Purchased a low mileage motor. I have been shipped the wrong engine twice. Superior refuses to respond any communications.
On July 17th, 2012 I purchased the following items for a total of $2,000 as they are written on the order form and agreed upon by Superior. The parts are being used in a custom kit car project which was discussed multiple times at the point of sale. An extended 6 month warranty was applied to the order since the nature of the project would not allow me to install the parts until months after the order.
Sales Rep: ****** *******
2006 Pontiac 3800 L32 SC (27K miles)
5-speed 98 Camaro manual transmission (71K miles)
94-95 Chevy S10 bell housing
3800 L32 starter
I specifically asked for the VIN number from the donor vehicle to be included on the receipt because this information is required to register a custom car in Virginia. If the engine serial number does not match the last eight digits on the VIN provided on the receipt, Virginia DMV will not allow me to register the vehicle and may consider the motor a stolen engine.
My payment was immediate but my purchase was not shipped for weeks. I called daily to get an update and I was told every time that it was being shipped out that day. Finally shipment arrived August 24th (38 days after purchase). The pallet contained transmission with different VIN on the tag, no bell housing, no starter, and the wrong brand motor. I contacted Superior and (after weeks) they picked up the wrong engine and sent me a new one. I received the engine and other parts on 9/11/2012 (56 days after purchase). The order appeared correct at this point. As planned, I continued to work on my project car and get it ready to install the motor. Early March 2013 I start cleaning, testing, prepping the engine for installation. I discover the following;
-The cylinder heads are full of standing water that is damaging to rocker arms, spring, and other components
-Removed the oil pan where I found many cups of water sitting on top of brown extremely sludgy oil
-The air intake has grime caked so badly that it resembles a motor with 150K miles, not 27K miles
-The spark plugs were removed and found to be in the condition of a motor with well over 100K miles on it. One spark plug shows burning on one side, another is physically broken, and all electrodes are severely worn and need to be replaced. In no scenario can spark plugs with 27,000 miles be as worn as these. The plugs resemble a motor with well over 150K miles.
There is no question that the motor is far beyond 27K miles that was promised and documented on the order. I have read the Superior disclaimer and understand that the mileage is not exact and cannot be guaranteed, but a claim that this motor is under 100K miles is a stretch and charging extra for a low mileage 27K miles is unreasonable at best and possibly fraud.
Not only is the motor in poor condition but the VIN number on my receipt in invalid and does not match the serial number on the motor. Again, I cannot register the car without proof that the engine was acquired legally. The VIN does not even have the correct number of characters.
Finally, as I have been inspecting the engine I have come to find out that this is not a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix 3800 L32 series III motor as is on my receipt and as I ordered. The motor I received is an L67 series II motor which was discontinued in 2003. The series III L32 motor that I was supposed to get has, among many updates, an improved cylinder design and supercharger that produces 20 more horsepower than the L67 motor. The bottom line is that I still have not received the motor that I paid for. I paid a premium for a low mileage L32 Series III 3800 from a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix with 27K miles on it and I received a worn out high mileage motor from the wrong vehicle. Additionally, the serial number does not match the receipt so I couldn't even register the car if I tried. The engine is not what I ordered, it's worn out, and I cannot register the car with a motor that has a receipt with an invalid VIN #.
1) 1st shipment included wrong engine and did not include all the items I purchased
2) 2nd shipment included wrong engine again
3) Superior will not return calls, email, or voice mail
4) Purchased motor with 27K miles, was sent very high mileage motor
5) Engine had standing water in the heads and in the oil pan, oil is brown and sludgy (a sign of contamination and abuse), valve stems completely rusted, spark plugs burned broken and worn out, compression on all but 1 cylinders is low
6) VIN on receipt is invalid and does not match engine serial number
7) Engine is wrong type and does not include proper documentation (valid VIN) to allow me to register my car
I have tried every method possible with undeserved patience to resolve this situation without involving other parties. They ignore my calls, will not return voice mail, and will not return email. I have even considered spending hundreds of dollars to rebuild the engine but since it is the wrong motor and I cannot prove to the DMV that it was acquired legally, there is no possible way I can use the engine that they sent me. There are two elements that complicate the matter.
