Autoplex - did oil chg & replaced battery, did a safety chk of wheels, brakes, rotors, & fluids. DID NOT do a diagnostic error check before selling.
Sat 12/29/12 my son & I test drove an 04 Mazda 3s, sales rep ***********. Believing this used car dealer was as reputable as larger used car dealerships, ie meaning they sell fully tested & functional vehicles, my son put $200 down & signed the papers. Mon 12/29/12 he went to his bank & got a cashiers check, then went back to Autoplex to complete the transaction, $8,041.93, and get the car. Later that evening the AT light, then the check engine light came on. We put in 1 quart of oil (although they said they did any oil change on 12/7/12) & enough transmission fluid to raise it from the 1 mark to the 2 mark on the dip stick. The AT light went out but not the check engine. Cam drove the car fine for 3 days with the chk eng light on, before taking it to AutoZone Fri 1/4/13 to run a diagnostic computer check to see what the errors were. There were several: 1 for shifter, 1 for tranmission, & 2 for sensors. They advised going back to AutoPlex to have them run there own diagnostics, confirm any issues, and fix. We went back to AutoPlex Sat 1/5/13, they showed me paperwork where they did an oil change & changed the battery, but said they sold the car as-is, basically not going to help. In their paperwork it was noted that they took possession of the car on 12/4, oil change 12/7, battery chg on 12/13, then sold it my son 12/31. Mon 1/7/13 my son complained the car would no longer go into 4th gear when in auto drive nor was he able to use the manual mode on the shifter. When i back it out of the driveway to test drive it, putting the shifter in reverse yielded a notable ka-chunk! After my test drive i rechecked the trans fluid, this time it didn't even register on the 1 mark, so we filled it back up. Tue 1/8/13 we drove it to Gerald Jones Mazda on Gordon Hwy to see Marty in the service dept. He called me back stating that the errors indicated that the transmission would have to be replaced. I plan on picking up the paper work tomorrow with estimated costs for repair, which will probably be expensive.
We paid $7300 + $200 filing fee + GA tax totaling 8041.93. We feel they sold us a non fully operational & unsafe car having a faulty transmission, and would like a full refund. They can retake possession of the car.
Business' Initial Response
The customer and his father both test drove the vehicle on three separate occasions. The vehicle was checked by the father and driven for several miles. While this vehicle was in our possession, there were no issues. Our mechanics inspected the vehicle and replaced the battery, changed the oil, and finished the inspection, with no issues. After the customer and the father were fully satisfied, they decided to buy the vehicle. They put a deposit down on the vehicle and purchased the vehicle with a certified check, as we do not take personal checks. During the contract, the customer was asked several times if they would like to purchase an after market warranty, due to the low price that was given to them on the vehicle. Because of the price, it left no room for a warranty. The customer was asked 4 separate times during the contract if they wanted to purchase a warranty, and all 4 times, the customer responded. "No, we do not need that". The vehicle was sold As-is and the customer was fine with that. We can not offer any more assistance for the customer, as we have already offered a warranty.
Consumer's Final Response
Fact is they don't check the vehicle. Kicking the tires and checking the oil & battery is not a real inspection. Every dealer & auto mechanic knows that a complete diagnostic computer check is necessary to determine issues. Autoplex took the cheap route & failed to do so! We negotiated a lower purchase price, which should not result in the loss of Autoplex's standard 30 day warranty. They wanted us to purchase a 3rd party warranty for $2000, which we are not required to so. The fact remains the AT error light came the day my son got the car & putting more transmission fluid in it made it go out. So I believe they knew about this & made sure the trans fluid stayed filled, just so they could sell the car & wash their hands of having to lose money by fixing it! Fact is, they sold us an unsafe vehicle and they should be held accountable to fix it or refund our money!