Hyundai Changed My Rebate Terms After I Bought The Car

Jeremy says Hyundai is trying to pull a fast one on him by making it tougher to get his rebate after he bought a car. He said the company is denying him a $2,400 recent college grad rebate he was assured he’d get when he made the purchase. The reason: He doesn’t make enough money.

He writes:

I’ve spent some time this morning looking through the older posts about buying a new car from the dealer and none of them seem to specifically deal with a problem that I am having regarding the issue of Manufacturers Rebates. I am wondering if you can help.

My wife and I live in Chicago where we have not needed a car for the past three years. We decided that since I am graduating college and starting to do some work outside of the city, we should buy a new car. We chose to look for new cars through dealerships in New England, mostly because we felt that we could get a better deal with the help of my mother-in-law, who lives out there enjoys negotiating these purchases. I flew from Chicago to New England to finalize the deal, bringing exactly what I was asked to bring. The only documentation I was asked for in order to secure the College Grad Rebate ( was a letter from my school stating that I am expected to graduate in six months. Nothing was said about the income requirement. I attempted to make contact with someone several times via phone in order to find out what type of income verification they would need (if any). No one ever returned my calls. So I brought along my most-recent pay stub, just in case.

When I arrived everything went as expected and I was awarded a total rebate amount of $2,400, including the college grad rebate. Just as we completed the sale, a second financing guy came into the office and insisted that our first guy was doing the paperwork wrong and he needed to immediately pack up my paperwork and take us into his office. I asked what was wrong and he stated that they were getting some additional details regarding the requirements for the college grad rebate and he would need to verify that my income was over $2,000 a month using three of my most recent pay stubs. I told him that would have been nice to know when I was in Chicago, because I could have checked to see what my income was before I flew out. I have been taking summer classes and my hours have been dramatically reduced at work due to the additional business. He said if my income can’t be proven properly then this contract would have to be redone since the manufacturer wont pay for the rebate. So he took my most recent stub and called someone with the finance company, who told him that everything should be OK based on the year-to-date income that is reflected on the stub.

I sensed that things were very tense between the financing people. The first guy was older and had an, “Oh well, everything will work out OK” attitude, while the second guy was younger and more like “this entire thing is going to be a disaster if I don’t fix it”. I also brought my mother-in-law with and she was furious that no one said anything about the income requirement prior to me coming out. Now the contract had been signed and we were held there for three more hours while they tried to work everything out. I felt very uneasy after I was handed the keys so I made it a point to go back in the office after my salesman got done with us outside. The two financing guys told me everything was all set and I was free to go back to Chicago with my car.

One week later (this morning), I received a phone call from my original financing guy. He told me he still needs to verify my income and asked me to fax him some pay stubs. I asked him if everything that I provided last week wasn’t good enough and he said, “I don’t know, I guess not.” We can’t find any pay stubs that satisfy this income requirement that they told me about after signing the contract and my employer wont provide a letter of my projected income. I haven’t called the financing department yet to tell them this. What can I expect their reaction to be? Will they attempt to “redo” this contract minus the rebate? Can they just cancel the whole thing and take the car away? How do manufacturers rebates even work? What do you think

So Jeremy either needs to find a $2,000-a-month gig or get someone to admit they led him on. Do you have any advice that will help him get the money?


Edit Your Comment

  1. bwcbwc says:

    Ah yes, the old “there’s a problem with the financing/contract/rebate” scam.

    If you can possibly do it, get out of that deal as fast as possible. You’re dealing with scum.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      At the very least, do not accept any… ANY… “deal” that makes you pay more for your vehicle than originally planned. If they do, bail. As many Consumerist articles have said, if you aren’t willing to walk away, you have no negotiating power.

    • bwcbwc says:

      To clarify, I think the reason there is tension between the two financing guys is because they disagree about how to do business. So technically only one of them is scum.

      • LastError says:

        It’s called “good cop, bad cop” and it’s been used for decades if not centuries to scam the customer or client.

        Car dealers are notorious for pulling the F&I rug out from under “done deals” like this and anyone who didn’t do even basic research on buying a car would have found this out. Flying across the country in search of a deal take a lot of effort and time and money that could have been spent instead on basic research and getting prequalified for a loan.

        The buyer’s response for not having a CLUE about how to buy a car is to sort of whine and whimper and ask for pity. Come on. Car dealers eat people like him/her for lunch. For snacks. For fun. No wonder they got taken.

        And just to clarify, it’s the dealer pulling the strings here. Hyundai is not the problem. Some dealers are just scum. Some are not. This idiot had to fly across country to find a scumbag. They could have stayed in Chicago and probably found someone just as capable of ripping them off.

