December 16th, 1999
To Whom It May Concern,
I didn't want to start writing this letter tonight because I've been upset enough today.
I purchased a 1997 Neon from Larry Miller Toyota 8425 West Bell Road, Peoria, AZ 85382-3704 (602)876-3400 on 11/30/99 at approximately 9 p.m. In the course of the transaction I purchased an extended warranty 24 mos./24K miles. Within the first 2 weeks I started hearing a tweeting and a knocking noise in the engine. Also the trunk is loose and making noises when going over bumps. The rear bumper seems to be missing two bolts on the underside. There are just two hanging brackets, and the bumper is also loose. There seems to be something wrong with the steering. First, there were some wires hanging down and when I tucked them in I got fluid all over my fingers. Second, when I drove to see my grandmother in Coolidge the steering shook when reaching speeds of 70-75mph. Third, the steering seems to click and stick when turning. Fourth, it also sounds like wires are being moved around when turning the wheel. The brakes are also making a lot of noise. And finally the cruise control does not work.
On 12/14/99 at 12pm I found a piece of the molding on the inside of the wheel well had lost a bolt and was being shredded by the fan belt. The dealer was way to far for me to drive in this condition, so I went to Goodyear and they fixed it for $10.21 (invoice attached).
This, however, was a 3 hour ordeal which I did not get paid for at work. I've had to now take 6 hours off of work to take care of this 15 day old purchase. On 12/15/99 at 10am I called to get service on my car. I was literally transferred a total of seven times and was on hold for over 10 minutes, before I was put in contact with Mike Riches.
I was instructed to bring the car in, but it probably wouldn't be looked at until the late afternoon. I acquired about a loaner car, as I work in east Phoenix and live in central Phoenix and need a car. I was told by Mike Riches that they rent them for $19.95 a day. I told him that my extended warranty covered a rental for 6 days. He said that he was uncertain if the work to be done would be covered, so I would have to rent one. I didn't feel I had much choice so I dropped off my car at the Larry Miller Toyota Service Center at 12:30pm on 12/15/99. As I was waiting by Mike Riches office I saw the Service Survey posted on the window and felt a calming sensation and thought that service was going to be number one. As I explained all of the problems to Mike he couldn't seem to understand "It sounds like wires moving around when I'm steering".
Everyone else I've already told this story to didn't seem to have a problem understanding what I meant. Mike stood there for 5 minutes saying he didn't understand what I was saying. I'm starting to wonder if Mike thinks he can make me feel stupid. Then he tells me that this is a tall order.
I request that he call me if something is not covered under the warranty, so I would know what's going on. He tells me that my warranty isn't valid for 30 days. He explained that the company selling that warranty insurance would not allow them to sell a car and warranty then charge against it within 30 days. He elaborated that they had to take care of it.
My response was, "Please just take care of me here", to which Mike replies "Well, we'll see what we can do". Not a real confidence building attitude. He says that it should only be one day and they would call me.
He then sends me to the cashier to rent the car. The cashier Kristen Brinkley tells me that it will be $29.95 a day. I told her that Mike told me that it would be $19.95 a day over the phone. She then calls Mike and he instructs her that he did not quote me $19.95 a day. I was now thinking pettifoggery.
I ask Kristen to get a manager. She got on the phone and a sales manager told her to do it for $19.95. She did also ask if I wanted to talk to him about paying at all. I declined and told her this would all be in my letter and would expect the monies to be returned then.
I can only run out to the dealership on my lunch hour plus time off work. I work 7 days a week. At 11am on 12/16/99 I called Mike for an update. He told me they were almost done with the repairs. He also says that they are not going to fix the cruise control. The quandary seems to be escalating. I asked why and he told me that they checked the easy stuff and won't incur the expense to fix an extensive repair job. He said that I would have to wait until my warranty is in effect. I explained that I had to take time off of work every time I have to come out there. Now, since he told me they were responsible, and already had the car, I asked him to just fix it now. He refused.
I asked to talk to the manager and was put in touch with A.J. Davey, Used Car Director. He instructed me that they had already gone far and beyond what they needed to do. I was actually quite amazed at what I was hearing. He then tells me that he will pay my $50.00 deductible on my warranty and give me a loaner car if I bring it back for a warranty repair. I then asked why I was paying $19.95 a day for a rental? He said they only give loaners under special circumstances. I'm not a lawyer, and I could be wrong but that sounds like some kind of fraud against the warranty company.
I reluctantly agree feeling this really needs resolution in a different manner. A.J. then instructs me that Mike Riches will call me back. As the afternoon wears on I thought maybe they decided to fix the cruise control.
At 5:45pm still not hearing anything from the dealer I decide to call and see what's going on. Mike tells me that at 11am he told me the car was ready. Speechless for several moments I finally regain my composure and told him that is not what he said. Seeing that I was the one who called him. He didn't call me to tell me the car was ready, because I have yet to receive a call from the dealer. A.J. also said that he would call me. He did apologize.
I went to pick up the car at 11:30am on 12/17/99, and found out that they say they could not duplicate the steering problem. On the way back to work it did it four times. The steering is catching when I make a hard right. This is a severe safety issue. I need an immediate response! I think this car may have been in an accident. The rear bumper was also not fixed, the brackets just hang there. I did check a couple of other Neons in the parking lot at my work and the brackets have bolts attaching them to some styrofoam. Also, my bumper sticker was removed. What's up with all this craziness. I anxiously await your response.
cc: Chrysler Corporation Matt Olsen
Landcar Agency (the warranty company) 1601 West Avalon Drive
Larry Miller web site Phoenix, AZ 85015-6152
Better Business Bureau 602-410-6172 = cellular 602-685-7315 = M-F 8-4
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