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Amid Coronavirus Pandemic Uncertainty, Automakers Offer Peace of Mind Via Payment Relief

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

As uncertainty grows related to the COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on our economy and everyday life, some automakers are offering consumers a little bit of certainty. Hyundai is among the first, relaunching its Assurance Job Loss Protection program, which offers up to six months of payment relief for new vehicle owners who lose their jobs. 

Related: Coronavirus and Car Buying: What You Should Know

Under the program, Hyundai will make up to six months of payments for new owners who lose their jobs involuntarily. The deal applies to customers who purchased or leased their new vehicle from a Hyundai dealer and financed it through Hyundai Capital between March 14 and April 30, 2020. 

In addition, Hyundai is offering new-car shoppers a payment deferral option. The automaker will allow deferring of payments for 90 days on select new models purchased at a Hyundai dealership and financed through Hyundai Capital. The models include the Santa Fe, Tucson, Elantra, Elantra GT, Kona, Venue and Accent.

Genesis Cares Job Loss Protection

Hyundai’s luxury arm, Genesis, is offering a similar six-month payment relief program called Genesis Cares Job Loss Protection as well as a 90-day payment deferral option on model-year 2019 G70 sedans purchased at a Hyundai dealership and financed through Genesis Finance. In addition, it now offers existing owners who bought before March 14 and financed through Genesis a payment deferment of up to 90 days in case of job loss or medical issues.

“We understand the extreme uncertainty created by the coronavirus and the anxiety experienced by our customers, and wanted to tap into Hyundai’s legacy of having people’s back,” said José Muñoz, chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor Co., and president and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America, in a statement. “Bringing back the job loss protection program in this unprecedented time will allow our customers to have one less thing to worry about if something unexpected happens to their employment status.”

Hyundai originally launched the Assurance Job Loss Protection program in January 2009 in response to the financial crisis and recession, but it was a little different. The prior program allowed customers to return the vehicle if they lost their job. It proved successful in both offering shoppers peace of mind and driving car sales.

Ford, Lincoln Assistance

After initially offering up to 90 days of delayed payment and encouraging customers who bought or leased a Ford or Lincoln vehicle to contact Ford Credit Support if they’re encountering difficulty paying as a result of the ongoing pandemic, Ford announced a more specific program that it says will give buyers up to six months of payment deferrals.

Under the Built to Lend a Hand program, eligible new-car buyers who finance through Ford Credit can have three months of payments covered by Ford, with an option to defer an additional three months. Model-year 2019 and 2020 vehicles — excluding model-year 2020 Super Duty pickup trucks — are eligible for this program.

Ford said customers may be able to change a payment due date or delay a payment; the automaker has created a special hotline for the program. Owners can call 800-723-4016, access their account through FordPass app or visit http://www.fordcreditsupport.com to discuss options.

GM Assistance

GM, through its GM Financial unit, is offering deferred payments of up to 120 days for new-vehicle buyers and also loan terms as low as 0% for up to 84 months for buyers with the best credit. Others could pay higher rates but still get the payment deferral. The financing program aims to reassure folks who “need a car but are reluctant shoppers” in the current uncertainty, GM spokesman Jim Cain told Cars.com.

“We’re trying to bridge through that,” Cain said.

The program applies to all 2019 vehicles on lots and most 2020s from any of the automaker’s brands — Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC — although the newest Chevy Corvette and GM’s heavy-duty pickups are excluded.

GM also is giving all current owners with compatible vehicles three months of OnStar services, including emergency notification and directions as well as 3 gigabytes of data connectivity in the vehicle. That includes 15-16 million vehicles; it will be turned on automatically.

Chrysler Pacifica Family Pricing

Chrysler knows that families will be hit hard by the economic effects of the virus, so it’s discounting its family mobile. With Pacifica Family Pricing, Chrysler says all customers get the same discount — no negotiations needed. Depending on the trim level, the discount is approximately $2,000-$4,000 on every model-year 2020 Chrysler Pacifica from the entry-level Touring to the topline Pacifica Hybrid Limited. The deal also includes 0% financing for 60 months, furthering the savings. In addition, there’s an option to defer payments for 90 days on gas-powered Pacificas. Check out Chrysler’s site for more information

Mitsubishi Assistance 

For current owners, Mitsubishi says that all of its vehicles financed through financial partner Ally are eligible for up to 120 days of payment deferment. For new-vehicle shoppers, Mitsubishi says Ally is also offering up to 90 days of deferred payments on the purchase, depending on individual credit. Customers should contact Ally for more information.

Porsche Payment Deferrals

Porsche Financial Services is offering some payment flexibility and will “on a case-by-case basis, consider payment deferrals on lease contracts,” the automaker said in a statement. The automaker also said most payment deferrals are 30-60 days based on individual need, mirroring what it offered during the financial crisis of 2008.

In addition, Porsche Financial Services is offering lease extensions. The automaker said the offer is for up to six months on contracts scheduled to mature between now and April 30, which is four months longer than the regular extension period.

Lastly, Porsche is ramping up its home pickup and dropoff maintenance program.

“While this offering has been available at many Porsche dealerships, customers can expect an increased number of Porsche dealers now adopting this solution for customers who may be concerned about coming to the dealership,” the automaker said in a statement.

Volkswagen Assistance

Volkswagen is offering qualified new-vehicle buyers who finance through Volkswagen Credit deferred payments of up to six months in addition to financing as low as 0% for 72 months. The company said, “We’re monitoring the situation across the country and will take additional steps as events demand.”

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Editor’s note: This story was updated March 26, 2020, with new information from Genesis and Volkswagen.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

 
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