Car dealer rip off

Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:11 pm

Something similar has happened to me before an I'd like to know where it stops and how to stop it. I'm not one to sue, and I hate lawyers, but I'm on the edge of livid. I know if I go to the dealer they will, at the most, say "We've reprimanded the mechanic."

Here's the quick story. My cousin, a 58 yr old woman, doesn't know a thing about cars. She had a 2005 Subaru. She was going in for an oil change & inspection sticker, and asked me what else she should have done at 37,000 miles. I noticed that the battery terminals were corroded. I told her I could clean them, but if they got $5 for it, have them do it. She paid them $24 to do that job along with "check the brakes". I also told her the front brakes didn't look great. They flunked her inspection for bad brakes saying all four rotors need replacement. They wanted $880. She declined as she didn't have the money. They made her fear for her life to drive away, as well as said it was illegal for her to do so. But that's not why I'm writing. The invoive shows "clean and lube battery terminals, they are fine now $24." I looked and clearly they had lubed with a red spray grease, terminals, top of battery, all over. I almost missed it, but looked closer.... the terminals were never removed! Not only that, they weren't even wire brushed. They simply went "squirt", $24. Grrrrrrrrrr Then the brakes, yes the front need attention, but the rear are fine. The invoice says "rotors worn below spec, pads down to 2 mm". The rear rotors are well within spec and there is 4.5mm of pad left. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I have called the state police and will follow up tomorrow, but I know nothing will come of it. I've never sued anyone, never hired a lawyer except for my divorce, but I'd sure like to see the Subaru dealer cough up 20 or 30 grand to my cousin to teach them to do things right. Little old ladies trust them!!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:17 pm

Yep, sheisters everywhere. My brother had a transmission leak. He took it into shop to get the one seal replaced. Now he knew it was very possible that the leak from that seal was just because of leak elsewhere but he'd figure he'd take the chance and at most he'll spend the $350. So the guy agrees to replace the seal for $350, he calls my brother and tells him that's not the problem and it would be anywhere from $1200 to $2000 to fix it. The $2K was for re-manufactured tranmission. The cost was not the issue, no argument there but my brother doesn't want to invest that much because the van wasn't worth it.

He tells the guy to just replace the seal they had originally agreed upon.... Nope won't do that. :mad: My brother knows it most likely is going to start leaking again. He tells my brother only thing he'll do is put old seal back in. WTF! In other words either pay the $1400+ or you'll get your car back with the a problem that is most likely worse because you can't expect the old seal to be anywhere as reliable once its been taken out.

Anyhow my brother is mechanically inclined and could most likely do this job himself if he really wanted too so the guy is not talking to someone that is clueless. He end up getting it for free once he was done because it was a franchise place and he threatened to call the company. ;) Just to add hasn't leaked yet and that was a month ago.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: jeromemsn On: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:36 pm

I had a dealer wreck my car while in for service. Was in for a couple of days and never heard anything about how much service might be so a took a drive over to check on things and couldn't find my car anywhere. when I asked where my car was they studderd a bit and then fianly told me that a backhoe had hit it, so where is it, I asked. They told me it was at a shop in another town getting repaired. (First clue something was really wrong, my car was at a full service ford dealership.) so I drove over to the other shop and took a look, wow, Oh and look used parts going on my car that they wrecked, glad I brought my camera, excuse me can I see the bill for my car, oh thats your car, yes and if your in on this cover up i'll get your a** also so let me see the invoice bud. couple of more pics for the archives and a nice ride back to dealer. I did stop and get a few things blown-up at the printers. Back at the dealers I walked around a bit with my large flyers in hand looking for the most expensive car on the lot, just as I put my hands on the door sure enough there was the owner of the joint. Sir we are very sorry for everything, I said not yet your not. I'll take the keys to this one if you don't mind, He said for a test drive, no just for a little hit and run is all, I said. To cut a story short he paid for the damage let me have the expensive car to drive till the other one was fixed, and gave me $2000.00 since thats the value it lost with the wreck now on it's vin. Oh I did have to give him the pictures of everything too, and the recording I had of him from the tape that was in my pocket, don't know how that got there, lol.
Document everything you can and do the best time line you can also. The more you put into it the more you will get out of it!
Just my $2000.00 worth, lol.

