Took car to get serviced for a computer issue and the technicians burnt out clutch while driving it.
Originally taken care to my mechanic in Lowell Indiana on August 3, 2014. I was having an issue with the engine misfiring. My mechanic told me it seemed as though the issue was a computer related issue that needed to be serviced at the dealer. My car was towed to the dealer on Wednesday August 6, 2014. After "diagnosing" the engine issue for 2 days, which included driving the car around to test for other problems, the dealer concluded that the car needed a new PCM and EGR valve. At no time during this conversation was the quality or remaining life of the clutch brought up. After ordering the PCM to be replaced I was told the car was running great and ready to be picked up on Friday August 15, 2014. At this time I was headed out of town and asked if I could pick the car up on Monday the 18th of August and I was told that would be fine. I went to pick the car up on Monday and after paying my bill I went to start the car and it was still misfiring as if no work had been performed on the car at all. I spoke to a mechanic who said that it was running fine on Friday because he had driven it around and experienced no issues. He asked if he could check out the car for a few hours longer to diagnose why there was still an issue. After 3 hours the service manager called me back stating they rewired the harness on the part replaced and that it was running and driving fine but that he wanted to keep it overnight to test it again during the morning from a cold start. I contacted the deal on the morning of August 19th, 2014 and he said they were just about to take it out to test it again. 20 minutes later I received a phone call stating that the engine is running fine however the MECHANIC burnt out the clutch and that it would cost ***** dollars to fix! At no point throughout the week and a half they had the car, all the testing, diagnosing, and driving did they state any issue at all with the clutch. The mileage that I dropped my car off at compared to the mileage it is at now proves they had driven it plenty to be able to tell if I clutch was so worn that it would become un-driveable within days. These are certified Mazda mechanics and they say they didn't notice a worn clutch until the moment it happened!? This is not a valid response and facts of this case are clear. They had the car, test drive it to diagnose all issues and did not once mention anything about the clutch and then suddenly on August 19th, 2014 the clutch is worn beyond repair. This is not a believable story.
I am completely willing to pay for the parts of this repair but I want to be reimbursed for the labor to have this clutch installed myself. I do not want these mechanics to touch this car. I will get my own parts and have my own mechanic install it and I am asking the dealership to pay for that labor.
Contact Name and Title: ****** ******* COMPTROLLE
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ****************@gmail.com
Mr. ***** took this vehicle to Trace Automotive in Lowell for repairs. Trace Automotive sublet the vehicle to our shop with a complaint of the engine running rough and they towed the vehicle to our location on August 6th.
Mr. ***** came into our shop on August 18th to pick up his vehicle. As he stated it was not running properly. We acknowledged the issue, apologized and asked permission to keep the vehicle one more day to ensure proper repairs.
Our technician found a loose connection and corrected the issue, then during the final test drive less than one mile from our shop the technician called stating he was stranded and the vehicle would not move. We had the vehicle towed back to our shop.
We called Mr. ***** and explained that we had corrected the engine repair and unfortunately with close to 106,000 miles the worn clutch gave out and needs to be replaced stating our estimate of ********* Mr. ***** stated he had a clutch in his possession and refused the clutch repair. He then had his vehicle towed from our shop, we assume back to Trace Automotive.
We put a total of 11 miles on the vehicle showing mileage in of 105,814 and mileage out after repairs of 105,825. We require all employees use the same test drive track of just under 5 miles. We had test driven this vehicle both before and after our repairs and began the final test drive when the clutch became an issue.
We did nothing to cause the clutch to fail and therefore would not be willing to reimburse the expense of the clutch repair.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I reject this as an appropriate response considering the supplemental information I have provided. This Mazda Full Service report card, filled out on August 15th clearly indicates clutch operation as GOOD. It would be one thing if the clutch was marked as marginal or that it could need service soon. On August 15th the clutch was in GOOD condition (as reported by the DEALER) and on Aug. 19th it was found to be damaged to the point where it was not drive-able. This isn't a matter of a worn item eventually giving out, this is a matter of improper treatment of my car on a test drive resulting in catastrophic failure.
Final Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ****** ******* COMPTROLLE
The vehicle report card form the customer mentioned is completed during the general inspection of a vehicle, therefore since no fluid leaks were detected from that area and the scope of our engine repair did not require dismantling the clutch area of the vehicle, it was assumed to be in good working condition "sight unseen". In fact the clutch was not diagnosed until the vehicle wouldn't move after stopping at a stop sign a short distance from our shop during that final test drive.
Since this vehicle was towed to our shop from Trace Automotive stating only the engine running rough complaint, and we are now aware Trace's shop preformed the clutch repair apparently with a clutch Mr. ***** already possessed, they must have also been aware of a clutch issue prior to sending us the vehicle and neglected to disclose that fact We speculate the reason for this may be the dollar amount for an engine repair needed to be established in order for them to determine if the expense for the clutch would be practical in light of Mr. *****'s statement to our writer that he "already had a clutch" when we called to inform him the clutch had failed. At that point we assumed Mr. ***** was previously aware of a clutch issue and had already made arrangements to replace the clutch. We did not anticipate he would expect us to cover that expense.
Please keep in mind we did not sell this vehicle, nor do we have any knowledge how it has been previously handled or if any regular maintenance has been preformed during it's 105,800+ mile life since this vehicle had never been in our shop prior to this engine repair.
We recently called Trace Automotive requesting photos of the old clutch to help determine the cause of the failure, but have not heard back from their shop.
We can however assure Mr. ***** that this clutch did not fail due to any mistreatment of this vehicle while it was in our possession. We believe if there had not been a connection problem with our newly installed part, Mr ***** instead of our technician would have been driving the vehicle when the clutch failed.
Given these facts, we maintain our position that we did not cause the clutch to fail and we would not be willing to participate in reimbursement of this expense.