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German Car Service, Inc.

Phone: (808) 841-3019 Fax: (808) 841-5769 1310 Mookaula St, Honolulu, HI 96817 http://germancarservicehawaii.com/home/1797275



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Description

This company offers repairs for Mercedes vehicles only.


BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that German Car Service, Inc. 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.

Factors that affect the rating for German Car Service, Inc. include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

2 complaints 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 0
Problems with Product/Service 2
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on German Car Service, Inc.
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: November 10, 1982 Business started: 01/01/1958 Business started locally: 01/01/1958 Business incorporated 01/01/1989 in HI
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:

State of Hawaii Department of Taxation
PO Box 1425, Honolulu HI 96806
http://pahoehoe.ehawaii.gov/tls/app
Phone Number: (808) 587-4242
The number is W20324054-01.

DCCA Consumer Resource Center
235 S. Beretania Street, 8th & 9th Floors, Honolulu HI 96813
Phone Number: 808-587-4272
The number is RD3632.

DCCA Consumer Resource Center
235 S. Beretania Street, 8th & 9th Floors, Honolulu HI 96813
Phone Number: 808-587-4272
The number is MR-605.

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Herwig Gajda, Owner/President Fely Gajda, Vice President
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Herwig Gajda, Owner/President
Business Category

Auto Repair & Service

Industry Tips
CAR-REPAIR

Additional Locations

X

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.
Details

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)

12/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I took my car into german car service to fix one brake caliper, they took the liberty of installing $1,200 in parts in labor without giving me a written estimate or even asking if I wanted the the work done. I payed because I needed my car back for work but felt what they did was illegal. Please help Mr. ****.

Desired Settlement: Please refund my money from this shady business that is ignoring the #1 state requirement posted right in their lobby.

Business Response:

GERMAN CAR SERVICE
**** ********* ******

*********** *****

November 10, 2014

***** *****
Operations
Better Business Bureau of Hawaii, Inc.
**** ****** ****** , ***** ***

********* ** *****

Aloha ***** *****,

Here we are again having a meaningful correspondence regarding an unhappy customer.  I believe it is the 2nd or 3rd time since being in business for 48 years in Hawaii.  So I would like to take this time to fill you in on our experience with Mr. ******.

Mr. **** ****** first arrived here at our facility on June 09, 2014. His **** Mercedes ***** had been overheating and requested that we perform a diagnostic on his vehicle.  Upon closer inspection and diagnostic we found that not only was the vehicle overheating but the idle was too high due to a malfunction in the idle control valve.  The brakes weren't functioning properly and the brake pedal was very difficult to push due to the brake booster malfunction. The suspension was worn out and the steering was loose causing a lot of play.   There was also noticeable rust on the vehicle.  After informing Mr. ****** of the results of our diagnostic he decided that we proceed with performing work to rectify only the overheating problem at that time.

On Repair Order# ***** the vehicle temperature at the time of diagnostic registered at 185 - 190 degrees.  Inspection under the hood revealed that the fan belt was very loose so it was unable to turn the water pump and cooling  fan.  Also, the radiator seemed partially plugged up because the water in the tubes were not flowing properly which was stated to the customer.  But customer decided not to go ahead with any further repairs because he just wanted to try it out and hope it would get better.  Customer agreed to change the fan belt as well as other belts that were old and cracked.

As our technician tried to move the vehicle to perform the repairs, he notified us that he was unable to start the engine and that the starter motor was not turning over.  I then tried to start the vehicle as well to no avail.  I proceeded to ask Mr. ****** if he was aware of the vehicle not starting and he then stated to me that there was an ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle that tests a driver's breath before allowing the vehicle to be started.  This instrument works by measuring the driver's blood alcohol content and disabling the vehicle's ignition if the driver's breath contains alcohol.   I then realized I needed to create a special mouth piece to go over the device in order for me to blow into it without placing my mouth directly onto it." Mr. ****** explained that I needed to blow and hum into the tube device until it makes a beeping sound and after a few attempts the vehicle started.  We moved the vehicle to our working bay and completed
the repairs.  Customer paid and left with the vehicle.

