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Northeast California

BBB Accredited Business since

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that German Auto Service 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 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for German Auto Service 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.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 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 1
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on German Auto Service
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: July 15, 1994 Business started: 01/01/1989 Business started locally: 01/01/1989
Licensing

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:

CA Bureau of Auto Repair- BAR
10949 North Mather Blvd, Rancho Cordova CA 95670
http://www.bar.ca.gov/
Phone Number: (800) 952-5210

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. John Dobson, Owner
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. John Dobson, Owner
Business Category

Auto Repair & Service Auto Repairing - Foreign

Alternate Business Names
Dobson's German Auto Service

Additional Locations

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Complaint Detail(s)

3/17/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: GAS recco majr svc Jan'12 4cylindr head@4k >oil leak cont yet shop blamd oth prblms>Oct'13 wrnty apprvd then redirct new engn$2k. we paid or car inop We have had repeated and escalated issues w/ Dobson's German Auto Service @217 Kenroy Lane, Unit #1,Roseville, CA 95678 ###-###-#### svc techn/admin staff ***** ******* >****************************** We took '98 Z3 BMW to GAS 4 inspectn July 09, 1st svc in Aug 4 engn chck light. BMW had 135k mi frm Aug 2009- April 2012, we had x 5 svc replace orig hoses, belts, new spark plugs, etc & repairs targeting overheating. GAS experts insisted major svc needed. BMW put in non-oper DMV/ins to avoid furthr dmg and majr svc done jan12. Orig svc qtd $1,300 cost us $4,500 per shop due 2Cylndr Head Gasket at $1481 (removed/replaced, new radiator, reserve tank and Head Inspection $1300) BMW never stopped leaking aftr Jan svc. GAS infrmd & when BMW retrnd, they blmd leak othr parts/labr rqrd, we did all, as we could afford it beginning May12. Again Aug12. Apr '10 milg 141k - Aug '12 147k. **Oct13 car retrnd we again took expert advs replcd valv cover & powr steering which they said was reason for oil leak- cont to leak. Retrnd car again 2 wks later insisting they inspct leak from top not undrneath to witness source of oil leak. Finally GAS acknwldg head cylndr leaking. 1st said coverd warrnty then as repair undrway state the bolt holes lower block stripped & new engn reqrd even aftr head cylndr majr svc done <6k b4. GAS only shop working on head & we they not accpting respsnbl over torq bolt holes. Prim contact, ***** redirecting prblms at every turn aftr every addl repair. TTl rprs apprx $8k Aug09-current. G.A.S. has taken no responsibility for their faulty workmanship and carelessness. They have repeatedly damaged parts as they repair the car and continue to charge and identify repairs for replacing parts and/or labor that were not the main repair issue - the head cylinder which never stopped leaking oil. Ultimately, we feel w/ outside mechanic backing us that GAS is rsponsbl for faulty work as well as intentional & repeated mis-directed expert guidance to resolve our mechanical problems. The shop did not prodv a rental during the 2 weeks they unassmbld BMW Oct13 - we could not even pick up veh. It drove fine aside from leak when dropped off but now we had inop veh unless we replaced engine. This whole ordeal has been draining experience emotionally and financially. We were at G.A.S.'s mercy to get our vehicle back together and operational. I bought new/used engine and BMW driven home 11/12/13. Aftr new engn 'no other' repair prblms exist - car is not leaking oil!!Ultimately, we feel that G.A.S. is responsible for faulty work as well as intentional and repeated mis-directed expert guidance to resolve our mechanical problems. At your request, we have:*copies of the work Invoices for work completed at G.A.S.*the 'chipped not cracked' valve cover * the cylinder head which was refinished *the block is being held at GAS until 12/12/13 (u may want to inspect all of these parts) * numerous emails exchanged w ***** of GAS & purchase receipts for parts paid out of our pocket e.g. used engine, valve cover. ***** refused any warrnty for new engin installtn Oct13, upon car compltd. In all honesty, we would be very afraid to take our BMW back for any service. Family and friends directed us to BBB for your assistance. We have never turned in a complaint to the BBB but we feel hopeful you may thoroughly investigate our complaint claim & prevent GAS taking advntg othrs. Thank you!! **** and ***** *****.

