Unscrupulous mechanics "fixing" new waranty 4WDs in large dealership workshop?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1614 Views:1709 Replies:23 FollowUps:6
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My two brand new 4WD(Toyota/Nissan) needed a waranty job to be done. I went to the dealerships.
In both separate instances my car keys were taken from me and I was told to come back 6 hours later.
When I came back one of my 4WD had 280 km extra on the odometer and the other had the side panel of the engine wrecked.
I challenged the workshop supervisor who tried to put the blame on me. I was even told I like "arguing to much".
In believe that in the last 20 years the standard of repair has been used against the customer.
Specially the new "health and Safety" laws has been used against the customer. My cars are taken from me and "any" type of mecanic can work
on my car and do all sorts of things to my car and search all my personal items left in my car and press all the switches.
In most big workshop dealership the customer servcie standard and behavior has gone down.
As a customer I often feel treated like trash. In my days the customer was the "king". Certainly NOT now. Peter
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Reply By: Member - Sam - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
Peter, it also happens with Used Vehicle Warranty work/maintenance stuff aswell. I had the same problem. So promptly told them to stick their warranty (even with the assurance of the workshop manager "personally" overseeing my future repairs), and have since been taking my truck to a mechanic I know and trust. My truck has never run better. cheers, Sam.
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Reply By: Rod - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
Peter,

So that we can all give the dealership concerned a wide berth, name them.
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Reply By: Graham - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
I have given up on having my cars serviced by the dealer. They charge far too much for far too little. Some of my more memorable experiences, Prado returned from 30K service with the sump plug finger tight (oil puddle on garage floor next morning) 40k service (different dealer), cost me just under $600 and they had the hide to charge me and extra $38.50 to adjust the handbrake, all because it was not listed in the service schedule. The straw that finally broke the camels back, I was charged $650 for a scheduled service and wheel alignment on my Hilux TD to find that the tyre pressures were not even checked. Goodbye Toyota service,
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Follow Up By: Gordon - Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00
Graham
Toyota seviced my vehicle prior to a big trip I did last year. I told them to check it thouroughly because we were going outback. They didn't check the spare tyre pressure. It had a big hole in the side wall which we discovered when we needed it 100km from Innamincka. The tyre was 1/3rd full of Frazer Island sand from the previous trip. Makes you wonder what else they didn't check.
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Reply By: Rob - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
It happens everywhere, had my suspension upgraded, dropped it off, told it will be ready in four hours, but I turned up 3/4 hour earlier to find the guys working on their "project" car, fair enough you may say, but not when I got charged for four hours labour. Who knows what the actual time was, leave feeling ripped off.
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Reply By: rodeoowner - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
Ok, how about the wheel nuts not being tightened on the front wheels of my company Commodore ute!!
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Reply By: Peter - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
I thought I was an exception. Some of you guy's had worst experience than I. What can be done on the spot and legally? Anyone with some ideas to solve this increasing problem. As a genuine 4WD buyer, I am trapped between the 3years/100000km waranty or the enormous cost of repairs if I cancel the waranty?
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Reply By: tim - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
Peter you are not trapped by your warrenty,you are free to have your vehicle serviced by any licensed mechanic. Have you seen ultra tunes adds recently ??? your warrenty is unaffected.
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Follow Up By: Peter - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
Tim, I am aware of that, but what is interesting in your remark is the word "licensed". I did not know mecanics are licensed. Licensed by whom? and who check this license system.
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Follow Up By: Norm - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
Every mechanic has to apply to the MVRIC for a licence once they are out of their apprenticeship, they cannot work on vehicles without this licence.
But this is not the licence that is referred to. It is the repairers licence which every premises working on vehicles MUST have. Any LICENCED premises may service any vehicle with out affecting warranty as long as the correct service schedule is adhered to.
