point of view, based on what you've told us it is within the realm of reason that your starter somehow got shifted slightly during either the initial impact or maybe when they rolled your truck back over, causing the gears to be slightly out of alignment, causing it to grind and eventually fail. Next time, don't accept the vehicle from the shop if you think something is still wrong (like hearing an obnoxious noise from the starter).
Good Luck - Jonathan
--
Acta Non Verba - Deeds Not Words
Lieutenant Jonathan Race, EMS Supervisor
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why haven't you brought this up with your insurance company? The point of having anything more than basic liability insurance is that your car is supposed to be repaired (as close as possible) to the condition it was in before the accident. Since your car doesn't start, it seems pretty obvious that it hasn't been repaired properly. Your insurance company should be willing to pick up the tab on damage to your vehicle that happened as a result of the accident and has not yet been repaired.
I'm not sure why you expect the dealer or the car manufacturer to pick up the tab for accident damage under their warranty. That's like expecting them to replace your door under warranty after you smash it with a hammer...
-Bill
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bill,
I agree with you but now that the KIA tech brought up the remote starter everyone is pitching this thing around like a hot potato. He introduced a variable that everyone is using to get out of paying for the repairs. I did talk to the insurance and they told me to remove the element of doubt regarding the remote before proceeding from there. As luck would have it, the adjustor who worked on my fiel is on vacation till next Monday. :-(
On Tue, 01 Jul 2003 00:26:11 -0000, Bill Pitz

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How about the shop that installed your remote starter? Surely they can provide some "customer testimonials" from some other customers that they have installed these units in. With that, you should at least have enough ammunition to get your insurance company to pay for the repair, since it seems to have something to do with the accident. Once they see that you're collecting "evidence," they'll probably cave in for fear of legal action.
-Bill
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BTW, Bill, I forgot to mention...
I just want the dealership that carried out the abortive repairs to admit to it and fix my car properly (not blame it on someone/something else).
Cheers!
On Tue, 01 Jul 2003 00:26:11 -0000, Bill Pitz

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

See and that's common, from what I know. My Maxima was waiting outside for about the same amount of time while they shipped in a new rear end from Japan. Now, unlike you, I'm in Southern California. We don't get snow and hardly get rain. My only problem was that the battery died. I replaced it myself, since I'd had it for almost three years.
Body shops are body shops. They generally don't do engine work. My body shop performed all the body work then shipped my Maxima over to a repair shop to install a new muffler and radiator.
By the way: Check out Diminished Value. Your Sorento is no longer worth whatever it was before the accident. There are a lot of sites which will give you information on that. I don't know about the law in Canada (haven't we annexed you yet?), but here it is a law that the insurance companies must compensate the injured party for the loss of value in the car, even after repairs.
Kai
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I wish you all the luck.
If I get my way, the ins company will pay for my new G35. :)
-- Kai Ponte Perfect Reign - The Peterson Connection All about the Scott Peterson Murder Trial www.perfectreign.com
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
G35! Nice.... :-)
All the best Kai!
Cheers!
On Wed, 2 Jul 2003 12:35:53 -0700, "Kai Ponte"

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There is a owner's review of Kia Sedona at www.edmunds.com that stated the same problem of no parts in the USA to repair his van after an accident. Parts had to ship from Korea.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Remote starters do not cause engine starters to fail unless the remote start is faulty and stays engaged for MINUTES after the engine has started and does so on numerous occasions.
You should have let the INS Co total the sorrento
Kia's 10 yr warranty is a joke
Those dealers are a joke also
starters for a Chevy are about $30 why so much for a kia?
to see if they can : help me out with this predicament. : : Please understand that I love (if it is possible to love inanimate : objects) my Sorento. I was the second person in Quebec to get one (one : of the very first in Canada) last September. It was love at first site : and I had all the faith in the world that this was the beginning of a : beautiful relationship. Unfortunately, the recent events I've been : through have shaken my faith, not so much in the product, but in the : support network. : : Thanks for letting me vent! : : Mike :
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

start
I'm still in that fight with my Nissan. My wife was in an accident in August where rougly $12K of damage was done to our '98 Maxima. The insurance wouldn't total it but instead insisted on repairing it and paying about $3K on rental cars during the months I waited.
Good luck with this. Don't give up!!!
Kai Ponte
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks Kai,
Good luck with your battle as well. It's unbeleivable that car makers (even Japanese or Korean) still don't understand the concept of 'satisfied customers' .
Do you know that I used to pass out Sorento pamphlets to people interested in the vehicle. Man, what a jerk I was!!!!
Cheers!
On Mon, 30 Jun 2003 09:55:58 -0700, "Kai Ponte"

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I wish I could have.

By the looks of it, you're right

Actions seem to be speaking louder than words

Damn good question.
Cheers!

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, I put a new starter on my '95 Jimmy at abotu 115K miles. It was around $40 US. Took me about three hours and around five beers to put it on, though.
K
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You get good mileage!
hehe..
Cheers!
On Tue, 1 Jul 2003 07:21:27 -0700, "Kai Ponte"

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.