Desired Settlement: ***** & I are asking for fairness and simple indemnification from German Auto. We ask 1. $4,500 -some % (proposing $2,781 of the orig major repair which was not successful) paid Jan12, 2012; 2. $343 4 replacement of the valve cover shop dmg during major svc repair (shop said it was cracked but upon inspctn it is chipped at bolt hole. cover purchsd 10/11/13 frm BMW; 3. $1,251 used engine purchase 11/4/13 frm Bavarian Auto Recycl(we accept labor cost @$750, inclds power steering).

Business Response: The vehicle came in for the 1st time in Aug 09. It was documented at 135,338 miles that the vehicle had overheated,code was stored in the controller for overheating at that time. The vehicle then returned 3,000 miles later in Nov 09,the headgasket,water pump and thermostat were leaking. The coolant hoses were seeping, we made the recommendation and the cust declined any repairs for this concern. What the customer did want to have repaired was the #4 spark plug. The customer had attempted to replace his spark plugs and the #4 plug threads came out when the plug was removed due to the engine overheating, we added a time sert in the plug hole and replaced the spark plug. The vehicle then came in Apr 10 about 2900 miles later to repair only the water pump and thermostat. The veh had stop leak in the system and the radiator was now plugged and the expansion tank was contaminated woth stop leak. The customer authorized the water pump and thermostat only. The vehicle then came back in Jan 12 4,000 miles later. At that time the customer mentioned that he was unhappy about the condition of the vehicle. The vehicle at that time had been driven over 8700 miles with known headgasket leaks, 6,000 miles with a known plugged radiator. The customer then authorized to have the repairs to the headgasket and radiator repaired. The repair estimate was agreed as goodwill to the customer to be done for $4450.00. The repair was done and the vehicle did not return until Aug 12 and 2800 miles later with an oil leak and check eng light on. The repair was a crank sensor and a leak from the vanos line, these repairs were not related to the headgasket repair 8 months earlier. The vehicle retuned with a valve cover gasket leaking in Sept 12. We repaired the vehicle under warranty. The vehicle returned a year later Nov 13. The valve cover was cracked and leaking oil at that time it was recommended to replace the valve cover and recheck the oil leaks. Customer supplied a valve cover and we installed it. The vehicle returned the next week leaking oil. The leak was substantial and found to be coming from the heagasket, at that time the repair was to be done under warranty. When the head was being reinstalled it was found that 3 of the holes for the head bolts were not holding, much like what had happened to the #4 spark plug that had been repaired years earlier. The customer requested another alternative, we researched with a local machine shop and they recommended drilling out all the holes on the block and adding time serts. They also mentioned the repair was dependable and would cost about $3200.00. At that time we made a request for $1500 customer participation and we would cover the balance to help customer. Eventually the cust purchaseed a used engine and asked if we could intsall the engine. The estimate was $995.00. The customer asked for more assistance so the price was then lowered to $750.00 dollars and we would also fix an power steering leak. The customer requested the cylinder head from the old engine which had been rebuilt in Jan 11 to help with some of the cost. We provided the customer with the head. We also agreed that we would hold on to the old engine block for 30 days so the customer would have time to make arrangements to pick up the block. The vehicle has been repaired with an used engine,new radiator,new valve cover,new water pump,new expansion tank,new belts,new thermostat,new heater hoses,new battery,new radiator hoses,new power steering reservoir and gasket,new oil and filter,new coolant. These repairs were all done for a total of $6850.00 for parts,labor and tax. That is a very reasonable price for the repairs that were done to repair all of the above mentioned items. This is a case of a customer who continued to ignore all the warning signs the vehicle had given, and had ignored all the recommendations given over years and thousands of miles driving a vehicle that was overheating and leaking coolant. The customer was given many discounts on the repairs that were done and now that his vehicle is repaired, wants money back. The reason for documenting the recommendations is to prevent this type of problem from happening. This vehicle could have been repaired back in 2009 or 2010 for thousands of dollars less. These were not reoccuring issues, these problems were never repaired and the end result was a engine that was overheated beyond any repair.

