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Major dealer\manufacturer problems

25 November 2001
Long Island, NY
Be forwarned !!!!! I bought a R&P from a company I'd rather not name. They have been reliable and all the other parts I have gotten from them are excellent. All the feedback about the company has been great from all of you in the past. The R&P in my car failed. Which in turn cracked my tranny casing. My problem is this: The company who sold me the R&P claims that the dealer installed it wrong and the dealer claims the company who sold it sold a faulty part. This has been going on for four weeks. They still have my car and nothing is getting accomplished. I am at a lost and just want my damn car back !!!!!!!!

Can you have them get another tranny casing and re-install your original R&P while you're trying to work things out? At least that would get your car back.
Well, you may have to pay them to do this (so that you can get your car back) and continue to argue with them - including the possibility of legal remedies if you can't resolve it any other way.

If you purchased the R&P through the dealer, rather than directly from the vendor, you may be able to have Acura customer service (the district service manager and/or zone service manager) intercede on your behalf with that vendor. If you bought it yourself, you may be out of luck, with no leverage over the dealer's service department when you bring them parts rather than buying them trhough the dealership. I assume you've discussed this with the service manager at the dealership?

I myself have had a vendor (almost certainly the same one as yours - their name starts with a "C") fail to provide any compensation for a part they admitted was defective. It's one of those things where I end up saying, "At least I only lost a couple of hundred bucks; now I know not to buy one of their $10K brake systems or $10K superchargers".
We are talking about the same vendor. And the dealer did buy the part for me. So I feel they are responsible. I am going to wait it out another week, due to the holidays nothing gets done now anyway. By the way what mods have you done to your car

99 NSX-T
the dealer did buy the part for me.

Good. That gives you some leverage. Not a lot, but some. First, here are the specifics on the warranty coverage; I'll follow that with my suggestion on how to proceed.

Comptech has a contract with Acura through which Comptech parts can be ordered from, and installed by, any Acura dealer. People mistakenly think that this means that the car still carries a full Acura warranty even after installing the Comptech parts, but this is not true. The warranty coverage is the same with Comptech parts as for parts from any other aftermarket vendor: Warranty coverage on the Comptech parts are covered by Comptech, and the Acura warranty excludes any damage caused by the installation and use of the Comptech parts. Although I don't know if it is explicitly stated anywhere, any damage caused by improper installation would be the liability of the installer (the dealership); most dealers would make good on any such damage, but only (and this is a BIG stipulation) if it is clear that their improper installation caused the problem. "There lies the rub", as they say. Right now you have a situation where Comptech and the dealer are pointing fingers at each other, each claiming that the other is responsible; neither wants to get stuck with the bill, and no one is budging. I assume you're dealing with Shad at Comptech and with your dealership's service manager. (If not, then try to work through those two individuals first.)

First, you ought to think about what your objectives are in resolving this dispute. Obviously, you don't think you should pay for the repair - regardless of whether the problem was caused by the part or by the installation. Or, if you have to pay SOMETHING, you want to pay as little as possible. But also, more specifically: Do you want to get another aftermarket R&P installed? Do you want to get your stock R&P put back in the car (assuming you still have it)?

I would suggest you try using Acura (corporate) as a go-between to resolve the dispute. Acura has a National Service Manager. Reporting to him/her are six Zone Service Managers (ZSM), one for each of the six zones in the United States. Reporting to each ZSM are a bunch of District Service Managers (DSM), each of whom covers maybe a dozen dealerships in one or more cities. The DSM's call on the dealerships and make decisions regarding Acura warranty coverage when there is a customer dispute at a dealership. These are reviewable by, and appealable to, the ZSM.

I would call Acura Customer Service at Acura HQ in Torrance (the toll-free number is in your owner's manual), explain the situation to them, and tell them that you'd like to discuss it with the Zone Service Manager for your part of the country. See if they will put you in touch with him/her. If they only put you in contact with the DSM, that's okay, try working through the DSM (knowing that you can appeal to the ZSM if you can't get it worked out).

