Just over a year ago, in the midst of the bloated car prices and dearth of available vehicles, we were forced to purchase a car. We had been relying on a 17 year old car with enough mileage to be on it’s return trip from the moon for over a year and because we are very rural, a reliable car was a necessity. We ended up with a new hybrid, paying over $3000 more than the suggested retail price with a very half-assed excuse for why they were tacking it on and couldn’t negotiate it down. And we had to drive to the next state over, about an hour to even look at one, lured by an online advertised price on another car that they had also tacked on the $3000 and refused to honor the advertised price. As it came from a different state, we had to wait for the registration to come with the plates from our state to get it inspected in our state. Well, it has been a year since the inspection and the new one was needed, plus we required the one year service inspection and tire rotation.
We live 16 miles from a closer dealer and more than double that from where we purchased it. We tried to get an appointment at the closer dealer, where everything could be done, and they didn’t have one available for a full month, after the car inspection was past due, so we contacted the farther dealer and could get in within the week, which meant a second appointment elsewhere in our state for the inspection next week. Off we went this morning. Of course, they “found” two other recommended “needs” so the cost went from under $20 to over $100. We agreed to their recommendations, got back in the car and pulled out of their lot to a scraping noise and a noticeable shimmy or bumping sensation. A quick u-turn and back in the service line and a “whatever you did created a major problem.” It turns out that their mechanic failed to torque on one of the tires and it was rattling loose. This could have been a very expensive, even fatal accident if that tire had come off. Though they corrected their error and apologized, we no longer have any trust in that dealership’s service center. Since the car is a year old, and under warranty, we will make appointments closer to home with enough lead time to guarantee our inspection doesn’t expire before they can get to it.
Whatever happened to quality assurance and reliable service.