Following is the demand letter I sent to this dealership's service manager. As of this date, I have not received the courtesy of a reply. I have removed the account and VIN numbers for my own personal protection.
July 19, 2000
Mr. Steve Mason
P.O. Box 1506
Enid, Oklahoma 73703-1506
RE: Customer Number: ?????, Invoice #: ???& ?????????,
1997 Chevrolet Blazer, VIN #: ????????
Dear Mr. Mason:
On Saturday, July 1, 2000 I drove the above referenced vehicle to Enid Oklahoma from Houston Texas to visit relatives over the 4th of July holiday. On the trip from Houston to Enid, the Blazer's Service Engine Soon light illuminated. I also noticed water collecting in the passenger side front seat floorboard area. Upon arrival in Enid, I took my vehicle to Northcutt Chevrolet's service department where I was cordially assisted by service advisor Greg Gilmore.
After review by your service personnel Mr. Gilmore informed me that cause of the SES light was a faulty Oxygen Sensor and that the vehicle was in need of a tune-up and cleaning of the fuel injectors. I authorized this service ($158.57 for tune up and $87.00 for cleaning of the fuel injectors (see enclosed). The oxygen sensor was covered under my warranty provided by GE Capital. I was also advised that the leak in the interior passenger floorboard was due to a faulty air conditioner evaporator core ($681.26 also paid by my warranty service GE Capital). I had also complained of an inordinately loud fuel pump. This was purportedly remedied by the replacement of the vehicle's fuel filter.
Upon retrieval of the vehicle from your service facility on July 5, 2000, I attempted to return to Houston. Less than five miles from your location the SES light was again illuminated. I immediately returned to Northcutt where I was told by Mr. Gilmore that everything was in working order and the light was an anomaly. I left and began my return trip (with the SES light illuminated).
Approximately 150 miles out of Enid, the vehicle began running extremely poorly (no acceleration) and thick black smoke began to pour out of the exhaust every time I attempted to accelerate the vehicle. I also noticed that water was pouring into the passenger floorboard at a much faster rate than before the supposed evaporator core replacement. I eventually limped into Houston at four in the morning and turned the vehicle over to a Houston Chevrolet dealership repair facility (Mac Haik Chevrolet). Following were their findings:
1.The poor performance and SES light for the vehicle was result of the following:
a. The fuel injectors were extremely dirty and required cleaning.
b. The fuel pump was defective and required replacement.
c. The vehicle's computer was not programmed correctly and required reprogramming (PCM reprogram)
2. The water leaking into the vehicle was due to a damaged plenum, which, in the Houston repair facilities words, was damaged during the installation of the new evaporator core (Northcutt's repair).
From the above, I can only conclude the following:
1. I purchased a tune-up and cleaning of the vehicle's fuel injectors. The tune-up was obviously not performed properly (computer program). I also find it beyond comprehension that the fuel injectors could become clogged in only 150 miles. This service was obviously not performed, yet I was charged for same.
2. Northcutt's repair facility damaged the housing (plenum device) for the evaporator case that is causing dramatic leakage into the passenger compartment. I am now being quoted the cost to repair the plenum (which was damaged) at the rate of $50.00 for parts and 7.7 hours of labor at $72.00 per hour. This cost has been refused by my warranty coverage as they have stated coverage for the leak issue was paid to Northcutt and that my only remedy is via your organization.
I am confident that Northcutt has been remiss and is entirely responsible for the subsequent fuel injector cleaning charges and air-conditioning plenum replacement costs. I hereby demand that Northcutt reimburse me for the following charges:
1. Fuel injector cleaning (not performed by Northcutt) and PCM reprogram (required after the tune-up at Northcutt's) in the amount of $202.60.
2. The cost of the air conditioning plenum repair which has been quote by the above-referenced authorized Chevrolet repair facility in Houston at $50.00 for parts and 7.7 hours of labor at $72.00 / hour. For a total of $604.40.
In total, I am demanding $807.00 for damage and repairs required as a result of completely inadequate and non-performance of services by your organization. I am enclosing all related documentation. For additional information regarding the air conditioning repair quote, you may contact Mr. Brad Belota at Mac Haik Chevrolet in Houston at (281) 596-6374 for further clarification of the additional services currently required.
Please be advised that I am currently not requesting the numerous other out-of-pocket expenses for items such as car rental, jute replacement for both passenger and driver side floorboards (the run off leakage was so severe it covered both floorboards), and fuel expenses due to horrendous mileage performance (at one point during the trip from Enid to Houston I was averaging approximately 3 miles to the gallon). I am also not currently taking inconvenience and loss of use into consideration.
I would very much like to resolve this demand amicably and expediently. Therefore, an urgent and sufficient response is required within ten (10) days of receipt of this notice. I am also taking this opportunity to inform you that I am unwilling to travel at my expense to your repair facility for remedies.
I look forward to your prompt response. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. My contact information is located on the opening page of this document.
Michael A. Wheeler
CERTIFIED MAIL / RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED: Z-385-555-272