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Reply By: Savvas - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
I know of one guy, back around 1987, who got his brand new VL Commodore back from service with no sump plug or oil in the crankcase. The dumb thing is that they drove the car to the reception area for him to drive away. He knew something was amiss when he heard his car that at the time had only about 5000kms on it coming out sounding like a pile of aluminium cans being dumped. They of course filled it up with oil and replaced the plug, but it demonstrated some sheer stupidity on the behalf of a number of people. Unfortunately though, it also demonstrates a trend where people in all sorts of industries do not do things right the first time. There is absolutely no reason for this. It's just sheer laziness.
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Reply By: jono - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
peter,
i too have had my run in's with a toyota dealership. Now i accept that i have a Surf and these cars are not imported to OZ by Toyota, but how come every other mechanic in the country can work on them without problems???? The reason is the dealers simply dont give a S H I T. They told me this big sob story about how hard it was for them, and how the parts numbers on Surfs dont match up with the parts numbers on their computer system, and how they have to send a fax to the Japan factory to get the propper parts numbers. That sounds fair enough, but when i picked up my car, they had fitted non factory parts anyway!! Which i might add, any mechanic can go and buy from Repco for about half the price the dealer charged me. I was also not happy with the time that i was charged for, and when i mentioned these two things to the service man he said "look mate...if you don't like it....dont come back". So guess what...i never went back to a toyota dealership again, and i called the Toyota head office to issue a complaint, and then i call the Consumer Affairs department in WA. The girl at consumer affairs told me that there had been 6 complaints in the last month about Toyota dealerships in WA, and she was very happy i had made the complaint because she was one of the 6 who also complained. Anyway, now i have a great mechanic who has no problems getting parts (he walks 100m down the road to Repco) and my cars running as well as it ever has.
Cheers, Jono.
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Reply By: Peter - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
I aggree with Rod. I will name the dealership and the workshop sevrice manager but also I suggest
that close circuit of television be installed in the waiting room, so ever customer can watch through the close circuit television there 4WD
being repaired or being damaged and their own personal belongings being totally searched in some cases(totally unethical practice).
Also by using a short circuit TV the difference between the hours spend on the car and the hours charged would be visually detected.
Sometimes the difference between the real work and the invoiced work as high as 1 to 16. Which is unacceptable.
The rule of the thumb and the guide line for repairs are usuallyin the ratio of 1 to 4 and not 1 to 8 or 1 to 16. Which is pure robbery.
I will name in my next posting the large worshop dealerships involved in over charging and producing shoddy worksmanship.
I will make sure to name the unethical workshop-service-manager are clearly mentioned. The workshop service manager is TOTALLY
responsible for the checking of the quality control of his/her employees. There is no excuses accpetable for a workshop service manager.
Or the job is of satifactory quality to the client or it is not. If it is not it should be redone at no charge.
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Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
Peter, I agree, totally unacceptable! My suggestion? Ring Toyota/Nissan Australia and issue a complaint about these dealerships if their service/warranty repairs aren't up to scratch. Ever seen a cat on a hot tin roof? That's what dealer/service managers are like after a complaint has been lodged with the National Distrubuters. I have done it twice and now I am confident what I am charged for is done correctly. In my situation my vehicle was worked on by slack apprentices, and not tradesmen, not any more! Hope this helps, Cheers!
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Reply By: rodeoowner - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
I had my Rodeo in for it's 50K service yesterday. When I went to pick it up, it wasn't there. They had sub contracted the job out to a local LPG specialist mechanic. I went down and picked it up from there. They assured me that they can do book servicing and carry out any warranty repairs, by billing Holden, using their genuine parts, and have the car back to me after however many hours the job takes (Holden insist on having it all day). I have now decided to cut out the middle man (local holden dealer) and get it serviced at the sub contractor mechanics. Cheers. BTW I am sure I was told when I purchased the vehicle, I had to take it to Holden for the warranty to stay intact.