        • runswithscissors says:

          Wow, blame the OP much? Yeah, he didn’t do his homework. But calling him an idiot?

          Karma, man.

          Also, and I can’t stress this enough: THE SCUMMY DEALERSHIPS ARE THE ONES IN THE WRONG HERE AND DESERVING OF SCORN. Not the victims. Not the people they scam.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Hey, if they refuse the contract and want the car back… they can go get it.

    • sonneillon says:

      Agreed. It is a hell of a lot harder to get a car from me than it was to give it to me.

      • pot_roast says:

        Repo men & lawyers might disagree.

        • sonneillon says:

          They might disagree but they have to find my car to repo it and they have to find me to send me a service of process. Eventually they probably will. But it will be half way across the country and it will be a struggle. And if they go too far I’ll just declare bankrupcy to stop all collection activities against me. The only assets I have are a new car which by definition the second I drove it off the lot I owed more than it was worth.

  3. DanRydell says:

    You really think you’d get a better deal by flying to New England and then either driving or shipping the car back to Illinois? I really doubt that after you add the cost of getting there and getting the car back.

    If you were trying to avoid tax by buying in a state with no sales tax, you might find that your state will charge you the tax when you register the car. That’s how it works in many states when you buy a car out of state.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Although all points are valid… did you read the reason h e gave for going to New England? It was legitimate, and not directly related to the things you mentioned. It might also have been an excuse to see his mother.

      • msbask says:

        Not mother, mother-in-law according the the article.

      • DanRydell says:

        It was not directly related to the things I mentioned? You mean he didn’t buy in New England to get a better deal?

        He says he did:
        “We chose to look for new cars through dealerships in New England, mostly because we felt that we could get a better deal with the help of my mother-in-law, who lives out there enjoys negotiating these purchases.”

        He says he bought in New England because he could get a better deal with his mother-in-law’s help; I say that’s unlikely considering the cost of flying out there and driving or shipping the car back. He could have saved himself a lot of time and money if he just read an article on how to negotiate a car purchase (preferably via e-mail)

        • SG-Cleve says:

          Would it have been cheaper for his mother-in-law to fly to Chicago and do the negotiating there?

          • DanRydell says:

            Seems like that would be much cheaper than having to transport the car back to IL, but I didn’t bring that up because it would have been a significant imposition on the mother-in-law.

            The only way I figure this would have provided a worthwhile savings is if he thinks he’d be able to avoid paying sales tax by purchasing in New Hampshire. I thought it was odd that he twice referred to New England rather than a specific state.

            • tidalfae says:

              Maybe the OP was going to NE anyway and decided to take advantage of the mother-in-law’s skills while he was out there.

        • DanGarion says:

          Come on, flights aren’t that expensive. If he was able to save $500 because she helped him, I would expect he at least made back the flight cost, if not more…

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I was thinking the same thing; however, it’s possible that specific manufacturer rebates only apply to certain states/regions. It could very well be cheaper to purchase a car in a different region.

  4. dolemite says:

    Reminds me of when I bought my Elantra last year. I called ahead to make sure everything was in order. After filling out paperwork, they stated there was a problem. They insisted my F150 was a “work truck”, and wouldn’t qualify for Cash for Clunkers. I knew for a fact it did, and a work truck is one that is much heavier duty, like an F350 or certain F250 models. They stated they could give me $2500 for the truck, and I said no thanks, I know I am supposed to get $4500 for Cash for Clunkers, and I wasn’t about to give up $2,000 on the spot. So we drove the 100+ miles back home with no car after doing almost all the paperwork. On the following Monday, they called back and admitted the truck did qualify, but said we would need to hurry if we wanted the car, and we needed to come back the next day…so I had to use a vacation day to do the 200+ mile round trip drive to get the car.

  5. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I don’t understand what is in your contract. Is the purchase price the price of the car you agreed on minus the rebate amount, or is there some separate step you have to do to redeem the rebate?

    What does your contract say? I doubt they can “re-do” a contract though they might try to get you to agree to something new.

    • The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

      It sounds like the OP has a fully-executed agreement for the sale of the car. The loan on the car should correspond to the agreed upon purchase price. Factory rebates are (in my experience) paid to the dealer. When the rebate is transferred to the buyer, the money is fronted by the dealer who later recoups it from the manufacturer. If all the paperwork was completed, the buyer shouldn’t be on the hook for anything. The dealer is frantic because he’s out that money if he doesn’t have the right documentation to collect the rebate.