Mr. ******'s second visit to our facility occurred on June 17, 2014.  He stated he wanted to have the brake booster replaced because the brakes had become too difficult to push.  The brake booster was defective and there was no vacuum.  After explaining to Mr. ****** that the cost for a new brake booster from a mainland parts dealer would be $1,040.00 and that a Hawaii parts dealer cost would be $1,240.00, Mr. ****** declined and said he would attempt to look for a brake booster himself online.  He left our shop and later returned with a brake booster he had purchased and located on his own and requested we install it into his vehicle.

Installation of the brake booster became very difficult for our technician due to rusted bolts and minimal space to work under the dash due to the ignition
interlock device.  Bleeding the brake system had taken longer than expected because there were air bubbles that continued to come up for about 15 minutes.  Labor time for the booster replacement totaled 4.7 hours of which only 1.7 hours= $183.60 was charged to Mr. ******. Customer seemed very happy at this time because of the hefty discount he had received even though he was informed his vehicle had other issues such as the brakes, suspension, and steering.

When Mr. ****** dropped off his vehicle on October 14, 2014 there was no brake pedal pressure at all. The pedal was going all the way to the floor and the vehicle was unable to stop. Brake fluid was all over the left and right front wheel.  Mr. ****** informed us to be careful because the car was unable to stop and that he was using the emergency brake to drive from *** **** ****** all the way to our facility at ******** ****** in ******.  I took a quick look at the brake master cylinder
and noticed that there were no leaks but the emergency brakes needed an adjustment.  I asked the customer for a current contact number and he said the number
was the same and had not changed but that he needed his vehicle the following day for a job search.

Our technicians proceeded to move the vehicle into our shop and lift it onto the hoist.  The front wheels were removed to inspect the areas of the brake fluid leak.  Our technician noticed that both left and right front calipers, left and right brake discs, brake pads, wheels and front end was all moistened from the brake fluid leak.  The brake fluid container was completed empty. Our technician removed the rear wheels to check the brake calipers and found that the rear brake rotors
were too worn out and the safety thickness of the brake disc was way below minimum.  The braking surface was scarred and had a dark blue and brown discoloration apparently from becoming too hot.  The brake pads were worn down to the max and the brake pad piston travel is too far out and not deemed safe.
 It appeared to be in very bad condition.  At this time several attempts had been made to contact Mr. ****** to inform him of our findings but were unable to reach him. The number we had on file was ************.  After the second day of unsuccessful attempts of contacting Mr. ****** our technician proceeded
to call local businesses for pricing for rebuilt brake calipers all of which informed us that none was available due to the **** Mercedes ***** being such an old model.  We also contacted the Mercedes dealership and they too did not have any in stock and would need to order the part at a cost of $461.00 each.  I felt this was a very steep price and tried contacting several mainland businesses since there aren't many parts dealers that stock these particular parts anymore.

At this time we were still unable to get in contact with Mr. ****** to update him on the status of his vehicle but knew he needed the vehicle by the following
day so we proceeded to perform work on the original part.  Our technician removed both left and right front leaking brake calipers and cleaned the exterior.  He then disassembled the calipers and cleaned then inspected each item.  At this point it seemed there was a very good chance that when rebuilt with new seals, caps, dust seal, and piston polished that it would work efficiently and be more cost effective for our customer. Our technician proceeded to rebuild the original calipers.

On or about the 4th day since dropping off his vehicle, Mr. ****** called and asked about the status of his vehicle and stated that he did not get any phone calls from us.   I informed him that we tried to contact him on numerous occasions with the number that we had on file but there was no answer.  He then acknowledged  that his phone number had changed and had then given his new contact number.  I explained that we decided to rebuild the original brake calipers for both left and right sides.  It was necessary to rebuild both otherwise if only one is rebuilt the car will pull to one side when stepping on the brake.  The front brake hoses needed to be replaced as well because the rubber had swelled and the interior was restricted to a one millimeter passage.  When rubber hoses age it swells up and the internal flow is restricted making it necessary to be replaced.  After replacing the front brake hoses the brake system needed to be bled which is done by removing air from the brake system to achieve good brake pressure.  After completing this process three times the brake pressure still did not seem right.
At that point the rear wheels needed to be removed in order to check the rear brakes and calipers as well.  Upon inspection we noticed that the rear brake disc was very thin and even more so than we had seen before.  The technician measured the thickness of the brake disc and saw that it was below minimum.  Also, since the braking surface was discolored to a dark brown and blue color from getting too hot, air bubbles were forming in the brake system.  This happens when the fluid starts to boil. If air bubbles form in the brake fluid the brake pressure will diminish and the brake pedal will go all the way down to the floor and will be unable to stop the vehicle.  The brake pads had been worn down too low and there was only 2 millimeters of brake lining left.  When both the brake disc surface is too thin and the brake pads are worn down too low, the brake caliper pistons will travel further out and become lodged in the travel pad which causes the brake caliper
to become jammed and the brake pad will heat up the brake disc.  If the disc temperature rises too high it will have the appearance of a glow. At this point the brake fluid will become hot and bubbles will form and there will be no¬∑ brake pressure.   For safety reasons our technician replaced the rear brake discs and brake pads and noted that the rear brake calipers were not leaking at that time.  Since one of the wheel bolts had been previously broken, it needed to be drilled out and the threads repaired.  It is imperative to have all 5 wheel bolts holding the wheel securely otherwise it will compromise the safety of the vehicle.  The vehicle
was taken out on a test drive and the brakes proved satisfactory.

