Well, I finally took possession of my 2014 Durango Citadel yesterday. But not without some heartache.
I was notified by the Dealer that it was "on its way" several days before Christmas, and that it might be available to me before Christmas. VOTS was woefully useless in receiving updates, so those of you watching their website -- Good Luck With That!
The Citadel arrived on 12/26. My Sales Rep sent an email at 1pm asking when I wanted to pick it up. I said 5pm, since I was in deep southern Maryland visiting family and had to coordinate dropping off my current Ridgeline, getting a ride to the Dealer, etc. He said "No problem!" Then I asked if they could supply me with a dealer tag so I could transport my Ridge to my brothers house after transferring my tags from it to my Citadel. "No dice, in that regard." he said.
So I called the Sales Manager. I had actually been dealing with him most of the time, anyway. He said "No dice with a dealer tag -- but there's no way your Citadel will be ready today, anyway. The Sales Rep jumped the gun on that. We must prep it first."
But fair enough. I expected his call by 11am the following day.
At 11am, no call, yet. I should have realized there was a problem then. I contacted him by email. It took an hour to tell me he was waiting on his Prep Team to give him a time. At 1pm he wrote, telling me it would be 5pm. Wow! A day and a half, so far, for Prepping this SUV. But I bit my tongue and arranged my family to meet me at the dealership so they could drive my Ridgeline home (I was gifting it to my brother). A short time later, the Dealer calls and says it will be 6pm. I notified my niece of the latest update, as we both would be fighting Rush-Hour traffic on a Friday to get to Bowie, Maryland -- with her driving down from Baltimore (about an hour away).
But at around 4:00pm, I then get another call telling me "It ain't happening today. And maybe not until the middle of next week." Reason? They discovered a "cross-threaded wheel stud" on the right rear wheel.
They had no parts because they are in a temporary facility (being a new Dealership at that location). They would have to order parts. Their Service Dept. does not work on weekends (if you can believe that!). They had not even ordered parts, yet. They were talking Wednesday or Thursday of the following week. Which sounded like BS, but what am I going to do?
I bit my tongue, again, trying to be fair, and also a nice guy. But that night -- by 9pm -- I was thoroughly pissed because none of this made any sense to me. How can a stud fix take a full week? A friend called on Saturday (yesterday) and heard my tale of woe. He's more mechanically-experienced than I am. He explained where there were tons of holes in this story and told me to get off my ass and go see what's really happening. Twenty minutes later, I was on my way to the Dealer with my camera -- to either document the problem and get some better answers, or to cancel the vehicle.
I walked into the Dealership at 2pm yesterday -- only to be told, Lo, and Behold!!, my Citadel was ready
and simply needed to be cleaned! In fact, the Sales Manager showed me his computer monitor, and he was smack in the middle of responding to my angry email from Friday night. Instead of eating lunch while I waited, I ran home and retrieved my papers to go to closing. And I was out of there, finally, at 6pm (following the cursory walk-around, visual inspection, introduction to the controls, etc.). The Dealer volunteered to let me leave my Ridgeline there and they will deliver it to Catonsville on Monday.
1) Do I need to worry about that repair?
It is covered "as new" under Chrysler's Warranty, according to the Dealer.
2) It's raining today, so I really don't want to pull the wheel off -- but is this a good idea?
If so, what should I look for?
3) Has anybody heard of such a strange thing before with a factory-built unit?
The Sales Manager claimed he spotted one of the Lug Nuts not fitting flush with the wheel hub, but it was tight to the bolt. They supposedly had to pull that bolt because it was a wrong one from a different vehicle or year. I thought parts like this were installed by machine, and mistakes like this could NOT happen on the Assembly Line.