P.S. Hate to say this but the dealer was next door to me also. Not like he had to drive far or call long distance to tell me about the accident, sheesh.
jeromemsn
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker 90 dvc
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman elite fireplace insert


Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Steve.N On: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:00 pm

A few years ago a buddy of mine had his Ford Ranger in a local body shop after his wife hit a dear. While in their care somebody stole the tailgate. The dealer told him it wasn't their problem and he actually bought another tailgate. I wouldn't have :x
Steve.N
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman mkII
Stove/Furnace Model: Axeman Anderson 260 at store

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:28 pm

I may have missed it but how did she pay for the work? If she wrote a check, have her goto herr bank & stop payment. If she paid by credit card, dispute the charge. When they eventually call her, tell her she will pay nothing & wants them to take her to court & hang up. They will never goto court & even if they ever did, she'll win.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:44 pm

I know there's thieves everywhere,but w hat ges me is that it's the dealer. You'd expect this sort of thing from Joe Schmo on the corner, but when you go to the dealer and pay the long price you expect things to be done properly. I have an appoitment to speak with the head of the State inspection officer, but that's about the brakes. When I spoke with his office I didn't know about the battery terminals not being done. Depends on what he has to say, but I'm thinking of taking the car (after I take good photos) and speaking with the owner of the dealership. I'm pretty good at staying calm amd talking turkey to make things right. I won't give him h*ll, I'll give him the truth and he'll think it's h*ll.
She paid by: $100 "subaru points", and the rest (abour $25) on credit card.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:57 pm

Freddy wrote:She paid by: $100 "subaru points", and the rest (abour $25) on credit card.


I think you're out of luck as far as the "Subaru Points" go, but have her dispute the $25.00 credit card bill as a fraudulent charge for work not done. They (CC company) is required to stop payment by fed law.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: stoker-man On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:58 am

I have a PA inspection license for cars and buses. The code can be very foggy at points and left up to the discretion of the mechanic. For instance, a car must have a working defroster, but it doesn't have to throw hot air. The windshield can be cracked as long as it doesn't fall within the wiper area. And other goofy things.

But for brakes, if the lining is 2/32 or thicker, they must pass the car. They better give you a warning, but there's nothing that says that your brake lining must last until the next inspection.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:50 am

Freddy,

Call Mark Cobb @ 207-892-5795. He's in Windham and has a camp near Millinockett (well actually near Lee). Tell him Rick Dotterer said to call. If anyone knows the consumer protection laws and regulations in your state it will be him. I was up snowmobiling with him last March and have known him professionally for some time. There is no one better !!!!!

Here's his website : http://www.accidentinspection.com/



Rick
Rick 386
 
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Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Freddy On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:01 am

Thanks for the info. I spoke with the state police. They will inspect the vehicle tomorrow. In the mean time they told me the name of the general manager at Subaru to talk to. I hope to see him in person with the vehicle later today. If I don't get total satisfation I'll call Mark Cobb. Thanks!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:39 pm

The latest scam I've noticed is all of the dealers and chain repair shops offering "free curtosy inspections" while you have your car in for routine service. My aunt brought her Acura MDX to the dealer for an oil change recently, they told her the brakes were totally shot and she shouldn't be driving it in that condition. Thankfully she didn't have an extra $800 in her pocket so she decided to "risk" driving it home and scheduled an appointment for the following day. She told me about it so I pulled the vehicle in my garage and popped the wheels off. What a surpize! The rotors looked great and the pads easily had half their thickness remaining.

Brakes make up the majority of my side business, I charge $35/hour and use premium parts and still come out at half the dealer's estimate.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
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Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: chemung On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:03 pm

My aunt brought her Acura MDX to the dealer for an oil change recently, they told her the brakes were totally shot and she shouldn't be driving it in that condition.


