San Diego can be a hard city to get around without a car for a day. But imagine trying to go without your car for 3-and-a-half months. That's what one Carlsbad woman had to deal with when she had a communication breakdown with a car manufacturer.
Mary Schmidt-Krebs bought her Hyundai Genesis in 2018. A few months later when she used the automatic emergency brake, a loud screeching noise came from under the hood.
"I was in a parking lot and I put it on and it made a really, really loud noise," said Schmidt-Krebs. "This woman way across the parking lot said ‘Are you OK?’”
So she took the car to a Hyundai dealership so they could fix the problem under the warranty she bought with the car. But it wasn't an easy fix. A week turned into a month, and then after a month she contacted Hyundai directly.
"They said, 'OK we will give you a rental car' and ordered more diagnostics on the car," said Schmidt-Krebs.
She made sure that Hyundai put the rental car agreement in an email so she had it in writing. Another month went by, and then another.
"They had it for three-and-a-half months and three days. It was ridiculous," Schmidt-Krebs said. "We keep calling our case worker, we keep calling Hyundai, they keep saying 'We're trying, we're trying, we can't figure out how to fix this.'"
After three months she got her car back, but had spent more than $2,600 on a rental car. She says she reached out to Hyundai for a reimbursement on the rental. That's when they got a second piece of bad news.
"It was $2,660. We submitted that to our caseworker and he said ‘No, we’re only going to pay for a month of that,’" Schmidt-Krebs said. "We said we have it in writing, that you’re going to pay for the entire rental car. And he said ‘The woman who sent that email doesn’t work here anymore.’"
So they reached out to NBC 7 Responds. Within two weeks, Schmidt-Krebs got $2,660 back to cover the cost of the rental car, plus the deductibles they had been charged during the repair process.
"We were more than patient," said Schmidt-Krebs. "Always get everything in writing, everything in writing."
Hyundai sent a statement to NBC 7 Responds which said, "In short, we’ve made a significant effort to assist this customer even with their vehicle being out of the manufacturer’s warranty."