Dropped off our Subaru for paint on 10/16/14 at Maaco Hazelwood. On Monday, they tell us they broke the transmission. Locked in 3rd or 5th gear.
They refuse to fix the transmission. They checked in the vehicle with the wrong mileage and cleared the tripometer before we picked it up. *****, the franchise owner towed it to a transmission shop next to her Maaco Hazelwood location and now refuses to fix it once they told her it was internal. Me: "Probably very expensive to fix"
I am contacting Police in case it was out on a joy ride over the weekend while in their possession, also contacted an attorney and left web reviews online which were negative of course.
I have the car being towed to a transmission shop and will hold Maaco Hazelwood or Maaco Corporate responsible for payment in the future once the final charges are determined.
This vehicle, a 2002 Subaru Impreza, came into the shop on Thursday, October 16 about 4 pm, for paint service only. ****** our estimator, drove car around to shop and put in building. It remained there all weekend until Monday morning, October 20. At that time, my sander moved the car outside of the building to make room for another vehicle. He then pulled the Impreza back into the shop and at that time, it got stuck in gear. I was informed of the problem and had Billy contact the customer to inform him of the problem. He spoke to the father who told us to finish the job and he would deal with it when he picked up the car. At no point did we say anything about "broke the transmission".
I want to be clear here, WE DID NOT DRIVE THIS VEHICLE ANY FURTHER THAN THROUGH OUR BUILDING AND ONTO OUR LOT - A DISTANCER OF NO MORE THAT 500 FEET. Certainly, no "joy ride" was taken; we have not done anything like that with a customer's car, and never will.
On Thursday, October 23, the son came to get the car. He alleged that it was stuck in 5th gear. He also drove the car home.
Later, after closing, the father left 2 separate, threatening phone messages which I have saved. He said he contacted his lawyer, was filing a police report, that we took his son's car on a joy ride all weekend, we misrepresented the mileage of the vehicle on the estimate by 90K miles, that the car is stuck in 5th gear, and also that the tread on his tires are now worn.
Again, to be clear, we did not write the vehicle mileage on our estimate.
I contacted him on Friday morning, October 24 and offered to have the car towed to the transmission shop 2 doors down from mine (***** Transmission, an "A" rated, BBB accredited business) to have them see if they could find out what the problem was. The father agreed. They had the car until Tuesday, October 28. The son called every day to see what was going on and each time I told him I was waiting for the shop to inform me of what they find. He called on Monday, October 27 and asked me if I was going to have them look at his clutch because it was slipping. I told him "no". On Tuesday, October 28, the son called us again and said he spoke with the transmission shop and was told that they were waiting for me to give them the ok to fix the car. I spoke with the transmission shop owner about this. He said the son called but was told they were waiting for a technician to look at the vehicle. At no time did he tell him he was waiting for us to authorize any repairs. During that time, I spoke with the owner several times about what the possible problem could be. He said he had 3 different technicians look at it and they felt there was nothing externally wrong with the transmission and that NOTHING THAT WE DID COULD HAVE CAUSED THIS PROBLEM. They also felt the car was stuck in 3rd gear, not 5th. They feel the problem is internal and is probably caused by wear and tear or misuse. The son has all kinds of engine modifications on the car for racing.
I called the father Tuesday afternoon and told him of the findings and that I would not replace the transmission. He was belligerent and threatening. He again said he was going to his lawyer, to file a police report, that he was going to get the mayor of Hazelwood involved, that since I was just a franchisee, he was going to get my corporate people involved and that they would not be happy about my dragging the company name in the mud for something like this. He also said that I would be paying a lot more money trying to defend this instead of just replacing the transmission. He did pick the car up from the transmission shop on Tuesday evening, October 28 just about closing. I have not spoken to the shop owner yet to see if the father was just as belligerent to him.
At this point, I feel these people are trying to strong arm me into fixing this car. The father has been belligerent and threatening on the phone several times.