It took a total of 7.95 hours for our technician to complete all repairs on Repair Order #***** yet as a courtesy to the customer he was only charged for 4.94 hours. The Mercedes Benz time allotted for a technician to conduct both left and right front brake caliper removal and overhaul is about 5.00 hours, which does not include extra cleaning and polishing etc.  Time allotted for cleaning rusted parts and polishing pistons are 1.8 hours.  Time allotted to drill out and rethread the rear wheel stud is 0.9 hours.  The time allotted to start the vehicle while working with the ignition interlock device and test driving it is 0.5 hours.

The total cost of repairs for Repair Order #***** was $1,100.98 (4.94 hours of Labor: $533.52, Parts: $517.92, Tax: $49.54) yet Mr. ****** is demanding $1,200.00 in refunds.

Consumer Response:  
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:

The information they provided is false I've had the same phone number for over 5 years, they never contacted and I never changed my number, that is a lie, my complaint remains that they performed work without permission or written estimate feel free to call ************.

Sincerely,

**** ******

Business Response:  

GERMAN CAR SERVICE
1310 ******** ******
HONOLULU,HI 96817

 
December 08, 2014
 

***** *****
Operations
Better Business Bureau of Hawaii, Inc.
1132 Bishop Street, ***** ***
********* ** *****
 

Dear ***** *****,

 
Our initial response to the complaint made by Mr. ****** was mailed out on November 13, 2014 by Certified mail and was received and signed for at the BBB office on November 14, 2014 by Ronalyn Reyes.

Mr. ****** was given verbal estimates because he did not at any time request any written estimates.  Mr. ****** states he has only had one contact number
for the past five years yet we have two contact numbers for him.  The first contact number we have on file for Mr. ****** is *************.  The second number he had given was *************.


Sincerely,

  
****** *****
Owner/President

12/3/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: My father & i took my car to get fixed they preformed work on my car without giving a written estmate.Car still didn't work and refuses to give refund on 05/20/2013 my father and i brought in my car to be repaired at german auto service. my car was just running a little rough and occationally had a hard time starting.We asked them to give us a written estimate before any work was done we also asked to see all old parts removed from veiachle. Mr ****** ***** argreed. we called german auto service several times since we did not recieve a estimate yet mr ***** kept telling us he did not know what the problem was. on 05/29/2013 Mr ***** called my father and said that we could pick up my car. When we went to get my car mr ****** gave us several reasons why my car was running rough he gave us a list of things he "changed" and said my car would continue to run rough and over the next three months i should poor 44k fuel injection cleaner which we bought there. Mr ***** said after three months of doing this my car would run as good as new. so my father and i did as instructed. After three months we saw no improvment in the way my car was running. on 08/05/2013 my father and i took my car back to german auto service and told them that we were disconcerned that we payed in access of $4200 and my car was never fixed.Mr ***** stated he would look into and i should leave my car there. Four hours after dropping my car off mr ***** said i could pick up my car. I told him i would be able to pick my car up the following morni ng on 08/06/2013. when i went to pick up my car mr ***** accused me of sabbotaging my car by placeing a reminent of a "strap tie" in the middle of my engine located in the ECG valve.I asked to see the part where the strap tie was in he refused to show me i also asked to see the strap tie that was stuck in my engine he refused.After talking things over with my father we both agreed that we were unjustly charged a large ammount of money to the exces of $4,230 all which was done without a written consent. I then asked mr ***** for a refund of the parts he put in my car without written or oral consent. he refused i told him that my father and i would be fileing a complaint with the regulated complaints industry. he said that was fine. After leaving german auto service we wrote mr ***** a letter stateing our deconcern and tried to work out a resolution to this problem he did not respond. My father and i then made a complaint with the regulated compalint office which is still being investagated. also we went on this website and filled out this complaint agaisnt the company german auto service and mr *****

