by Christopher Jensen
Until Friday evening, owners of Hyundais who had not studied a supplement to their owner’s handbooks might have been surprised if their cars developed problems that resulted in disputes over warranty coverage. The jolt would come in the form of a policy that required some warranty disputes to be settled through binding arbitration — unless owners notified Hyundai, within 90 days of purchasing the vehicle, of their decision to opt out of the arrangement.
But soon after an article about the arbitration requirement appeared in The Times’s Automobiles section, Hyundai issued a statement saying it would change its policy. Hyundai said it was dropping the arbitration clause “because we don’t want people to be misled and think we don’t stand behind America’s best warranty.” The statement, from Jim Trainor, senior group manager for product public relations, also said, “We’ve only used arbitration about 10 times since 2006, to protect the company from unscrupulous mills.”