By on August 17, 2017

2011 Hyundai Sonata

After 45 years on this earth, I have come to a conclusion that is neither unique nor universal but which has considerable truth to it, regardless: The kind of stuff that alarms regular people rarely alarms experts on the subject — and vice versa. It’s true in scientific disciplines from materials science to artificial intelligence, it’s true when it comes to medical and health issues, and it’s true in matters of the law and governance. We can also add a corollary to this: Even when the experts and the regular people are both alarmed, it’s usually not for the same reason.

The idea of corporate personhood is an example of the latter. It’s common for lightly-educated political activists to screech, “CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE!” — as if corporations had managed to start operating autonomous bipedal robots that walk among us as men and women. What they fail to realize is that corporate “personhood” actually protects both individual humans and society as a whole. As a ridiculous example to the contrary, Prince Charles and I both have the same “cutter” at Turnbull & Asser, a certain Mr. Steven Quin. He is the Royal Warrant Holder as an individual. In an earlier age, an English king could presumably have had him physically punished if his shirts didn’t measure up, as the Warrant is a transaction of sorts between a member of royalty and a subject of royalty.

While it’s very satisfying to extend this to the modern era and to imagine the CEO of BP being keelhauled for the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the fact is that without corporate personhood the responsibility for something like that would be placed on a “fall guy” or corporate sacrificial lamb — leaving companies free to break the law at will so long as they had access to people who were willing to go to jail on their behalf.

With that said, there is plenty of justified concern about some consequences of corporate personhood, most specifically as it applies to First Amendment issues and political contributions. Today’s question addresses yet another aspect of the corporation-as-individual. More precisely: Do we have a moral duty to a corporation? If so, to which one is that duty owed?


Brett asks,

I am the owner of a Hyundai/Kia product that was the subject of a recent engine inspection recall for crankshaft debris. The vehicle failed the inspection and a new engine is on order.

The thing is, I send my engine oil for analysis regularly and I sent in a sample with the recall notice for analysis and they found no evidence of impending engine failure based on current or past samples.

Should I just be happy with the new engine or should I report this to Hyundai/Kia corporate?

I have been happy otherwise with my current vehicle but I have no attachment to this dealership as I move every couple of years.

The title of this email, sent to [email protected] in much the same way as I would like all of you to send in all of your questions, was “Moral/Ethical Dilemma.”

Is the nature of the dilemma immediately apparent to you? If not, I’ll explain. Let’s say your neighbor sold you a loaf of bread. Two days later, he stopped by and said, “Some of the bread that I sold earlier this week turned out to be moldy. I’d like to replace your half-eaten loaf with a fresh loaf at my expense.” You go into your kitchen and discover that your half-eaten loaf has no mold on it. Would it be ethical to accept that fresh loaf of bread?

In most of the value systems created by humanity over the past 15,000 years, the answer would be, “Absolutely not.” But when the person offering you a fresh loaf of bread is not a “real” person, but a faceless corporation, is the answer different? For many people, the answer is different. They believe, rightly or wrongly, that corporations should not receive the same human consideration that people do. That’s why I felt comfortable leaving my wallet open on the nightstand of a young woman I knew who regularly shoplifted from the “Real Canadian Superstore” in Hamilton, Ontario; she had no compunction about stealing from a corporation but was scrupulously honest when dealing with flesh-and-blood people.

There is a perception, right or wrong, that corporations are engaged in a kind of zero-sum destruction game with actual human beings, reminiscent of the Terminator movies, and that only one side can win in the end. If you share this perception, then you would have no trouble telling Brett to accept that free engine from Hyundai regardless of his independent testing.

Now here’s where it gets complicated: I suspect that his dealership feels the same way. I bet that they are “failing” every engine they can in order to get “book hours” for their service techs. They have guys who can probably do the engine swap in half or two-thirds of the specified time, making it very lucrative. This in turn allows service advisors to hand out this work like candy to pacify techs who are angry at having to knock 20 years’ worth of rust and crud off the suspension of a worn-out Excel.

To the service advisors and to the dealership principal, their own human interests (extra cash, a bonus, a new boat) outweigh the corporate interests of Hyundai. They’ve decided that they have no compunction about stealing from a corporate person. That enlightened attitude has the potential to pay some benefits to Brett, who is going to get a free engine.

So what should Brett do? Should he allow Hyundai to be scammed out of a free engine, or should he speak up, decline the service, and feel good about himself? In this particular case, I think the issue isn’t quite that clear-cut. While it is true that Brett’s independent testing didn’t find the problem, it’s very possible that the independent tester isn’t entirely authoritative here. The recall notes that debris from a mechanically-deburred crankshaft can stick in the oil passages, leading to engine failure. That does not necessarily imply that there is still debris free-floating in the sump to be discovered. It could be like the heart blockages commonplace in irresponsible old goats like yours truly; I can pass a medical with flying colors, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to flop over and die next week.

To Brett, therefore, I say, “Get yourself the new engine and don’t feel bad about it.” In this case, it’s not a matter of ethics. It’s a matter of knowledge. Hyundai may know something you don’t, and the dealership may know something you don’t. If they are willing to swap you out, then go ahead and do it with a clear conscience.

You can view it as a simple matter of mechanical probability, or you can view it as a triumph for an individual against an opaque corporation; that part is up to your own, and uniquely human, sense of perspective.

[Image: Hyundai]

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105 Comments on “Ask Jack: A Hyundai and a Moral Dilemma...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    I read this article with much interest, especially the statement:

    “It’s common for lightly-educated political activists to screech, “CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE!” — as if corporations had managed to start operating autonomous bipedal robots that walk among us as men and women. What they fail to realize is that corporate “personhood” actually protects both individual humans and society as a whole.”

    I agree wholeheartedly with that.

    Overall, I compare the article to if you have a choice after winning a contest and given the option of either accepting the prize offered or a cash equivalent, you always take the cash.

    Why? Either way, it is going to cost you money. Gaming tax. Accepting cash, where the taxes are already taken out, you don’t really feel any pain, and is, to me, always the way to go.

    It makes sense to me, hope it makes sense to you. If I’m off base, please correct me!

