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how to handle this...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by cbzdel, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    Lets see... A couple of day ago my wife took her 2003 VW Jetta to the dealership (Robert Larson on South Tacoma Way in Tacoma, WA) for a sunroof drain recall.

    When her car went in she had driven her car to work that morning at 4am and everything was in perfect working order. At noon she dropped her car off at the dealership for the recall and and oil change since she was there. Two hours later they were done and they even gave it a wash and cleaned the interior, all seems well.

    She gets up at 4am to go to work and turned on her headlights and nothing happened, no lights anywhere, the switch did NOTHING. We own 1 car and 1 motorcycle, so with her car not working I had to take her to work in the rain on my motorcycle, she was not happy.

    She was enraged with anger as she walked back into the service department and said you broke my lights fix them. Half hour later they came back and they said they checked everything they they touched and its ok. They told her they would charge her $50 to inspect the fuses or she could do it herself. We checked every single fuse in the car and they are all fine.

    So the car went back to the dealer today.. What do you guys think, is it just bad luck that it just happened to break while in their possession, or did they do something wrong and not admit it?

    We were told to do the sunroof drain recall they had to remove part of the dash, the door pillar trim, and headliner.
  2. 2zuks

    2zuks Dallas, Oregon Member

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    Did she use her headlights at all before the next morning? If her lights never worked after they worked on it, and they were into the dash, then I would say it is likely that they are responsible for the issue.
  3. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    Thats the problem, we have no idea if they worked directly after the service, she got the car back around 2pm and went straight home.. There was no reason to use the headlights.

    (Its the headlights, parking lights, and every light on the dash board, the only lights that work is the dome light and the blinkers and brake lights. )

    So I have to ask this, how do you make them responsible for it? They said oh its just bad luck this happened, we double checked out work and it wasn't us... I dont know what they did in there...

    We dont get the car back unless we pay the repair bill.. So I am at a loss.. Last time she was in there she as speaking with the service manager as well and he pretty much said though bubblegum its gonna cost you.
  4. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    sounds like they did, or forgot to do something when fixing the recall.

    Would be a good idea to ask them what is removed and touched, obviously if they do the dash, they have to undo some of the wiring harness. (DE DE DEEE>>>> VW Techs)
  5. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Curious if the sunroof is electric? If it is is it on the same circuit?
  6. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Question. Did you buy the car where you are having it repaired? If you did, I would go to the sales manager of the dealership, explain the situation to him and tell him that if they don't resolve this if will be the last of your business they will see from you. It might not work, but I have had it work in the past when the service dept screwed up and just couldn't bring themselves to admit they made a mistake. Even though the service dept is separate from the dealership, the sales mgr wields a tremendous amount of clout at dealerships.

    If you did not buy your car from the dealership, it's kind of your word against theirs, but I would write a letter to the Oregon State Atty General Dept. of Consumer Fraud (I think that is what it is called) outlining all the details with copies of all paperwork and send a copy to the owner of the dealership as well. You may get some action pretty quick. If you have to rent a car while the situation is getting resolved do so, keep the bills, and if you prevail then demand they pay your rental bill or take them to Small Claims court.
  7. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Better Business Bureau

    State Attorney Generals office

    The next level up at the dealership--clear to national if needed

    Pay the bill with a credit card, then dispute the payment with the card
    company. That gets your car back. Immediately take it to an independent
    certified mechanic, and have him check the dealerships work.

    Whatever you do, leave a paper trail 3 feet wide. Document EVERYTHING,
    names, dates, time of day.
  8. OcelotZ3

    OcelotZ3 Corvallis Active Member

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    No doubt that they did something while under the dash. It happens.

    Keep working with them. If they absolutely refuse to fix it, BillM's suggestions are very good. The one thing on your side is that it was recall work vs. other work. You can escalate your problem to the regional VW rep.: Hey, you had a recall, then my lights stopped working, what kind of crap is this?

    I've run into something similar in the past with car work and ended up fixing the problems myself (I do a lot of my own work on my cars). If the place doesn't make it right, they are going to lose business because I make sure everyone I know is aware of the problems they created & wouldn't fix.
  9. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Washington Member

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    My family has dealt with Robert Larson extensively over the past 10 years and have had nothing but positive experiences. Have you tried talking with a manager?
  10. greydog111

    greydog111 peoples repubilik of Oregon Active Member

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    I have 25 years experience as a BMW master tech. and I can say without a doubt that these things can happen. A sunroof drain recall, in my mind, most likely would'nt cause the headlamps to malfunction. Possibly the body electrical module is malfuntioning, a ground cable fault, or master lamp switch circuit fault. A mere oil change and sunroof drain mod. most likely won't cause this prob.
    This being said, if you sqwauk loudly enough to the service director or Gen. Mgr. you most likely will get some help.
  11. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys..

