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Dealer Dis-Service Horror Stories



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,420
    I'm also wondering (not an attorney) if you could take your own insurance company to Small Claims Court on a Diminution of Value claim? I know most insurance companies have written into their policies that you cannot sue them for Diminution of Value, but on the other hand you can't sign away all your legal rights either just because someone puts it into a contract.

    I'd be livid about this and I wouldn't take it sitting down. A car screwed up like this takes a big hit in value. This is money out of your pocket. Of course I haven't seen the work, so I'm basing this upon your description.

    your insurance company should be sticking up for you and putting the body shop's feet right to the fire.


  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Country Auto Group Body shop in Huntington Station came highly recommended and promised that the car would come back like new

    Where did this recommendation come from?
  • ponderpointponderpoint Posts: 277
    edited June 2010
    "The first thing I did was check the odometer-I paid particular attention to the mileage "as dropped off" because it is a high performance vehicle and didn't want anyone playing with it."

    A co-worker of mine had the same situation, but far worse. He has the expensive hobby of exotic cars and took one down to Salt Lake City (he lives in Park City) for something more than just an oil change (He's extremely protective of the cars and does routine maintenance himself)

    The dealership found out, unfortunately too late, that the detailers they hired were taking certain cars out for joyrides. My co-workers car was selected for "play time".

    Play time ended with a serious collision and the dealer employee literally ran from the scene. I think it actually made the local news there - NOT good for the dealership!

    I have found that most dealerships have lackluster performance in regards to maintenance and 100% of them continuously violate the simple oath: "First, do no harm", it's quite simply, not their car.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,610
    I guess I'm out of touch with things.

    My best friend recently bought a pristine very low mileage 1998 Mercedes E 320.

    At the time I was still in the business and when this perfect Mercedes was traded in, I called him and told him to bring his checkbook and book a flight.

    He did this and he drove his new beauty home.

    A couple of weeks ago, he took it to his local dealer for an oil change. The cost was 130.00 which included an "inspection" that he didn't ask for. They spotted a worn front end bushing that we must have missed that is, indeed bad and he plans to get it taken care of soon. Otherwise, they gave him his tire depth measurments and brake pad thickness etc. They didn't ask him if he wanted this "inspection" they just did it and charged him 39.00 of it.

    So, I was in So Calif this weekend for a mini reunion with a bunch of HS friends.

    While driving with him, a chime went off and an indicator showing a bad bulb came on. Sure enough, the RF headlight was out.

    Next day we took it to the dealer and asked if they could do it while we waited.

    They wanted to charge him another 39.00 for another inspection! An inspection they had done less than 1000 miles before!

    It looks like this something automatic that they just do? Maybe Mercedes owners don't mind and expect this? I know a Honda customer would thave thrown a fit!

    Two and a half hours later the car was done. Cost? 309.00 to replace the xenon bulb!

    I warned him that repairs would be frequent and expensive!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,420
    Your car's care is a lot like your own health care. If you don't *take charge* of the situation, you're going to get run over by the system.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,610

    He brought the car in for a simple headlight replacement and the first thing the Service Advisor did was pull out a depth guage and walk around the car checking the tread depth.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,610
    That Mercedes Dealer charges 165.00/hr for labor!

    I'm sure the Bay Area is even higher.
  • I have a Mercedes C220 (1997) model. The central locking key operation didn't work so I called up the Mercedes dealership and they said they could put it on the diagnostic and see whether it was the key or actuator. This 'plug-in' test would cost £117.50 ($175).
    A replacement key would cost £300 ($450)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Strueth!
    I lock and unlock the car manually instead.
  • richardsonrichardson Posts: 92
    As of this writing it only takes 25% more US currency to buy a Euro. How do you come up with 50%?
  • kliquidkliquid Posts: 2
    I was hoping that someone might be able to help me with a minor 'dealer horror story' I'm having...

    I'm not a big car person and I have no desire to change my own oil, so I generally bring my car in to Valvoline Instant Oil Change every 3,000 miles. This last time, before I was going to bring it into Valvoline, I got a coupon in the mail from the dealership I bought my car at (2007 Dodge Charger). I also have an extended warranty on my car from the dealership. The coupon was for an oil change, tire rotation, and 22-point vehicle inspection for $19.95. This is significantly cheaper than the $40+ that Valvoline usually charges me solely for an oil change, so I decided that I'd bring my car in and have this service done.

    I had a bad experience with an old car of mine 'burning' oil off, so I usually check my oil about once every three times I get gas at the pump. The last time I checked my oil was about 100 miles before I brought my car into the dealership to get the oil changed.

    While I was waiting for them to do the service, one of the mechanics came up to me and said, "When we were checking your oil, the handle of the dipstick just 'came off' and the stick is lodged in the pipe. We're probably going to have to order you a new one."

    I told them that's OK and that I understand that stuff like that happens on occasion. I paid the $6.00 to have a new dipstick ordered (they didn't have any in stock).

    They called me the next day and had me come back in to pick up the new dipstick and get the old one removed from the pipe. After about 30 minutes of waiting, a mechanic came up to me and said, "Sorry, we couldn't get it out. We're going to have to order a new pipe and everything." That new pipe is about $130.

    At this point, I was pretty frustrated. Maybe the dipstick did just "come off," but it seems pretty convenient that it happened right there at the dealership and that they just chalked it up to "stuff that happens." They didn't take any bit of responsibility for this happening.

