Originally Posted by Knightrider03m
Lawsuits of that magnitude cost a lot of money and a lot of time. Why spend upwards of $75-100K just to get $45K on the Jeep? And lets not talk about the money that he would lose for being in court and not his job. Lawsuits isn't always the best thing unless he can find a lawyer that would work on the case for $10 per hour
Thank you for not making me feel insane about realizing a law suit will cost me money - even with the law being tested states the manufacturer has to pay all legal fees IN ADDITION TO any settlement! I'd love to spend every waking moment fighting the good fight, but I'll simply say that at this point I imagine I've lost somewhere around $6000 of production by wasting my time on this fight when I should be running my business and 5 times that in future sales by not delivering bids in a prompt enough fashion because I lost time dealing with this BS - all for nothing. So far all I've got out of this was a feeling of deeper depression and a wife whose eyes tear up when I tell her the latest on the Jeep. Over a car. Its wrecking our life because the only easy solution is to buy another Jeep and pretend none of this really happened after all.
Sorry for the long posts, but I figured I owe an update... A week ago Thursday I made a surprise visit to the dealership to see what was going on. My Jeep was parked right outside the service door nice and unlocked. I was able to open the door, climb inside it, dig around it for 2-3 minutes (trying to see how long before someone asked what I was doing basically) before walking in to the service department who was standing there watching me dig through the Jeep. They all seem to know my wife since she's the one who has been picking this thing up on her way home to give back the loaner when they claim its ready and possibly because as a slim 6' tall brunette she's not nearly as hard on the eyes as I am... they don't seem to remember me. After all - at that time we were simply 2 weeks away from it being 5 MONTHS since we dropped it off and I had only made about a dozen visits to them with it pushing 5.5-6 MONTHS since I drove my Jeep. A week from Today will be 5 months I believe... October 3 after dropping it off June 3rd for this run, the first attempts at repair were in February. For some reason I feel I'll be taking the mechanics a cake on the one year anniversary of them "trying" to fix it.
As I walked in they asked if they could help me. Seriously. My business is named after my last name. My shirt has a clearly visible 4" tall logo on it, with my last name taking up 3/4 of it. As soon as they asked this ridiculous question, I asked "So you have no idea who I am but didn't come see what I was doing when I was rooting through that Jeep outside? Great. Go get your boss. Oh wait, you run the service department. Your name is ____. How come I remember you but you don't remember me? [pointing at the guy next to him] And you're the guy who keeps asking my new bride if she's still married when you hit on her right?" We were off to a great start.
They had a parking light socket and bulb "clipped" to my vent with the wiring running into the kick panel. I asked for an update and they told me that Chrysler told them to run it with a light and if the light turns on when it stalls they'll have the answer to the million dollar question. When I asked what they were testing, the response was "To see if the ignition switch is bad." Now the factory switch was replaced by me when they wanted a couple hundred to do it, then TWICE MORE by them in the past 4+ months for what reason I'm clueless.
I expressed a deep concern for what they were testing, but not being one to tell them how to do their job since past suggestions fell on deaf ears, I just recapped the problem with the vehicle. The guy talking with me said he has never experienced most of the problems I have with how it stalls and when, only one of them. At this point they had been supposedly driving the vehicle to lunch every day and home every night for two days supposedly and it hadn't stalled yet. I shared my extreme disappointment in my wife driving a piece of shit PT Cruiser for the past almost 5 months and as the line behind me at the counter went from zero to 6 people, I felt the need to recap the history of their attempts with an audience to make sure they saw the impact I was interested in causing from their apparent lack of wanting to fix my vehicle.
This past Thursday (a week after this visit), they of course called my wife despite for the 10th time saying "Call me and me only about this vehicle" because I don't like second hand info and she has been brought to tears over this struggle more than the number of months its been going on. They told her it was ready in a voicemail and I immediately called them back. I was told they had driven the vehicle with this light hooked up for two weeks before it stalled (doesn't match their previous statement with the time line) and once it did for another week before declaring they "fixed it." I raised the BS flag immediately and told them their dates weren't matching the calendar since my last visits.
Here is where the stress started. After throwing every single part in the electrical system at it randomly to see if it stuck and fixed it, they found a positive lead to the ignition system was "defective." I asked if it was a broken wire, a corroded wire, a bad connection, etc and they would only say it was damaged and repaired. Suspicions rose. Manager was requested and put on the phone, and I was told the damaged wire was cut out and spliced with new wire. So instead of replacing the one defective part they finally found (supposedly), they soldered a chunk of wire in where they claim it was damaged. I wouldn't be shocked if they used a freaking crimp connector at this point since the holes in their story were big by now. Personally, I think they drove it for a few days and it never did stall for them because apparently there is a god and he hates me, so they assumed it was finally worked out on its own and wanted their loaner back / my Jeep gone.