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      While it is true that corporate structures serve the very valuable purpose of allowing real persons to safely pool their resources into a commercial endeavor without having to risk personal bankruptcy if the corporation goes bust, endowing a corporation with the full rights and privileges of a real person is absurd and leads to ridiculous outcomes. Real persons are accountable to society’s moral codes, and generally have moral codes of their own. As such, a real person would take care not to negligently harm someone else, either because that conforms to their own code or out of concern that society would penalize the person. Corporations, by definition, have only one moral code: make as much money as possible while preserving the owners’ investments. A real person may well choose not to dump toxic waste out of his own moral code, but the knowledge that he can forfeit his entire financial worth and his freedom acts as a deterrent to bad behavior. A corporation lacks a moral code to prevent bad behavior in the first case, and the limits of corporate responsibility severely dampens the deterrence in the second case.

      This difference between real and corporate moral codes becomes acute when considering rights and privileges, especially First Amendment rights. I can respect the rights of all real persons to express their views (which extend to political support) even when they are radically different than mine because I know that, however misguided, those views come from the totality of their experiences, hopes and desires, while corporate views can really only reflect the corporate need to make more money. Any corporation that does otherwise is guilty of malfeasance. Any actions or words of a corporation beyond that of directly making more money must be aimed at indirectly making more money or else the corporation is failing its investors.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    After Googling the specific models to which that recall seems to apply, I would like to applaud Brett for being quite possibly the only Sonata/Santa Fe/Optima/Sorento/Sportage owner in the world who gives enough of a crap about your car to do regular oil analysis.
    Kudos, and enjoy your brand new engine.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    What an interesting post. You’re absolutely right to highlight the different degrees and perhaps kinds of knowledge at work here. I personally think the advice is wise. Thanks for that, Mr. Baruth.

    Phil

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I think that most service advisers would look at Brett like a puppy who is hearing a new sound. The head tilt might actually break their necks.

    Regardless, Hyundai/Kia have a test that they trust. It is part of policies and procedures which are the cornerstone of any large corporate bureaucracy. They don’t take into account outside tests like those from Blackstone Labs. For all we know, the initial signs of failure won’t show up in an ICP (No, not THAT ICP with Juggalos and the Great Milenko and such. Inductively Coupled Plasma.) analysis.

    I agree with Jack. Let them do their work. If it fails their tests (both physical and bureaucratic), then it fails their tests.

    • 0 avatar

      This.

      I would have to assume Hyundai requires some kind of evidence of engine failure before they approve a new engine. I would also assume that Hyundai routinely inspects a sample of engines to confirm failure as a safeguard against the dealers taking advantage of the program as part of their “human interest”.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Yep. And also, a car with a new engine is a car that can go longer. On the other side, it sucks that someone has to take it apart. I never believed that any mechanic can assemble car as good as it can be done at the factory

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Brett really needs to ask himself a question: after declining a new engine, – say two oil changes later – brass begins to show in the lab results, indicating bearing failure. Do you think you can go to Hyundai then and ask for another motor?

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I know what you’re thinking, “could there be particles in the galleries that didn’t show up on the oil test?” To tell the truth, in all the confusion I kinda lost track myself. So you gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do you, Brett?

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        On occasion I do. I feel lucky that I got rid of our 2001 Accent after it ate 3 transmission control modules in a row. (I’m not the original poster though)

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    We’re discussing two different failure modes. Failure caused by debris blocking an oil hole is sudden-onset. Oil analysis labs look at indicators of long-term wear.

    I would not regard oil analysis as a meaningful indicator of the chance of debris blocking an oil passage.

    I also expect that if one of the failed Hyundai engines had the sump oil checked a week before it failed that oil would have been declared OK.

    If I were Brett I would absolutely take the new engine; and would feel completely justified in doing so.

    • 0 avatar
      hpycamper

      This is what I was thinking too. I was thinking an oil scan looks at very small particles of metal, which could not block and oil passage. Bits big enough to cause this problem would filtered.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Brett is assuming that the Hyundai/Kia inspection had anything to do with an oil sample: the inspection may merely be to verify that the engine is in fact part of the lot/series/group that is affected by their recall.

      Hyundai/Kia may have already determined that all engines in this group need to be replaced and the dealer inspection is simply to confirm the engine is part of the recall, then order parts and schedule the installation.

      The OEM has determined that the engine needs to be replaced and I can’t think of a good reason to second guess their willingness to make a very expensive good faith effort to proactively solve the problem.

      Back in the “good old days” the manufacturers let major components fail by the millions (see Chryco minivan transmissions, Oldsmobile Diesel engines, GM DexCool related failures) and rarely made efforts to repair of replace them outside of the pitifully short warranty periods. Now we consider 3 year/30k warranties the bare minimum, far longer the expectation, and goodwill/policy repairs well after the warranty has expired as a perfectly reasonable expectation.

      In light of that history Hyundai’s proactive engine replacement plan is pretty awesome.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I agree with Jack’s ultimate answer, and to a large extent, with the logic and ethos employed in the itemized steps he used to arrive at that ultimate answer.

    That notwithstanding, if I were advising Hyundai, based on what I know about the nature of this defect affecting a % of the subject engines, would it not be far more cost-effective, efficient and less hassle-inducing for both Hyundai and customers, if Hyundai were to simply provide additional, satisfactory warranty protection, maybe even up to something along the lines of a lifetime engine warranty for all owners of the affected engines, covering a new engine replacement, all labor, and free loaner vehicles, IF their particular engines one day are adversely impacted in terms of deliverability (or lack thereof, whether caused by total engine failure, or even something significantly less than that) by the specific defect referenced?

    Under such a scenario, and just putting forth a hypothetical, Hyundai may only have to replace 10% of the engines it is now replacing, while achieving similar or even better customer satisfaction, while eliminating potentially unethical franchise-dealer tactics to game Hyundai for unnecessary engine and labor costs (tantamount to theft), saving Hyundai a lot of money, and saving customers the hassle of necessitating needless engine replacements.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I would not want to be in Hyundai’s shoes if an engine failure due to a known manufacturing defect caused sudden loss of propulsion that then caused or contributed to a fatal crash.

      The legal and PR costs would likely be high, and are difficult to predict accurately.

      Big companies like predictability. Hyundai can more accurately estimate the cost of “replace all impacted engines” and budget for it than they can estimate the cost of “maybe get sued and pilloried because a lawyer claims our blocked oil passage killed somebody”.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Not to mention marketing. I remember early 90’s Excels, as there were several in college parking lots. They would wheeze in there loaded with suitcases and not move again under their own power. It took an entire new generation of drivers with no memory of those cars to build the brand they have now.

  • avatar
    Eggshen2013

    Ah, I see nothing has changed here. Jack is still the same snob he always was.

    “Prince Charles and I both have the same “cutter” at Turnbull & Asser…”

    What an ass.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      But it is offset by his admission that he has shagged a woman from Hamilton – the Cleveland of Canada!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I suspect there’s a fairly insecure guy under all that bravado…but Jack is Jack.

        • 0 avatar
          srh

          Suffice to say, I’m pretty sure Prince Charles sees no need to brag about his “cutter” (nor the women he has shagged).

          But then Prince Charles probably can’t write an article ostensibly about cars that I’d actually read, so perhaps the big hat/no cattle comes with the territory.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Actually, the purpose of the Royal Warrant in the modern era is specifically to brag about the best Britain has to offer and to encourage people to buy their products.

            I promote Turnbull&Asser in my writing and social media for similar reasons — to encourage people to purchase goods that are made to ethical standards by men and women earning a fair wage and participating in their communities. When you have a T&A shirt you have something that will last for possibly decades and which features no child labor, no sweatshop labor, and no environmental violence. It’s more than just running my mouth —- it is a commitment to an ethical future.

            As for the Canadian girl, she was 20 when I was 41 and she was lovely and I’m gonna tell you about it because I want to!

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Jack, while your intentions may be good, in reality your expectations are not realistic.

            For many years, I purchased only bespoke shirts and suits. From Cy Mann in Toronto. You many have heard of some of his clients, ranging from Tony Bennett, to The Chairman of the Board, to unfortunately Bill Cosby.

            Thanks to willpower and regular training, I still fit into them. However none of my children would ever allow me to be seen in some of the suits and shirts that Cy tailored for me in the 70’s to late early 90’s. Unfortunately for those of us not in the Royal Family, style does change.

            The same with shoes. I wore only custom made shoes for about a dozen years. Athens Leatherware on Yonge Street in Toronto. But styles change and they were all long ago relegated to the Salvation Army.

            As for the engine dilemma. I wish that my Hyundai dealer offered the engine swap when I brought my Sonata in for the recall.

            Don’t for a minute overlook the fact that their corporate accountants have factored in most conceivable variables and decided that offering swaps to some customers is the most fiscally advantageous response.

            And yes, I am the guy that actually tells the cashier when they give me too much change. Helps to make me feel better for all the other terrible things that I have done.

          • 0 avatar
            notapreppie

            “As for the Canadian girl, she was 20 when I was 41 and she was lovely and I’m gonna tell you about it because I want to!”

            Ew. Just… ew.

            Having started my BSc in chemistry at 30, I can’t imagine a more effective way to feel like an old lecherous pervert.

            I guess it’s a good thing I’m not you, Jack.

      • 0 avatar
        turbo_awd

        @deanst – isn’t that kinda like Charles & Camilla too? So now we know who Jack fancies himself as..

    • 0 avatar
      phila_DLJ

      I myself prefer Kingsman.

  • avatar
    starskeptic

    It’s never good to start with a straw man argument.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Take the engine. Better safe than sorry. And I would have taken the new loaf of bread too. People who are good at heart tend to be offended when their gifts of goodwill are rejected.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I have heard some pretty terrible stories regarding Kia and their inherent desire to NOT honor the 10/100 power train warranty provided on new a Kia.
    Full disclosure: I have no first hand knowledge as I have not and will not ever own a Kia.

    Two things:
    The service writers have had to deal with this most likely and are more than happy to shove it up Kias proverbial you know what any chance they can to get paid, along with the tech, and finally the dealer. If this is the case, take the new engine.

    Or.
    The test was done in good faith and something was found that your periodic oil test was not able to detect. Enjoy your loaner car and new motor.

    You/we owe nothing to the corporate parent who manufactures the cars we drive or the bank to with which we place our money so on and so forth.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      re your last sentence: As it relates to Jack’s breakdown of corporations, I think it’s an important to keep in mind that corps may be persons in the eyes of the law, but they are not part of the community of man. The empathy that one may be obliged to give a fellow human does not extend to a corporation, if for no other reason than that corporations are incapable of empathy.

      • 0 avatar
        notapreppie

        But corporations are composed of and directed by people. If groups of people are capable of empathy, it stands to reason that corporations should be able to as well.

        Granted, we get lots of fear-mongering or righteously indignant stories of corporations being cold, soulless entities (carefully crafted to let you feel smugly superior in the moral sense) but it isn’t always the case and doesn’t have to be.

        /Pollyanna

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “While it’s very satisfying to extend this to the modern era and to imagine the CEO of BP being keelhauled for the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the fact is that without corporate personhood the responsibility for something like that would be placed on a “fall guy” or corporate sacrificial lamb — leaving companies free to break the law at will so long as they had access to people who were willing to go to jail on their behalf.”

    Two things:
    * One, corporations will attempt to give up a sacrificial lamb, or at least put forth a patsy, if the body politic can avoid responsibility and get away with it. See: Dieselgate’s “rogue engineer” for a recent topical example.

    This works more often than you’d expect, and it’s a reason why many larger organizations have comprehensive learning-management and HRIS systems: so that they can say “look, we trained and support Mr. So-and-so and he still buggered it up, so he’s at fault, not us”.

    * Two, courts can and do pierce the corporate veil in particularly egregious cases and allow individuals to be charged. Again, as a reference, the dieselgate perpetrators who have been directly charged.

  • avatar
    MBella

    I think more than anything, it shows what scams these used oil analysis places are. When I’ve worked at a dealer, we had to send several clearly contaminated oil samples in to these places. One sample was clearly contaminated with DEF, a common mistake by Sprinter owners. (The two filler necks are near each other). The other had a viscosity not much thicker than water. Both of these engines suffered catastrophic engine failure. There was a large amount of metal debris suspended in the oil samples. You could see it with your naked eye. Both results came back excellent. According to the oil analysis the viscosity was the correct and there were no wear particles in the oil. They didn’t mention the contamination at all. Take this as a warning. I’ve seen forum posts where people get these performed religiously and change their oil change habits because the lab says they can go longer.

    In this case, take the engine. Hyundai will take your old one apart and inspect it. If they find out the dealer was lying, they will make the dealer eat the cost.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Clearly the guy takes the new engine. No argument – moral or otherwise – there.