:mad: Happened to me back in 1972. I had a 1962 Vette. I left my car overnight for a brake job the next day (all drum brakes). They called me and said I needed everything including the backing plates and because it was a Vette it was special order parts and would cost more $$$. :lol: I said, ya, right, don't bother with the job I'll pick it up. I took a friend with me to pick it up. Just for some...ah, moral support? ;)
chemung
 

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: Freddy On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:57 pm

OK, I took the car in, went into the shop with the manager. They removed all four wheels to inspect the brakes. They have a "nifty", as he called it, tool that reaches in and measures the thickness of the pads. He showed me how the rear one was just under 2mm. I crammed my head in and looked square on to the pads. I said "Your tool is wrong". The mechanic said "But it shows less than two mm". I said "There's about 25mm in an inch, you look at those pads and imagine stacking 13 of them on top of each other, it would be far more than an inch, your tool is wrong. Do you have a set of calipers? That one looks to be closer to 3.5 mm than 2". Well, the manager got calipers. It meausred 3.51mm. I laughed inside...my eye was off by .001mm. The mechanic said "I guess that tool goes in the trash". I said (calmly, I never raised my voice at all) "I wonder how many $800 brake jobs that nifty tool got you". Before we even looked at the car the manager said the mechanic had told him he made an error writing the report, that the back rotors were within spec. I asked "And he made that same mistake when he told my cousin they were dangerous?". On to the front, the ones that I thought looked bad. I'll be a son of a gun if they were within spec! One was a thousandth away, but it was legal. I asked "So we'll have an inspection sticker before I leave?" "Yes".
On to the battery terminals. I expressed they had not been removed. The manager said "That's how we do it". HUH? He explained that if they remove the terminals the radio stations have to be reprogramed and they had so many complaints they now spray them with this product that disolves the corrosion and lubes them. I said "Your product isn't working". He told the mechanic to put it back together with a new sticker and said to me "We are done here, you must leave the shop".
He was done. I wasn't. I pressed about the terminals. He reitterated "thats the way we do it". I said "On the reciept it is written "terminals are clean, they are fine". I said They are NOT clean. I want my money back or tohave them cleaned. He them got all hot, even turned red in the face. Told me he was done with me calling them thieves and I should just leave. I was very calm. "When did I call youa thief? I never did". He said " You said 'I wonder how many $800 brake jobs you ripped people off for?'." I said "You stop and think...were those my words? I never"...and he cut me off "Yes, you did not say rip off" but thats how I felt it was said". I told him "Well, I can see you're getting upset, feeling pressured, feeling like you're stuck, well, now you know how my cousin felt when told it was illegal and unsafe to drive her car away". He then offered to remove and clean the terminals. OK.
When the car was ready he suggested she take the car to where she bought it for service. Riiiight, she moved here from 800 miles away. I simply took the keys and left. In hind sight I should have told him that she'll continue coming here, just remember that you will be watched.

Wow, that was lengthy! Thanks for letting me vent...and thanks for letting me know I'm not alone.
Last edited by Freddy on Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: rberq On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:25 pm

".... I know there's thieves everywhere,but what gets me is that it's the dealer. You'd expect this sort of thing from Joe Schmo on the corner, but when you go to the dealer and pay the long price you expect things to be done properly.... "

I have just the opposite expectation, based on my experiences. You have to ask around, and look around, but I know three small private shops within 15 miles of me where I have gotten consistently good service without any of the foolishness of "here's the list of things that need to be done $$$$$". They all charge plenty per hour, but it's real hours rather than book hours. In each case the owner is a top notch mechanic and does some of the work himself, but has two to four other mechanics under him. I find it's a bit like restaurants -- if you see a lot of cars in the yard there's a reason why.

You do have to put up occasionally with things like this: My trusty Honda mechanic (not the boss) charged me $145 labor to disassemble the dashboard and fix a heater cable. Then I twisted the dial too hard and broke it. The next time he took it apart it only cost $23. When I asked why, he said with a straight face, "Well, I've done it before so I knew where all the screws were this time." I just bit my tongue, because he's been so good for so long. Somebody has to pay for his education.
rberq
 
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Re: Car dealer rip off

PostBy: chemung On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:43 pm

rberq wrote;

but when you go to the dealer and pay the long price you expect things to be done properly.... "



For Sure...

Another:

One evening I was returning late from working OT. On the way my master cylinder went. Stopped at the first open shop which was a Monroe Brake? The guy called me into the shop took an awl and lifted the rubber cup from the brake cylinder (drum) allowing fluid to leak. He told me I had a leak in the wheel cylinder. :lol: I smiled and said just change the master cylinder please. ;)
chemung