BBB Accredited Business since

Putnam Mazda, Volvo

Additional Locations

Phone: (650) 347-4800 Fax: (650) 347-1450 View Additional Phone Numbers 3 California Dr, Burlingame, CA 94010

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This company offers new & used cars & trucks sales & service.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Putnam Mazda, Volvo meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

10 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 1
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 1
Problems with Product/Service 7
Total Closed Complaints 10

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Putnam Mazda, Volvo
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: April 30, 1987 Business started: 01/01/1986 Business started locally: 01/01/1986
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

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:

DMV Occupational
Phone Number: 1-800-777-0133
The number is 20061.

Business Management
Mr. Kent Putnam, President
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Kent Putnam, President
Number of Employees


Business Category

Auto Dealers - New Cars Auto Repair & Service

Alternate Business Names
Putnam Automotive, Inc. Putnam Subaru

Additional Locations

  • 3 California Dr

    Burlingame, CA 94010 (800) 862-7156 (800) 727-5613

  • 640 O"Farrell St.

    San Francisco, CA 94104


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

10/7/2016 Problems with Product/Service
5/7/2016 Problems with Product/Service
6/30/2015 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased a battery which was defective and would like reimbursement as I had to go elsewhere to purchase the replacement. March 30th 2015, I began to encounter a slow start of my car and did not believe it was the battery as it was recently purchased within the last few years. As I was concerned, I took my vehicle to an independent car shop to diagnose my car and only to discover that it was the battery. The battery was not holding charge resulting in the slow start. I contacted the ****** Volvo Service Department around 4pm and spoke to an associated that informed me that a partial credit would be provided for the defective battery but I would incur the labor costs of the installation; however, for that specific day all the technicians were unavailable and left early for the day. With that being stated, the associate did not provide any other option which I did receive well as I am left to my own for a solution. Fortunately, the independent shop had a single battery for my vehicle which he replaced to ensure and prevent future slow starts. I have been a long standing customer with ****** and this is the very first poor experience that I have encountered.

Desired Settlement: I am requesting the refund of the amount $196.20 which is the cost of the battery. I have emails via the website and never received a call or from the service department.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2015/06/12) */ We have contacted the customer twice and left messages. We are trying to remedy this situation. This is the back story about the situation. The customer purchased a battery from ****** Volvo on 3/18/2011 on a repair order. The battery does have a warranty with full replacement including labor up to 24 months but after 25 months the battery is prorated and there is no compensation for labor. When she called us on 3/30/15, we would have told her that she purchased the battery 48 months ago and that Volvo will pay for 24% of the new battery and that she would have to pay for labor. We would like to remedy this situation, please have the customer contact us.

4/3/2015 Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Dealership was request in writing to not provide private information to Bank of America. Dealership did and had loan filled by Bank of America. I purchased a vehicle from ****** Jeep Burlingame and the Finance Paperwork was processed at the ****** Nissan Dealership. Other than some of the basic product and service issues during this purchase, the experience was pleasant until I received a notice from Bank Of America about my vehicle loan. During the application process for a vehicle loan, I specifically crossed off Bank of America to opt out of using their bank and sharing my information with Bank of America. I also believe I wrote on the document to not use Bank of America. I verbalized this to the Sales Agent. During the signing, the finance manager did not mention that Bank of America would be the bank that the loan was being sent to. To my surprise, it went to the bank that I specifically requested it to not go to. I called the dealership on 2/25/2015, the day after I received the notice. I left a message. I called later in the day and spoke to an employee in the finance department and explained the issue. He stated I would receive a call on Friday. That never happened. I called the dealership again on Sunday, spoke to the finance manager that processed the paperwork and explained the issue. He stated that there was nothing he could do and that I should refinance. I explained that they shared my personal and financial information with someone that I did not offer consent to and that was an issue. He then told me he would call me back in three days with options. He did not do this. I called the dealership and after being transferred a few times, got someone’s voicemail and left another message. I called back and asked for the manager on duty, I got another voicemail and left another message. This has yet been returned. I do not anticipate that I will get a phone call and they are unwilling to fix the issue. My only request was that the loan get financed with a bank that is not Bank Of America and that ****** Auto Group honors the agreement that we made. At this point, if they have to buy down the loan at their expense, it is their obligation to do so. Please contact me about the violation of my consent and how they shared personal information with a party that they were not authorized to do so. They were instructed, in writing, on their form, to not share my information with Bank of America. They also did not provide me with the paperwork that they were required to. All I have is the final documentation of the loan. The other documents were locked in ****** Jeep, inaccessible, and they were not sent to me. This is an issue of itself and a violation of rules instituted for this industry in California. I hope that CA Consumer Affairs and the New Motor Vehicle Board look into this matter. ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Case is being handled by another organization: California Consumer Affairs