    But let’s get back to the “corporate personhood” idea, shall we? Overall, has “personhood” for corporations been a good thing? Insomuch that it allows them to operate as entities, I’d say it has been – no question.

    The question is: how much “personhood” should they have? Corporations have the kind of resources that few individuals have. With those resources, they wield outsized power, particularly when it comes to politics. The same is true of well funded interest groups, like unions. The ability of these corporations and interest groups to buy and sell candidates of any ideological and/or party affiliation is well documented. In fact, if we’re intent on taking down the statues of folks who promoted the buying and selling of human beings 150 years, we should build a statue of special interest groups and do the same thing to them, because our elected officials are no less slaves than black folks down south were before the Civil War.

    And the Supreme Court gave these groups unlimited “first amendment” rights as well, so not only can they buy and sell candidates, they can buy and sell elections as well.

    At a bare minimum, the endless 24/7/365 election cycle we now see is a direct result of “personhood” for corporations and interest groups. We see political ads (you know, the “call Congressman Turdface and tell him to keep our XYZ rights intact” ads) constantly now, and Trump just ran a political ad barely seven months into his term.

    Why’s is this nonsense happening? Because of Citizens United. It’s the money. Period.

    How much power do we give these folks? That’s the question. These days, given the state of politics in the U.S., it’s a question worth asking.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      FreedMike – I agree with you about money and politics, but the reason corporations spend money lobbying government is because government is big and powerful and relatively easily influenced. As a CEO I could authorize some big spending on a new vehicle and its marketing in order to take share from a competitor, but of course the vehicle could still be a flop due to the unpredictable nature of millions of fickle consumers and cause a loss to the company. On the other hand, I could authorize a small fraction of that new product money be given as campaign contributions and/or lobbying money to influence a few key members of Congress and/or government bureaucrats to enact/interpret some legislation to “protect American jobs” or “protect the environment” or “help the disadvantaged” that will hurt my competitor (i.e. Chicken tax on foreign pickups) and/or put some money in our own corporate coffers (e.g. EV subsidies). I suspect that the risk adjusted ROI projections are increasingly favoring the “government influence” strategy versus the “build a better product” strategy due to both the lower cost and greater certainty of results. The only way to reduce this problem is to reduce the size and influence of government – or in other words “drain the swamp”.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The voters, not the interest groups, should be the ones deciding how big and powerful the government should be. Perhaps they’ll agree more with you than me, or vice versa, but in the end, it’s the voters’ decision to make.

        In order to restore this right to the people, the power of corporations and interest groups to buy and sell our elections and elected representatives *must* be rolled back dramatically.

        Then the voters can decide how they want the swamp drained.

        It’s the only way.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          Couldn’t the voters choose to elect people right now who are not influenced by corporations who are inclined to buy and sell them?

          That fact that we keep electing people who are easily bought off would seem to indicate that the voters are OK with this situation.

        • 0 avatar
          arach

          I own a corporation. We have 6 employees.

          We also make very little money. My wife makes more money as a teacher than we make in the corporation.

          A corporation is a business structure allowed in the US. It is a group of people authorized to act as a single entity.

          Some corporations make billions of dollars and have hundreds of thousands of employees.

          Some make thousands of dollars and have a handful of employees.

          I’m not really trying to make a argument against your general theory. There are a lot of “Mega Corporations”, but there’s also a good chance that the small single location restaurant or candle store in your town is a corporation too, so lets not get totally “Anti-corporation” because that is “Anti-business” and while I think mega corps do have undo political power, most small businesses have zero political power and can barely keep their doors open.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Point taken, but I’m talking more about large corporations than mom-n-pops.

          • 0 avatar
            Detroit-Iron

            @arach

            Stop buying my congressman you fat cat!

            I hope the sarcasm was pretty obvious. I used to be an LLC, because it was just me and I didn’t want to deal with the governance. Plus I couldn’t afford my own congressman.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Detroit-Iron, LLC.

            Catchy name. I dig it.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          FreedMike – Voters did decide they wanted to drain the swamp – that is why Trump won over “pay for play” Hillary, and the swamp is furiously fighting back. The problem is that almost all “anti-corruption” or “can’t be bought” candidates end up being bought one way or another. You can close some loopholes to reduce corporate influence, but if there is money in it the big corporations will find a ways to influence things in a direction that is favorable to them – i.e. donations to the Clinton Foundation, buy a few thousand copies of the politician’s autobiography (Jim Wright), real estate discounts (LBJ, Duke Cunningham, Obama), etc.

          As for the BP spill. 5 people from BP and various subcontractors were charged with criminal violations, but apparently the government couldn’t prove their case because none were sent to prison. And remember, BP didn’t pay any fines – the customers and shareholders (i.e. regular people, pension funds, mutual funds, etc.) paid the fines, and they also pay all corporate taxes.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            You can believe that if you want…but the swamp is most assuredly NOT being drained. It’s getting deeper. And we’re adding Trump’s personal failings to it every day.

            And as far as BP’s concerned…what, we just let them slide because ultimately the cost of the settlement ended up being paid by consumers and their shareholders? Nonsense.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            they did “drain the swamp.”

            unfortunately, they refilled it with raw sewage.

      • 0 avatar
        hpycamper

        stingray65: Maybe make goverment better instead of assuming smaller will fix government problems. Also, many companies are “swamps”. Who has the power to drain them?

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          “Also, many companies are “swamps”. Who has the power to drain them?”

          Consumers are free to stop patronizing any company any time they want; just like they did with Blockbuster and Radio Shack.

          Of course, this doesn’t work if through the power of crony capitalism the government has protected a company from competition or otherwise made difficult for customers to find a better alternative.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            BP is the best example of why the “let the market decide” argument is pure bunk. I mean, if there ever were an example of a company that deserved to go broke, it’s BP. They killed people, destroyed our territory and caused tens of billions of dollars worth of economic misery. They had it coming. But…

            1) People didn’t stop buying gas from BP.
            2) Even if customers DID stop buying from BP, how would “the market” ensure that the people they harmed were made as whole as possible? Indeed…if “the market” shut down BP, that would actually have made it far more difficult for them to make restitution.

            If you want justice for wrongdoing, “the market” is the wrong place to look for it.

          • 0 avatar
            No Nickname Required

            “Corporations don’t get special treatment because they’re corporations, they get special treatment because they’re rich.”