Consumer Response: A phone conference call with ***** at GAS was declined as he stated, "No need to take time off work. My question was, if you were displeased with our work. Why would you bring the vehicle back, ask for a discount, then after vehicle is repaired ask for your money back. The block is here until tomorrow as promised. It can be picked up by 4:30 pm tomorrow." My wife and I want to pursue the process of having the BBB investigate or further mediate this faulty repair claim. Our response to the response provided by ***** stands as follows (our email to him 12/12/13 **"Wow! Really? Are you honestly unclear as to why? The reason is financial. We invested $4500 into our BMW, trusting GAS to identify the problem and repair our engine. The discount applied to our repair work Nov 2013 was, in our opinion, a gesture of apology on your part for not successfully repairing our vehicle in January 2012. A repair which should have (initially was honored as covered under warranty), yet as your shop assembled the refinished head cylinder (hardly driven since the repair) with the block which you stripped the bolts the last time it was serviced at your shop, you faced the stripped bolt heads. So, to summarize, your shop had knowledge of the history of our vehicle, a presumed expertise with BMW engines and all parties recognized oil was pouring out of our engine block Oct 2013, from an engine which had a major repair done by GAS. We hesitantly trusted you would take care of us, in good faith. Oct 2013 GAS diverted the oil leak issue to the power steering, directed us to the oil pan gasket as the culprit for the leak, had us replace the valve cover and not until we forced the issue of looking down into the engine which had oil seeping out from the top running down over the oil pan did you seem to get a clue that the head/block unit was never correctly repaired after the engine repair. GAS was informed that we had continued oil leaks promptly in the Spring of 2012. There is not a question in our mind that the major repair did not resolve our oil leak. GAS never told **** or I that the engine rebuild was a 'possible fix' to the problem, rather this was THE FIX to the engine. Also, to be clear, the work order which I have when I dropped off the BMW January 2012 has a quoted repair amount of $1,300 not $4,450 until you were mid-way into the project. It would seem we do not see eye to eye on your shop having a responsibility to correctly assess mechanical problems and stand by your word to make necessary repairs. We will proceed with the BBB Complaint. I thank God for this public assistance. If necessary, we will proceed to Small Claims court for restitution. It is unfortunate you now want to dispose of the block when formerly you had assured me it would be no problem to extend the hold for us. It is our opinion that inspection by the BBB or BAR of the engine parts which we state have shop damage opposed to 'driving or wear 'n tear' damage would be to the benefit of each of our claim. If you opt to dispose of the block, I feel you are intentionally disposing of the block which you do not want other automotive experts to inspect. That is your decision! Oh, and I am glad to return the cylinder head once you have paid us the cost of the repair of the head in a 'fair settlement.' I will never recover from your firm and complacent statement at the time I picked up the BMW on 11/12/13. A statement which was a full denial to me of even a 2 week warranty from GAS on my car driving safely and 'not leaking' after you installed the engine which I had delivered to your shop. You would not even warranty your installation, knowing the engine had its' own internal warranty. Your service failure is unacceptable. You admit in your response to the BBB that our BMW had numerous repairs over years and that your assessment of the history of this vehicle was "...the end result was a engine that was overheated beyond any repair." IF you knew the car was beyond repair, why? Why did you recommend the cylinder head repair, charge us $4,500 and promise us at the day of pickup in 2012 that you had repaired our vehicle and that we should have no further leaks or issues!?" **** This response to ***** written by ***** can adequate serve as our formal response after ***** replied to the BBB Complaint. Both my wife and I will make ourselves available to speak or meet with your staff to further assess and find equity in our claim. As a final plea for justice and indemnity with this car repair, we are willing to return the refinished head cylinder to GAS if they feel this balances the scales of justice!?, in exchange for payment from GAS of no less than $2,500 - an amount which represents a portion of the major repair which was 'from the start, per *****, paraphrased - "a car beyond repair" when they took the BMW in for servicing Jan 2012.' At this juncture, we are not asking for further compensation for the frustrating and inconvenience, or even 'actual financial loss', as a result of our dealings with German Auto Service. We await further contact and instructions to pursue this Complaint. Thank you. **** and ***** *****

