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?