1) I discussed with ****** that this motor was going in a project car and I would not be able to install the motor until months after I received it since I had to build other components of the car first. Superior agreed to a 6 month warranty due to this special circumstance. Much of my warranty has been eaten up by Superior sending me the wrong engine twice and not returning any of my calls. To be clear, I received my 2nd incorrect delivery on 9/11/2012 and I have been trying to contact them since 3/11/2013 to get the issue resolved (exactly 6 months). This should NOT be considered a warranty matter, however, since the order is still incomplete.
2) The second complicating matter is that I am required to provide the Virginia DMV with the VIN number of the vehicle that the engine came from. The last 8 digits on the VIN on my receipt must match the serial number on my engine. The DMV makes sure the serial number on the engine matches the VIN on my receipt. They then run the VIN to verify that the motor is not stolen. I discussed this with Superior and the VIN they provided me with does not match the serial number on the engine and the VIN is an invalid number.
I am willing to accept two possible scenarios for resolutions;
Option 1) Superior shall refund $2,000 and I will return all items that I purchased from them. This does not factor in the months that they have set my project behind schedule nor does it include hours of lost labor for cleaning and testing the engine.
Option 2) Superior shall replace the high mileage wrong model engine that they sent me with a low mileage correct model engine and a receipt with a valid and clean VIN number. Additionally, Superior must provide me with a CARFAX report that proves the motors legitimacy due to the expense that I've already acquired from running the invalid and inaccurate VIN numbers they have provided me with.
Let it be known that if neither of these terms are met through my escalation with the Better Business Bureau, I will further escalate to the district attorney. Superior is refusing to fulfill an order that I spent $2,000 for. Additionally, they are refusing to provide me with proof that the motor I was sent was acquired legally. I hope that I am not forced to escalate further however if they choose not to properly handle this situation there is no question that I will contact the authorities with my evidence that suggests that Superior has a pattern of fraudulent activity and will not reconcile with their customers.
Business' Initial Response
We here at Superior Used Auto Parts put are customers in first place but like every job we have a policy that we have to obey. When the customer called us in March 2013 telling us what happen we ask him why he waited so long, he knew he had a 90 days warranty for the part because he was very aware of our policy. In our policy it states that the customer has 90 days warranty to cover defective parts. We are way over our 90 days period actually 215 days. If he knew about the 90 days warranty why would he wait until March 2013 to start installing the part?
We wish we can help him out but we have to follow our guideline in our policy. I'm sending our general policy where it states our warranty policy and also l am sending a document where the customer signed knowing our term and condition on the warranty and a receipt that the customer received stating he had a 90 days warranty.
If any further questions please give us a call at ************.
Superior Used Auto Parts
Consumer's Final Response
Dear Ms. ****,
I will assume you are fully informed of the details in this case. If so, you are also aware that the receipt you provided to BBB was not the receipt provided to us. Prior to any commitment to purchase, we took exception to your 90-day warranty. We explained to Mr.******** (the salesman) that this is a build-from-scratch car and it would take at least 6 months to reach the point of engine installation. Mr.******** extended the warranty period (in writing) to 6 months and we will provide a copy of the order and receipt to BBB.
Furthermore, you should be aware that Superior delivered a Chrysler engine the first time and the incorrect Pontiac engine the second time. You should be aware that the second engine wasn't delivered until September, which was 2 months after the order and 6 months prior to our official complaint to Superior.
Most of all as a person in the retail business, you would realize that our complaint is not one of "warranty" per se, but one of an invalid sale. Superior charged a price for an item and delivered a different item. The item delivered was
1. Not the engine specified on the order and receipt
2. Not a low mileage engine as specified on the order and receipt
3. Did not match the VIN shown on the receipt.
The car (with that engine) cannot be registered in the state of Virginia (because of the invalid VIN) and does not fit into the car for which we bought it. In essence, this engine has zero value to us.
As a customer, I could assume this is a gross mistake by Superior, in which case I would expect Superior to humbly apologize and correct the mistake; or this is a shrewd business model in which Superior deliberately "sells" a low mileage engine for a premium price and delivers a worn out substitute that is "close enough" hoping that most customers won't notice or won't do anything about it. If the latter, I would expect Superior to cover-up the plan with lies and look for every trick to keep the money. This model would fit the legal definition of fraud.
I want to believe Superior simply made a series of mistakes, but unfortunately, all indications point the other way. If necessary, we will present all of our evidence to legal authorities and request a formal investigation.