Business Response: The initial repairs were done to the headgasket in January of 2012. The warranty for the headgasket repair was 18 months or 18,000 miles. The vehicle did not return to our shop until August of 2013, 19 months after headgasket was repaired. The customer returned to replace a cam sensor and vanos line, these repairs were unrelated to anything that was done with the headgasket, but as a goodwill to the customer, we discounted 15% of labor. At that time the customer was made aware of a power steering leak and an oil leak from the oil pan gasket. The customer took the vehicle to another facility to have the oil pan gasket done. When the vehicle returned in October 2013, noticed the valve cover gaskets were leaking and the valve cover was also leaking on the right side of the engine, also the power steering and oil pan gaskets were still leaking. Even though the warranty had expired, we replaced the valve cover gaskets and a valve cover the customer supplied at no charge as a goodwill repair. When the vehicle returned in November 2013 and it was found the threads had pulled out of the engine block and causing an oil leak from the left side of the engine block, it was then recommended to replace the engine. The customer was informed that there was no warranty remaining, but we would discount the repair to help out the customer. We worked out a deal that the customer agreed to. This deal included the following - customer would supply a used engine, we would install the engine for $995.00 and would repair the power steering leak for free. Also we would give the rebuilt cylinder head to the customer and would hold the old engine block for the customer for 30 days. The repair was then discounted by us to $750.00 to help the customer further. The oil leak caused by the threads coming out of the block did not occur for 6,000 miles and 23 months after the headgasket was repaired. The repair was not under any warranty from us at that time. There is also no possible way of knowing that the threads on the engine block are going to fail 23 months and 6,000 miles later.
We did everything possible to help accommodate the customer. We replaced the used engine at our cost, just to help a customer that was in a financial bind. The customer neglected the vehicle for several years because of financial issues. The headgasket leaks, plugged radiator, leaking water pump, expansion tank and repeated driving of the vehicle in this condition. The vehicle was driven since 2009 and over 8700 miles with a known headgasket leak because they could not afford to repair the vehicle. We did everything in out power to repair the vehicle at the lowest possible cost to the customer. Even had the threads on the block failed when the headgasket was repaired the costs the customer incurred would have been the same.
In response to the estimate that was given in Jan 2012 for $1300 that changed to $4450.00. The estimate for $1300.00 was to remove the cylinder head to send out for inspection. The exact wording on the write up is "the vehicle has a history of overheating, pull the cylinder head to have the head analyzed". The head was removed and was inspected by a machine shop. The total amount of the repair was then given to the customer and the customer authorized the charges of $4450.00 exactly. The repairs were completed, which also included, pressure checking head, resurfacing head, replaced intake and exhaust valves, replacing valve lifters, new radiator, new radiator hoses, new battery, new headgasket and bolts, new thermostat, new expansion tank and heater hoses, new oil and filter, new coolant.
In closing, we feel we have gone above and beyond to help this customer out and are not offering any further assistance.

Business Response: Company States:
We are not willing to provide any further resolution because the vehicle that was brought in, in 2009 with issues directly related to over-heating is now clearly out of warranty. They received a transmission service only in 2009, even though the repair order read that there was an over heat code. This is due to the vehicle overheating previously. The diagnosis and recommended repairs were declined.
The consumer came in several times through out the course of 2009 until 2013. But not in 2011, while receiving repairs at another shop. They only received 'band aide' type repairs until the vehicle finally came in needing major repairs due to issues that were related to the originally diagnosed issue in 2009- OVER-HEATING. 
All repairs were continually diagnosed and agreed upon to be repaired at discounts as an ongoing courtesy. These on-going repairs and their associated costs could have been avoided; and the cost to repair the vehicle at it's original diagnosis would have been substantially less than the total spent to date if they had repaired the vehicle based on the diagnosis rendered in 2009.

Business Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, , and find that arbitration is necessary.

Sincerely,

**** *****

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer accepted

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