The icing on the cake of the phone call was that I was told I had to pay $150 before I could pick up the car for the portion of the forward control module I had agreed to pay for two months earlier IF IT FIXED THE PROBLEM which it clearly didn't. We were previously told there was no bill for / given a "zero balance" as it was picked up each time since that failure of a fix. Angry turned into something very close to rage and I was glad I was on the phone and not face to face. Manager told me I needed to talk to his boss (Boss of Service and Parts Managers - whatever that title is) if I wanted to duck that payment, I said I'd be there sitting in his office before he got there the next morning.
My business, the one that is taking the hit from this, interfered with my day job of trying to get a Jeep running so I couldn't do as promised to be there before him. I called him about an hour after opening and I finally caught a break - he rapidly told me it was already settled before I called once he heard about my reaction and he agreed it was insane to ask me for a penny at this point, even if it was for the parts that finally fixed it which it wasn't. He also said he was 99.9% sure it was fixed. I explained that if it wasn't I was bringing the Jeep back to him and his new task was making Chrysler take it off my hands because I would not be picking it back up every again and I expected waiting in the service lounge area until the owner pulled me into an office to sign papers and receive a check before I walk home from their dealership. He said that he was confident that in the event of it not being fixed, they could fix this "in house" instead of getting Chrysler involved. I laughed very hard, but after explaining how little of a chance there was in me to ever drive another Chrysler product again, let alone a first year of a brand new model where bugs are expected, I think I got the point across. I believe the convincing line was something along the lines of it would require a Playmate to suck start me every time I turned the key if he wanted to sell me another Chrysler at anything less than 50% off sticker so I was certain I could get a fair trade in at the Ford/GM dealer 5 miles down the road.
That ended his dreams and our phone call so I sent the wife to the dealership with the loaner to get the Jeep with a spare set of keys and instruction to call me immediately if they asked for a dime before walking to an agreed meeting place where she would get in my truck and I'd go steal my Jeep back. When she called me after leaving work early to pick it up, I had to CLOSE THE DOORS OF MY BUSINESS and send all but 1 of my EMPLOYEES HOME EARLY which meant paying them for the remainder of the 1.5 hours they had left in the day to earn a living because my personal problems interfered with my business yet again just in case she received an ounce of shit from anyone. We agreed ahead of time that it would be best that I did not go on their property unless absolutely necessary because I lost my final drop of cool on this deal about 20 hours earlier.
She picked it up, drove it home, and it ran great for her - all 12 miles. It was dark by the time I got down to look it over and they're lucky it was after they closed. The driver's door pillar that is covered in headliner fabric has two gouges in it. Torn fabric and gouged plastic under it in two places. The entire pillar has about a dozen streaks of grease on it from mechanics pulling work order packets off the dash along with greasy fingerprints confirming that was where it sat on the dash. The door handle area is BLACK with grease. Somehow, someone managed to let an ink pen ride against the door handle and left scribbled ink marks on the door panel. The leather steering wheel is RUINED. Someone tried cleaning it with brake cleaner or something completely wrong which easily gave the impression of cleaning it for us, but the wheel is caked with grease and the leather is now puffed up / swollen / pulling away from the wheel on the right two spokes. A tear is now in the bottom of the leather at the 6:00 position. Oh, and this wheel was SPOTLESS when she took it in and because its driven by a woman's moisturized and pampered hands 5 days a week if not 7 most weeks, and despite the mileage it was like brand new when this problem first started being "repaired." The perforated leather seat insert (which unlike most of the "leather" is actually leather) has grease smeared all into it so sitting in the vehicle resulted in her beige colored skirt being ruined on the ride home when we checked it the following day after seeing this seat in the daylight. The door panel looks like they kicked the door open each time they opened it, and the floor mat has ground in grease / dirt impregnated in the gray Husky mat. Basically the driver's side of the vehicle is destroyed, and the passenger side looks showroom new which is what both sides looked like when it went in. Oh yeah, the worst one for me was the grease smears on the entire opening around the front of the headliner at the moonroof opening. I guess they enjoyed all of the features I paid for because in addition to asking me if I had canceled the Sirius a few visits ago (which I had), beside the greasy headliner the heated seat button has grease all over it on the driver's side button. All of this and they told me they "detailed" the vehicle before she picked it up again this time.
