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how should I handle horrible Acura service?

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How should I handle this situation. I recently(June) had my car serviced at Acura of New Orleans. I had them install RM short gears, RM ring and pinion, RM clutch and do the timing and water pump. they originally quoted me $3000 for labor, but when I arrived to pick the car up the bill had jumped to 3900. I complained and they lowered the price to 3600. they then told me that I really didnt need the timing and water pump done b/c it was done recently by the previous owner(they did the service and charged me for it anyway). When I got the car home I noticed that the invoice stated they changed out my coolant hoses under warranty, but the hoses were not changed. I called and they said they must have forgot to put them on, bring it in and they would take care of it. I wanted to put my headers on before I took it back over there so I waited. I put my headers on and noticed oil all over the bottom of my engine. Come to find out, they didnt have valve cover gaskets for my car so they just used gasket sealant and it didnt work. Again, I called and they made excuses. I told them I didnt have time to bring the car back for them to fix the problems, so send me the parts. They agreed to send the parts. that was two months ago, many phone calls, many excuses, still no parts. Now I have a new problem. I took my car to the track last night to see what it will run and half way down the track I lost all gears. After we pushed the car off the track and towed it to the shop, my mechanic inspected it and discovered that the shifter cable came off of the linkage because the Acura mechanic left the cotter pin out. My mechanic didnt charge me anything to fix it b/c it only took about 15 minutes to find the problem and put it back together, but this is rediculous! What should I do? I dont want to complain b/c I want them to send me the hoses and gaskets, but I think something should be done. thanks for any advice.---Brett
 
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Man, that's ridiculous. I can't believe they used sealant because they didn't have gaskets in stock.

-- Chris

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If I were in your shoes, I would consider small claims for the cost of the work 3600.
 
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Originally posted by SigEpUCI:
If I were in your shoes, I would consider small claims for the cost of the work 3600.

In many jurisdictions, including Louisiana, $3600 is above the limit for small claims court. So you can sue for the max which is $3000 and forget the rest or you can file suit in civil court for the full amount but then you will need an attorney.
I'd pursue this through the general manager of the dealership and the Acura zone rep - not the courts initially - with everything in writing and copied to American Honda Motors.



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Not so fast.

First, decide what YOU think is a fair resolution of the situation. IOW - do you want them to fix it the right way? Do you want your money back? Is there part of what they did that you're happy with, so you only want part of your money? Etc.

Next, follow the proper hierarchy to attempt a resolution. Have you discussed all of the problems with the service manager at the dealership? What has he offered? Are you happy with the resolution at that level? If not, the next step up the food chain is the general manager, and the next step after that is the owner. Each step is an appeal to the person higher up the chain of command.

If you can't resolve it with the dealer owner, discuss the situation with Acura's toll-free customer service number in your owner's manual. Keep in mind that the dealer is an independent business, but Acura has influence with its franchisees.

Only if you can't resolve it at any of these levels should you then possibly consider legal action. Another alternative to legal action after exhausting these steps would be to file a claim with the Better Business Bureau. Many BBB offices offer the services of independent arbitrators to help resolve such situations without resorting to the expense needed in the courts.
 
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Excellent advice, Ken.

It is always better to attempt to work things out through the proper channels before taking legal action. Any judge would want to know that you made an effort to resolve the issue before taking it to court.
 
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I would be sure to check all the other work they have done. ie. if they had the tires off for the tranny work and did not torque them back on properly? You could either injure your car, yourself or even be killed because of someone elses incompetence. I would also be sure to mention this to them next time you speak. I know this sounds kind of extreme. My mother recently had new tires put on her car and the idiot did not tighten the lugs. the front tire came off her car at about 25 MPH in heavy traffic. Luckily no one was hurt but her car is damaged extensively.

[This message has been edited by steveny (edited 26 October 2001).]
 
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Originally posted by steveny:
I would be sure to check all the other work they have done. ie. if they had the tires off for the tranny work and did not torque them back on properly? You could either injure your car, yourself or even be killed because of someone elses incompetence. I would also be sure to mention this to them next time you speak. I know this sounds kind of extreme. My mother recently had new tires put on her car and the idiot did not tighten the lugs. the front tire came off her car at about 25 MPH in heavy traffic. Luckily no one was hurt but her car is damaged extensively.

[This message has been edited by steveny

I once had the oil drain plug fall out about an hour after picking the (non-NSX, thank heavens!) car up from the dealership. I should have driven it until the motor seized because their response when I had the car flat-bedded to them (losing a full day of work) was to put a new drain plug and oil in it and announce that it was "fixed". I protested strongly (since the engine had run with zero oil pressure for some unknown length of time) that there was internal damage. Their response was that they could do nothing since nothing had failed - hence my comment about how I should have kept driving! Sometime later a crank bearing failed and I had to fight them tooth and nail, losing the use of the car for weeks, paying for repairs out of my pocket and - months later - recovering the costs from them only after a long bitter fight. Kind of soured me on the whole process which is why I don't bother with service managers when there is a problem - they've had their chance - anything serious goes right to the top of the food chain. Sorry for the long post.



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I have spoken with many people at Acura and will be driving to New Orleans to have the car inspected on next Friday by the president of Walker Acura. As it seems, the mechanic charged out the parts, but did not install them, we'll see what happens from here.
I made several calls and some internet post regarding this matter and evidently Acura does not like negative publicity on the net(they read this site, I know because they contacted me the day after I made the post).
John Vasos of Brookfield Acura has been especially helpful, thanks, I wish all service managers were as helpful as him.
I will continue to keep everyone up to date.---Brett
 
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Good luck Brett and I do feel lucky to have a great Acura Dealership like Acura of Brookfield to service my 91 John is a great guy.


Steven 91 Blk/Ivory
 
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Yes this is fairly simple.First decide exactly what it is you want and present it to the service manager or head of customer complaints within the company.If the situation is not resolved at that level do the small claims thing within the parameters of $$$limits of the small claims ..lastly,if the bill was paid by credit card dispute the charges and your credit card company will protect you if a service was not provided/a service was provided you did not request and you were charged for /and any case of negligence.The big plus in court and credit disputes is both will always lean in your favor.That has been my experience as a consumer and a business owner that accepts credit card payments for the services we provide. Unfortunatly communication breaks down often this is the result.Fortunatly these things are usually resolved.GO GET EM'AND GOOD LUCK!!

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P.S A letter from the Better Business Bureu usually is an exellent motivater.They will know you are not going away and it is manditory that that business respond to the complaint within 5 days.The BBB complaint can be placed by mail or ''online''.This is a free service they will act as a mediator/motivater to resolve issues.The attorney general can also be very effective and pursued by mail and or online also.Generally speaking most companys especially the larger companies resolve complaints by the SQUEAKY WHEEL MEATHOD.The wheel that squeaks the most gets the oil.There are also a few like Basch Acura fortunatly for myself they are local to here that would never let this issue ever come to this.Mark,Bob or Jane religiously make a follow-up call after "every" service call,(like your doctors office after surgery)even an oil change!!! To make sure everything is ok and I'm happy with there service.NOW THAT'S SERVICE!!!!!

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