            This is true. Money = power. Much money = much power

          • 0 avatar
            WildcatMatt

            Not sure where this will land in the threading on this, but here goes:

            RE: BP

            One of the problems with “punishing” BP is the fact that they’re largely insulated from the consumer. When you pull up to the pump at a BP station you’re usually giving your money to a mom-n-pop shop who in turn is being provided fuel that is branded as BP. And with contracts it’s likely your local gas station can’t simply switch to Exxon the following month.

            Small or even medium-sized efforts to speak with the wallet only hurts the local business and gets lost in the noise at the BP level; I highly doubt BP writes contracts that requires them to subsidize the gas stations if they do something stupid at their level to drive customers away.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          hpycamper – Yes many companies have their own swamps, but consumers have lots of power to drain them – just don’t buy their swampy products. On the other hand, try telling the IRS you aren’t paying taxes because the candidate you voted for lost or because the candidate you voted for won and was corrupted by corporate “gifts”.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Not buying a “swampy” company’s product is one way to deal with corporate malfeasance.

            But what about the kind of malfeasance that truly harms people – like the BP oil spill? Remember, it wasn’t just an environmental disaster – they killed 11 people.

            Who makes that stuff right, or as right as it can be? It’s the big bad gummint.

            And that gets back to Jack’s “personhood” point. If you or I managed to singlehandedly pollute the entire Gulf of Mexico, cause tens of billions of dollars in damage, and kill people, as BP did, they’d toss us in jail and throw away the key. That’s the flip side of rights – we have corresponding responsibilities, and the consequence for acting irresponsibly is the loss of our freedom.

            But you can’t hold corporations responsible the same way. You can’t put them in jail. All you can do is hold them financially responsible.

            Circle back to BP. The accident they caused killed 11 people through sheer negligence. And they were able to absolve themselves legally by writing a check. Now, imagine someone who killed 11 people through sheer negligence – say, a guy who was reading the National Enquirer while he was driving 70 mph and ran into a church bus – being able to walk into a court and say, “gee, your honor, I’m so sorry. Here’s a check for five million dollars. We’re all good now, right?”

            THAT is why corporations aren’t people – it’s impossible to hold them to the same responsibilities that individuals are held to. And when we give them the same rights as individuals, we inadvertently create what I think of as super-individuals – entities with immense financial resources who have the same rights as individuals but can buy their way out of criminal wrongdoing.

            I’m sorry, but our Constitution DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT support that idea.

          • 0 avatar
            hpycamper

            stingray65: To go online to this website, I have 2 choices; both are swamps.
            The U.S. military might be the biggest swamp in some respects, but I wouldn’t want to downsize it.
            Sometimes the answers just can’t be simple.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            ““gee, your honor, I’m so sorry. Here’s a check for five million dollars. We’re all good now, right?””

            I’m pretty sure wealthy celebrities do this with some regularity.

            Vince Neil only did 15 days in jail and he killed somebody.

            Corporations don’t get special treatment because they’re corporations, they get special treatment because they’re rich.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        If you drain this swamp without changing the rules of the game, the new swamp will become just as fetid in no time.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Ascii – changing the rules is difficult because lots of people benefit from the swamp. Members of the swamp from both major parties get their names on public buildings and highways, extra money in their pockets, and nice post-govt jobs as lobbyists and corporate executives. If the swamp member is a Democrat they will also get lots of positive media coverage about all the “good” things they are doing, and all the pork they are bringing to their home districts.

          On the other hand, the swamp drainers get accused of colluding with foreign governments (with no evidence), or not caring about the poor and elderly and disabled, etc. The swamp drainer that stops a bridge to nowhere from being built or other wasteful spending also does not get their name on a bill or statue. The swamp drainer that doesn’t give a corporate donor a special tax break or dispensation from an onerous regulation will also not get any campaign help or money or post-govt cushy job. In other words, their is no money or status attached to being a swamp drainer, which is why virtually every politician from every political party ends up corrupted.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Draining the swamp would require changing the game.

            1)Limits on how many terms any one person can serve as an elected official. No more permanent ‘sinecures’. Bring in new blood. Already done regarding the office of President.

            2) No ‘superpacs’ etc. Any donations for elections to go into a ‘pool’ and then split evenly among the candidates. This prohibits corporations/individuals from financing their ‘personal’ candidate. And no candidate would be beholden to a fundraiser.

            3) Elect less politicians and pay those who are elected more. Unless their greed is uncontrollable that should serve as a disincentive to accepting graft.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Hi Arthur,

            I like term limits and spending limits, but they only partially address the problem of corruption, because they also give more power to unelected and unfireable civil servants who are the only ones left with knowledge about how things are done. We are seeing that with Trump, because he and much of his staff don’t have any experience in running government, which is good in the sense that people elected him to not run government the “usual way”, but bad because he doesn’t know how to navigate the swamp, and the swamp of both parties is definitely fighting back.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Arthur has it right on the nose.

            Until the people realize they are in control of all this, and decide to stop monied interests from buying their governments, the swamp is not gonna get drained…not now, not ever. We’ll just trade one corrupt set of kingmakers for another. And the corruptors want it that way – it’s divide and conquer.

            And I have long advocated for paying legislators very high salaries. I know why people don’t want to do that – heck, I don’t like the idea of the current pack of idiots making any more off me than they already do – but many have rightly pointed out that it’s no picnic for them to able to afford a place to live in Washington and “back home.” Their salary is $174,000, which sounds good, but try supporting two households on that, when the one in Washington costs a fortune to live in.

            From a purely practical standpoint, it’s no wonder so many end up on the take – these are high-achieving people, and they don’t want to live like schnooks.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    “I suspect that his dealership feels the same way. I bet that they are “failing” every engine they can in order to get “book hours” for their service techs. They have guys who can probably do the engine swap in half or two-thirds of the specified time, making it very lucrative. This in turn allows service advisors to hand out this work like candy to pacify techs who are angry at having to knock 20 years’ worth of rust and crud off the suspension of a worn-out Excel.”

    From what I understand, manufacturer’s combat claim-happy service departments by requiring that all defective components on which a warranty claim is filed be sent back to them. They can, and do, test a certain percentage of them, and if it turns out that the dealership replaced them inappropriately, the cost of the procedure gets billed back to the dealership. However, I don’t know if that extends to this engine program. An engine is a large component.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Great piece. I could almost argue that you should take Hyundai’s advice because they’re actually trying to look out for the consumer and their own reputation at the same time. I’d want something in writing that everything related to the engine swap would get some reasonable warranty on it (face it, every major service results in at least one other thing broken).

