Piston Slap: No “Nu” motor for You?


Doug writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I was recently made aware of the 1.8-liter Nu Engine extended warranty for the 2011–2016 Hyundai Elantra, and subsequently brought my 2012 Elantra in for an engine diagnostic at the dealership. It was the same dealership from which I purchased the car as a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle in 2014.

The diagnostic was two visits at $193 each. My claim was denied by the Hyundai Motor America warranty department, and I was denied ANY access to the pictures, borescope images, and video. They had the nerve to tell me that if I wanted the results I would have to retain an attorney to get the results! My question is do you know of any route to take for escalating this issue I have with Hyundai?

I would appreciate any suggestions for either the warranty repair or the diagnostic money spent to be refunded.

Sajeev answers:

My unqualified legal advice is twofold: consult with an experienced Product Liability Attorney and be realistic about the process. Since we have no insight into why the claim was denied, this is sadly that’s the only option I see at this point. Or maybe just give up, trade it in, or sell it to Carvana outright. This wouldn’t be the first time someone’s taken advantage of a car dealer to dump a vehicle with powertrain issues, ya know.

Depending on where you live, manufacturers have a stronger case for denial if they can prove neglect. No matter what they saw, I bet they discourage you from taking action by making you go through hoops to acquire said proof. Pretty smart move for a profit-minded corporation, as lawyers are costly for both parties.

That said, if you don’t have a service history to prove regular oil changes on your part, well, you might be in for an uphill battle. The documentation doesn’t need to be from a dealership, it can be receipts from a third-party service department, or oil and filter purchases from a parts store.

Oil change pour closeup
Getty Images/vm

No matter what documentation lives in your glovebox (as it were), lawyers bring a lot more stress your way. And, for all we know, there could be an arbitration clause thrown in there too. Assuming the engine is on its last legs, it might be time to sell and get something else. Best of luck, no matter what you decide.

Have a question you’d like answered on Piston Slap? Send your queries to pistonslap@hagerty.com, give us as much detail as possible so we can help! Keep in mind this is a weekly column, so if you need an expedited answer, please tell me in your email.

Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it

Click below for more about
Read next Up next: A Potpourri of Problems: Faulty floats, grumpy gauges, and cooling conundrums


    This is an outrage. Doug has paid the fee (twice!) and received no service nor product in return. Of course a scrutiny of the fine print is in order just to be sure there’s no language indicating anything to the effect of “this fee entitles the customer to no services or products”. Barring that, a plea to the district or regional office may help. If not, contacting his state’s attorney general’s office may initiate a response of support, if not action. Approaching the manager of the dealership (not the service manager) with his frustration and “support” of the AG may trigger at least a partial refund.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *