I was lied to about the condition of the car and then they offered me several free oil changes when I confronted them the following day.
I contacted ***** ***** and subsequently purchased a 2008 VW Jetta from him on 2/4/15. When I was looking at the car, ***** told me that their service shop goes through each used car thoroughly and fixes anything it needs. He also stated that it had all fluids changed and I wouldn't even need to do an oil change. We took the car for a test drive and it had a very noticeable vibration. We drove down the road and ***** had me pull into a gas station, turn off the car, restart and then drive again to see if the vibration was still there. The car still had a vibration issue and then ***** insisted that it was flat spots in the tires from sitting on their car lot for so long. I told him I had seen similar issues before and it could be the transmission or driveline. He once again stated that the car was completely gone through in their shop and if their was a problem with the transmission or driveline they would have fixed it. While we were driving back to their car lot, it was noticeable that when I depressed the brakes, the brakes would grab. ***** noticed it right away and told me they had put new brakes on it and the brakes were still breaking in and would get better in time. When we got back to the dealership, I mentioned to ***** that maybe he could have the service department take another look at the car and make sure everything was ok on it. He once again assured me that it had gone through a thorough inspection and if anything needed repair, it would have been fixed. ***** informed me that Bill Smith was the largest Buick/GMC dealership in Alabama. I took that to mean the a large dealership like them wouldn't be selling a used car that was in need of repair or service. I finally said that I would buy the car acknowledging the fact that as large dealership like them,they would stand behind what they were telling me. The next day I was looking at the car closer and pulled the oil dip stick out to look at the oil. I was shocked to see that the oil level was not only low but also filthy black. It had not been changed like ***** said. Once I saw that, I decided I had better look at the car closer. I pulled the car into my shop and found several problems. The air filter and cabin filter were filthy and had not been changed as stated. The brakes had not been replaced as they stated. Both CV axle boots are torn and is the reason for the vibration, not flat spots in the tires causing vibration as they stated. The driver side inner fender well lining is ripped badly. The timing belt appears to be the original and the service interval for the belt shows it has to be changed by 110K miles. The car has 112K miles on it. The belt could break at any time and destroy the engine. I took pictures of the issues and emailed ***** the next day, including pictures, and told him I was pretty upset that he lied to my face about the condition of the car. After several emails between us, ***** reminded me that it was a used car and that after talking to the General Manager (********) he offered to pay for the air and cabin filter and offered me 3 free oil changes. I declined his offer to pursue filing a complaint with the BBB. If they had sold the car "as-is" without saying all problems were fixed and all fluids were changed, I wouldn't be filing a complaint, but since they knowingly lied about the car they need to honor their word.
I've already bought parts and am currently buying additional parts to fix the car. I would settle for letting Bill Smith pay for the parts and I'll pay for the labor. The labor is much more than the parts.
Please accept this response on behalf of Bill Smith Buick-GMC, Inc.
The customer purchased a 2008 VW Jetta with over 110,000 miles on the vehicle. The customer had ample opportunity to have the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic.
Due to an excusable oversight, there was a mis-statement to the customer concerning an oil change which the salesman understood had been performed on the vehicle. This service would have included a change of the cabin filters on the vehicle. When the customer correctly pointed out that the service had not been performed, the dealership offered to not only perform the service, to include changing all the required filters, but also offered to provide the customer with several free oil changes.
At no time was the condition of the vehicle misrepresented to the customer. Bill Smith Buick-GMC is a GM certified service center for all General Motors vehicles, has no such certification for Volkswagen automobiles and has no information at its disposal concerning the history of this particular vehicle. It is difficult to respond to the customer's concerns about the timing belt appear to have no bearing on his complaints towards Bill Smith Buick-GMC as no efforts were made by the dealership to inspect or repair the timing belt and the customer had ample opportunity to have this part inspected prior to the time of purchase.
