Kia Motors - West Hills Kia interest Rate Switching…Are You Aware?


• MISLEAD on what financing/incentives are available

• Sales team UNIFORMED of what interest rates they can offer

• Allow customers to believe financing is in place and then call to more than TREBLE the interest rate AFTER you have taken the vehicle home

• RUDE when you return the car because you do not agree to their “new terms” and conditions


According to Bob, the finance manager at West Hills Kia, WA they have 3-4 cases of interest switching a year, that while acceptable by law, is not acceptable to the consumer.

On Monday 22nd July 2013, my husband and I took delivery of new Kia Sorrento at West Hills Kia, after going through credit approvals that started on Tuesday 16th July, and after signing a contract with West Hills Kia for financing of 0.9% on Saturday 20th July.

On Thursday 25th July I received a phone call from Bob Villa in finance for the Hazelwood Auto group informing me that the financing had not been finalized. I expressed my surprised at this as I could not understand why we had been allowed to drive away in what we thought was our new car, if the finance was not actually approved. He said they were able to give people the cars, but by law had to inform people within four days if the financing had not been approved….

So the following day he called to say that the financing had not been approved at 0.9% and that he could offer a 3.49% interest rate, because despite having a very good credit rating, I only had 3 years credit history, rather than the required 5. A 5 year credit history had never been mentioned as requirement of the 0.9% rate before, either because the sales team didn’t know or because they were deliberately concealing the fact in order to secure the sale. I find both excuses unacceptable.

So rather than accept a rate more than 3 times the agreed amount, adding over $3,000 on to the price of the car, I decided to return the car the following day. We had been showing friends and family the new car, and now had to explain to them that because West Hills Kia had not been honest or upfront about how they operate, that we had to return the car.

We turned up at West Hills Kia and did not receive even a “Hello” from Bob whom we had to return the car and paperwork to, or Tom or Barry who sold us the car; just a “This way” as Bob ushered us into his office. There was no apology; he just wanted to get rid of us as soon as possible.

As we were leaving, my husband informed Barry and Tom that they would not get a favorable review on our customer survey, as they had both requested we rate them 10/10. It was only then that the General Manager, Chris decided to talk to us, stating that if we were unhappy that we should have tried to speak to him. As the General Manager, who knew exactly what the situation was with our failed purchase, one would have expected that he would have made the effort to speak to us when we arrived, rather than when he heard my husband’s less than satisfied comments.

Overall, our experience at West Hills Kia was not a pleasant one. The business practices were misleading, sales staff unsure of financing incentives and procedures, and customer service was lacking. We are bitterly disappointed by our only experience with Kia.

To ensure this does not happen in the future I would expect at the very least, that West Hills Kia make it to clear to anyone driving away with a financed car if their financing agreement has been approved or not, as finding out three days later that it hasn’t, and that you are expected to pay more than three times the amount in interest is horrible.

Footnote 1: Our auto insurance is with Progressive, who said that it was common situation and they removed the Kia car from our insurance as if it never happened – no charge.

Footnote 2: We are now very happy owners of a brand new Ford Explorer…a better car for the same money and better finance rate.

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Dec 14, 2013 #758367

After reading this I wonder why I didn't get 3.49% I would be happy to be offered that rate. But to be offered .9 would be even better. Sorry to hear they switched the rate on you. The best my Credit Union could do was 4.99 unless I came up with 20% down to get half a point off. I thought the banks make rate calls not dealerships? :sigh

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