      If the sale has already been executed, he has no recourse to collect anything additional from the buyer. If the sale was not fully completed, then I don’t think the dealer would let him drive off with the car. If the dealer got the buyer to pay $2400 more than the final sale price with the promise of getting the rebate back later, that seems fishy to me.

  6. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I looked at the webpage of the provided link and it only mentions a $400 college grad discount: “An additional $400 on top of current Hyundai rebates*”

    It seems odd that there would be an income requirement to it but if it was on top of another rebate, I could see the other rebates requiring stricter eligibility guidelines (special financing typically does). I looked at some of the other promotions for the Boston area and there is special financing with $2,000 bonus cash back. Is it possible the OP is combing this offer with the college graduate discount to get a total of $2,400 and this is where the problem is? The special financing might have more stringent income requirements.

    • Winter White says:

      I’m quite sure that is what’s happening. Basically the dealership gave him the car on the assumption they could get the deal bought, but he doesn’t have the right income info to get financed. Has nothing to do with the college grad rebate and everything to do with not qualifying for the hyundai financing– he’s just not understanding what the guy is telling him.

  7. 3rdUserName says:

    Hyundai’s getting some bad press lately around here lately, I wonder if there is a bigger problem with the company or these are isolated incidences?

    • 3rdUserName says:

      There are so many things wrong with that post, I wish we could edit our comments here..

    • jsl4980 says:

      There are a lot of dishonest car salesmen out there. I bought two Hyundais in the past 3 years and haven’t had a problem. I would say the problem is with car salesmen in general and not Hyundai specifically.

  8. Hi_Hello says:

    How did you come up with 2,400 rebate? the college rebate is only 400 bucks. If you get denied that, you should still get the 2,000 rebates? What’s the requirement for the 2,000 customer cash back rebate? the website said, you need to talk to the dealer for more info.

    You might have been screwed with the customer cash back rebate, depending on the model you bought and the financial option you selected. My guess is that your income didn’t satisfied the financial option plan you selected and you couldn’t get the 2,000 rebates.

    The 400 college rebate is an add-on to the customer cash back rebate, which you couldn’t get so now you can’t get the 400 college rebate.

    Basically the dealer screwed you. Did you READ everything before signing? Did you negotiate a price before is talking about rebates and stuff? What did you mother in law do? No offense but female normally can’t get a better deal of the price because the dealer assume they know nothing.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’m thinking the same thing. It’s not the college grad discount with the strict income guidelines; it’s whatever other rebate that it’s tacked onto to get to $2,400. Given his limited income, he’s probably borderline in terms of financing and being ineligible for the larger rebate meant that he didn’t make enough to finance the entire transaction.

      An income of $2,000 month ($24k/year) isn’t going to finance much of a new car.

    • jurupa says:

      The 2k may have been for a specific car rebate promo.

    • puka pai says:

      No offense but female normally can’t get a better deal of the price because the dealer assume they know nothing.

      As has been noted before, if you feel you have to preface something with “no offense” you know you’re going to say something offensive. But that’s neither here nor there.

      As a female person I took advantage of this mistaken assumption when I bought a car last year. I did my homework, knew all the numbers, but played dumb whenever it was useful to me. After all, I’m just a girl and don’t know nothin’ ’bout no vehicles.

      I made the salesguy explain single thing in the quote and the contract and made him justify everything. As a result I got several “usual” things removed or changed because he couldn’t adequately explain why they were there. Got my floor mats and roof rack free, too, because they were add-ons (not part of a package) and so I asked them just to take them out. Didn’t need them, didn’t want them, and wouldn’t use them so why not remove them and take the cost off? Instead, after a bit of back-and-forth with the sales manager, they just threw them in at no cost. In return I agreed to eat the cost of a couple of things I wasn’t sure I wanted (actually did and had planned to pay for them anyway — car salesmen aren’t the only ones who can fib a bit) and so they figured they got more out of me than they would have otherwise.

      Ultimately I got the car for $500 over the invoice cost that Edmunds quotes. I know the dealer actually doesn’t pay that amount, but the numbers were pretty close and I felt like both parties came out fair on the deal. I grew up in a family of salespeople so I know everybody’s got to make a buck but I didn’t want to pay a dollar more than I had to. I said as much to my salesman and he agreed that was a reasonable attitude.

      Maybe something like this is why the OP wanted his MILs help. Perhaps he wasn’t comfortable dealing with the whole game that everybody knows car buying can be. Or maybe his MIL is a VIP in her hometown and could pull strings he doesn’t have access to in Chicago. It’s a big purchase and anybody would be a fool not to take advantage of anything that can make it better and maybe save them some $$$.