    Instead of having them install the new pipe, I just took my car home for the day and now I'm typing this, trying to get some advice on what I should do. Obviously having a functional dipstick is an important thing, but I'm just irritated that I'm the one who has to pay for this. They also charged me $27 for "trying to get the dipstick out of the pipe" even though they were unsuccessful.

    In the end, my $19.95 oil change has turned into a total cost of over $180.

    Is this a common thing to have happen? Is there any suggestion that anyone has for me? Or should I just bite the bullet and pay to have them fix the problem that they very likely created?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,420
    It's pretty hard to break a dipstick, so it must have been defectively made---warranty item in my opinion. I would not pay for it, and if they protest, then take it elsewhere, have it repaired, and sue the dealer in Small Claims court for the repair, based on their negligence. I think you'll win.

    Or tell the dealer what you're going to do and let him decide.


  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    I've had the top of a dipstick break off on me one time - on an old Suburban I had, and it was the the transmission one. I suppose it's bound to happen more often now though since they all seem to have a plastic handle bonded to the metal dipstick, not just a loop formed in the top of the dipstick.
    Now you know why so many of us do our own repairs and maintenance when we can. It's not just the cost issue. I could spend a week here telling you stories of dealer & independent shop repairs gone haywire.
  • kliquidkliquid Posts: 2
    Thank you for your suggestion!
  • bruce42bruce42 Posts: 2
    edited October 2010
    I brought my 1995 Cabriolet 993 in for adjustment of my convertable top. The top was only 5 years old and in very good condition. The service shop somehow ripped a hole in the top. My guess from over adjustment of the frame itself. The hole was a 2" wide plus hole. When I confronted the service shop they did not deny that the hole was not there when I brought the car in yet they refused to fix it. I went up the ladder to the service manager, general manager and finally to the dealer Ed Napleton.

    At each step of this awful journey I was met with discontent and disrepect for myself and my vehicle. They ran through every excuse in the book. My convertable top was 15 years old and was bound to rip anyway.(not realizing the top was only 5 years old), I hadn't cared for the top properly, then reverting to a total denial of we just don't think we did it.

    They continued to refuse and when under threat of lawsuit actually laughed at me. Then came the ultimate in disrespect. The owner, Ed Napleton, when I began to lecture him on what I expected as a customer actually cut me off and said, and I am not kidding "Customer---your not my customer. Did you buy your car from me?"

    Of course I hadn't, I had only just spent $2,000 in his service department but, obviously that didn't count as being a customer to Ed Napleton. I knew the second he said it what kind of person and dealership I was dealing with. Never again.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,420
    edited October 2010
    Based on what you've presented here, you may have a pretty chance of recovering damages in Small Claims Court. Ask for 1/2 of what a new top costs (since you already got 5 years out of it) and see how it goes. If they don't show up at the hearing, you win. If they do show up, no doubt at great inconvenience, you may still win. And if they show up and you lose, at least you have the satisfaction of dragging them into court, at no great cost to you, and probably at some cost to them in time and aggravation.

    Be sure to create a good but simple presentation, giving dates, a few photos, maybe a synopsis of the chronology and conversation.

    They don't owe you the entire top, but they DID work on it, so they should contribute.


  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,052
    Here's the dealer's Edmunds link from searching for Porsche dealerships.

    Give him a dealership review:

    Ed Napleton

    Here's the only other review:
    Written by mike53222 on 7/3/09 8:59:16 AM PDT
    Recommend this dealer? No Purchased a vehicle from this dealer? No
    Napleton Porsche of Westmont This Dealership sells fine Porsches and pre-owned cars but don't be fooled, they'll do anything to make a quick sale even it means going back on their word. After finding a nice 2006 BMW Z4 on the internet, I drove over 2 1/2 hours to the dealership to negotiate the buy. We could not come to terms initially but I followed up with phone calls to the manager and sales person Rick Schneider. Two days later, I telephoned the salesperson and finally brokered an agreed upon price on the vehicle and offered to make a deposit via my Visa, he explained that this was not necessary, he congratulated me and said just drive down to complete the paperwork and payment. When I arrived, Rick informed me that they sold the car to someone else. I was shocked and angered! We had a verbal agreement on the sale only hours prior and he assured me the car would be on hold waiting for me. I informed him that I would drive down immediately to complete the sale, however, another buyer came in after I had called and they wanted to make a quick sale, so they did. I was never called or informed about this sale til I arrived. Over the course of 3 days I worked with this dealership to try and broker a deal. Initially, negotiations were fine, but in the end when they give you their word - trust me, it means nothing. You think may be negotiating with reputable people but you're not. After complaining to the sales manager, he just backed up his sales person and sent me on my way. I DO NOT recommend doing business with this dealership. Michael Milwaukee, WI
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I would have had them fax a contract and both sign, and take the visa as deposit....before I drove another 5 hours to get it.
  • I bought a Porsche from them recently and they did the same thing to me. I had to wait for the title for 6 weeks and end up costing me $1000 in DMV penalties and lots of time wasted calling and following up for auto repair. Plus the car was not exactly what they promised me on the phone.
  • jameslaurren: You bought a Porsche from who? Otis?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Your website doesn't indicate the results of the court case, how was this settled?
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