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Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana

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University Auto Center

Additional Locations

Phone: (509) 962-7151 Fax: (509) 962-7161 View Additional Phone Numbers 1817 Hwy 97, Ellensburg, WA 98926

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BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.

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Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for University Auto Center include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

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Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 1
Problems with Product/Service 0
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on University Auto Center
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: January 20, 1989 Business started: 01/01/1981 in WA Business started locally: 01/01/1981

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Washington State Department of Licensing
PO Box 9034 , Olympia WA 98507-9015
Phone Number: (360) 664-0116
Fax Number: 360-705-6699

Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. Jeff Faltus, Partner Mr. Dave Thomas, Partner Ms. Debra Brozovich, Office Manager
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Jeff Faltus, Partner
Principal: Mr. Dave Thomas, Partner
Business Category

Auto Dealers - Used Cars Auto Parts & Supplies - New Auto Body Repair & Painting Auto Detailing Auto Dealers - New Cars

Alternate Business Names
Dave Thomas Inc.--Faltus Motor Co. Inc.

Additional Locations


    1817 Hwy 97

    Ellensburg, WA 98926


    PO Box 619

    Ellensburg, WA 98926

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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (800) 735-2886(Phone)
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Complaint Detail(s)

9/26/2012 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: On August 7th I was travelling west on I90 and lost the transmission in my 2007 Chrysler Pacifica. After 20 days in a motel I was told by the service rep at University Auto that my vehicle was ready to go. He told me I would be fine after he had shown me how to down shift to third gear and said I should go slow. I did those things and 4 hours later lost the tranmission again.He had had my trailer weighed but it wasn't disconnected from his truck so the weight was not accurate, but none the less I cleared out well over the 200 pound overage he claimed. I gave him a tent, I gave the mechanic a tent and propane canisters , I threw out tons of stuff, all to lighten the load.This same man told me the repair would have one year warranty, he knew I had the trailer, he knew I lightened the load, He saw me off, and yet two days later said, "I was afraid that would happen" when he phoned me at home and I told him the vehicle had not made it more than 4 hours. Now they will not honor the warranty on their own work. The dealership here in Canada tells me it was human error but University Auto Care will not accept their responsablity. They put through the costs of everything on my credit card because they felt the warranty company was too slow paying them( University in fact had not completed all the paper work the warranty co. needed), so I am out the original costs and have learned that Chrysler Canada will not help this time.I can't blame Chrysler Canada as this whole thing happened in Washington state.I did find the employees of University Auto to be friendly and I thought honest. Now I doubt my own powers to read people as honest business practice would be to honor their warranty. To have waited in a motel for 20 days to have this repair done and to start all over again on the 27th of August in the same situation I was in August 7th is unacceptable. I feel they should pay for this second transmission repair. I am out $2369.74 +$367.48 for repairs and $1344.50 for motel, nothing added for stress

Desired Settlement: I expect the University Auto Center, to pay for this the second transmission. They should also pay for the motel I stayed in over the 20 days,as this appears not to be covered by the warranty company.IN addition to this they charged my master card for $367.48 for parts they claimed the warranty company would not cover , the warranty company tells me they would have been paid for everything they asked for and University in fact double dipped. I want $4081.22 for this in justice.$0 for stress

Business Response: My Service Manager and Fixed Operations manager are both out of the office today.  We will have a response Monday Sept 17th. 

Business Response: We are in the process of formulating a response to the complaint.  The complaint will be responded to within two business days.


