Hyundai Accent is a certified lemon -- should we accept new engine or insist on new car?

Between January 2007 and now, our 2007 Hyundai Accent has been in the shop so often that it unquestionably meets the conditions for being declared a lemon under DC’s Lemon Law. Hyundai acknowledges that it has a defective engine and has ordered a new engine from Korea and wants the dealer to install it. But we wonder, is a car with a new engine installed at a dealership the equivalent of a new car? Does it have the same resale value as a car which had a good working engine from the start? If not, we don’t think we should accept a replacement engine but would be within our rights to insist upon a whole new car … or 100% of our money back, as DC Law provides. What should we do?

Not knowing the complete background on the vehicle aside from the information you provided, it would seem Hyundai is making a sincere effort to satisfy you.

If DC law provides a full refund as you say. Go for it.

Installing a new engine doesn’t constitute a new vehicle even if it is one year old.

Who’s to say the transmission won’t be the next to leave you stranded?

It’s a bit of a stretch, but the new engine (if manufactured at the same time as the original) may be a problem too.

Get 100% of your money back. If run into more problems and want to bail your car has very little value due to excessive depreciation.

As cheap as Hyundai’s are new consider buying this model slightly used. This car has excessive depreciation to the tune of being worth about 25% of original MSRP at 5 years old. Most cars average around 45%.

If they found and fixed it immediately, you would have to accept that remedy. If it really does meet the rules for a lemon and you have all the documentation etc required, considering the inconvenience of it all, I’d want a new car or my money back. You’ve already been put upon and now you’ll be without the car for another extended period. Are they supplying a loaner vehicle?

Will it be like new? MAYBE. Anytime something is taken apart, there is the chance it will not be put back entirely properly. The dealer is going to be doing this as fast as they possibly can because the manufacturer only gives them X dollars for the swap. Humans, being human, make mistakes and sometimes take shortcuts. You should have seen the Corvette transmission job I saw a few months back. The brake lines were kinked and not even bolted back in place.

If given a choice, I’d want a new vehicle or my cash back.