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Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00
I'm sure that the salesman did tell you that you had to take it to them to keep your warranty. That's what salesmen do for a living,...LIE
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Reply By: Brian - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
I have been reading these replies with interest. I do not own a 4WD but a Holden Commodore and I live in a very large town in NSW (No name yet, but it is famous for V8 car races) and have been taking my Commodore to the local Holden Dealer for services/repairs for quite some years. I have had doubts in my mind that I have been getting ripped off and after reading what you guys have said I think I might be on the right track. It seems that most times when I take it to have something done they find something else wrong. As I have no mechanical knowledge I have trusted these guys to be telling me the truth. I have kept every invoice for quite some time and after looking back thru them I think i am being dudded. The guys at the service counter are very polite and helpful but in the end it is the pocket that is hurting with large bills. I also have of late had to take my car back as the job was not done right in the first place.
I am now going to try and find an honest place to get my car done. We do have a few private mechanics about so now I will give one a go.
Hope to hear from anyone else who is having problems with the large dealers. Maybe a few of us could get together and I am sure that "A Current Affair" would like a story like this.
Cheers from a happy Commodore owner but unhappy with service owner.
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Reply By: jimy - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
My adventure started with me waiting in the local Nissan dealership waiting room, trying to rectify a problem with the service that was done the day before (but thats another story). I overheard the service manager talking to the accounts person about how they were charging a particular customer. The accounts clerk said "we cant charge the customer for that, its not their fault the wrong part was orded and fitted", to which the service manager replied "we'll just charge them anyway". Accounts guy "what about the hours you cant charge that much", boss "we have to". Disgusted and ashamed I could only be glad they werent talking about my truck! I'm glad the patrols are more reliable than people that sell them.
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Reply By: Member - Tony - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
Everybody has their horror mechanic stories to tell. I live in western Sydney. I had an EB Falcon, and as it was my first 'modern' car (i.e. computer EMS etc) thought I should have it serviced by the local Ford dealer. BIG MISTAKE. The Ford dealership gave sloppy service: overpriced, car required 'all day' when manual specified a 2.5 hr service, parts not replaced and so on. I got fed up when I drove it out once and it spluttered down the road. Took it to UltraTune, and the bloke there fixed it (and I still go to him with my 4Runner). Problem is many dealers have their apprentices do the work, and my experience indicates they weren't supervised. Having said that, I had major work done on the 4Runner (head work at 133K kms- factory fault- covered under warranty), and Toyota were great. Depends on where you go, as the cliche goes. Cheers, Tony
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Reply By: Goran - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
Few years ago i took missus Comodore for recall work to a local Holden rep.An hour later police showed at my doorstep asking me who was the driving my car 10 minutes ago as it almost crashed into the unmarked police car.I managed to explain to the officer that the car was in for service and we went to the dealer together.Their answer was that secretary had to drop some mail to the post office and it was good opportunity to TEST the vehicle.Car was in for main gearbox oil seal replacement and secretary didn't even know what car she was driving let alone anything else.She got charged with dangerous driving and mechanic never saw me in his shop again.Guys when you run into this sort of behaviour there is only one thing you can do.NEVER go back there and make sure all of the people you know dont go there either.
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Reply By: Yonnee - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
F.Y.I. For those that have read this far and didn't realise, a new cars warranty is not effected by having the car serviced somewhere other than the dealer, nor is it effected by fitting non genuine parts. A court ruling many years ago deemed that unless a vehicle manufacturer supplies the parts free of charge, it cannot void a vehicles warranty by having non genuine parts fitted. Most vehicles these days have, in their onwers manuals, a list of all the things that require replacing at each service interval along with a time estimate to do the work.
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Reply By: tim - Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00
you dont have to put up with poor service,are you aware that we can all take the dealer to a tribunal hearing with the dept of fair trading.this is low cost,no solicitors,and guarenteed payment from the dealer if you are correct and no penalty to you if you are wrong.it costs the dealer time and money that he cant afford and improves your negotiating position immensly.if the dealer doesnt attend the hearing,the case is heard in his absence,impossible for him to win,if after the judgement the dealer refuses to pay the dept has the power to confiscate the dealers equipment,sell it at auction to pay the judgement,
it has worked for me twice in the past,give it a try if you have a genuine complaint.
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Follow Up By: Peter - Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00
Tim, this sounds very interesting. I am going to contact the Department of Fair Trading. What is the process called?