Bill Smith Buick-GMC, Inc. has a long history of fair dealing with its customers and believes that this customer was treated fairly. The settlement offered to the customer (free service and oil changes) addresses the single mis-statement made and is fair under the circumstances.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
It's pretty obvious that Mr. ****** ***** doesn't have the actual facts and is being told what to say. He starts out by using the terms "excusable oversight" and "mis-statement". How is it that Bill Smith, Inc. is able to determince what is an excusable oversight? They lie (multiple times) to a customer about the condition of the vehicle and/or the work that had been performed on said vehicle and then minimize it by calling it an excusable oversight or a mis-statement. There are several problems with their offer to provide several oil changes to the vehicle. I don't live local to Cullman where the business is located so I would have to take vacation at work to take the vehicle in. Mr. *****'s response states that Bill Smith Inc. has no certification for Volkswagen. I suspect that their service shop would not have done due diligence in researching the VW specification for the non-standard oil that is required in a Volkswagen so I believe that I made a wise choice by not accepting their offer for changing the oil. Mr. ***** also makes a bold, but untruthful, statement in saying that at no time was the condition of the vehicle misrepresented. The salesman, ***** ****** assured me several times that the vehicle was gone through from top to bottom and if any items were found in need of repair, would have been repaired. Mr. ***** questions why I mentioned the timing belt. It was mentioned as part of the long list of problems with the vehicle. I would like to ask Mr. ***** why several important points I made in my complaint letter were ignored. I was told specifically and matter of factly by ***** ***** that the vibration that both ***** and myself felt throughout the vehicle while test driving it was "flat spots on the tires from sitting so long". As it turns out, both front CV axle boots are torn and damaged has occured to the CV joints and therefore new front axles are required to correct this problem. Any automotive service shop should be able to diagnose a common problem such as this. Also omited from Mr. *****'s response was my point I originally made about the brakes sticking. I was told directly and without hesitation that the "brakes were breaking in because their service shop replaced them". As it turns out, the brakes were not changed. To add to the list of repairs needed on the vehicle that had been gone through thoroughly by the Bill Smith Inc service shop, a major issue has become apparent. Due to the vehicle not idling correctly I researched some issues that could cause this condition and after doing so I replaced the ignition coils, spark plugs, and high pressure fuel pump cam follower. Upon inspection of the engine compartment I also found numerous vacuum leaks and replaced vacuum lines. When the "cam follower" was removed from the vehicle, it was found to be completely destroyed and the high pressure fuel pump shaft is damaged. The high pressure fuel pump now needs replacing and possibly the camshaft itself. I have documented this and have photos if Bill Smith Inc would like to see them. To wrap up this follow-up complaint letter, I would like to summarize by saying their is a huge difference between being told that the vehicle I was considering buying needed no repairs because it had been gone through from top to bottom by the world class Bill Smith service shop and taking it home after purchasing it and finding out that it is in need of several thousands of dollars of repairs, most of which were very noticeable. It is very likely that their service shop did not even do a cursory inspection of the vehicle which was very much in contrast to what the salesman said.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
A credit of $500 towards the purchase of another vehicle at Bill Smith, Inc. has no value to me since I have no need for another vehicle and appears to be more of a sales gimmick than a serious offer of dispute resolution. I will stand by my offer one more time and retain the right to increase the cash price I'm willing to accept if my offer is not accepted. I have offered to let Bill Smith, Inc. offset the cost of my out-of-pocket material only purchase and have not included labor to install and correct those issues that I was lied about at the time of sale. I will be gathering the labor cost of installing those parts which I may include in my next offer of resolution if my current offer of resolution is not accepted.
Final Business Response
Based upon the consumer's last response, it is clear that unfortunately this dispute will simply be unresolved by the Bureau. The consumer bought a high mileage vehicle which was clearly sold "as is" with no warranty. Ample opportunity was given the customer to have the vehicle inspected prior to purchase.
We appreciate the Bureau's attempt to resolve this dispute. My client has elected to withdraw all offers.