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Dealer Dis-Service Horror Stories



  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Any advice?

    If the repair work did not require a road test(???), file a complaint with the BBB. Find another dealership. And make it crystal clear to service advisor, with any future repairs/maintenance, that you are to be contacted if Shelby requires any "road testing".
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    It's possible that they needed to check for that bad syncro or as someone else mentioned, to drive it to relearn the computer.

    In any case, it's not the end of the world. Life is short and there are worse things to worry about.

    Yes, I know, it's not my car but I would feel the same way if it was.
  • slaxtonslaxton Posts: 2
    I purchased a pre owned 2006 Infiniti G35 Sedan from Lisle Infiniti in September, 2007. During the negotiation of the price of the car, I noticed the rear bumper cover had two holes punctured in it. When I mentioned it to the salesman, he offered to replace the damaged bumper with a new one. A few months after the bumper was replaced, I noticed the new paint starting to chip. Since I do not live in the area, I emailed pictures to my salesman and he suggested I take my car to a local auto body shop for an estimate. Upon forwarding this estimate to Infiniti of Lisle, I was told the auto body shop that originally repaired the bumper cover would review the estimate and contact the owner of the auto body shop I received the estimate from. While obtaining the estimate, the auto body shop owner explained to me that the bumper cover was not prepared and primered correctly, which caused the paint to chip. The dealer, however, insisted I was responsible for chipping the paint. He accused me of pressure washing it or even backing in to something causing the paint to chip. If I had backed into to something there would be evidence of a contact point at the middle of the bumper cover instead of paint chipping along the bottom. The dealer never acknowledged that the real reason the paint was chipping was due to improper preparation before painting and his final decision is that he would not pay to have the bumper cover repaired correctly. The craftsmanship is the real reason for the paint chipping and I only expect the person who performed the work to take responsibility for it. All that I’ve been asking is for the bumper cover to be fixed correctly.

    So far, I've filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and with the Illinois Attorney General. I want to share my story with as many people as possible...any other suggestions.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Sounds like you are hunting the wrong varmint. The body shop is the culprit sounds like, not the dealer.

    It's hard to say what caused the paint to chip, given that the car has been driven on public roads for some months.

    An ideal solution would have been to refinish the bumper and split the costs 50-50 between you and dealer or body shop. This would have put you out perhaps $200 or so.

    You might propose this solution (keeping an eye out that they don't jack up the price so high that your 50% covers everything in reality).

    If that doesn't work, you could go to Small Claims Court with the evidence of your having proposed a compromise that was rejected.

    I'm not sure who you sue here, however. I'm not an attorney so can't give legal advice.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Sounds like you are hunting the wrong varmint. The body shop is the culprit sounds like, not the dealer....I'm not sure who you sue here, however. I'm not an attorney so can't give legal advice

    I'm not an attorney either, but the party to sue would be the dealership, as they were in agreement with the buyer to have the bumper properly painted. There is no first party agreement between the Infiniti owner and the paint shop.

    So, the Infiniti owner would go after the dealership in court, who in turn could then go after the shop that did the crappy paint job.
  • hughohugho Posts: 2
    If Small Claims is the route you choose, sue both the Dealership and the auto body shop that originally repaired the bumper (I assume the dealership contracted for the original repair). You would do well to have your repair guy there to testify. Good luck.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    It isn't clear if the body shop in question even had a chance to accept or decline re-doing the job. If the body shop decided their work was faulty, then they could perhaps do the goodwill gesture. After all, they've been paid already for the work presumably.

    Its worth a trip to the body shop. One's chances of success in Small Claims increases greatly if one has tried compromise and negotiation and been denied by all parties.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I am unsure about the US laws. However there are some television shows here in the UK, the most famous is called 'Watchdog'. They love stories like this and actually name and shame the shenanigans much like the story you tell. It would be a good idea to pass this story over to a television watchdog program and they will do all the footwork for you and you will probably end up with something equivalent to 'free service for life' or some such reward. It is the best way to go especially with a car which is akin to automotive legend as yours is. They basically took it for a complete Grand Prix drive. Some spotty Herburt got a life dream with your car without even asking you permission. How much would it cost someone to drive your car or equivalent Ferrari, Lambo, Aston Martin for a day? Couple of hundred dollars I'll bet- more than the cost of your oil change. Get real and get even with those stealing bastartds. You have worked hard to get your car they haven't and didn't deserve it.
    (Mind you if I was a nineteen year old with those keys in my pocket....but I wouln't have done more than 5 miles, as I'm not stupid...I think)
  • slaxtonslaxton Posts: 2
    Unfortunately the body shop is owned by the dealer, so every estimate I got was given to the body shop to review. I gave them a 3rd estimate and didn't hear anything back from them. So after a couple of weeks, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the IL Attorney General's office. I'm tired of jumping through hoops for them, I've given them more than enough of my time. I may be acting a little stubborn by not offering to split the cost, but you know what, I don't feel that any of this is my fault, so why should I shell out money to have it fixed. Right now, I'm going to share my experience with as many people as I can. If I can dissuade a few people from buying a vehicle from them, I'll be happy. So if anyone knows of any other forums, it would be greatly appreciated if you could list them.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,209
    I already posted this story on another board so I'll just summarize here.