Does it exist in Queensland and also in ALl Australian States? How long was your two cases heard after yiu
made the original complaint to the Department of Fair Trading?
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Reply By: Tim - Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00
Peter from memory the case is heard less than 30 daysafter you apply,but will check and reply with accurate info.it is an efficient process,also if the dispute occurred in say sydney but you lodge the application in say wollongong perhaps more convenient to you the dealer has to attend wollongong,another incentive for him to reconsider your point of view.the dealer can not claim travelling expenses.

i have no knowledge of procedure in qld as i am based in nsw.

i took similar action against a tennant that owed approx $800 and had moved from wollongong to cobar,i applied in wollongong sent summons to cobar,the tenant was required to attend wollongong he couldnt have the matter heard in cobar. the tenant paid the money.
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Follow Up By: Peter - Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00
Tim, you are music to my ears. Please! please! give me the info related to NSW then I can find the same infos related to QLD where I leave.
I know the process exist, I thought it was the Small Claim Tribunals (SMC) but QLD does not seems to work the same because SMC does not seem to be connected to Consumer Affairs. May be I am wrong. Your detailed info will be valuable to me and others in QLD. Thank you also to ALL the other people answering and contributing to this subject which has never been propely addressed by any governments and consummer Affairs (as someone else further down the answers as pointed out). Tim you are making my day. I can not wait to have the b.....ds in court.
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Reply By: brenton - Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00
Good one Peter you have touched on the classic subject.Why the government,RAA,consumer watch groups dont jump on these people is baffling, they(dealers) have been getting away with unethical practices like over charging,lying,coverups and others highlighted in the previous replies blatantly for years. 15 years ago i was stung with a new 4wd and i said never again but i gota new one again so i gave them (diffferent dealer) a 2nd chance wrong! same sh_t again actually it was quite embarasing for them because I had marked everything and it was`nt touched but they charged me for it. So,find a mechanic you can trust,know your vehicle and what has to be done to it, or sit there and watch the dealers service (that really pisses them off )When my son did work experience for school he went to a large car dealer now he knows why his old man gets cranky when this subject comes up.cheers
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Reply By: Chel - Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00
Had a problem with rear passengar wheel on commodore. I'm not a mechanic but I took the car in three times and told them which wheel the problem was in. fourth time back (all in one week) they took the car for a drive and it came back on the back of a tow truck. Caliper went through the rim and then they told me 'Lucky you werent driving it it would have rolled'!!! They did pay for new rim and repairs. Last time I went to a Holden Dealer.
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Reply By: kb - Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 09, 2002 at 00:00
Happens with small business as well, I took my FJ40 to HORNSBY WHEEL ALIGNMENT 4 times in week for a wheel balancing, eventually they told me (Paul) it was because I had split rims fitted. I took it to someone else who fixed the problem in 10 minutes. Weights incorrectly placed or something. When I returned to Hornsby Wheel Alignment and asked for a refund, the other place charged me half of what they did, I was told I could only have the difference. When I demanded that they refund me the full price they begrudgingly handed overthe cash and told me not to come back. What, did they actually expect me back to be overcharged for something they didn't fix?
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Reply By: mudgutz - Wednesday, Sep 11, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2002 at 00:00
roflmao.......having worked in a toyota dealership..not as a mechanic
but seeing how they run.i wouldnt take my billy cart there to get fixed you are better off finding a good mechanic that you trust and stick with him ,,,,as for the warranty when you buy a new car or in fact a used car now days if its under ten yeats old and less than 160000 kms it is warrantable ....dont argue the fact of price with the salesman regarding warranty because the cost of the warranty is allready built in to the price of the car and the minimum price he will sell the car for includes the warranty anyway.....most used car warranties not worth a pinch of bleep
but if you have problems with a dealer ..scream at the manufacturers head office and you will soon see some action ..most workshop managers get payed a bonus on performance as well as gross profit from the shop so they charge heaps but for the heaps you are fully entitled to have the job done correctly
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