Hyundai backtracks, apologises for refusing liability after customer's car stolen from dealership

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Hyundai Fourways have agreed to replace a customer's Hyundai Grand i10 stolen at their showroom.
Hyundai Fourways have agreed to replace a customer's Hyundai Grand i10 stolen at their showroom.
  • A car company apologised for initially refusing to take responsibility for a car stolen at its dealership.
  • The complainant took to social media with the story.
  • The dealership also apologised for what it said was a deviation from its values. 

Justice has come for a Johannesburg man who had his car stolen from a dealership at the beginning of the month.

A Hyundai dealership in Fourways, and Hyundai Automotive SA, apologised for the stress caused to Justice Mariba when his keys were stolen from a showroom before he was to collect the vehicle on 1 March.

Mariba said the dealership had agreed to replace the car.

The dealership originally failed to take responsibility for the loss and, after some back and forth, Mariba felt he had no choice but to air his frustrations on his social media page.

His original post on Twitter has been viewed over 600 000 times, and was widely circulated, with many scathing comments about the company.

This prompted a meeting between the parties and, as a result, Mariba is now waiting for a new car as a replacement.

The incident happened when Mariba dropped his Hyundai Grand i10 at the dealership for a service on 28 February.

Ten minutes before he came to fetch his car the following afternoon, a group of men entered the dealership and were seen walking around.

The dealership, in a statement to him the following day, said that, according to its footage, "a group of strangers drove into the dealership, walked around the entire dealership, stole the keys of your vehicle, which was ready for collection, and drove off".

READ | Hyundai dealership says it's not liable for client's car that was stolen from its premises

The man, who drove Mariba's car out of the dealership, refused to give the guard his driver's licence, so a photo was taken instead.

At the time, a letter shared by Mariba from Hyundai said that, when he booked his vehicle into the dealership, he signed an agreement with a clause which states:

The risk of damage or loss of the goods will remain my risk at all times and the [dealership] will only be held responsible for any direct losses of damages, directly or indirectly attributable to its gross negligence.

Initially, the dealership said it would, as a gesture of goodwill, pay the excess from the insurer.

In a written response to News24, a spokesperson for Hyundai, Deon Sonnekus, said the parties had come to a resolution.

He said Hyundai Fourways, represented by senior personnel, "had a cordial and successful meeting" on Monday with Mariba's father-in-law, "during which meeting the parties reached an amicable resolution".

Mariba was unable to meet that day, but joined the discussion on Tuesday.

"Hyundai Automotive SA and Hyundai Fourways sincerely apologises for the inconvenience and stress caused... The delay in reaching this decision by the dealership does not align with our values. We hope that we can restore [Mariba's] faith in the Hyundai brand."

Mariba updated the many concerned followers of the story on social media on Thursday: "We are glad to announce that we have made a huge progress on this matter and I would like to thank each and every one of you who took a part on this, if it wasn't for your efforts this wouldn't have been possible."

Speaking to News24 on Friday, Mariba said the agreement was that the dealership would replace the car.

"Justice prevailed finally."

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