      This was the first time in my life I ever bought a car and it wasn’t as awful as I expected it to be. Mostly because going in I didn’t fall in love with a vehicle and was prepared to walk away at any point. That oft-repeated advice is spot-on. I had a price limit but there’s a whole lot of cars out there that fell in my range that I could have been happy with.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        smart, nice job. More people should do there own research before even considering buy a car. And the not fallling in love with a car and willing to walk away is the best thing someone can learn to do.

        I helped my g/f research how to buy a car and all the ‘fees’ they throw in and stuff. She went to buy a NEW car pretending to know nothing and then started to ask about this and that at the end, remove some stuffs. In the end, she got a pretty good deal, much better than how much someone else I know who just bought a USED car.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Really? A female can’t get a better deal? I don’t think so. My mom has always gotten good deals on cars my parents bought. I also walked away from a dealership that treated me like I didn’t know anything. The first brand new car I bought I went in with other financing already available and they got me a better rate. I also negotiated the amount for my trade-in to more. I researched cars before I went in to buy mine. Dealers who treat women like they don’t know anything are just going to not get sales from women.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      A woman who is willing to play hardball and who is dead set on getting a reasonable deal can get as good of a deal if not better. I actually think many women would have an advantage going in precisely because car dealers think women are dumb and weak. To me, it’s akin to being a pool hustler. You go in like you know nothing and then kick a$$ once you get int there.

  9. Angry JD says:

    Fraud in inducement to contract. Get a lawyer.

  10. banndndc says:

    Why would a rebate even have a minimum income requirement?

    • dolemite says:

      I wondered that too. It’s like saying someone needs to make 30k a year in order to use a $1 off coupon. Um, if you made a lot of money per year, you wouldn’t be using coupons/buying Hyundai.

    • DanRydell says:

      This is someone who needed his mother-in-law to help him negotiate, do you think it’s possible that he might have misunderstood something the guy said? A possible explanation was posted above – he didn’t qualify for the financing that was required with the rebate.

  11. Tim says:

    It sounds pretty open-and-shut to me. OP signed a contract with Hyundai, Hyundai is now going back on their word. At the very least, OP should be allowed to return the car and get any money back.

    • Spoonjab says:

      Hyundai isn’t going back on their word. The dealership is the one who did the deal and said it would be ok. The whole thing will be handled by the dealership.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Well in this case they can come and get the car and give the OP his money when they pick it up.

  12. PickledPiper says:

    With a contract signed. They either need to honor it or its a breech of contract. Other option, then can accept a return of the car, you agree to cancel the contract, get your down payments back and take your business else where.

  13. SG-Cleve says:

    Do I understand that you are in possession of the car but you have not purchased it yet?

    Did they really let you drive back to Chicago with a car you don’t own?

    Do you have insurance on the car? Does it have a temporary license plate? Do you have a temporary title or registration?

    Do you have any documentation to prove you own the car if you are stopped for a traffic violation?

  14. SnowQueen says:

    Years ago we qualified for 0% financing on a new vehicle. We signed the paperwork and drove off with the car. A day or two later we got a call from the finance guy at the dealership claiming we didn’t really qualify after all and we’d have to pay 3%, so please come back in and sign new paperwork. We said “hell no” and amazingly the “problem” suddenly disappeared.

    Apparently there are people dumb enough to fall for this kind of garbage and he figured it didn’t hurt to try it! Needless to say, when we were ready to buy another new car, we didn’t even consider buying from that dealership.

  15. DanKelley98 says:

    Years ago, I traded in the POS car I’d been driving toward the purchase of a brand new vehicle. They offered me $800 in trade for my old car….we did the paperwork and I drove out with the new car. Days later, the salesman calls stating that my old car might not be worth $800.

    My response was simply “not my problem” and that ended it there. Honestly, they could have offered me less for my trade and I would have taken it. But the deal is the deal.

  16. jsl4980 says:

    I think you’re leaving out a lot of details from the post. The College Grad Rebate is only $400 according to the website. The $2000 cash back rebate is separate. That may have strings attached if you got financing through Hyundai. The finance department may have done you a (risky and dumb) favor by giving you the vehicle without proof of income if that was required for financing and rebates.

    If you feel that you are being scammed by the dealership then you could try contacting Hyundai’s corporate headquarters and talk to someone there. I dealt with a Chevy dealership that tried to pull a scam on me and I dealt with the corporate headquarters and they got the dealership to fix the problems.

    • LastError says:

      Nah nah, it’s not risky at all give someone the car. It’s done all the time. It’s called “spotting” in the industry. You “spot” the customer the car (i.e. send them home with it).

      The idea is simple. They take the car home, show it off to neighbors and friends and fall in love with the air cond. that works, and the radio and the power and the color and the new car smell… and then two days later you call them up and tell them the financing didn’t quite work out or the trade wasn’t worth what they thought, and they need to come back to the dealer to redo the paperwork. At which time the dealer demands another grand to “make the numbers work” or some such thing.

      The customer has his/her car (or they think they do) so they’ll move heaven and earth to come up with the extra cash because nobody wants to give up their new car. And besides, the dealer will tell them the trade has already been sold -maybe it was, but it’s probably just hidden on the lot or at an off-site lot somewhere. And the dealer knew exactly what the trade was worth the whole time. They’ll happily LIE to make the sale. Yes, they outright lie.

      Anyway, spotting is a routine dealer trick.

      The way around it is to know your own credit standing, get pre-approved at your bank or credit union, or pay cash for the car. Don’t get involved with financing at the dealer. Of course, they entice you with the 0% interest (“hey hey hey, can your bank top that!?”) and extra rebates if you finance with XYZ finance. Bullshit. Don’t deal with that and don’t give them room to spot you the car and pull shenanigans.

      Get pre-approved from a legitimate lender. All you need to get the dealer to do is fax whatever lien info the bank or credit union needs.

      • MrsLopsided says:

        1) It can also work the other way. We were “spotted” – and after a 1/2 day of driving realized it wasn’t the car for us.

        2) I’d never have surgery or buy a car out of state. It’s just asking for trouble.

      • 420greg says:

        This is good advice but don’t let anyone know you already have financing until they sign the final sale price. If they think they are going to make some money off the financing you will get a better deal on the car. Don;t break out your draft from your credit union/bank until you are in the finance managers office and have seen there financing offer.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I completely agree about not mentioning financing until after a price is agreed upon.

          However, it’s been my experience that it’s worth talking to the financing department regarding financing and then comparing it against your own research. I just purchased a car last week and had financing already setup through my own bank. The financing department was able to find a loan through a local credit union at 2.9% for a used car, which is incredibly good in my area and significantly better than my own bank.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        I would tell them that I would be happy to bring the car back and go elsewhere since they can’t work it out for you.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      The Hyundai website itself says they require proof of employment, but there is no income requirement listed.

      I think its a scam.

  17. celeb8 says:

    Echoing the “fraud” post, but also, these people need to be taught a lesson. Call all your local news affiliates, they love stories like this and at least one will bite. Call the affiliates from the dealership’s town too. Use the word “fraud” and “fraudulent” a lot on the phone with them, and whether or not you actually are, tell them you are recording the call when speaking to them from now on.

    They’ll be surprisingly cooperative I think.

    • celeb8 says:

      To be more specific, don’t say “I’m recording this call” say “Before we begin, I wanted to notify you that this call may be recorded. Do you recognize that this call may be being recorded” That way it sounds like you were coached by a lawyer, and you aren’t lying if you don’t bother to actually record. You should, though. If nothing else for comedy.

    • lucidpsyche says:

      It was stated yesterday — most local tv news affiliates won’t TOUCH stories involving car dealerships. They’re the station’s bread and butter when it comes to advertising.

  18. FrugalFreak says:

    I think that Ad/rebate is geared toward spendy parents rather than grads themselves.

  19. SecretAgentWoman says:

    If the OP already has a signed/sealed/delivered car buying contract than it’s not his problem. Sounds like the dealer is trying to cover it’s ass. Meanwhile, enjoy the car.

  20. jason1 says:

    This kind of stuff happens all the time. Somewhere in the contract it states that the sale is contingent on the buyer qualifying for financing that hasn’t gone through yet. They let you take the car home and then when you don’t qualify they try to get you to redo the deal.

    You have two options. Accept the new terms or let them have the car back. You’re probably better off letting them have it back.

  21. Geekybiker says:

    Why bother with new england. Its easy to get a deal in Chicago, simply look up the “internet sales” departments at all the deals in a hour or two radius and email them asking for their quote. I’d even put them all on the CC line instead of BCC. Contact the best one and buy. Its what I’ve done on my last two cars and got fabulous deals without having to negotiate.

    • Spoonjab says:

      Geekybiker is right. I am the internet director at a Hyundai dealership and there’s no reason he shouldn’t get a screamin deal through a local internet dept if he uses

  22. Spoonjab says:

    I love all the speculation and fraud comments people make about these types of stories (talk about over-reactive).

