lousy dealer for warranty repairs
Back in the late 1960's, my mother had bought a brand new Dodge Monaco station wagon from Boulevard Dodge Chrysler in Montreal where we lived. After a shade over one year, the car had starting problems. She called the dealer who towed her car to the dealership and it was determined it was a faulty battery. When she got there to get her car back, they asked her to pay somewhere around a 100$, which in todays value would be about 400-500$. She argued the car was nearly new with around 6,000 miles. They said the warranty was over by two weeks and she had to pay that amount or they would not give her keys back. She was outraged! She went to see her salesman who said he could not do anything as the sales and service departments were two separate entities.
In August, I was shopping for my trep STX and found a used 2004 at Autoland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, with 16,250km (about 10,000 miles). Before closing the deal, I called Daimler-Chrysler with the VIN to ensure the manufacturer would stand by the warranty and was told the car had been put on the road December 23rd 2003 and that the standard warranty would apply concerning the mileage and time. When I got to the dealer, he assured me everything was covered except for the brakes, particularly if the car had under 20,000km (about 15,000 miles) and that the car had not been involved in a major accident leading to a writeoff. The car had been at Budget rentacar in Toronto and had been owned by the Chrysler finance branch. Reassured, I bought it.
After getting in Montreal, I noticed the fog lights had lots of water condensation in them and were not working properly. I found out Boulevard Dodge Chrysler was the nearest dealership and had changed hands since my mother's dealing. It also carried a 5 star rating. I went there after getting an appointment and they made three holes in the fog casings and waited about 2.5 hours for them to service my car. A few days later, I noticed my fog lights did not light up at all. I took another appointment, figuring they would get my fog lights working properly under warranty.
After waiting 2 hours, they told me the fuse had blown and blew again after fuse replacement and needed to get their expert electrician on the case. An hour later, they told me they could not do the job under warranty because the discovered some silver paint fumes on the fog lights' wiring and therefore the car was not as it came out of the factory and that possibly some body work had been done and they claimed they could not be held responsible for the fog lights not working anymore. They said if I wanted to get the job finished, it would be on my dime or to call the dealer who sold me the car to foot the bill. I was shown the invoice which amounted to a little over 100$CDN. I followed my service rep who was searching for my car and left without paying. When I got home, there was a message on my answering machine asking me to go back to pay the bill...
I was pondering the situation where I had spent 6 hours in the service area, having to pay over 100$ for fog lights that still were not working and that I had expected to be covered by the warranty and was annoyed... I called up a long time friend who used to work as a GM claim rep for GM to get his opinion. He said the fog lights were working before they drilled the holes? They were not working after their work, it's their responsibility. You can even get the job done elsewhere and charge them for it after allowing them the opportunity to repair them. They never advised me, when the fog light drilling job was done, that the wiring paint fumes would nullify any further fog light work even though it was surely seen then. I called them back telling them I did not expect to pay for their bill and to get the job done right under warranty. I was transferred to the service manager who started moralising me for having left without paying the bill and that she had started the procedure to nullify whatever warranty I had on the car. Boy was I ever fuming! I ended calling the dealer who sold me the car and he has it up with Daimler-Chrysler. I'll probably have the end of the story in a few days.
While I may have considered modding my trep, I am unsure as that may be used as the slight excuse to say the car is not in its original condition and therefore the warranty is not valid anymore.
As far as I know, some paint fumes on a wire do not prevent the electricity from running within the wire! So, if you are in Montreal and need some service work to be done on your car, keep clear of Boulevard Dodge Chrysler...