Purchased a used car and 4 days later the check engine light came on, then it was discovered that the OBD2 port was not working as well.
Sorry to be contacting you with negative feedback.
On Feb 1, 2013 I purchased a used vehicle from one of Sonic Automotive dealerships, Pensacola Honda. On Feb 4 , 2013 the check engine light came on. I tried driving to autozone to have the code scanned and to my surprise the OBD2 port was not functioning. I contacted the dealer to ask for assistance and it was arranged that I bring the vehicle to a mechanic. The dealer agreed to pay $200 to get the OBD2 port working. The mechanic found extensive corrosion on the backside of the OBD2 port consistent with water damage. He changed the port out and was able to diagnose an EVAP canister code. Total price minus 200$ for fixing the OBD2 port is $483.90. The dealership has refused to pay any part of the cost to resolve the CEL. I find completely insulting that on Feb 1st I am being told that the car is in great shape and Feb4 the CEL comes on and the sales department starts telling me "well, it is a used car". Really? That's the best they can come up with. So, basically I am stuck for 4 days without a car now, 3 more days until the car is repaired and I have to fork out another $483.90 for a vehicle that should do what it is supposed to do and drive without safety issues and warning lights, but instead my vehicle is sitting around at the mechanics. This will be the last time I or anyone from my family ever purchases a car that has anything to do with Sonic Automotive, Inc. Oh and the "True Price" is just a big lie when you turn around and slap a $499 Doc Fee on the sale.
The dealer should pay for the repairs so the vehicle is operating as it should be, as I was told upon purchase.
Business' Initial Response
We understand Mr. ******'s frustration, as a person would like to not have to work on their vehicle soon after they purchase it. Keep in mind that the the vehicle purchased was a 1998 with just under 101,000 miles. The customer drove it from the panhandle of Florida to Louisiana, and it took 4 days for the light to come on. We have our customers sign AS-IS disclosures, so there is no misunderstanding up front as to warrant able condition. Despite the above, as a reputable dealer we attempt to resolve any misunderstanding or issues. In this instance, we have agreed to pay $345 which is 50% of the total repair. It is our sincere hope that Mr. ****** finds the outcome satisfactory, as we feel that we have made a sincere attempt to take care of the customer.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Thanks for your understanding of my frustration, but the right thing to do in this situation would be to admit your dealership was wrong and make a stronger gesture toward resolution. It is obvious that the vehicle was taken in as a trade and was not properly inspected before being offered for sale. Evidence to this point is the fact that the OBD2 port was found to be non-functional when attempting to diagnose the CEL. Corrosion on the back side of this port, annotated by the mechanic which performed the repair, indicates water damage that was not disclosed at the time of purchase. Further inspection of the vehicle electrical system (tail lights, wire harness, horn, etc) all show signs of corrosion consistent with water damage. AGAIN, not disclosed during the purchase. Which other electrical and/or safety components are going to fail next b/c of this problem. I guess the dealership is willing to take a chance with my safety and my family's safety. This statement "Keep in mind that the the vehicle purchased was a 1998 with just under 101,000 miles" is just insulting. 01FEB2013 your salesperson couldn't stop talking about how great of a condition the vehicle was in, now problems arise and the tone is switched in an attempt to make the vehicle look "bad" b/c of the age and mileage. There is no question about warrantable condition, instead the questions is about UNFAIR and DECEPTIVE Practices. Sincere??? attempt??? Sincere - Free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings, not dishonest or hypocritical. I don't know if your dealership got duped on the trade-in or if you tried to pass the problems off on the vehicle's next owner, but I know that ignorance of the law excuses no one! There are only 2 possibilities I will be satisfied with; 1) Arrange for the entire electrical system to be checked and repaired ensuring all safety features of the vehicle are operational and pay all costs or 2) Buy back the vehicle for $8000 which will cover my purchase price, taxes and registration paid, and travel expenses.
Just to clarify my "ignorance of the law statement".
I am very annoyed by the whole incident and got off on a rant. I wanted to say that it shouldn't matter if the car dealer knew of the defects or not before selling me the vehicle. I was told the vehicle was mislead by the sales team to believe the vehicle was thoroughly inspected and was in "great condition". Also, the entire point is that the CEL lead to the discovery of underlying problems being discovered and these problems have implications that safety features of the vehicle are now in question.
Just keep thinking of stuff... The vehicle was advertised to have power locks, power outlets, power windows, power passenger seat, cargo shade, etc. Well, power locks do not work (suspected electrical issue, wiring harness corroded as well), power outlets do not function (connections corroded) only 3 power windows work (can't find the problem there), power passenger seat was not working, but I have fixed this and have the corroded/burnt connector from under the seat as proof, never was a cargo shade there. This evidence just shows that all the dealer did was copy the list of specs for their advertisement and never thoroughly inspected the vehicle before offering it for sale. Also bought a wiring harness kit that would allow me to tow a trailer and the kit was plug and play, no wire cutting, well no taillights were working and I had to remove the taillights to find the problem, the entire rear lighting system is rewired to the front of the vehicle with nonOEM wire completely bypassing the original wiring. I wouldn't be surprised if this was do to corrosion as well. Unfair and Deceptive Practices.
Business' Final Response
I would like to include the attached information/documents in this case. On the day of delivery, the customer did a very thorough personal inspection of the vehicle, to the point of looking underneath it, and signed the attached documents. On the check engine issue, if it had been on at time of delivery it would have been addressed then. The fact that it happened 4 days later and after several hundred miles means that we would not have known of the issue to fix it. On our vehicles that are classified "C" cars/trucks (older or higher mile vehicles) we perform a basic safety inspection. As you can see in addition to the basic safety inspection we also replaced both front CV boots which in itself totaled $619.
We are fully aware that we are under no obligation to make any concession in this matter. The offer we have made is strictly in the pursuit of customer satisfaction, and implies no warranties of any kind. In our opinion, we have been more than fair and do not intend to add anything additional to our offer. Hopefully you agree with our assessment. I am asking that the attached documents are not made public, I have included them for your office viewing only.
I appreciate your taking the time to assist with this matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.