To Whom It May Concern:
In response to complaint ID 9214071,
The customer was towed into our dealership the afternoon of Tuesday, August 7tl1 having transmission issues with her 2007 Chrysler Pacifica. At the time of the initial meeting, the customer was told that due to very heavy scheduling, we would begin diagnosis the morning of Wednesday, August 8th and report the findings by noon. At that time, the customer informed us she was towing a travel trailer. We informed the customer that a Pacifica was not designed to that heavy of a load and may have contributed to the transmission issues, as we do not have many issues with the transmissions otherwise.
On Wednesday, August 8th our Chrysler transmission certified technician began the diagnosis process by scanning the vehicle for codes. The technician then removed the transmission pan and inspected. He found the fluid to be black and had debris in the transmission pan.
The customer’s aftermarket service contract (extended warranty) was then called at 10:45am, The service contract representative said that he would need to speak with the customer and would report back to us. At 12:10pm, we left a message for the customer to please call the service contract so that we may continue with the diagnosis process. At 1:02, the service contract called us and said we would need permission from the customer to begin disassembly of the transmission to determine a root-cause of the failure. At 2:10, the customer gave permission to continue with the diagnosis and removal of the transmission.
On Thursday the 9th and Friday the 10th the technician continued on with removal and disassembly of the transmission. The technician had found the front pump of the transmission had broken and was badly heat fatigued, sending debris through the transmission.
Our recommendation was to replace the transmission. The service contract company was called Monday, August 13th and was given our diagnosis and recommendation of replacing the transmission with a remanufactured unit. 'The service contract company
decided to send an inspector Out to verify the needed repairs. We were not able to go any further with repairs or ordering of parts until the unit was inspected. The inspector arrived at 8:30am on Wednesday, August 15 th. At 2:50pm, the service contract called back and informed us they would like to have the transmission repaired instead of replacing with a remanufactured unit. The service contract also wanted to have the parts discounted or use aftermarket parts for the repair. No authorization was given at that time to order parts or begin the repair process. On Thursday, August 16th, the service contract company was called at 9:00am and 12:25pm, we left messages for the agent to please contact us both times. At 2:00pm, the representative called us back, went over pricing and had us order the parts.
The parts arrived on Wednesday, August 22nd. Some of the parts were not readily available at our normal warehouse and had to be located from various parts of the country.
Once all of the parts arrived, the technician began to rebuild and reassemble the transmission. The transmission cooler was flushed at 22psi and the transmission was installed on Friday, August 24th.
The vehicle was test driven and was found to have one code set in the computer for a line pressure sensor. The part was ordered that Friday and was replaced on Monday, August 27lh. The vehicle was test driven again and no codes returned.
The service contract company was not made aware that the vehicle was towing a trailer, so as to not jeopardize coverage for the customer. The customer was again advised that the trailer was too heavy for the vehicle. While repairs were being performed, we had the trailer weighed using another vehicle. The weight of the vehicle alone was 4620 lbs and the weight with the trailer was 8360 lbs. The maximum trailer weight for this vehicle is 3500 lbs, the weight of the trailer was 3740 lbs. The customer was advised that in combination with the shape of the trailer (tall/boxy), causing extra resistance, as well as the trailer already being over weight and the mountain passes she would be driving up, we did not recommend towing with the vehicle.
On August 27th, the service contract company was faxed the required documentation for payment. The customer chose to use her credit card and an authorization for the payment of the amount the service contract company owed in lieu of stay over night, waiting for them to pay. We do not release vehicle until the balance is paid in full, as was explained to the customer. On August 28th, we received a fax from the service contract requesting further documentation. The documentation was sent as requested. At 2:31 on August 28th. we left a message with the agent seeking payment, our call was not returned. On August 30th at 9:05am, as well as August 31th at 7:45am and 9:15am we called leaving messaged requesting payment. Due to the lack of payment on the part of the service contract, the customer's credit card was charged and the service contract was instructed to reimburse the customer.
The dealership that the vehicle was towed to after having left here was not able to find a root cause of failure. Due to them not being able to find a cause, Chrysler of Canada denied the claim. The parts and labor are covered by a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty at any Chrysler dealer for failure in quality or workmanship of any of the parts we had replaced. It is due to the lack of a root cause failure that the claim was denied.
Our parts are charged at regular retail markup as recommended by Chrysler. The service contract would not pay for 1 gallon of transmission fluid that was needed due to flushing the system two times. The service contract would not pay for 2 hours of diagnosis and tear down, that was done at their request. The customer was billed for the 2 hours of diagnosis and the 1 gallon of fluid not covered.
We have been in business as a dealership since 1931 and this technician has been a Chrysler certified technician since the early 1990’s. Both the dealership and the technician have an exceptional track record.
We believe that if anyone has done a disservice to the customer, it is her service contract. They continually delayed authorization and would not return our multiple phone calls. Mad they agreed to replace the transmission, as we had recommended, the parts would have been available over night and the customer would have not had to incur the charges for the motel. Additionally, the dealership the vehicle was towed to cannot provide us with a point of failure. We were doing the customer a favor by not telling the service contract company the fact that she had been towing a camp trailer with the vehiclc. By the time we had weighed the trailer, the onboard water supply was emptied as well as many other items that were being carried in the trailer at the initial time of failure. The only common denominator we have found, as well as the determination by Chrysler is that the vehicle was towing a trailer larger than it was designed to tow. The customer was advised that the trailer was too large and was advised that she should not tow it with that vehicle. She took her own risk in towing the tall, over weight, boxy trailer, up the steep mountain passes that the Ellensburg area is surrounded by. In doing so, she took the risk of causing damage to the vehicle. Given that information, we do not feel that we are responsible for any subsequent repair required for this vehicle.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved