Taking the High Road With Customers: Hyundai

hyundai elantraIt’s been too long since I’ve posted here, but a new year brings a new resolve.  Over the past many months while I’ve been busy not writing here, I’ve experienced several not-so-good-ways companies treat their customers (or prospects).  I’ll carry on about those later.  Today I wanted to give an overdue thumbs up to the folks at Hyundai Motor America.

In 2011, my wife bought a Hyundai Elantra to replace her worn and torn Nissan Quest mini van.  The styling and features played the dominant roles in her decision, but the 40MPG possibilities touted by the company also were factors since she commutes nearly 50 miles each day.  So far, she loves — L-O-V-E-S — her little black “4-door sports car.”  Runs great and the dealership services have been terrific.  Plus, she’s averaging +/- 34MPG on her largely in-town commute and we’ve gotten better than 40MPG several times on highway trips.

So I was surprised when she received a letter from the Hyundai folks in December admitting to the fuel economy label on the car being misstated due to errors in their test procedures.  Turns out the fuel economy estimates were overstated by one or two miles per gallon.

We  at Hyundai pride ourselves on standing behind our customers, and we did not deliver on that promise.  I sincerely apologize.  Our first priority is to make this right for you.

My wife didn’t buy the car for the extra one or two miles per gallon and she’d been very happy with the mileage she did experience.  We’re happy to take Hyundai’s resolution (reimbursement for the gas difference plus 15 percent for as long as she owns the vehicle which, in her case, comes to about $130 per year).  But if they hadn’t taken the high road and proactively apologized, frankly, she would likely never have noticed or complained.

Now, I don’t know the full story of why Hyundai is doing this.  Did the feds make them?  Do they fear lawsuits?  Public scorn?  I do know Hyundai has worked exceptionally hard over the years to build their brand on a foundation of quality, innovation, value, and trust.  The actions they are taking to address the MPG misstatement are in complete alignment with that identity and, in my mind, further validates the image I’d formed of them over the years.

Well done for taking the high road, Hyundai.



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