Tuesday, December 19, 2006

DO NOT buy from Capital Kia in Austin, TX

So Josh's mom on her final attempt to get a van decides she wants to go check out the Kia Sedona's in North Austin. They do have a 5 star crash rating and have front and rear A/C controls standard. I called up Kia and spoke to Chris Coker the Internet Sales manager. Chris tells me to come on out at 5pm on Saturday night. I had to go because Josh's mom did not want to get the shaft so I tagged along. We get there and they ran numbers on a 2006 Kia Sedona. Chris tried and tried but told us the payments would be over $500 and we wanted them around $350 to $375. I then asked if they had any demo models or certified preowned. He looks and tells me his Used location at IH35 and St. Johns has 2 2004s starting at $14k. He offers to meet us over there. We drive over there and were met by Matt who showed us the two Kia Sedona's. Both were basic models with power windows, locks and CD player. There was a green Sedona and a blue Sedona. Both Sedonas looked in rough shape. In fact, the detailer left wax streaks all over that van. I could have done a better job. We walk inside and they start running numbers. They start to present us with a deal when I tell Josh's mom that I am not getting good vibes from this and we should leave. She tells me she wants the van and wants to see what they can do. I come back and Matt pulls up their version of a "CarFax". He tells me there has been no repair work done to this car. Josh's mom decides she wants to go ahead and signs the paperwork. She has a "blank" check from USAA that she can use that had a better rate than they were offering but they were trying to get her financed that night because they get a kick back from finance places that use their service. Their rate they offered her was almost 3% higher in APR than she had but they worked on the numbers to eat the over $6000 in negative equity in her Honda CRV up. They get her payments a few dollars below what she is paying and they close the deal. It takes them forever to get this thing situated. You would think that you could just go in, buy a car and be in and out in less than 2 hours. Not this place.

She gets the van home and the next day she tells me, "I am spooked about this van. I should have listened to you." I figured they had a 48 hour return policy, she takes Monday off to go drop off this van at 9am when they open. She calls me from the parking lot and tells me one of the sales persons is refusing to help her that Matt or the Manager would have to assist her. She leaves to take the van over to the main Kia Dealership off 183 and Anderson Mill to get serviced because the van was making a noise which was coming from the suspension. I had hear the noise she was talking about. Chris Coker promised us a full detail for the van and promised to take care of the noise since it was under warranty. She leaves and calls Matt and the Manager from the used car start 3 and 4 times only to be told they were in "meetings". She even had Chris call him and he told Chris that he knew of the situation and he would "talk to him later". How ironic that over 3 days later, still no phone call from Matt or the Manager from the used store and its past the 48 hour turn in time.

I decide to poke my head under the hood of this beast to find out what the deal is because I am mechanically inclined and been working on cars for over 20 years. I do not have my own shop but folks tell me all the time that I should open one. I decided to change the oil and transmission fluid to straight synthetic. I also drained and replaced the power steering fluid with synthetic. I even ran fuel injection cleaner through the fuel system. Given, it is probably overkill on all that but you figure for a van that is 2 years old, it should have been in better shape that it was. I am impressed that www.kia.com has TSB's and technical repair data on their site for free. I have access to diagrams and tear down diagrams for any part of that Sedona. They even show you how to diagnose particular problems as well as list recalls. Ironically, the noise has since gone away. The Sedona shifts much better and runs quieter.

I am amazed at service we got from the used car department of Captial Kia. You would think they would stand behind every product they sold, but they do not. Once you buy a car or truck from them, you are on your own. I give Chris Coker praise for putting up with our ranting and trying to do whatever he could to try to fix the situation. He could not do anything about the whole returning the van business but tried to do what he could to make us happy. I plan to file a complain with the Better Business Bureau with these guys as well as the Attorney General. I also plan to contact the owner of Capital Kia who apparently owns the Auto Mall here in Kyle as well a few other dealerships in Texas. I am sure that it probably will not go fa, but what they do not realize is that word of mouth travels far. In fact, I asked a fellow co worker who is a Honda/Toyota fanatic and is from Japan what they thought of Kias and he was like, "I do not trust them. They are crap." I myself will never buy a Kia. I will also stick to either Honda or Toyotas. My 2004 Accord has over 85K on it and is still running strong. I will probably drive it until the wheels fall off.

If you are in the market for a new or used Kia, Do not goto Capital Kia. Do not listen to their tv ad about if they can not beat a Kia deal, they will probably just give it to you. That is a bold faced lie. They might "woo" you with great numbers but after the sale, you are on your own.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Car Shopping!

So Josh's mom has talked me into going to help her buy a new van since I used to work in the banking industry. I ran the numbers and know basically she can get her new van at $350 a month for a 2006 Mazda MPV LX since they have tons of rebates. She had me call one dealer in North Austin. I spoke to the internet manager who was very nice and friendly. I told him I would have my 8 year old son with me, so if he needed anything he would need to get that so everything would be ready when we rolled in today. I call the guy today and he is at lunch. We fight 5 0'clock traffic to get up there. He calls me and he is back from lunch and tells me to come out. We roll into the dealership and he tells me they have this demo 2006 Mazda LX with DVD player and he can get me out the door for $350 a month. We go back into the showroom and he goes to talk to his manager twice. He tells me he can get $390. I told him basically that we would do $365 tops. I told him to meet me in the middle and give me more money for my trade. For every $1000 dollars its an extra $20 payment. I tell him to put $2000 somewhere so we can leave. He proceeds to tell me that all the paperwork is locked in his boss' office and he would have to call me on Monday so we can work the deal.

First of all, I am amazed that this dude would even consider me coming back on a Monday even after telling him that I was bringing my 8 year old son and I did not want a long, drawn out car purchasing process because Josh would not go for that. Secondly, he told me at first that the demo had more room to play with numbers and would work out for Josh's mom. He then tells me that perhaps another model might be better. Another model? Didnt you tell me on the phone that everything was ready to go? Why make me come back to go through MORE hassles? I left pissed off and went over to the other Mazda dealer in South Austin, thinking that they would work out a deal for me. I walk in and was told that all salesmen had gone home. I told the lady, "Most car sales are done when a dealership is closing." I then spoke to the Internet Manager. I explain my situation to him. He tells me that their deal is a better deal than the other Mazda place was offering and show it to me on paper. The one dealer had an SV model and they offer an LX model. Josh's mom picks out a color and they get to working the deal. I started playing dealers against each other when I told them the one dealer was offering me $1500 more than they were offering me. This guy would not budge. They wanted to offer her $420 a month. I was amazed that they did not want to budge on their price. I had thought that it being the end of the month that they would give me some sort of break, especially since they are not going to be offering that model any more since they are going to the CX7 and CX9. He suggested I go over to Carmax and see if they will give me more for my trade and then bring that over to them so they could work something out with that. I told him I was NOT going to goto Carmax. He could either earn my business or I will wait for the first bone head to call me on Monday.

My first mistake was offering to help Josh's mom buy this new van since I was in the banking industry at one time. It is exhausting. It would be nice to be able to walk in to a place and have them give you a fair price without trying to poke your eyes out. I thought I was avoiding all that by contacting the dealer first, providing him my information and then going into the dealer a few days later.