By the way, I own and operate my own upholstery shop. I'm probably the best person whose car they could screw up since I can repair it myself for pennies compared to what it will normally cost them. But as dumb as it sounds - if I were interested in keeping this Jeep, I'd take it to one of my competitors for the repair so I don't have the salt ground into the wounds as I lose income while fixing their damage which they won't pay me to do I'd imagine.
Friday night we took the first ride together in this vehicle since May which was the last time I was inside it. When the trip odometer hit 21.7 miles, fate kicked in and it stalled as we cruised down the road on our way to a nice dinner to hopefully celebrate the nightmare being over. She started crying the minute it stalled, I wanted to start taking hostages and considered driving it through the living room window of the owner's house to ruin his night to before kicking the ass of the owner for making that happen to her yet again over a lemon. Fortunately, I'm really not a violent man - my size means I don't usually have to actually get violent which is nice.
Saturday morning, I was the first person at the dealership at 7:30, their first salesperson got there at 7:50 and I waited till 8:30 to storm the place when they were "open." No managers on site, no owner on site. I was told they'd be in within 15 minutes, so I drove to the McD's that was less than 300 YARDS AWAY. The Jeep stalled while I sat still in the drive thru and would not start until the fourth attempt. I got out of the drive thru line fearing it would break down for good there and I'd have to push it, but upon getting my food inside and then driving the 300 YARDS BACK, it stalled 3 times. I almost got rear ended in a shopping center of all places because it died and the moron behind me was expecting it to happen much less than I was.
I went inside with a face the shade of hot cigarette lighter as it pops out, and my larger stance probably didn't make me look any less harmless when I walked into an office and interrupted the team meeting that was going on among salesman by grabbing the one I spoke to earlier and said "Point to your boss." Nobody in that room of course. No owner there yet, so I was told to speak to the guy in stripes outside is what I was told. He was with a customer working a sale outside so I restrained myself to not ruin their view of Jeep and ______ Dodge. After 15 minutes I politely stopped him as he walked by and told him I needed to speak with him when he was finished with his customer. After I waited 30 more minutes, he informed me that he doesn't do anything with service and was a sales manager. Great, thought I was told he was the GM. Nope - the owner is the GM who of course was going to be another 15 minutes since his daddy started the company and he doesn't understand showing up to open the doors apparently. I pointed to my Jeep and said when he gets here, send him to the guy with the red face sitting in the piece of shit that I had now done my best to block the entrance to the showroom with so I'd get noticed when he arrived.
While sitting there I tried to check for codes - NONE set. Again. Since it stalled just sitting still idling in the drive thru, I figured I'd start it and count how many times it stalled without moving. Upon starting it, the dashboard was a christmas tree. Traction Control, ABS, Engine, and two I'd never seen EPS and BAS or something in the middle bottom were all lit up and the digital display said "Perform 4WD Service." I almost accidentally put it in drive and just mashed the pedal to see how many new Jeeps I could take out in one shot.
An hour and a half after first talking to anyone, the owner was nowhere to be found. Everyone in the dealership looked at me like I was about to go postal when I walked in, found his office, turned on the lights, and sat behind his desk propping my boots up on his pretty wood desk. 15 minutes and nobody even considered coming to ask if they could help me, I left my business card and wrote "I need your immediate attention, call me the minute you find this" on the notebook it rested on centered on the desk and walked out to ask a saleswoman if he was hiding somewhere or something. She said he wouldn't be in for hours... I'll assume they called him and he wasn't coming until I left or maybe it was wishful thinking.
Driving home, it stalled several more times. I wasn't leaving it there unless I had a free 2011 loaner Jeep to drive and nobody there had the power to give me one so I wanted to take it home to document the damage to it with my camera before leaving it with them for what will be the final time. She drove it this morning out of necessity and not having a choice to which it died on her 4 times in a half hour. So I believe in something like 68 miles it stalled approximately 12 times for us. I have to check the odometer reading of what it was when we picked it up and compare it to what I wrote down a few weeks ago when I was poking around the inside of it to see if they bothered to put that many miles on it. I know they drove it because the entire vehicle smelled like donuts from the manager buying them Friday morning on his way to work, and from the trash I found in it from someone eating drive thru food in it on their personal time or lunch break. I hope they enjoy my vehicle. I'll soon have to make the 5th payment to let them drive it...
