JOLIET, Ill. — After Hyundai Motor Co and their partner, Kia Motors Corp, were found to have overstated their EPA fuel economy ratings on over 1 million recently sold vehicles, the backlash has been difficult, to say the least, for the Korean automotive giant. But Kia/Hyundai has stepped up in a big way for their customers, taking responsibility for the false ratings, and letting the world know that they are doing something about it. Bill Jacobs Kia in Joliet, IL is doing their part too.
When automotive companies make mistakes, it not only affects the consumer directly, but also the dealers, who are the only real intermediary between the manufacturer and the car buyer.
“Our duty is always to serve our customers, who trust us with their time and money,” said Max Jacobs, the third of Bill Jacobs’ four sons who are all involved in the business. “Whether it’s our company or the manufacturer who has made a mistake, we must always put people first. In situations like this one – and they are not uncommon – the issue is not who is responsible for the error, but how we are going to make up for the inconvenience for our customers…those whose hands we shake and families we meet on a daily basis.”
So what is Kia doing exactly? Basically, they are calculating how much money you would have saved on gas, and giving you a reloadable debit card with that amount. They are doing this retroactively – so the amount of miles you drove since buying the car – as well as continuing for the entire time you own the car. Basically, Kia is giving their customers cash, based on the average gas prices in their area and the amount of money they would have therefore saved had their original gas mileage been correct. Customers must come into any Kia dealership to verify the mileage with a service representative, who then sends that information to Kia.
Monica Highfill, a sales consultant with Bill Jacobs Kia in Joliet is happy for the opportunity to help out her customers.
“Customers whose cars are affected by the false gas mileage rating will be compensated for as long as they own the car,” she explains with excitement. “I think what they (Kia Motors) are doing is outstanding.”
The issue, of course, is customer awareness. It is difficult to imagine that all 1 million plus customers who purchased affected vehicles will hear about this effort by Kia to help make up for the misinformation. Bill Jacobs Kia, part of Bill Jacobs Auto Group, believes that it is up to individual dealers to inform those who may not keep up with news sources and online media.
“I called one of my customers the other day,” says Monica. “She was an elderly lady, and I wanted to make sure that she was informed, two of her cars are Kias that were affected by this incident.”
The managers at Bill Jacobs Kia have made an effort to train their employees – both in sales and service – how to accommodate the customers who will be coming in and inquiring about their reloadable Kia debit cards. Employees were immediately briefed on the details of the compensation program, and encouraged to make sure their customers maintained confidence – not just in the Kia brand, but also in the Bill Jacobs Kia dealership and the Bill Jacobs Auto Group as a whole.
Bill Jacobs Kia is proud to provide these Kia vehicles to people in the Chicago area. Customers interested in buying a new Kia in Chicago can head over to the dealership soon. They are one of the leading Northern Illinois Kia dealers and they want to make sure that everyone can find the perfect vehicle for their budget and lifestyle. For more information, please visit www.billjacobskia.com or call (866) 449-7415.
SOURCE Bill Jacobs Kia