We will attach, under separate cover, copies of our original estimate and signed repair order, a cop of the signed delivery receipt, a copy of the tow bill (picking up the car at the owner's house and bringing it to ***** Transmission to diagnose the problem) which we paid and a copy of ***** Transmission's report of their findings (which we have agreed to pay).
We do not feel we are responsible for anything further.
The transmission shop which ****** ***** has commissioned to inspect the transmission stated they believe the transmission suffered damage after Maaco moved the car the first time otherwise they would have noticed it the first time. In order for the FORK in the transmission to be bent the way it was, someone FORCED/HARSHLY DROVE the vehicle before it was moved the last time at Maaco. This would have definitely been noticed the first time it was moved on their premises. A full report will soon be provided to ****** ***** by Austin at the transmission shop and will also be provided to our attorney, the BBB and Maaco corporate. Whether the vehicle was "joy-ridden" or driven improperly - in either case - the customer believes Maaco should be held accountable. The customer wishes the BBB contact Maaco Corporate so they may investigate as well. ***** with Maaco Hazelwood claims they do not have surveillance cameras on the premises to assist. The police will soon be involved in the event the car was ticketed over the weekend or may have been exposed to any red light camera photographs. The father being firm with ***** over the phone when she chose to speak over the father in the conversation is not being belligerent. ***** threated I could be sued for contacting local media for reporting such an incident against Maaco. ***** also claimed her son also has a key to the Maaco building which opens additional concerns. The mileage on our check in ticket for service reads only 47954 when the vehicle has over 139,000 miles on the odometer. The tripometer was cleared prior to pickup. The transmission shop is firm in their opinion that it was in fact driven harshly in order to bend an internal transmission fork. The engine only has a cold air intake, no further modifications as ***** stated. Keep in mind we removed the hood in which she agreed to paint in the future. So the engine was EXPOSED. Obviously she has made a few false statements.
Final Consumer Response
03-03-2015: I contend that our Subaru that we brought to them could not have sustained the kind of damage it currently has without being driven in an aggressive way. I am sending a report from our mechanic that states the car must have been forced into gear. Also the modifications that Maaco talks about is just an after market air intake. I will say I did misunderstand the paint code as being a mileage amount.
03-03-2015: Mediator left message to ask if Maaco insurance company had tried to contact him.
03-03-2015: I never heard from Maaco insurance company. It's possible they called my son's number XXX-XXX-XXXX and he does not have voice mail set up.
03-17-2015: I will get the other opinion from the transmission company that towed my son's car. I understand that Macco is contacting their new insurance company with my number to call to me. I will also get the information from the other company to you.
03-31-2015: I have not gotten a phone call from Macco's insurance company. I understand that you will check with Maaco and ask them to follow up with their company and call me.
04-07-2015: I have still not gotten a call.
04-21-2015: Mediator left message for consumer.
05-05-2015: Mediator left message for consumer.
05-12-2015: Mediator left message for consumer providing update.
Final Business Response
02-24-2015: (*****) I agree with all information you currently have as a statement from us. I do want to add that the father misread the receipt from us and thought we had listed the mileage incorrectly. He misread the form because he quoted a mileage number that is actually the paint code the son chose for the vehicle. Also we turned the issue over to our insurance company. They told us they tried to contact and work with the customer but did not get a response so they closed the issue out. I thought it was done. I will send copies of the transmission company's report to you that states we could not have caused the problem as the customer alleges.
03-17-2015: We will give the father's number to the new insurance company we have contracted with since the incident.
03-31-2015: Mediator left message with ***** C. to let her know that Mr. ***** has not gotten a call from insurance company but is expecting it.
03-31-2015: I have talked to the insurance company and they will try Mr. ***** again and then close.
04-07-2015: Mediator left message that customer has not heard from insurance company yet
05-05-2015: The insurance adjuster said they left 3 messages for customer at XXX-XXX-XXXX and no return call. I will see if adjuster would be willing to give number to mediator to give to customer for customer to follow up.
05-12-2015: Mediator left message for business.