posted: Jan. 14, 2012 @ 9:09p
So I have a Hyundai car that has a recall that was issued in 2008 for the airbags. The recall said that all cars from 2006-08 have the POTENTIAL for the airbag sensor to quit working, and unless your airbag light comes on, then owners do not need to worry about the recall.
So all was well until 2010 when my airbag light came on. I took it to the dealership (car was still under warranty) and the mechanic checked it, found several codes on the computer, and he said he checked them all, and everything was fine with the airbag, and it must have been a low battery that caused the airbag light to come on.
Fast forward to the fall 2011 (5k miles out of warranty) and my airbag light comes on again. I again take it to the dealership, and they confirm the airbag sensor is bad, and that it would be over $1k to fix it. I tell them there is a recall on it, and it should be covered. They go back to their computer for about 10 minutes or so and come back and say my vehicle isn't part of that recall. We go back and forth for a little while, and then finally leave with a note on the service slip that stats my vehicle is not and has not ever had a recall for the airbag.
A few days later, I called Hyundai Corporate, and talked to their recall department. They talked to the dealer, and after almost an hour on the phone with them, they sided with the dealer, saying there is no active recall for my vehicle.
So then I filled a complaint with the NHTSA, and through some research on their site I have copies of all documents that Hyundai filled with NHTSA which states that my vehicle DOES match the recall, and that all of my model car, in the year my car was manufactured HAS THE POTENTIAL for the airbag sensor to quit working. In the Service Bulletin, it stats that if error code x is found, then the dealership should do the work, and on my repair slip for the estimate, it stats, error code x is what is wrong. The bulletin also stats that since not all vehicles need to have this work done, only the cars with the airbag light on, that the recall will not show active in their computers.
So now I'm stuck with what to do. The car dealership is 120+ miles round trip, and anytime I have to go I have to take a day off of work. I have already taken 2 days off from work for this issue. I have also spent almost an entire afternoon talking to them on the phone. So I have already given them 3 chances to fix it.
But now with this new information, I'm not sure if I should drive the 120 miles, and take another day off of work to have them fix the problem, or at least see if they will, which I have my doubts, or if I should go to the courts.
I have no doubt in my mind that I could win in small claims court, even representing myself, but then I wonder if I should get the help of a lawyer to get more money for all my time/energy put into this. Having a recall fixed shouldn't be this hard, and Hyundai Corporate should know about their recalls.
If I go the small claims route, can I file it in my county, or does it have to be in the county where I bought/serviced the car (where the dealer is). Also would I sue the car manufacture, or the dealer? Or should I get the help of a lawyer, and forget the small claims ? Or should I do something else ??
Thanks for your time/help/suggestions.