Desired Settlement: $3330.47 refund

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2013/11/05) */ Dear Better Business Bureau,Our relationship with said customer began when he first brought his vehicle into our shop on February 11,2013.At this time he had requested we check the right front passenger door lock and replace the inner door handle.Customer did not request a written estimate and was satisfied with a verbal estimate.As well as performing the requested repairs on the customer's vehicle,an electronic diagnostic test on the vehicle was also completed free of charge as a courtesy to the customer.The results of the diagnostic test showed that there were numerous fault codes and error codes present.Also there were no service booklets, work orders, receipts, or records present to show that there was ever any service performed on the vehicle.When the customer had come in to pick up the vehicle,I explained that the requested repairs were conducted and also that the vehicle seemed to be in poor condition which were indicated by the results of the diagnostic test.The vehicle also had suspension noises and clunking sounds.Customer was satisfied with the repairs at that time and paid with a personal check.On February 19,2013, customer came into our office and requested to order a new ignition key.Upon receiving the key we electronically programmed it to the vehicle free of charge to the customer as a courtesy.Customer was only charged for the electronic ignition key and not the electronic programming.Customer paid and left satisfied.On May 20, 2013, customer brought the vehicle into our shop to check on the fault codes and error codes that were previously mentioned during his first visit.Results of a diagnostic on the vehicle showed the engine was vibrating due to collapsed engine support mounts,engine was cutting out at a few cylinders,valve cover gaskets were leaking resulting in heavy oil leaking into the spark plug holes and connectors, the color of the transmission oil was black due to non-servicing for 91,072 miles.With regular transmission servicing the transmission fluid would be a vibrant pink color but this was not the case with this vehicle which indicated to us that it had been neglected.There was also clunking and banging sounds when stepping on the brake pedal and the vehicle would jerk to the left or right due to lots of play in the suspension.After a long conversation with the customer explaining what repairs were needed he requested a verbal estimate.I informed him that I could not be exact but that to the best of my knowledge based on the diagnostic and symptoms of the vehicle,I believed it would be about$3,500 or higher.Customer expressed concerns for his daughter's safety and requested that we go ahead with the suggested repairs.He mentioned that his daughter would be the driver of the vehicle and he wanted her to be safe.I inquired about who would be paying for the repairs and he indicated that he would be the one to pay for it and would write us a check.I mentioned to him that we both needed to trust each other.That I needed to trust that he would pay for the repairs with a valid check and that he needed to trust that we would perform the necessary work on his vehicle to the best of our ability.We shook hands and the customer left.Up until this point I had only met and made arrangements with this customer and had never met his daughter at all.Upon completion of the repairs the customer arrived along with his daughter to pick up the vehicle.I explained what repairs were performed as well as what parts were replaced.I explained also that I had heavily discounted the repairs in order to make it more affordable for him.I asked the customer if he would be interested in seeing the old parts but he declined.But since I felt he would have a better understanding of the extent of the repairs,I decided to show them to him anyway.After explaining and showing the customers the parts,I informed them that we did as much as we could to make the car safe to drive while trying to stay within a set amount that they could afford.If we were to go ahead with every repair that was needed at that time the cost would be way beyond the estimated price.I tried to stay as close as I could to the estimated price and yet do as much repairs as I could to make the car safe to operate.With that being said I explained that there was still existing problems with the vehicle such as electronic parts,injectors,coils,etc.I suggested they could use a fuel additive with every tank fill up to aid in the removal of carbon build up and when used for a period of time could be very effective.When the vehicle was dropped off prior to repairs there was barely any fuel in the tank.After the father paid for the invoice he provided a few gallons of fuel which our mechanic then poured into the vehicle.While our mechanic poured the fuel,the customer's daughter attempted to light her cigarette while standing nearby.Our mechanic alerted her to halt and explained that the open flame from igniting her cigarette could create a hazardous situation being that she was so near to the vehicle as he was pouring the fuel.The daughter then proceeded to walk away.On the morning of August 5,2013,the customer came into our office complaining that his daughter's vehicle was not running