    Honda made a name for themselves in the 70s by overspending on warranty work — it was taking the long view, and once their reputation was cemented, they could start slacking off (ask me about my 2.5-year-old battery that just failed, but because the car had 36,800 miles, I was SOL. The replacement battery is identical, but is covered for 5 years and unlimited miles. Figure that one out.). Hyundai is still in that phase right now, and likely trying to prevent the possibility of bad press for a few engine failures.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      “you should take Hyundai’s advice because they’re actually trying to look out for the consumer and their own reputation at the same time.”

      Wrong. They denied this issue and covered it up until someone in the company blew the whistle. This isn’t Hyundai protecting their reputation (what is to protect?) or trying to “do the right thing” by the customer.

      They were found to have known about the issues, having denied warranty claims and at first, claimed that only engines in the Sonata were defective, despite the fact that the exact same engine was used in many models. They’ve since “updated” the list since they were caught with their pants down.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No that replacement battery is not identical. If you were to put them on the scale you’ll find the OE one was several lbs lighter. Every ounce counts in the CAFE battle and one of the sacrificial lambs for Honda is the battery. Not only do they spec out and only leave room for a small battery they order the OE ones 1/2 empty.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    I’ve encountered a similar situation a couple of times.

    About a month ago, I received a letter from Ford of Canada regarding the vacuum pump on my F150. It said to take the truck into a dealer immediately if the vacuum pump was really noisy, which mine had been for a couple of years. I had taken it to the dealer a couple of years back and was told the warranty wouldn’t cover it until it failed.

    I took it in this time, and the dealer replaced it under a “special program”, at no charge to me. The service guy then told me that I would be getting an official recall notice in the mail this fall, to have it replaced again.

    I asked if the new pump they just installed fixes the problem, and he said it did. There is apparently a new Transport-Canada approved fix related to the upcoming recall, so it will need to be done again. The noise is gone, so this seems kind of excessive.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Firstly, these “lightly educated activists” are just riffing on Mitt Romney’s claim that “Corporations are people”. Romney didn’t add any nuance to his statement, so one can hardly blame activists for not doing the same thing.

    And if the finest “benefit” you can think of for corporate personhood is that somehow they won’t offer up a fall guy when charged with criminal acts, that’s both pretty weak sauce, and completely untrue. (How many fall guys has VW been trying to offer up for the diesel scandal?)

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I think its OK to say they aren’t “people”, but the ramifications of that is that they are entities to be taken advantage of.

      My dog isn’t a person, but that doesn’t mean I should abuse my dog

      Corporations are made up of people, and should be treated with respect. They aren’t “faceless” so I think its better to take a perspective of corporate personhood than something that can be cheated and abused.

      I would venture to guess More PEOPLE have done bad things to corporations, than corporations have done bad things to people.

      And those bad things they do to the corporations ultimately come back and hurt our society.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        “I would venture to guess More PEOPLE have done bad things to corporations, than corporations have done bad things to people.”

        I would venture to guess that this statement is very incorrect.

        For example, I can’t think of an example of a person doing a “bad thing” to a corporation that compares to Love Canal or Bhopal.

        Can you describe further what “bad things” you have in mind?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Have individuals done bad things to corporations? Certainly.

        But name the last time an individual negligently decided to do something that killed hundreds of a company’s employees, or caused tens of billions dollars worth of damage.

        Unless we’re talking about strictly criminal acts – i.e., someone walking into an office and shooting the place up, or singlehandedly defrauding a company on a massive scale – the sheer scale of malfeasance that large corporations can engage in, and the kind of damage they can inflict, generally dwarfs what any individual can do.

        Put differently:

        If Joe Driver decides to skimp on brake maintenance, then he crashes into another car. If Alaska Airlines decides to skimp on plane maintenance, a MD-80 crashes into the water doing around 700 miles an hour and kills 188 people.

        • 0 avatar
          usernamealreadyregistered

          “But name the last time an individual negligently decided to do something that killed hundreds of a company’s employees, or caused tens of billions dollars worth of damage.”

          The 2003 invasion of Iraq.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          FreedMike – No corporation ever decides to kill customers or employees, but corporate managers and employees sometimes make decision errors that end up killing people. An airline manager that cuts back on plane maintenance is not trying to kill someone, because if that decision turns out to be wrong, and a plane crashes due to poor maintenance, the manager knows the damages in fines and lost brand reputation will be far greater than any possible savings on maintenance.

          On the other hand, the BP spill you brought up earlier did result in lots of fraudulent damage claims from people in the area, which resulted in a few convictions. Insurance fraud by thousands of customers is a major driver of higher insurance premiums, but again the insurance company doesn’t pay the cost of fraudulent claims, only people do in the form of shareholders, employees, and customers.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Of course Alaska Airlines didn’t mean to kill anyone when it *chose* to improperly maintain its’ airplanes.

            Neither did the guy who killed the family of four when he *chose* to text his buddy while he was driving.

            Both actions are negligent and highly irresponsible, and both caused death. The only difference is the scale…as I was saying.

            What’s the point you’re trying to make here?

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            FreedMike – my point is that markets generally work pretty well at protecting consumers. If companies screw up they lose business and sometime go out of business. Government can play a role in providing criminal and civil remedies through the courts and legal code, but such processes can also be easily corrupted by “special interests”, and such corruption is always going to be more likely whenever big money is at stake. In other words, it is a lot easier to corrupt the government with big corporate money than it is to corrupt a market made up of millions of people and lots of competitors. In fact, one of the favorite things that big corporations like to get from government is monopoly rents by restricting competition.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The market works *to a point,* stingray – as long as it’s “regulating” companies that fail at everyday tasks like customer service, or prices. And in this sense, the market is highly effective.

            But the market doesn’t adequately punish the ones who cross the line by lawbreaking, or acting unethically. And the market can’t even begin to make things right for the people who are physically or financially hurt (or even killed) by these companies. When that happens, justice is called for. That, my friend, is for the big bad gummint, the ambulance chasers, or both, to do.

            Short of jailing the company personnel that do stuff like this, or “sentencing the company to do to time” by putting it out of business for a period of time, this is how it works. There’s no other way. “The market” isn’t set up or suited to mete out justice, after all.