Tomorrow morning I have to yet again lose productivity in my business by driving my wife to work, coming back to get my employees set up for the day's work, and then losing another few hours to go fight the fight. I may end up talking to a police officer tomorrow when someone mistakes my frustration as violent rage on the brink of disaster, but I feel like Micheal Douglas in "Falling Down" right now and its still only 3.5 hours from when I'll get up to start my day tomorrow and about 6 hours from when I'll be showing up there... funny how I'm wide awake right now from stress.
I don't know what to do. Honestly. If I quit making payments to Chrysler financial, my very high credit rating I rely on for business purposes as well as personal will take a hit, so I have to keep paying for the vehicle so they can continue ruin it. My showroom condition Jeep (I detailed cars for a decade while in college and own an upholstery shop remember) is now thrashed and I have no choice but to give it back to the culprits. We've emptied the Jeep of all our possessions because tomorrow I plan to drop it off and do everything I can to make sure my wife and I will never be inside it again. Then, one of my employees will have to leave the shop to come drive me home if everything works well.
At this point my only legal action is a suit along the lines of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act which I'm told will take at least two days of both our time for depositions and proceedings, and it will not be resolved until February at best with an outcome projected at $1-3k. My shop rate is $70 an hour, and I have to be there for every hour of the day for it to produce that rate in actual production (sadly, a lot of that money is eaten up in payroll and other expenses so please don't think I'm a rich man - I'm just above a starving business owner who is fighting to keep his employees employed). That translates into every hour we're not running at 100% cutting into my profit sharply and when I have to close for a day it costs me $280 per hour or $2240 a day in lost revenue from production. Tomorrow I'll lose money by letting 3 people come to work and produce at about 50% without me there to guide them while I go deal with this nightmare and someone will be paid to listen to me curse the entire ride home when they pick me up from the dealership or police station in my non Chrysler truck. When I have to close the shop completely, I lose not only $2200 in revenue that day, but also a pretty penny from payroll expenses for my staff to have a free day off because I can't be there to run the show and I'm not going to make them lose their houses because I own a lemon. They love these surprise "vacation days", but don't enjoy working the weekend to make up the time if we're on a tight deadline which is about 80% of the time so Saturday's are standard OT at least half of the year already and this means Sunday is a work day now too. Its to the point where I'm considering hiring someone to simply deal with the Jeep if I can't unload this pig tomorrow - how pathetic is that? I'll let you guys know when I hit that point, I'm going to need someone with a head on their shoulders and not a local high school drop out to get this solved without me having a stroke at 33.
Not counting the possibility of bail, I'll probably lose at least a grand collectively tomorrow because of this visit I have to make. At this point you'd think I could get someone to at least return my calls, but they won't despite the fact that at this point they should be driving to my business to deal with this issue to not further inconvenience me. The owner never called me and his calls were being screened when I tried called him all day Saturday. If I wasn't obligated to another appointment, I would have camped out in a new car in the showroom until he spoke to me or the police hauled me out of it. I hadn't spoken a bad word about this dealership so far, but unless things are settled to my liking when I drop this turd off tomorrow, I'm going to rent the billboard across the street from it and advertise the website I'll have up within 24 hours of disappointment to get this story the attention I want it to have. If they don't take the Jeep back tomorrow and give me a comparable brand new loaner vehicle that I'll allow them to give me while they sort out the dollar amount on the check I'll be expecting from Chrysler, I'm going to buy my wife a used 4WD whatever to prepare for winter which is a requirement in my area. Then, in addition to the billboard, I'll seriously consider painting up the Jeep to park in front of their dealership every day and pay someone to sit in it during their business hours to make sure it doesn't get towed - all tickets paid by me of course.
Suggestions, sympathy, and shot gun wounds to the head are all welcomed at this point. If ANYONE knows ANYONE above the goons who answer the 800 number line, I'll pay you for their phone number if I have to. Chrysler has not returned any of my phone calls. Not once. The dealership is going to tell me to get ****ed tomorrow, I realize that. Legal action will result in a net loss for me financially if I have to miss 1 day of work, and I refuse to let my wife have her performance at work continue to appear negative because she's been late / had to leave early at least a dozen times in the past 8 months because of dropping off the Jeep for the 100th time too, so legal actions just make the attorneys rich and me poor despite costing me zero to sue. If there is a Chrysler rep reading this, send me a PM and I'll be glad to give you my contact number - I'd love to hear from you. If you don't contact me - please realize you're nothing but another coward working for a corporation full of crooks that the fine people of this site not only bailed out with tax dollars but continue to buy your products and keep you employed as a result.