Once you reach the ZSM or DSM, just explain the situation, calmly and respectfully. Tell him that you're not happy being without your car (you can't use the phrase "customer satisfaction" too often). Don't tell him how to resolve it - IOW, don't tell him you think Comptech, or the dealer, or Acura, should pay for the repair. Just tell him that you had a part ordered by, and installed by, your local Acura dealer, from their vendor. It failed. Tell him how you would like it resolved - whether you would like another R&P installed, or your original stock one. Concentrate on the fact that you don't think you should pay to make that right. The ZSM/DSM should be sympathetic. Then leave it up to him to work with Comptech and/or the dealer to get the repair covered. Let him come back to you with a resolution. Hopefully he will get one or the other to step up to making it right; he may or may not ask you to pay for a portion of the repair (perhaps half the labor) but hopefully not most of it. He may call it "goodwill" (as a way of paying for part or all of it without admitting any responsibility for doing so), and that's fine. If he isn't able to offer any coverage for the repair, then you can ask whether it could be split somehow between those concerned. Keep in mind that paying part of it is still better than paying all of it, and this may be the best you can do by working directly with these involved parties.

If you are still not able to reach a satisfactory resolution by going this route, then you may need to take further steps. These might consist of appealing to your local Better Business Bureau (many such offices offer free arbitration services to resolve such disputes without accumulating legal costs to do so), and/or using the legal system, either on your own (most civil jurisdictions have a "pro se" court, commonly known as "small claims", for settling disputes below a specified dollar threshold) or with the assistance (and cost) of an attorney.

Good luck.

By the way what mods have you done to your car???

Just the brakes (pads, rotors, cooling ducts), using the original calipers.
Originally posted by nsxtasy:
the dealer did buy the part for me.

Good. That gives you some leverage. Not a lot, but some. First, here are the specifics on the warranty coverage; I'll follow that with my suggestion on how to proceed.

Ken, gijoe, My information is a bit different than Kens as to the warranty relationship between Comptech and Acura, but pursue it anyway you can. If the dealer sold you the r&p, I can almost garrantee you that a judge would hold them responsible for the part as they sold and installed it to you / for you. Don't make it sound as though they ordered it for you as a favor. If they wrote CT the check, and billed you- profit or no profit- but you can bet the dealer profitted, than they will have to work it out with CT, not you.
In the meantime, I have many stock trannies awaiting upgrades and rebuilds, and some perfect used ones. If you want to borrow one untill you straighten out this mess, I will be happy to send it to you. Freight will be probably be about 120. each way and you will have to promise to return it to me in say, six months or less. You are welcome to borrow one if it helps.
Also, I have installed at least 15 or 20 of these r & p's made by this nameless company and have never had a failure.

Good Luck,
Mark Basch

as i was reading through the posts (before getting to yours), i found myself thinking... "gee, i wonder if MY nameless vendor blower tanks on me, or screws up the car... i wonder what mark/nameless vendor will say/do?".

and then i got to your post.

your actions speak volumes about you... as i'm sure your (many) years of clients will attest (and not just us recent additions to your client list :>)

happy new year to you and your bride, mark.
I agree with Mark that the fact that the dealer sold you the part puts more of the responsibility on his shoulders. (In fact, I was thinking this very thing after I wrote my long post.) In this situation, the vendor's responsibility for their parts is more like a subcontractor relationship - where the dealer is responsible for working it out with them, not you.

However, I also feel that, if you cannot work things out with the dealership (presumably, with the service manager and, if necessary,, with the general manager and/or owner of the dealership), your recourses are those I have described - Acura HQ via the ZSM/DSM, and then the other recourses (BBB and/or legal remedies).

Good luck, and keep us posted.
Thanks for all the advice. Much of it I will take and work with. I'll be talking to the dealer on Wed. Hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year. I'll keep you all poted

99 NSX-T
Originally posted by gijoe:
Thanks for all the advice. Much of it I will take and work with. I'll be talking to the dealer on Wed. Hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year. I'll keep you all poted

sorry guys for the triple post. I was having computer probs, or brain probs, I'm still not sure which. I thought the subject was important enough so I kept trying and then all three attempts went. Yikes. Sorry.

Cheers, and
Happy New Year