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Hyundai Offers Consumers a 12-Month Vehicle Return Program

January 5, 2009

Hyundai Motor America has partnered with WALKAWAY USA LLC to offer consumers financial protection through the Hyundai Assurance Program, a complimentary 12-month vehicle return program.

Hyundai’s program allows for a complimentary vehicle return from owners who experience an involuntary loss of income within one year of the purchase date from participating dealers. The program covers all Hyundai models and is available to any consumer, regardless of age, health, employment history or financed amount of the vehicle.

“In this uncertain economy, we are looking for ways to reassure shoppers that Hyundai still represents the best value in the auto industry,” said John Krafcik, acting president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “Our agreement with WALKAWAY allows us to offer a unique form of financial protection in all 50 states for the first time by an automaker.”

Hyundai’s program is a private label version of WALKAWAY Protection for Automotive Financing. The Korean automaker’s program covers vehicles financed or leased through Hyundai Motor Finance Company and other third-party lenders and financing sources. Covered circumstances include: involuntary unemployment, physical disability, loss of driver's license due to medical impairment, international employment transfer, self-employed personal, bankruptcy, accidental death.

Consumers must have made at least two scheduled payments on their loan or lease, be current on all payments and pay for any outstanding balance above the $7,500 benefit amount which results from negative equity. Once the benefit is approved by the Hyundai Assurance administrator and the customer pays any outstanding balance, the customer returns the vehicle to the selling dealer, whose appraisal is factored into the valuation formula, and the consumer avoids further financial obligation or negative impact to his/her credit. The dealer is then able to remarket the vehicle.

“Within the next several weeks a consumer will be able to extend the program beyond 12-months for an additional fee at any Hyundai dealership,” said Hyundai spokesperson Chris Hosford in an e-mail.

Hyundai has 790 dealerships in the United States.

The Hyundai Assurance Program, the first of its kind for an automaker in the U.S. auto industry, will be offered to Hyundai exclusively by WALKAWAY USA, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EFG Companies, a Dallas-based, national performance management company serving the retail automotive industry.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Hyundai in offering this program through an automaker for the first time in the United States,” said Paul Budvitis, president of WALKAWAY USA LLC. “WALKAWAY is one of the most innovative products to hit the auto-finance marketplace, addressing consumers’ most pressing challenge to purchasing a new car in today’s economy.”

WALKAWAY USA holds the exclusive U.S. distribution license to the WALKAWAY program originated in Canada. Since its introduction in Canada in 2000, WALKAWAY has made it possible for consumers to walk away from over $35 million in automotive-related debt and has provided WALKAWAY retailers with a competitive sales advantage.

Hyundai’s vehicle return program expands the standard protection offered through “The Hyundai Advantage: America’s Best Warranty,” which provides 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain protection, and supplements all existing consumer incentives.

“We understand consumers’ hesitance to commit to large purchases in today’s economic environment,” Krafcik said. “Ten years ago, Hyundai’s industry-leading warranty provided peace of mind to consumers about Hyundai’s quality and reliability. Today we’re extending that peace of mind to cover consumers’ employment status and personal finances.”

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