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High End Luxury Cars

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  • I would almost bet that guy is driving a Lexus today....
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    The dealer is Lexus of Watertown in MA...I just got off the phone with the Lexus Corporate Folks...As usual they want to "mediate.." I told them I plan on taking legal action if they don't resolve it on their own. Here's the whole history:
    The car was hit in an accident two years ago. The Insurance company paid over $6K to fix it..The majority of the damage was on the Left Front. They replaced the entire LF Suspension Assembly and Lower Ball joints on both sides. Ever since then it has been making this Creaking noise when you make turns at low speeds. (Say about 10-15 MPH) I took it back to Lexus and they replaced the front bushings. Then I took it back again and they said it needed Strut Rod Bushings. I declined the repair as I was heading to London, so I didn't need the car..

    So a few weeks ago, I sent it in to get this done...I get a call from the dealership saying it needed $4K in work, mainly suspension. Some of you may remember my very annoyed post at the time...So I went to the dealership and spoke to the mechanic. He also seemed to be at odds with the amount of work the Service Advisor said it needed...

    He denied the Strut Rod Bushings needed replacement and told me the RF Upper Control Arms were the issue. In fact he insisted, it was a safety issue. This time I even took him on a test drive and was able to duplicate the problem...Low and behold I pick it up four days later and it's STILL making the same noise. I was especially ticked off with the service consultant who seemed to take issue with my questioning her estimates. Today was the last straw..I called them on Friday telling them to pick up the car and diagnose it..The Asst Service Manager (Who is a great guy) told me it would be done on Monday. I call today and he's not there (Unavailable until Thursday) and no one seems to know what's going on...I've left messages with the Service Manager and General Manager of the Dealership...So far no returned calls...

    Can you believe this?!

    SV
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I`m sorry to say ``It is lost``....I did find out after trying to even search this board that Merc was the number three poster back in 1999, during the boom times....My what fun while it lasted.. Blockislandguy I do remember your thoughts about getting maybe a twoo thousand or two thousand one Bentley for around ninety thousand or so....In following that thought up it did become apparent to me that in that niche market the depreciation is really heavy...Some of those types of cars cost maybe three hundred thousand or more.....For me even if the car were to be down even alot more than ninety thousand I would not want to project that sort of thing...I guess I`m just oldfashoned in that way....I do love to think of things like that and also see other people enjoying themselves---And believe me when I am down in Miami---You see it all all the time and right up close...Up here in South Carolina, you see very little of anything (there is a Mayback parked a few blocks away on occasion)...As for the planes, the company has to own those, as they are mind boggeling so expensive....When I used it about a year ago, and only had to pay for fuel and pilots it cost twelve hundred to fly about three hundred miles and back..Now I bet it would cost fifteen hundred.....If you fill it up with people it is way cheaper per person, but just you and wife no way...Another thing about the plane is that it is most useful to go and come in one day..If you keep the pilots overnight that jumps the cost probably five to six hundred dollars...So say a person was going to their vacation home in the islands, a couple of thousand to get down and then a couple of more to come home....Now if you paid the deprecian and maintenance out of your pocket that may be one hundred thousand a quarter and no flying expense.....I`l leave the rest to your imagination..Tony
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A reporter is looking to interview folks who recently bought, ordered, or are considering ordering an AWD BMW 5-Series, Cadillac STS4, Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic, Audi A6 Quattro or Lexus GS300 AWD and is getting the car to replace an SUV. Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com no later than Thursday, September 15, 2005 with your daytime contact information and the makes/models of the vehicles coming and going in your life at this time.
    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds.com
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Tony - I forget the actual rates but it does go by plane type. One of the guys I know would spend about $200K a year on flight time and for that he got something like 125 hours a year if I remember right. They only count actual time in the air and not ground delays. On layovers, it's like limo service - if you go somewhere and layover for many days - say NY-Miami - you end up being charged for 8 hours (assuming 4 hours per round trip), as the plane has to come back to its home airport. But if they can pick someone up nearby you get creditted back pro-rata - ie maybe they could pick up someone in Orlando or Atlanta on the return. I flew on one of the planes once roundtrip into Sarasota and it was great. Plenty of food, including ability to custom order and a real luxury cabin. As well the trip was much quicker as this particular plane flew at 47,000 feet - similar to the Concord. You can really see the curvature of Earth at that height and the flight is super smooth as you are above virtually all turbulence. The mags that you get that are proprietary to the flight provider are loaded with the ultimate in luxury advertising. Funny, but the one I flew on had ads from MB, Lexus and BMW but I never saw a Maybach, Rolls or Bentley ad and I scanned through about 4 months of mags onboard. I also brought one home for my wife and quickly regretted that poor decision. You can imagine the jewelry and fashion ads in these mags. It made Architectual Digest look like a shabby magazine.
  • SV, you didn't ask my advice, so forgive me. But go slow on stopping payment on the credit card. For the amount of money that is involved, the dealership will have to go after you and because it is over 2K in MA it won't be in small claims court where you could appear w/o a lawyer and informally present your case.