            I’ll also add this: justice is in the best interests of a company that’s violated the law or made a grave ethical error. Why? Because it allows them to “do their time,” so to speak, and come clean with consumers, who will tend to come back as long as justice is served. I’d say this is a good thing – the alternative is for these businesses to simply fold, and when that happens, it puts lots of people out of work. Better for them to make legal amends, and move forward.

  • avatar
    arach

    I choose option 3:

    Take the new engine
    AND
    Send results of your oil test to Hyundai and say you appreciate the new engine, by the way the oil analysis looks clear.

    I wouldn’t “Refuse” the new engine, but I also think its the right thing to do to communicate up the chain. Remember, the dealership is NOT hyundai. They are a separate business that SELLS Hyundai vehicles, so I think its very responsible to report directly to hyundai.

    Here’s another example that happened to me, and what I aliken it to:

    I went to a pizza place, and my bill came to $9.99. I gave the guy $10, and he handed me the pizza. I then watched him walk away, put the $10 bill in his pocket instead of the cash register.

    In this case, I take my pizza, eat it, and send an email to the corporation telling them about the suspicious activity. Ultimately the issue lies between the employee and the company’s owner.

    I don’t think there’s any ethical dilemma in taking the engine. If there is an ethical dilemma, it is between the dealership and Hyundai, and if thats the case- give them the information you have but let them hash it out as they need to.

  • avatar
    sco

    I’m not sure how accessible service records are to future buyers, but if dont replace the engine after the manufacturer said you should, your car will have a big black mark on its record. Take the offer

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    Honda motorcycles dealt with a similar problem about 3 decades ago. The machining of the engine case caused some debris to be pushed into an oil passage. There were reports of some crankshaft bearing failures. The suspect engines were called out by engine serial number and replaced. As far as I recall/know there was no “testing” of engines or oil.
    If the engine number was within xxx to yyy it was replaced. No doubt to PREVENT a failure and subsequent problems.
    As others have stated some of the Hyundai/Kia engines that are replaced will be inspected. Unless they have a rebuilt engine program the engines will probably be scrapped. There are too many possible trouble scenarios. Expect to see these engines show up on the “used” engine market in a few years.
    Imagine, if they wait till failure to replace the engines, that one quits at 2:30 AM when it’s raining or snowing and the car/driver is far from home.
    Not honoring warranties has gotten some companies in trouble over the years. VW almost quit the USA market in the early 90s, in part because of denying warranty for some serious problems such as head gasket failures.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I disagree with Jack– if anybody still owns a 20 year old Excel, they aren’t servicing it at the dealer.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    A friend of mine has a Kia Sorento; he bought it one year used from a dealer. All was good until the day the engine let go in a catastrophic failure. Hyundai/Kia knows that their problem comes on you quick – like driving in an electric power assist GM car and having the steering wheel, which they said was fixed in your model year, lock up so that you cannot turn left while merging onto an expressway and having to improvise to avoid the stone wall approaching at 65mph. In this instance, Hyundai/Kia wants to get in front of bad action – so don’t get in the way of them being good corporate citizens.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    That’s why I felt comfortable leaving my wallet open on the nightstand of a young woman I knew who regularly shoplifted from the “Real Canadian Superstore” in Hamilton, Ontario; she had no compunction about stealing from a corporation but was scrupulously honest when dealing with flesh-and-blood people.

    That’s some real life stuff right there.

    During my bachelor’s (at a United Church of Christ affiliated liberal arts college) I was required to take one course in the “religion” field. I was permitted to take the last remaining philosophy class in the course catalog – “Ethics and Morals”.

    One of the dilemmas we were given by the professor involved getting multiple cans of soda from a vending machine because of a machine malfunction.

    Almost universally the students would accept the multiple cans without a twinge of remorse.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      My twinge of remorse would last until the first sip…

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      PrincipalDan,
      Me too, weirdly. I spent a semester comparing and contrasting the gospels and another having a very unbiased worldview shoved on me in an ethical business practices class…by a professor who was part-owner of a bar that catered to students.

      Have you read about the Gatsby-sign phenomenon? (The “watching eyeglasses” billboard?) It determined that if people felt like they were being watched, even by just a photo of a pair of eyes on a sign, their actions were completely different. Turns out those obvious fake camera pods are quite useful after all.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I avoided the religion classes because I really didn’t feel like mixing with the divinity students (there was enough sanctimonious hypocrisy in the education field I was enrolled in.)

        Plus the leading professor in the divinity program was actually named Dr. Christiansen. That name was just a little too on-the-nose to be learning religion from. ;-)

  • avatar
    sgtyukon

    My Hyundai was inspected for this very issue last week, and passed. Are auto dealers permitted to be ethical, or would this one be disciplined by some higher authority if I were to report this behavior?

  • avatar
    dwford

    Corporations are often caught intentionally cheating their customers, so on the off chance payback is possible, why not?

    As for this specific case, it just proves yet again that everybody scams everybody in a car dealership.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Hyundai’s taking a “better safe than sorry” approach to this and replacing any engine that might experience a failure and replacing it. Just take it. They know better than you do what the odds of failure in your vehicle are.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the way stuff like this works is they walk back through the production chain, identify the date range the particular process went bad, and tag any engine produced during that time as “suspect.”

      then, I’d wager in this case the cost of paying dealer techs to tear into engines and inspect them is as much (if not more) than just doing an engine replacement.

      plus, engines which didn’t have the contamination (or did but haven’t failed yet) can be re-manufactured and sold.

  • avatar
    operagost

    While it’s easy for a layman to inspect a loaf of bread and detect mold, it is not easy for him to diagnose an impending engine failure. Experts must do that. And since one group of experts claims that your engine is going to fail, it is in your best interest to assume the other group has made an error, and accept the replacement.

    This is not that hard.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    BTW, The “moral dilemma” here is; Would Hyundai/Kia later come back and say, “Hey you got a new engine and your old one was fine. Give us some $$$.”
    Vs will they honor the warranty when the engine fails, years from now.
    The first is unlikely the second is, well….

  • avatar
    srh

    It’s a tough call. Presumably Hyundai isn’t giving out free engines just for funsies, but on the other hand I wouldn’t be surprised if the mechanic at the dealership ends up with more than a few pocket bolts at the end of the swap.