    Anyways, I work at a Hyundai dealership. Here’s what’s happening: he qualifies for the college rebate. He doesn’t qualify for other extra rebates because he doesn’t qualify for Hyundai financing (lack of income – usually around a $2000/mo minimum).

    So what happens next? If the OP doesn’t want to take a different deal (without the rebates), they don’t have a cashable contract. The dealership will be mad because their car is in Chicago. The dealership will have to figure out how to get their car back. End of story.

  23. jimstoic says:

    Cash the check.

  24. DH405 says:

    Never buy Hyundai. I don’t know about the cars, but they are REALLY lenient with the morality of the dealers they work with.

    I went car shopping, stopped at a Hyundai dealership to look at an Elantra. I tried my best to work with them on a price until we came to a stopping point. I decided to walk, and the salesman chased me out to give me the number I was looking for. When I got back in, they said “Well, we can’t REALLY sell it to you for that much, but we CAN do this…”

    The figure they gave me was about $2000 above what they had just offered in the parking lot. I told them to throw my contact info away because I would NEVER deal with a company that did business like that. The next day I bought a Honda Civic. The dealer was really helpful, came down on the price a fair amount, and I feel REALLY happy with the car I got.

    • Buckus says:

      Ahhh..yes. The cars are competitive, but the dealerships are…dealerships. I think you would have gotten the same type of treatment at almost any volume dealership (GM/Ford/Chrysler). Makes me wonder if some dealers are actually interested in selling cars.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        If they got rid of sales commissions, paid a few people a decent amount of money to tell people about the cars, and just set a fair price, people wouldn’t have this problem. They could also sell the cars for less b/c they would be forgoing the commission of the sales person. I don’t get why dealers operate this way. It’s so smarmy.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I don’t think Hyundai is any different than any other manufacturer. There are some good dealerships, some bad ones, and a whole lot in the middle.

      • DH405 says:

        In my experience and that of those I’ve talked with, Hyundai seems to deviate from the norm in the direction of “Bad.”

  25. bradanomics says:

    Call their bluff. Return the car if that’s the problem. Remember that they will lose a sale too.

  26. VicMatson says:

    Do it the old fashion way, use Quick books Pro and print your own stubs!

  27. cromartie says:

    Three mistakes here:

    1) Thinking anything other than a Subaru or VW is cheaper in New England than in Chicago. (Now Texas or Alabama I’d buy. But New England? Really?)

    2) Not recognizing a classic Bait and Switch/Good Financing Guy Bad Financing Guy routine and walking out. (The MIL should have recognized this too, being the negotiator).

    3) Buying a Hyundai.

    Financing people are supposed to fully disclose the terms and conditions of each rebate to you before generating the paperwork for purchase. In fact, you aren’t supposed to be able to walk out the door with the car until completed financing paperwork is filed and approved, and you as a buyer are approved for the rebate.

    It also seems to me that rebates should not be income dependent. They are model dependent, or dependent on other conditions (loyalty, auto show, previous model year,etc.). Financing is supposed to be income dependent (unless you’re buying a house in the year 2006), and this is likely the problem. Either they didn’t verify his income before arranging the loan terms and completing the financing process, or they wanted to make the sale and figured they’d argue about payments/interest rate later, or they’re trying to screw him after the fact.

    This is all you’re supposed to need for the Hyundai College Graduate rebate:

    Hyundai College Graduate Rebate: This Hyundai offer is available for Hyundai Buyers graduated within 24 months of purchase date or plan to graduate in six months. Normally it requires the financing through Hyundai Motor Finance Company (HMFC), and the amount varies depends on promotion period. A copy of diploma or letter from school might be needed.

    No mention of income.

    I’m pretty sure the OP is describing the issue incorrectly. Just as I’m sure the dealership is trying to screw him. The former I understand (like other posters upthread I only buy used now and deal with internet sales guys because I despise the new car buying process), the latter is common and not the least bit surprising.

    • asamtoy says:

      “Financing is supposed to be income dependent (unless you’re buying a house in the year 2006)…”

      Nice one!!!

  28. LastError says:

    Based on the comments in this thread, it’s clear most readers haven’t got a clue about the car-buying process and the tricks and pitfalls involved.

    Here’s the deal: when you walk into a car dealer, you are prey. You are the fox with a fat wallet and three broken legs hobbling into a den of hungry experienced hunting dogs. You might buy a car a few times in your life. The hunting dogs, the salespeople, sell cars for a living. They do it every day and they have a bag of tricks you could barely imagine and you won’t recognize what’s going on when the salesperson walks up with a knife and fork and a bib ready to eat you for dinner.