right and that it was missing and cutting out.I asked the customer to explain to me the symptoms the vehicle was exhibiting.He then said to me that prior to coming that day he had taken the vehicle to two other mechanics and believed they had found the problem.I asked the customer if he could then explain to me what their diagnosis was and he then said,"I will not tell you!You have to find out for yourself!"The customer then drove off.Later that afternoon the customer's daughter along with a few friends came by to drop off the vehicle.I then asked one of our mechanics to take the car on a test drive to see how it operates.After returning the mechanic informed me that there was nothing unusual with the vehicle and that it seemed to be running fine.At that time it was not missing or cutting out.When explaining to the customer's daughter that the vehicle would not duplicate the symptoms they indicated she became very upset and agitated.She started cursing and complaining and then saying that she would leave the vehicle anyway and that we better find out what the problem is.We decided to conduct a few more diagnostic tests and could still not find any problem.The next day our mechanic decided to take the vehicle out on another test drive and experienced a slight hesitation when the engine of the vehicle became warm.He then completed another electronic diagnostic which at this time the computer showed there was a problem with the original EGR valve.Our mechanic took a visual look of the area and discovered a portion of a tie strap wedged in the diaphragm of the EGR valve.This was preventing the spring which moves the diaphragm to travel back and forth.The piece was stuck in a half-way position.After removing the object the mechanic conducted another electronic diagnosis which then showed all codes were clear.The mechanic took the vehicle out on another test drive and it seemed to be operating fine.The following day,the customer's daughter picked up the vehicle along with two male companions one of which was her mechanic.I tried to show the tie strap object to the daughter but she refused to see it.She continued to curse at me and demand her money back and accuse me of being the person to put the object into her vehicle in an effort to sabotage her vehicle.As I continued to try to talk with her and her mechanic she and her other male friend continued to pace back and forth cursing and demanding to get money back.I had no idea who her friend was and he had nothing to do with the vehicle yet he approached two of our mechanics in a threatening manner demanding them to tell him who worked on the vehicle.And as he did so, he placed his hand on a baseball bat that was protruding out of a backpack he was wearing.I asked the daughter to sign for the release of the vehicle but she refused so her mechanic eventually signed.He seemed to be the only reasonable person amongst them and continued to try to get the daughter and friend to calm down and leave the office.After finally leaving our office they went out onto the lot and argued for some time before entering their vehicles.Then after several minutes her male friend stuck his head out of the vehicle as I was with another customer and continued to yell and curse at me continuously.A few weeks later,I received a letter from the customer's daughter demanding her money back and threatening to make a complaint.I responded with a reply letter by certified mail which she signed for upon receipt dated 8/27/2013 yet she stated to both the BBB and the HRICO that i had not replied.It troubles me to know that after all my efforts of trying to assist the customer by providing many discounts that they would suggest I sabotaged their vehicle. That wou Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 7, 2013/11/15) */ I received and read the response of German Car Service Inc. on Saturday unfortunately my father and I do not find the response satisfactory. Mr. ****** attempt to obfuscate this issue is truly insulting. My father and I are adamant in pursuing justice in this matter. It seems inexplicable why Mr. ***** continues to add insult to injury by his blatant fabrications and outright lies in this matter. Every interaction we had with Mr. ***** and his business (German Car service) we have always asked for a written estimate. Mr. ***** showed great malice in stating that my father or I would give him any sort of unbridled consent when working on my car. This is the second failed attempt both my father and I have made to resolve this issue with Mr. ***** and his business. Unfortunately our efforts have been in vain and my father and I are now seeking legal counsel to take this matter to court. My father and I have consulted with a family member who currently works for the Honolulu Police Department as an undercover police ofcer he investigated this matter and has sufficient evidence against Mr. ***** and his buisssness.It has been photographed that Mr. ****** mechanics take old Mercedes parts and puts them in the cars he works on for his customers. My father and I tried to resolve this matter without having to go to court but unfortuanly Mr. ***** shows no sign of resolving this issue with us. So we feel we have no other choice but to take this to court.


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