January 7, 2009

Hyundai offers buyers layoff protection

Hyundai Motor America said U.S. customers who buy new cars, then lose their jobs within a year of purchase can return the vehicle -- as simple as that.

The new program is designed to allow consumers who can't make payments due to a job loss to return their car without putting a dent their credit ratings, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

So many people have been reluctant to purchase a new vehicle for fear of what the future holds, said Frank Psyhogios, the general manager of Family Hyundai in Tinley Park, Ill.

This assuages those fears, he said.

If it's an honest and good program and there's no fine print, I think it will get people in here, said college professor Sam Lipkin, who was shopping around for a car this week.

But, Christine Benz, director of personal finance at Morningstar Inc., warned that those believing their jobs were at risk should be cautious.

You must be in need of a car to be buying a new car, especially if you think there's any risk that you could lose your job in the near future, she said. Otherwise you shouldn't bite on it.