    The F&I guy? The sales manager? They’re your pals too, buddy. They’re sorry for the rude and unhelpful salesperson. But funny how they also have the knife and fork and bib and somebody’s got a big tub of melted butter. Have you noticed you’re looking more and more like a lobster dinner? Nevermind, just sign here.

    This is not a one brand’s problem. It’s all brands. Some dealers more than others. Some are even honest but not many.

    Laws? The laws don’t protect YOU, fool. The car dealers wield immense power in every state and ensure the laws are car-dealer friendly. Nationally, the car dealer lobby just excluded themselves from the credit reform. Because they can make their own rules.

    And you walk in hoping you can get that nice new car you want. Golly, you hope your credit is good enough. Shaking in your shoes, scared and intimidated and dumb. No wonder you get taken for a ride. Just not the ride you expect.

    It’s astonishing how people will study and research and review things like which camera to buy or whether the place they are about to have dinner for $20 is really rated highly on Yelp, but when buying a car for $25 grand, they just show up in the dealer lobby and expect it to go well.

  29. Telekinesis123 says:

    Well contracts null and void since it was done under false pretenses, he has no obligation to uphold his end either. You know you think they would have enough respect for their customer after he just bought a car with them to just let it slide and take ownership of *their* mistake. The largest money grubbers it seems are the ones with the most amount of money.

  30. HyundaiBoy says:

    In the details that Hyundai Motor Finance gives the dealer (not on the consumer website) it reads… “Gross monthly income from the Applicant’s primary job – Must be greater than or equal to $2,000 per month”

  31. i1uluz says:

    My guess one problem is where he lives there is not a $2000 rebate so the deal is being kicked back due to that. Also he his credit rating is too low for the best interest rate so that will be a problem. I could see going out of area if it’s a rare car, but not for anything new on a Hyundai lot. Unless it’s a 0% deal, use a pre approved loan vice dealing with a F&I person at the stealership.

  32. Bog says:

    You can take the car back.

    You can have some one generate pay stub and say that you are being paid more than $2k. They really have no way of proving that’s really true or not. Got a friend who owns a small company?

    You can sue them for misleading you. They made a bad faith deal.

    Call the BBB, AG and News.

    Got a friend who is a member of the “family” there in Chicago? “nuff said…

  33. frak says:

    Once the dealership knows that you spent all that time and money flying out there, they will assume you are unwilling or perhaps unable to get home without a car. They know you are a “motivated buyer” and it’s not a great position to be in. Your mother-in-law could have done all this for you over the phone and email with a Chicago area dealer just as easily.

  34. JonBoy470 says:

    There’s a lot of people on here who clearly haven’t done business with a new car store in recent years. The OP has managed to win himself a trifecta of suck by being more diligent about the $400 college grad rebate than he was about actually qualifying for the car loan, or, presumably, reading the sales contract he executed.

    Background: According to their website, Hyundai has several promotions currently running in New England, available to the general public. For example, a 2010 Elantra can be had with “cash back” (a rebate) of $1500, or low APR financing (3.9%/5 yrs. or 4.9%/6 yrs.), and “Bonus cash” of $2500.

    The rebate cannot be combined with the low APR (a common restriction) but to get the “bonus cash” you are required to finance the car through Hyundai Motor Finance Corporation (Hyundai’s financing arm) and qualify for the low APR and apply the bonus cash to the down payment. The college grad rebate is $400, available to those who recenty, or will shortly, graduate from college. This program is independent of the above rebate/APR/bonus cash offer.

    Mistake #1: OP fixated on the college grad rebate, providing necessary documentation to secure it, but leading to…

    Mistake #2: Neglecting to insure he also qualified for the low APR financing that is the key to the bonus cash. The OP’s credit is evidently such that he doesn’t qualify for the low APR financing, and thus misses out on the bonus cash.

    The dealer could at that point apply the “cash back” instead, adding $1000 to the bottom line (using my example from above) plus the additional finance charges i.e. higher payments from the higher rate the OP did qualify for.

    Mistake #3: It sounds like the OP took delivery of the car same-day, so I’m just going to assume the sales contract contained a “contingency clause.” This clause basically states that the dealer is allowing the OP to take delivery (i.e. possesion) of the car on the strength of the executed sales contract, but that the deal is ultimately contingent upon the OP successfully obtaining financing.

    Typically, such clauses stipulate that If the OP doesn’t qualify for the financing they initially applied for, they have to accept whatever crappier financing they do qualify for, or return the car, in which case they’ll be liable for mileage and wear and tear accrued while they possessed the car.