    So we had VW drive into it and see what the problem was.. We get a call (3) hours later and they tell us a contact in the headlamp switch broke.

    So it really WAS a coincidence!!

    Please ignore my posting haha...
  12. powermad

    powermad Portland Active Member

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    If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "it was working fine when I brought it in"
    I could have retired years ago.

    It's the nature of the business, you would be surprised at how many rigs suddenly decide to have a problem at the dealership.
    But like I tell the owners, at least it happened in the shop and not on the road somewhere and you were spared the tow bill.

    Dealerships are not out to screw over the customer, a reputable shop will own up things like that and make it right.
    Most times freebies are tossed in to smooth things over as well.

    Our shop has a Check 22 inspection that we do on a rig before we work on it.
    Everything we find wrong we write it down and turn it in.
    The service writer contacts the customer and advises them on the issues and checks to see if they would like to have it taken care of.
    For every item that is authorized the tech gets $5.
    Sometimes I can get $50 a rig. That can add up fast in a month.
  13. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    The quote for the replacement was $400. $320 for the part and $80 for the labor.

    I asked what was involved in the larbor he said taking apart the dash board to replace the switch, I asked how long it took and they said about an hour. I said all your doing is replacing the switch right and he said correct.

    I say come here... I walk over to the car and sit in the chair and say this switch right and point at the switch and he says correct. I said an hour to swap it out. He said yet that is correct. I then grasp the switch, push in on it and turn it and it pops right out. I then say an hour to take apart the dash, he said let me see what I can do to reduce that :bluelaugh:

    That being said I was just messing with the guy and had no intention of having something so simple done at the dealer... I paid my fee for diagnostics and then ordered the part online for $25 :D
  14. powermad

    powermad Portland Active Member

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    Name brand parts will always be way more expensive . VW must be very proud of that switch.
    Good thing it wasn't proprietary and was available in the aftermarket.
    Generally parts are marked up 50%
    Our parts dept has a 40% markup on most items.

    Most shops have a 1 hr minimum set price.
    Our shop has this along with the $60 if a puter gets hooked to it fee.

    Once I clock onto a job, the meter is running.
    If it takes me 5 minutes to fix it you still get charged 1 hr.

    If there are multiple lines on the RO and it only takes me .2 hrs to fix it that is all that is billed.

    The $105.75 fuse always kills me.
    It usually goes like this..
    Check and advise for engine brake inop.
    Get in rig.
    Verify clutch and brake switches are working.
    Test drive and verify complaint.
    Bring into shop and chock wheels.
    Open fuse panel...
    Hmmmm fuse 59 is missing.
    Ask driver if he has been in fuse panel.
    Driver verifies that his radio blew a fuse.
    Ask where the new fuse came from...
    Oh I just pulled that one out and stuck it in.
    How long after you fixed the radio did the problem with with the engine brake develop?
    That guy gets charged an hr.
  15. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    I am not a fan of dealship service. Several times in my life they have flat out tried to cheat me out of my money so I don't trust any of them. The last time I recieved a recall on my Dodge Diesel for steering linkage and they said it needed inspection. I made an appointment and took it in to have it inspected as the recall said some of the rigs might have breakage in the steering system.

    Checked in at the counter with my recall letter and the guy said it would only take a few minutes. Got a cup of coffee and stood by my rig outside and waited and watched him doing work on his computor. He runs out and opens my truck door looks in and runs back inside. He works on the computor long enough for me to drink a hot cup of coffee then waves me in and say's "the inspection is done". Not once did he look under the vehicle at the linkage.

    He tells me to get in line and sign that my vehicle had been fully inspected so they could get paid for the inspection. I walked out and got in my rig and left. When I got home I called Dodge and asked them about the inspection and useing my vin number how important it was that someone look under the rig at the steering. They said it was very important so I explained how they were getting charges by a dealer that doesn't do the inspection.

    They gave me the name of two other dealers that would do the inspection and told me they would add to the list of complaints about the first dealer. So I made an appointment at the second dealer days ahead of time and it still took 2 and onehalf hours of waiting for them to do a five minute check. I try to never go to a dealer if at all possible, they waste your time and screw you every chance they get.

    The dumbest one was I had an oil change taking place and the mechanic and the service guy came up to me and said "the rear differential oil is DIRTY and we need $180 to change it" Well I know the differential is a closed unit with no way for dirt to get in unless it was cracked so I asked them to show me. The mechanic pulls off the small screw cap and drags his finger over the dirty houseing as he sticks it in the oil in an effort to convince me the oil is dirty. Lieing ba$tards. Nope you can't trust them and it's buyer beware.