Automakers offer discounts on post-rain repairs

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Automakers offer discounts on post-rain repairs

Local automakers want to help their loyal customers whose cars have been affected by this summer’s heavy rains.

Hyundai Motor Group, which owns the nation’s top two automakers, Hyundai and Kia, is offering a special inspection service for cars damaged in this week’s downpours in the central areas of the peninsula, including Seoul.

According to the automotive group, it will conduct inspections for free until the end of October, checking engines, transmissions or electronic systems.

For vehicles that need repairs, Hyundai said that it will give a 50 percent discount at its service centers or affiliated repair shops.Kia Motors will also pay half the cost of renting a replacement car for up to 10 days.

Both companies will deliver the repaired auto to any location the customer specifies.

Hyundai, meanwhile, donated a modified seven-ton truck to the National Association for Disaster Relief earlier this month. The truck is equipped with three washing machines and dryers that can handle an average of 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) of laundry in a day. Hyundai said the truck has been used in relief efforts.

GM Korea, the Korean unit of U.S. automaker General Motors, also said it is starting a special service campaign until the end of September.

The nation’s third-largest automaker will give a 50 percent discount for repairs of damaged cars at its official repair shops. The company will also replace some parts for free, such as air filters and valves.

Renault Samsung Motors is offering a similar campaign until the end of October. Customers can get a 30 percent discount on repairs and a free car towing service.

Ssangyong Motor is offering its own service campaign until Oct. 31. It, too, will offer 30 percent discounts on repairs. It also formed a special service team cooperating with regional government offices to improve its after-sales network. The team will conduct emergency repair services and conduct free inspection of cars.

“When the vehicle gets dunked in flood waters, drivers should not turn on their engines because they will significantly damage vehicles’ core parts such as their engines or transmissions,” Ssangyong said in a release. “The driver must cut the power and get repair to the nearest service center.”

Foreign automakers are trying to follow local automakers with similar services. Volvo Car Korea is offering 20 percent discounts on repairs at its 12 official repair centers.

Industry insiders said local automakers and their service centers will be busy over the next two or three months with repairs while their sales division will also be busy because some car owners will need new cars.

Hyundai said it will offer a 300,000 won ($268.50) discount or other benefits if a Hyundai owner needs to buy a new car because of rain damage. The car owner will need confirmation from a local government office that his or her car was ruined by the rains.


BY joo kyung-don [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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