    So yes, the F&I guys can demand all this extra documentation from the OP. At this point, they’re trying to salvage the sale (and their commisions) by avoiding the OP returning the car. A shady variation of this tactic is that, in the event the OP had a trade-in, the contingency clause does nothing to prevent the dealer from re-selling the OP’s old car in the meantime.

    Doing so precludes the possibility of “reseting” both parties by returning the trade-in to the buyer, thus rendering the OP car-less entirely if he returns the new car. The hope of course is that the buyer will, at that point, eat whatever less favorable terms are offered, to the benefit of the dealer and finance company, in order to avoid the “car-less” alternative.

  35. Riff Raff says:

    I fucking hate car-selling scum.

    In November of last year, I bought a 2008 Mazda 3 5-door. The car itself seemed OK, granted I only took one test drive in it, and it wasn’t that long, AND the slimy sales guy came along for the ride. During the “negotiation” he refused to come down at all on the price. I instead allowed myself to get swindled in to some B.S. “discounted” AutoGuard(TM) wax application, and an extended warranty. I was freaked out about the sunroof breaking; go easy, OK?

    Flash forward to today. I only have one working fog lamp, which I’m sure was like that when I bought the car. There are serious scratches all over the hood of the car. The transmission acts kind of funky in low gears, though that seems to be endemic to the auto-manual trans and dinky 4-cyl engine in the 3’s, and I’m convinced the car pulls to the right. I also was unable to get outside financing due to my pathetic income and too high expenses. Supposedly, my interest rate isn’t that bad, but the actual payments are painful with everything else I pay for, rent especially. In essence, the dealer really should not have approved the loan. Slimy.

    Basically my point is this: Unless you find a car that is super rare in your area, and a great find, DON’T RUSH IN TO THE PURCHASE! Research, investigate, apply for outside financing, and test drive until your feet hurt.

  36. peebozi says:

    this is simply a free market forces working as intended.

  37. asamtoy says:

    Class action.

  38. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    The best thing to do would have been to go through a third party lender, like a bank or credit union. You get pre-approved, walk in not needing their financing, and negotiate a deal. They don’t give you a reasonable offer, then you walk and can go to any dealership you want.

    I make it a point to never deal with car dealer financing depts. I feel like it is a conflict of interest.

    • JonBoy470 says:

      Unfortunately, with this particular incentive from Hyundai you have to qualify (and use) Hyundai’s low-rate financing to get the “bonus cash”, which is where $2000 of the $2400 rebate is coming from. The outside financing would have to be hella good to offset the fact that you’re paying 2 grand more for the car.

  39. eddikat says:

    If you have a contract and keys to the car I would suggest telling them to have a good day and to no longer call you. You will honer the contract you have and if they wish to to discuss the matter any further they should contact your lawyer.

    • JonBoy470 says:

      Actually, no… The contract has a contingency clause stating that the sale (and, by extension, the OP’s continued possession of the car) is contingent upon the OP obtaining financing to, you know, pay for the car. In essence, the dealer let him take the car home to Chicago before it was actually paid for by the finance company.

      If the OP tells the dealer to point sand, as you suggest, the dealer will, at best, issue a repo order for the car. The OP will be without a car, and have a nice “repossession” black mark on his credit. At worst, the dealer could report the car as stolen, at which point the OP would find himself with a felony arrest warrant issued against him.

  40. sgmax2 says:

    Just return the car. All this hassle isn’t worth it for a … Hyundai. Your local Toyota dealer has some *excellent* deals just now … :-)

  41. JonBoy470 says:

    If you’re not 110-thousand percent sure you’ll qualify for the financing once a human being looks at your application (and perhaps even if you are), then don’t sign a sales contract with a contingency clause in it!

    The dealership won’t want to get rid of the contingency, because that means you don’t execute the contract, or take delivery, until the financing receives final approval. In the meantime, your car is sitting on their lot, taking up space, and because the sales contract isn’t finalized, there isn’t much stopping you from getting cold feet coming to your senses and walking away from the deal entirely. They also lose out on the ability to screw you over with more expensive financing when your initial credit app is denied, again because you haven’t finalized the contract.

  42. asamtoy says:

    The first guy was older and had an, “Oh well, everything will work out OK” attitude, while the second guy was younger and more like “this entire thing is going to be a disaster if I don’t fix it”.

    The first guy was trying to make a sale. The second guy wanted to make sure you weren’t screwed. The first guy had a better attitude in front of the customer, but he was looking out for his commission – he wanted you off the lot. The second guy may have had a seemingly worse attitude, but he was looking out for your best interests.