    I trust initial quality more than dealership quality.

    That said, I’d take the warranty service, lest an undetected problem cost me much more down the line.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    [Let’s say your neighbor sold you a loaf of bread. Two days later, he stopped by and said, “Some of the bread that I sold earlier this week turned out to be moldy. I’d like to replace your half-eaten loaf with a fresh loaf at my expense.” You go into your kitchen and discover that your half-eaten loaf has no mold on it. Would it be ethical to accept that fresh loaf of bread?

    In most of the value systems created by humanity over the past 15,000 years, the answer would be, “Absolutely not.”]

    I take exception to this passage above. As presented I fail to understand under which moral framework one would find acceptance of a fresh loaf to be unethical. The vendor attaches no caveats to the offer of a fresh loaf. Previously sold product was of inferior quality, therefore he will furnish a new product at his expense. There is nothing unethical in accepting a fresh loaf regardless of the status of the previously-purchased item. The vendor is not even intimating that there would be any check at all of the status of the older item.

    At least Hyundai is taking the (cursory) step of requiring its dealers to make a determination in the replacement of engines. Take the offer and run. Risk of sudden failure without warning and the attending costs of rectifying or replacing the vehicle far outweigh any moral qualms or the desire (?) for an original, unmolested automobile. You know those remaining numbers-matching Sonatas with rare options/color combinations are going to set Barrett-Jackson on fire in 50 years.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    The Mrs and I just had a similar discussion.

    We both have Subaru Legacy GTs that were recalled for the Takata air bags. At the time, Subaru was also offering free dashboard replacements for those of us who suffered from sticky and shiny dashboard panels. Hers were not done in tandem, but I was able to schedule mine so that they could do both at once. Any way, we both had our dashboards and air bags replaced and were offered loaner cars in the meantime.

    Last week we both got a class action notice in the mail saying we could get up to $500 (yeah, sure) because there is a suit against Subaru for using faulty air bags.

    My wife signed up instantly and I still haven’t. I am having trouble coming to terms that I’d be taking additional money from the company that did the work needed to make my car safe at no cost to me. Yes it was not exactly a timely process since it took me 8 months from the notice of the recall to actually get the bag in and another month before the dash would be available. We were instructed not to allow anyone to ride in the passenger seat until the replacement was installed. But ultimately it was more a mild annoyance than inconvenience.

    So I am on the fence about it where my wife declared that she has absolutely no misgivings about signing up for the class action.
    Now, if I get a notice that the replacement air bags are bad, then my decision would be a lot easier.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    This case is easy because there is the potential for engine failure, so his conscious should be clear. I don’t agree with Jack at all regarding the lack of education and “personhood” of corporations; I am highly educated and find the concept reprehensible. Citizens United was a disaster of a ruling. However, I do believe that people would likely treat the corporation based on what their opinion is of the company. An example would be if the local auto parts store accidentally gave you an extra quart of oil by mistake. I personally would return it. Just as I have returned wallets full of cash or the passport I found on a train. Now, what would I do if I found $50 inside a Bank Of America cash transport bag? I’d keep it with zero hesitation. Why? Because I would think of what kind of corporate citizen BOA is. First that comes to mind is the infamous scandal with debit cards. Instead of debiting out transaction in the order they were received, BOA would gather the debits for the day and then debit the largest first. The goal of this method was that if your account balance was low, the bank had an opportunity to make more from overdraft penalties. This, of course, happened mostly to the less affluent customers. So, if a corporation acts in this manner, they simply deserve to be treated the way they treat others. Predatory behavior should not be rewarded.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Actually, I’d give the $50 back.

      In the end, it ain’t my money.

      And it isn’t like people lose out with this. A long time ago, when I was with my (horribly irresponsible) ex, my mother in law took us all to a movie. My ex managed to lose $200 that she had on her.

      That was the last $200 we had, and it was our grocery money. Losing it created a huge problem for us.

      Stuff like this doesn’t happen in a vacuum, which is a lesson I learned the hard way.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      ” I am highly educated and find the concept reprehensible. Citizens United was a disaster of a ruling.”

      If you read the opening paragraphs again, you will see that the “educated concern” that I mentioned with corporate personhood links directly to a piece on Citizens United.

      If you weren’t TOTALLY one of my favorite commenters, I’d point out that you somehow missed that.

  • avatar
    John

    Took me a long time to understand the truth of the statement “Don’t should on yourself – or others”.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    Nothing wrong with oil analysis, but if an owner is conscientious (anal retentive) enough to do analyses, s/he should be cutting oil filters open and examining the media with a magnifying glass and magnet (I like to scrub the media with clean solvent, then swish a magnet in the solvent). We used to do both on the aircraft my flying club owned and operated. Oil analysis takes weeks to get results; if significant metal or other contaminant is found in the filter the aircraft/auto should be removed from service immediately, lest one be stranded off-airport.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Brett, Others have mentioned the safety issue from an owner’s perspective and that’s my take as well. Hyundai isn’t eating the cost of a new engine and paying it’s dealers to do the work because they’re afraid of a coolant leak. This is serious enough for them to spend thousands per car to fix.

    What do you think they know about this problem that an oil analysis doesn’t?

  • avatar
    Commando

    This moral dilemma is easy to solve.
    It’s the responsibility of the manufacturer to prevent the dealer from scamming them.

    I’ve tried many times to telled my health insurance carrier about fraudulent billing. They do all but hang up on me as if I’m the problem.

  • avatar
    don1967

    “The vehicle failed the inspection”

    So much for the moldy bread analogy…. there IS mold on that loaf according to the people who baked it. Take the offer.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Companies don’t recall things for no reason. It is either statistically because you have a good chance of getting a bad apple so it is easier to just replace it ahead of time when you are not made, or replace it when you are very mad later. It is also much cheaper to do it to everyone now than wait till a class action lawyer come up with the idea. It is also much better for their brand image to do it now than later.

    Don’t feel bad, you are not taking advantage of them, this is just a preventive care.

  • avatar
    TheGoblinKing

    I am surprised that no one here mentions taking the engine to preserve the manufacturer’s warranty.

    It seems to me that if Hyundai has a recall program and are willing to replace the engine now, that opting out could terminate any existing engine and/or drive-train warranty above and beyond just this singular issue.

    I can’t imagine Hyundai would be too keen on fixing your engine months from now for anything even tangentially related to this particular issue.

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