    I received a "Buy 1 get 3 free" oil change coupon from a dealer where I had bought a car years ago. Looking at Chrysler's future I wondered if they would still be around to collect on the free stuff but decided to give it a try.

    When I got to the dealer (half hour drive) I was told that the coupon was not good on the car I had bought from them but on another car I had bought from another dealer. The car the coupon was good for was destroyed in an accident 2 years ago. They had no explaination of how I was suposed to know they were offering me this deal on a non-existent car.

    And you people wonder why I'm so cranky. :mad:

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Let me get this straight: Dealer "A" sends you a coupon for a free oil change, presumably for the car you had purchased from the same dealer, but many years ago.

    When you go there, Dealer "A" tells you the coupon is valid only for your OTHER car (now totaled) and purchased from Dealer "B."

    And we wonder why Chrysler is going down the toilet? :sick:
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    There are two sayings that apply here.

    "Let your fingers do the walking"

    "Never [non-permissible content removed]-u-me" ;)
  • Drove my Hyundai Azera last Friday. Engine started revving as if transmission went into a lower gear. Check Engine light went on. Next morning I called the Hyundai of Nanuet (where I bought the car one year ago). They told me to bring the car in right away. "It is dangerous to drive" they said. 2 (working) days and a Sunday later the car was not even checked. Their computer was down. They did not have a loaner car (which they promised at sale time). All this time they kept promising me it will be done but they only called me once. All other time I had to call them
    Also, any in put of what # of miles is reasonable for your car to be driven when you leave it for service? Hyundai of Nanuet drove it for 10 miles and Liberty Hyundai (where I took the car after the first fiasco) drove it for 14 miles. :mad:
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    If they're trying to duplicate your problem that mileage may not be unreasonable.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    They may have to drive it a few times. also they probably want to get the engine warm which will take longer in this wonderful winter weather we are having.

    As long as they fix the problem.....
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,209
    "...Also, any input of what # of miles is reasonable for your car to be driven when you leave it for service?..."

    If you read post #307 you will find that the answer is 420 miles. Also I understand a visit to a fast food place is required but I'm not sure why. :confuse:

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • mthmth Posts: 18
    My wife's 2008 Cadillac CTS, Thunder Gray, had a really minor fender bender on the passenger rear wheelwell. Country Auto Group Body shop in Huntington Station came highly recommended and promised that the car would come back like new (The car has 5,000 miles and not one scratch anywhere).

    The first time the car came back, I thought it was a bad joke. Drips, unfinished wheel well lip with primer, fish eyes and dust specs all over the entire quarter panel, over spray on the trunk and chrome trim, etc., etc.......I honestly almost fainted and my wife lost sleep for days. I brought the car back and COUNTRY AUTO GROUP promised to make it right - "it was rare that they did that kind of work, but it happens sometimes"......"they were having trouble with the spray guns that day".....I , me, the customer, I am a I was told ....among other things.

    In my opinion, they just ruined my wife's $40K baby...but what could I do, I signed over the $1,500 insurance check, so I gave them another chance with the promise that the manager would go over the car when it was complete.

    Well, the second time, the paint was definitely better, but now it looks like they just sprayed over what was there after sanding and doing a poor masking job. Up by the back window, it looks awful, the clearcoat stops and starts and looks like it will peel, they didn't take the taillight back out, masked around it and the finish is really rough where the light meets the body, there is still a dust spec in the paint right on the fender flare and there is still a drip or a small bit of poor body work on the wheel lip.

    They offered to paint the car again or give me a couple of free details....nice. In my opinion, they ruined my car - painless dent repair probably would have looked better. I really don't know what to. I want the car fixed correctly, but my wife doesn't want to pay and I know that Country Auto Body in Huntington Station is incapable of doing the job right. I wish I could just get my money back and go to Flower Hill Auto Body in Roslyn - their work is meticulous. Live and learn - to think that since we moved to Huntington, going back to Roslyn would have been a headache....that's why we chose Country........ :mad:
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You could try complaining to your insurance company that the job wasn't done right. If it's as bad as you say, I'd think an adjuster would readily agree; now whether the insurance company goes along is another story.

    I tried in my case after I wasn't happy with hailstorm repair work, and the insurance company let me use another body shop and paid for the additional work.
  • mthmth Posts: 18
    Thanks - I did speak with the insurance company before the second repair attempt. They were really a third party vendor working for the rental company. The guy who backed into my wife was from out of town in a rental car.

    The company told me that since they have no preferred body repair companies and because I chose the shop, there wasn't anything they could do. If I had deposited the check and written my own I could have at least stopped payment - but since we signed the check over to Country we're stuck. They did offer to paint the car again, but I really never want to see them again. The third time they'll just mask the car differently again so I'll have three different paint/clearcoat lines........don't you just hate when you know you have made a mistake that is going to cost you money to fix....I know for a fact, based on my experience, my family's experience and recent reviews that Flower Hill Auto Body would have done an absolutely perfect job, I just can't believe that we thought we would save the headache of driving 20 - 30 minutes to have the car fixed right....
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,209
    "...Flower Hill Auto Body would have done an absolutely perfect job..."

    Why don't you have the better shop fix the repair? Have them document the poor quality of the first shop. Then take the bill from the good shop and present it to the bad one. If the bad shop balks at payment take them to small claims court using the documentation from the good one.

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    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.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    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: 19,602
    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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    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.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602

    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: 19,602
    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?
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