Desired Settlement: Original request was to fix the mistake. They have no been willing to fix the mistake. Pursuing possible civil charges by State of California.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2015/03/18) */ Flat cancel request and check has been sent out. New contract by customer has been Signed n returned. will assign it

12/10/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: We purchased a jeep grand Cherokee from this dealership believing it was the vehicle we had described that we wanted to Mr. ***** *********** the internet sales manager. ( we were unaware that he was the internet sales manager until after we bought the SUV, he never disclosed that to us). Mr. ********** misrepresented the vehicle to us orally and led us to believe it was what I had described to him we wanted. I had asked for the standard Jeep grand Cherokee and identified color preference and features. He told us the vehicle was exactly what we wanted. A few weeks later we returned at 8:00 PM to purchase a jeep and when we arrived I asked Mr. ********** to go over the features of that specific SUV with me as I did not understand the printout and what it meant. He rushed us saying, don't worry it's exactly what you want. He listed some of the features we asked for including color and I phone capability to convince us and rushed my husband down the street to sign lease papers. I had confided to Mr. ********** a few days earlier that we just had a death in our family from which we were reeling. He pursued us heavily with excessive text messages and voice messages, manipulating us to gain our trust and to capitalize on our loss. We see that clearly now. His aim was a sale and he wanted to unload that specific car for their dealership reasons. He lied to us.They did not bring the car into view until after he had rushed my husband down the street. It was dark out and neither my husband or myself noticed that the tires were oversized. When we realized that the next morning we immediately returned to the dealership to inform Mr. ********** this was not what we asked for. He kept us waiting nearly an hour, clearly aware we discovered his deception. He and the new car sales manager refused to remedy this. Those tires alter the drive and control, which I have nearly lost several times in the 3 weeks we have had it. This is not what we thought we were getting, nor is it what we asked for and were told. Product_Or_Service: Jeep grand Cherokk

Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Replacement Return the vehicle, cancel the lease at no cost to us. They attempted to extort 7,500 from us on Saturday September 20, 2014 when we asked to return the vehicle and cancel the lease. They contacted the parts dept, claiming they had no idea what tires cost. It is their business, of course they knew. The height of the vehicle and the affect on driving is causing safety issues. We had no idea we were getting over sized tires, did not want them.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/10/24) */ All product concerns should be directed to the manufacturer. Call X-XXX-XXX-XXXX. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2014/11/10) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) Your response to us was sent to our spam folder and we just by chance looked there yesterday and found it. I do not see their response in this email from you. please direct me to their response. Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 9, 2014/11/20) */ We have located their response and find it to be completely unsatisfactory.