    As I think someone else has suggested, now is the time to either unload the beast or bring it to an independent to be fixed. It shouldn't be at a $95 +_ per hour big city dealer with service writers who, you guessed it, write.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    The last I heard on the time share jets or turbos is a one time payment of say three hundred thousand, and then a charge of eight hundred to sixteen hundred (for the faster palane) and you had to use say one hundred hours or something like that.....In my opinion those sort of charges can be used in a business, but if a person is earning a living it is hard to spend such an amount of money. I cant`e even spend the money for a first class ticket, so I`l see you all back in coach....It may be a poor experience back there but anyone can take it for a few hours...Then just take a nice shower and forget as soon as possible....I do think driving for eight hours is worse than coach, even in the highest luxury car... Those magazines can also make you feel extra poor., but the adds do let you dream for a little while Tony
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Tony - Just made roundtrip to South Carolina from New Jersey. I love to drive.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    blckislandguy,
    Thanks for the good advice...Here's another twist to the story..Last night I went over all of my service invoices..Last year I had the front stabilizer bar bushings replaced...Then I looked at my invoice/estimate from last week, which claims the same bushings are in need of replacement! These things have been replaced, and I'm 100% sure there is nothing wrong with them!

    This is fraud pure and simple...Also in the quote was a double billing of labor charges for the strut rod bushings and shocks..Both are included in 3 hrs of labor. The S/C charged me 3 hours for each. (I didn't have this done, but they've put it in writing). I'll consult with the MA Attorney General's office today..It's not an issue of money anymore, it's principle.

    It's not the car that's the issue. It's a simple creaking noise from the front end, which only started after it was in the accident..Seeing as Lexus of Watertown did all of the repairs, I'm going to hold them accountable to fix it. After spending $8,000 ($5K of insurance) I'm definitely not going to let them get away with it.

    I've given these fools 2 years to fix it. It's more of their incompetence than anything. I spoke with the service manager yesterday and they told me that they will have the shop foreman work on the car, and that I don't pay a dime in diagnosing costs. Sounds reasonably fair to me. But why should I trust them at this point? I'll have an independant such as Sears have a look and tell me what they think just to be sure.

    The reason for the Dealer Service is this: They know the car the best(Well they are supposed to..) and warranty their work for a year. When they mess up, I have plenty I can do about it..At a small independant what recourse do you have should they make a mistake? People at Sears will often say, "Dealer only" They don't even want to touch the car...Plus I had a great relationship with Lexus of Watertown for over 12 yrs..That's why I am so upset!

    SV
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If it were me, I would've gotten rid of the car as soon as insurance took care of the initial repairs. Cosmetic stuff sure, but structural damage, no, the car is gone. I went through a somewhat similar situation a long time ago, (a supposedly "fixed" car post accident keeps having problems) and I definitely would not want to go through it again.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Fraud is really hard to establish.....When I was looking for an old post I came across one of yours, that sort of stated you told the dealer to make your car right no matter what....I to have now learned to get an approximate price...I think lexusguy is giving you some good advice. And I to would suggest you put this behind you...Tony
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Thanks for your posts...It's been the same problem ever since the accident. My issue is with the Lexus mechanics..I work in Engineering and we take a diagnostic approach rather than replace parts blindly..Most of my experience was in England, and we'd never replace parts without being 100% sure it was the problem. I'll have Sears look at it and tell me what they think is wrong with it. The frame is ok as far as I know.