10/3/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: On March 31, 2010, I purchased the following product or service:I bought a ************************ with the prepaid maintenance service. Vehicle ID # **********CXXXXXX from ****** Chrysler Jeep Dodge in ********** *** Unfortunately, I was dissatisfied for the many reasons. First of all, I had been complaining about problems with the brake system since I bought the car. In many occasions, I asked them to check the brakes and a couple of times they did performed some sort of service to the brakes. However, recently I complained about the same brake issue, but since the warranty has expired they charged me $50 just to check the brakes to be told that they now found a problem with the back brakes and that I would be charged approximately $500 to work on the back brakes. But the service adviser said that this may not solve the problem. THE CAR HAS HAD THIS PROBLEM SINCE WE GOT IT. On top of this we did a road test with a mechanic and he realized that there was a problem with the brakes right away. The service adviser put on the report that the sterling wheel was not shaking when the mechanic test drove it, but I saw it move it. When I asked the service department to check my service records for any past complaints about the brakes, they told me that their files had no indication of such requests. However, reviewing my service receipts, there are notes entered by the advisor stating that I had requested. My main concern is that I've been complaining since the beginning about issues with the brakes, and no one ever found a problem with the brakes. Now that my warranty is over, there's a problem with the brakes. I find that to be very upsetting and dishonest of their part. I've been driving a car with bad brakes for years, and feel like that have no type of concern for our safety of that of others on the road. Product_Or_Service: From 2010 to 2014

Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Other (requires explanation) I would like ****** to make an honest evaluation of the car, and find out what's wrong with the car, not just suggest paying $500 to fix a something, that may not be the problem now. It sounds like they are not giving me a clear diagnostic. I feel like they just want me to pay for something that may not be needed. I need to know exactly what's wrong with the car, and I want them to cover the expenses because I've complained about this many time, and their answer to my complaint was "everything is normal". When in reality there was something wrong with the brakes, that has probably became a bigger problem because the issue had been unattended for so long.I have copies of my records related to this situation if needed.I look forward to Putnams reply and a resolution to my problem. Please contact me at the above address or by phone at (XXX) XXX XXXX.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/09/17) */ Dear *****: Case # ******** ***** ****** ********* Mr.********* is a good ****** customer.Mr.********* can come back to ******,we will take another look at the car.Best Regards, *** ******* ****** Automotive Customer Relations Manager ************ Main ************ Direct ************ Cell ************ Fax

9/24/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: My **** ******** **** and Country Touring Minivan burns oil excessively. I can't drive 1,000 miles without losing 3 quarts of oil. My mechanic found this abnormal and recommended I bring my car to the dealer because the car is still under warranty.The dealer sealed the oil from the bottom to avoid tampering and told me to return after 3,000 miles. I returned at about 2,500 because my car indicator showed low oil. The dealer's mechanic added 4 quarts of oil and sent me off. I came back another day and was told to come back in another 1,000 miles because that is what the manufacturer requires to test this problem for warranty purposes.As I came close to driving 1,000 miles, my indicator light came on again. I checked the oil level and it showed a tiny bit of oil on the edge of the dip stick. I brought the car in again and was told that when the level of oil is on the perforated edge of the dip stick, it means that I've only used 1 quart of oil. I also learned that they did not write down when I came in the last time needing 4 quarts of oil.I left the car again and was called within the hour to say that Chrysler's warranty does not apply here. ****** Chrysler claims that my car only needed 1 quart of oil and Chrysler states that cars with over 50,000 miles (my car is at 84,000) burn at least 1 quart of oil per 750 miles. They did not open the engine, and the dealer-mechanic claimed that it is normal for American cars after 2006 to burn more oil after 50,000 miles He said to check my oil every 1,000 miles and keep extra in my car.My mechanic is shocked by what the dealer has been telling me, by what the manufacturer has been stating, and about how they've been sending me in circles for several months. My warranty period is almost up and my car still burns oil excessively. Since my last trip to the dealer, I have driven 1,200 miles and my mechanic had to add 3 quarts of oil. He has been in the business of servicing cars for many years and believes everything I was told by the dealer is false. Product_Or_Service: **** ******** minivan Town and Country Touring

Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Other (requires explanation) Under the warranty, I would like to have my car repaired so that it stops burning oil excessively. If the dealer refuses to do this, I would like to return the car under applicable Lemon Laws because a 2010 car should not be losing 3-4 quarts of oil every 1,000-2,000 miles unless as my mechanic believes, something is seriously wrong with the engine.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 9, 2014/09/08) */ COMPLAINT # ******** ***** ****** Vehicle falls under industry standards for normal engine oil consumption.If customer would like to open a case with chrysler,***** can call X-XXX-XXX-XXXX. Best Regards, *** ******* ****** Automotive Customer Relations Manager ************ Main

7/7/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/2/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Failure to execute pre-paid maintenance plan purchased on new vehicle according to servicing schedule. General incompetence. When I originally purchase my 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX, I also buy a 3-year/45,000-mile Subaru Added Security Maintenance Agreement to protect it. As it stands, my vehicle has not been getting maintenance in a timely fashion. A November 2010 letter from Steven’s Creek Subaru, where I originally purchase the car, informs me I will get reminders of important recommended services. As mileage accrues on the vehicle, reminders start to come in through the mail from Steven’s Creek Subaru and I service the car there in San Jose a few times. However, seeing as I live in San Mateo, I take my WRX to Putnam Subaru Burlingame, a Subaru dealership much closer to my home. After Putnam Subaru Burlingame performs the 15,000-mile service on 1/20/12, I receive a very warm welcome letter from Mr. **** ******* In this letter, dating 2/8/2012, he writes, “As your Service Professional at Putnam Subaru, it is my job to make sure your Subaru ownership experience is a highly satisfying one… We trust that your experience with our Service Department and the work performed was to your satisfaction. I hope you will continue to protect your vehicle’s value and performance by depending on our Subaru-trained technicians.” This is the last piece of mail I receive from ****** Subaru Burlingame regarding recommended services. Thereafter, notifications discontinue through the mail and Putnam Subaru Burlingame neglects the maintenance schedule, despite the services being pre-paid through the Subaru Added Security Maintenance Agreement. According to the Warranty and Maintenance Booklet, services should be performed at 7,500-mile intervals. The 15,000-mile service is performed @12, 942 miles. The next service is the 22,500-mile service performed on 12/6/12 @24,513 miles. Note the interval of roughly 12,000 miles. I bring the car to Putnam Subaru Burlingame over the next year on 5 different occasions, for various reasons, but not once am I given any service recommendations. 14,000 more miles are driven during that time and when I check the engine oil level on 10/26/2013, the dipstick is dry. I put 2 quarts in immediately as well as schedule an appointment with the dealership to perform the next service. The car is @39,119 miles. I express my concern about these issues with a Service Advisor the morning of the 30,000-mile service. A small note is documented in the estimate, but when I pick up the car that afternoon, the same note appears on the receipt without any follow-up. When pressed on the issue, the Service Manager is at first dismissive, then becoming somewhat aggressive and confrontational, denying any responsibility for the lapse in scheduled maintenance. A few weeks later I start hearing a vibrating/grinding noise coming from the somewhere behind the glovebox. I bring the vehicle back to Putnam Subaru and after having the car the entire day the only response I got was that it was a "normal" noise. The matter is yet unresolved. I bought a 3-year/45,000-mile Subaru Added Security Maintenance Agreement to protect my car and I fear it may have suffered as a result of it. I am really disappointed and frustrated and above all I’m worried that my nice new car is already in poor condition.

Desired Settlement: Ideal settlement is a new vehicle which can be maintained properly as was originally intended.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (4000, 12, 2014/03/12) */ We have contacted the customer, advised that there is a sticker on the top left corner of the windshield to remind him when to service the vehicle. We also advised the customer, like Stevens Creek Subaru advised him, that based on his owners manual, he is responsible to service his vehicle per the service interval which is 6 months or 7500 miles (based on customer, Stevens Creek Subaru alerted him like so"we are not going to chase you down"). On the maintance contract that the customer purchased, it is not in writing that the dealership is to call him or alert him when to bring the vehicle for service, it is the owner's responsibility. We also contacted the customer and advised him to bring the vehicle to our shop to have the noise that his vehicle has diagnosed. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (4200, 14, 2014/03/14) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) Subaru Added Security Maintenance Plan brochure Q&A section: Q. What should I do when it is time to have scheduled maintenance performed on my Subaru? A. We will send you service coupons that can be redeemed at any participating Subaru Dealer. The Maintenance Plan is honored throughout the United States and Canada. I'm not arguing that I am responsible for my vehicle's maintenance. That is why I purchased a $1,600.00 SAS Maintenance Agreement. The SAS Maintenance Plan does not tell the owner to schedule the service appointment when it is time for a service. It says Subaru will send the owner service coupons. I can produce this document if needed. Also, I brought the vehicle to Putnam on 12/12/13 for this noise issue. I explained in detail how the noise is produced, what it sounds like, and how the car had not made that sound previously. I even drove with the service manager and produced the sound so there would be no confusion. At the end of the day I was told the vehicle had nothing wrong with it and the noise is a "normal noise." Getting no resolution from Putnam, I turned to Steven's Creek Subaru. I believed they would surely remedy the issue seeing that they sold me the vehicle and I had explained my grievances to the seemingly concerned individual who sold me the car. Again, I went to the dealership (this one much further from my home) expecting the issue to be resolved. I again explained everything to the service tech and left the car with the dealer for the day. At around 5 p.m. I called the dealership since it was getting late and I hadn't heard back from them all day. When I talked to them on the phone asking about the car, they weren't sure if it was ready and said they would call me back. A few minutes later they did and told me the car was ready. When I got to the dealership to pick-up the car, the service tech who worked on the vehicle had already gone home so there was no one for me to even talk to about what was learned. None of the issues I raised were resolved and the tech said he didn't hear anything. I was rather annoyed and frustrated at yet another fruitless attempt to get things resolved. I had to make another appointment the next week so the head tech would be there since apparently the first tech was just a new guy. This time, however, when I produced the noise the tech said something like, "Ohhhh. I've never heard a noise like that before. That's not normal." Finally I thought we were getting somewhere. Again, I left the vehicle with them for the day but this time I called around 3 to see what had been learned. The service department said they were having trouble reproducing the noise. I told them it's very easy to do but I would come back to the dealership right away and produce the noise. Sure enough, I did so quite easily and both the head tech and the service manager acknowledged the presence of this noise. At that point the service manager said he would do some research and check the national databases for anything similar to my issue and that he would need to hold on to the paperwork to do that so I didn't get a receipt of what happened that day. It took a week for him to respond and all he came up with was that they would put microphones in the car to try to isolate the source of the noise, but that would cost me $. I said ok and we scheduled an appointment for the next Monday. Disgusted with the entire experience and not wanting to spend more gas, time, and possibly a bunch of $, I have not been back since. Putnam never offered to diagnose the noise after the first attempt. The claim that they contacted me to diagnose the noise is completely dishonest. There are more details involved with this whole experience but I will leave it at that for now.

1/20/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have taken my 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee into this dealership 4 times for the same issue. The dealership states there is nothing wrong with my vehicle. The compliant is hard transmission shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. This was a recall on this vehicle and was to be fixed. I have email/called Chrysler in Detroit, MI. I received a call from Tom from Chrysler stating there is nothing they can do and this noise and hard shifting is normal. On 11/22/2013 I took my vehicle in to this dealership for service. Oil change, and I told the service advisor my steering wheel was shaking during freeway speeds. The advisor explained my tires need a wheel balance. I agreed to have this work completed.Later that day the dealership called stating my vehicle was ready. After picking up my car and driving home I noticed the steering wheel still shaking and nothing has changed. I called the dealership and asked what to do. I spoke to the owner of the dealership and he reassured me everything would be fixed and or my money returned. Now, no one will call me back and my car is not fixed.

Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Refund I want a refund for my tire balance and tire rotation.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2013/12/23) */ Mr.*** never paid for a wheel balance, so we cannot refund for something that we never did. Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 7, 2013/12/26) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I paid $129.00 for a wheel balance and oil change. I emailed a copy of the receipt to ***. I have called **** ****** (owner) and *** several times with no response. This dealership is not telling the truth. Final Business Response /* (4000, 9, 2014/01/06) */ A wheel balance was NOT done and NOT paid for.

Customer Review(s)

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Customer Reviews Summary

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