    My view is that the Lexus dealer is responsible in a few ways...Two weeks ago I told them to have a look at the front end and tell me what's wrong with it..As you all know I got a laundry list of things. Where my anger comes from is that they wrote that the stabilizer bar bushings need to be replaced..Hmmm, considering it was just done last year, I have a hard time believeing that!! It also had double billings for labor on the Strut Rod bushings and Shock inserts...(The Service manager had already told me they're included in the same 3 hrs of labor!)

    My gut instinct tells me the Foreman of the Service Dept will likely figure it out..With all the pressure on them, I'm willing to bet they won't give it back until they are sure they've licked the problem..The issue here is merely $$$..I feel having spent a few thousand, they should diagnose at their expense, and replace the parts that only need it. Once they've figured out what part is at fault, I will happily pay for the replacement.

    They essentially want to do most of that, with the exception of charging me for replacing parts at will. I want a methodical approach taken here, with the least expensive parts replaced first. There isn't much left to replace at this point anyway!

    Thanks for letting me vent!
    SV
  • SV, please don't bring your Lexus to Sears for anything more than a DieHard. This is nutty.

    On the other hand, you could bring it to the biggest Sears on the North Shore (the Liberty Mall in Danvers?) and leave it out front with a For Sale sign. You'd be out of the car by 5PM.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yeah I doubt Sears would even look at it, and if they would, I dont think I'd want them to. Its time to say goodbye. The cost of your time and stress in this case is already much higher than is worthwhile for a 14 year old car with essentially no real value left. Make your dealership buy it, and let them explain the suspension problems to the next guy.
  • It would seem to me that if you believe fraud has been comitted you should talk to the state attorney generals office or the state Consumer protection dept ...In fact you probably have a moral obligation to..

    It wouldn't cost you anything if "they" go after the dealer...

    Next possibility is the Local on air consumer protection guy...TV statations always seem to have one.

    Good Luck
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hey Everyone,
    Thanks so much for your responses. I talked to the Attorney General's office today about the whole issue. They think that a) I shouldn't pay for any further repairs b) That they may be able to get a partial refund for me.

    The dealer is supposed to call me tomorrow. Their initial offer of repairing on my dime was unacceptable. I think to repair at their cost would be fair. 10 years ago when they botched my 30K service on the same car, they refunded my money on the spot...When I bought a Pre Certified 98 LS with all sorts of issues, Lexus of Norwood fired the Salesman, Sales Manager and gave me a brand new '02 LS430 near cost. No other dealer was even willing to give me more than 5% off at the time. The reason for the firings was that they lied on a bunch of issues, and I caught them on paper doing it.

    Many of you have told me to sell the car and be done with it. I'd agree normally, but the car was a 50th birthday present for me from my wife. It was a big surprise as I'd never owned such an expensive car before..I'd wanted an LS but couldn't sum up the nerve to buy it..Even though she stole my new LS430 she loves that car. (Admittedly so do I)..Emotions make normally rational beings do strange things...What is driving me the most is the desire to teach them a lesson.

    SV
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    What is driving me the most is the desire to teach them a lesson.

    Sentimental reasons are hard to overcome, but don't forget that cars are machines, and they will break down someday and be undriveable.... Better to do it quick than prolong it and make it even harder to do. You will get over it if you give it up and get rid of it now. Just mho....
  • sv7887, if you are going to call anybody, call Channel 7. Their on-air consumer fraud lady (Victoria Block or is it Amaretta ....?) is a joy to watch.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Thanks for all of your posts. This isn't about money or even the repairs (or lack of) anymore. It's about the principle of not cheating your clients, especially one who has bought five cars from your dealership..Besides, I'm semi-retired these days so it's not like I have anything better to do. (Sure feels good, no kids' college tutition to pay for, and the wife is at work all day) These sort of things don't annoy me, I actually enjoy it.

    I emailed Hank Phillipi Ryan at Channel 7..I haven't heard anything yet, but I bet she gets tons of emails like this everyday. I confirmed with an independant mechanic that the stabilizer bushings were practically new and that nothing was wrong with them. He's a suspension expert, and did put his opinion on paper...Now I've got them lying in writing. I'll push for a resolution like the one I got at Lexus of Norwood. In that case, they made a big mistake but at least made amends for it.
    This is turning into quite the soap opera. Entertaining though..I talked to the Better Business Bureau. They had a claim filed against them a few months ago, and did settle it to the customer's satisfaction. Like Lexus of Norwood, they were foolish enough to put their lying in writing...I bet they'll rush to settle this one.

    SV
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    You wouldn't be the first to get a recommendation that (blank) needs replacing (even though it's brand new).

    I saw a thing on TV a few years back (one of those Buyer Beware on local news) where a person with a hidden camera brought a car into an independent garage for just an oil change... The trick was that the car had previously had most everything replaced prior to going. Of course, they came back with recommendations to replace this and that and the other thing on top of the oil change..... Then they had employees from some other garages speaking in anonymity saying that they are trained and instructed to do work in order to charge "X" amount more for each transaction above and beyond an oil change. Pretty ratty stuff.

    I had it happen to me back in 2001. Brought my then 2000 Maxima to a local garage for an oil change. They came back and told me my air filter was really dirty and needed to be replaced. I said, "Hmm, that's funny... I just had that replaced for my manufacturer's scheduled maintenence about 3000 miles ago.... An air filter should last longer than that, right?" All I got was a "Uhh, okay..." in reply.

    Good for you for not letting them walk all over you....
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    That reminds me of the Seinfeld episode about the auto mechanic. It can definitely be tough to find guys you can trust.
  • tiny1tiny1 Posts: 26
    Looking at a 2002 CLK 320 with 37K miles at $27k. Wondered if anyone had any experience (good or bad) with this car. I am more luxury than performance, but like a coupe design with the kids almost gone. I'm also 6"6" and find the CLK surprisingly roomy as the front seat goes back to the rear seat. I am prepared for higher and more frequent maintenance, but don't want a car that spends more time at the dealer than in my garage...My cap is approx $32K. Any experience or other recommendations? Thanks in advance...
  • Has anybody seen the interior of the Toyota Crown? That thing rivals Maybach in ammenities. What do the Lexus models have that the Crown does not offer? The Crown has a refrigerator/cooler in the rear armrest, Mark Levinson, gorgeous wood trim, and even freakin fold-out-of-front-passenger-seat leather foot rests. :surprise: The Crown interior is by far one of the finest interiors I have EVER seen in a car. What gives?

    image

    I cannot post the pics of the other pics of the rear seats because a membership is needed to view pictures. This picture gives an idea however does not do the car justice.
  • Toyota is reserving the Crown for its own market, particularly for high ranking politicians and its royalties. It's got a twin V6, if one of the engine fails, the other one will keep the car running.

    I think they might have exported the Crown to a few other Asian countries (probably Hong Kong, they are also right hand drive).
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    '02-'04 MBs are the worst of the worst. Supposedly they are better for '05, but all the information so far is IQS. We wont really know until 2007 at the earliest whether or not the '05s will hold up. I'm not saying that every car is going to be a lemon, but if the risk of major electrical problems is 15-20% of cars, those are not good odds when the average '02 has less than 10%.

    What do you think about maybe a '00 or '01 Jaguar XK8? Very luxurious, plenty of legroom, reasonably good reliability, and you can get a low miles V8 convertible for $30K. Try getting a CLK430 cabrio for that price. Also, a Jag XK with the top down turns a lot of heads. A CLK does not. :)
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    You could actually get a new C230 for that price, where I live - then unless its a lemon, you'd have low repair costs early on.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Right, but thats a small sedan with an even smaller 4 cylinder. Not exactly competition for the Jag.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi everyone,
    I couldn't help but notice the renewed talk of MB again...Their electronic gremlins is precisely why I passed on the S430 in December..I was worried that I'd be stranded at a very inopportune time. I'm glad I got my LS430 but would definitely consider the new S should it live up to Mercedes past reputation for durability.
    The Lexus dealer, having been clearly caught in the act, has volunteered to do the following things:
    a) Pick up the car from my house and take it to the dealer
    b) Diagnose it at their expense. The Shop Foreman will be exclusively working on the car
    c) Whatever repairs are needed will be done. The cost will deduct from the total $5000 I have spent. So hence I shouldn't have to pay anything unless the work exceeds $5000...Since the work is being done on their dime, I highly doubt this will occur.

    They'll get it on Tuesday. Hopefully they'll get it right this time.

    Thanks for all your posts,
    SV
  • SV.

    Congradulations for hanging in there and getting these guys to do the right thing.

    I understand why you care so much about the car...

    Hopefully your hanging in there will help the rest of us and that dealer will be a little more carefull next time....YOU DID A PUBLIC SERVICE...THANKS.
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