• Report: #226241

Complaint Review: Auto Zone -

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  • Submitted: Tue, December 19, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, December 30, 2009

  • Reported By:Lake Havasu City Arizona
Auto Zone -
1449 Tanqueray Dr.#2 Lake Havasu City, Arizona U.S.A.

Auto Zone- The guys first name was Gary Lake Havasu City Arizona

*Consumer Suggestion: 100 % not the mechanics fault - maybe

*Consumer Comment: Get this thing checked out by a COMPETENT mechanic...

*Consumer Comment: If one day it starts raining...

*Consumer Comment: Huh?

*Consumer Comment: Huh?

*Consumer Comment: Huh?

*Consumer Suggestion: Spark plugs don't cause backfiring either.

*Author of original report: The sparkplugs didn't cause a fire under the hood!

*Author of original report: The sparkplugs didn't cause a fire under the hood!

*Author of original report: The sparkplugs didn't cause a fire under the hood!

*Author of original report: The sparkplugs didn't cause a fire under the hood!

*Consumer Suggestion: The problem is obvious to me.

*Consumer Suggestion: The problem is obvious to me.

*Consumer Suggestion: The problem is obvious to me.

*Consumer Suggestion: The problem is obvious to me.

*Consumer Comment: I Agree

*Consumer Comment: sounds like a scam

*Consumer Comment: I saw the same thing just this week. Very curious.

*Consumer Comment: I saw the same thing just this week. Very curious.

*Consumer Comment: I saw the same thing just this week. Very curious.

*Consumer Comment: I saw the same thing just this week. Very curious.

*Consumer Suggestion: Spark Plugs Cannot Cause an Engine Fire

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My husband went to Auto Zone in Lake Havasu City,AZ to get some Spark Plugs for our 1994 GMC Jimmy(we were in Havasu on Vacation from Illinois and was taking our Daughter to Disney Land in CA).The guy at the counter(his name was Gary)gave my husband the plugs.My husband walked back to our Motel(The Havasu Inn)to put them in our SUV before leaving for Disneyland.

We got aproxmately 12 miles from Indio,CA and our vehichle caught on fire(inside).My husband walked down to a "call box" to call 911(because we had no service on our cell phone in that area).I believe the dispatcher called a tow-truck (I'm not sure).It cost us $160.00 to have our vehichle towed aproxmately 12 miles.My husband went to a different parts store to get plugs because my husband said the truck was acting like the plugs needed replaced.

It was in the parking lot of the different Parts store(where my husband changed the plugs)is when he figured out that they were different plugs that he was given by the man at Auto Zone in Havasu.When my husband took the plugs out of the SUV,he showed me the difference between the plugs he had just taken out(that he got from Havasu Auto Zone) and the ones he had just gotten from the other parts store(I think the name of it was Pep-Boys.)The spark plugs he took out of the suv,weren't all there!It was as if the spark plugs had "blown up" or "exploded" in the engine of our truck!

We found a motel to stay in, my husband called Auto Zone in Havasu From our cell the next morning it was late(and we knew auto zone wasn't open)They gave my husband a big run-a-round ,trying to blame my husband for it because my husband "didn't look at the spark plugs to make sure it was the right plugs for our truck".(The people at the Parts stores have computers to tell them the part number after the customer tells them the year,make and model of the vehichle they are buying parts for!!)We used to ALWAYS go to Auto Zone in Washington(IL),Peoria(IL),East Peoria(IL) and Bloomington-Normal(IL)...(These store were the closest to us where we lived in Secor,IL.)

We had never had a problem with Auto Zone until this incident with Lake Havasu City auto zone.My husband also filed a claim at auto zone we have a claim number,the receipts from everything,the spark-plugs etc..... Auto Zone wanted my husband to give them the plugs,I told my husband to hang onto them,and ALL the receipts because I noticed on the receipts that it has the part #'s of the spark plugs that was bought from both parts stores to prove he was given the WRONG plugs at Havasu Auto Zone.

We have not been to an Auto Zone since,nor will we ever go to another one!We ended up renting a u-haul(which we have receipts) so that we could have a way back to Havasu... Also, the manager, (I believe it was) acted as if my husband done this on purpose,because my husband changed the plugs while we were on vacation..

My husband has ALWAYS kept our vehichles up to par...We had just put a new tranny in the SUV befor we left IL for vacation(and we have proof of this also,from the mileage,notes kept.)My husband wasn't by no means trying to get Auto Zone to buy him a brand-new vehichle, but we DO feel that Auto Zone should pay to have our vehichle fixed!!!

Jeri
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/19/2006 11:27 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Auto-Zone-/Lake-Havasu-City-Arizona-86404/Auto-Zone-The-guys-first-name-was-Gary-Lake-Havasu-City-Arizona-226241. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

100 % not the mechanics fault - maybe

AUTHOR: Jason Epstein - (United States of America)

This is not uncommon. In fact click and clack of the radio show addressed this very issue.

If the plug is not properly tightened it will explode out of the manifold. Of course when this happens you then have an open hole where gasoline is combusting which likely led to the fire.


The maybe part - If the Auto Zone guy has sold you the wrong one and it thus would not fit properly then maybe there is partial blame on him for that but that is highly unlikely. A wrong sized plug wouldnt fit at all or would be extraordinarily loose. If that was the case its on you to recognize this situation. 



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#2 Consumer Comment

Get this thing checked out by a COMPETENT mechanic...

AUTHOR: Curt - (U.S.A.)

...NOT one who tells you that the wind caused the vehicle to backfire (did he also tell you that the muffler bearing is bad because whoever put it on used a right-handed monkey wrench?) and establish what caused the fire. Every engine fire I've seen was caused by a flammable substance coming into contact with a hot exhaust: fuel, engine oil, power steering fluid, automatic transmission fluid, a plastic wiring harness or insulation. If you have an automatic transmission, I'd be especially suspicious of leaky transmission fluid lines, given that the transmission was just worked on.

If it is established that the fire was caused by the wrong plugs - very very unlikely, the only scenario I can think offhand is so far-fetched that it isn't worth detailing - then you can worry about whether or not the parts store is responsible. Probably not, because it's the installer's responsibility to make sure that the parts s/he installs are correct.

One thing I'm confused about, is exactly what is the extent of the damage? You say that AutoZone should pay for the repairs; but you also say that your husband then went to Pep Boys for another set plugs of because the vehicle was acting like they needed to be replaced, so it must not have sustained much damage if he thought he could put new plugs in and drive it.
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#3 Consumer Comment

If one day it starts raining...

AUTHOR: J - (U.S.A.)

If one day it starts raining the moment you turn your hair dryer on, does that mean the hair dryer caused the rain? Nope...

Spark plugs can't cause an engine fire, there's just no possible way. Spark plugs could be the COMPLETELY WRONG part number for your car and in general there are only a couple things that could happen - either they wont fit or the car won't start.

I for one also have had nothing but good things to say about Auto Zone. You however put 2 and 2 together with all your infinite mechanical wisdom and come to the conclusion that Auto Zone is to blame. Wrongo and you should be more careful to pull the trigger on something you are obviously not qualified to comment on...

I'll bet that the shade tree mechanic husband left one of the spark plug "wires" to dangle on the hot exhaust header. And knowing how over-reactive the OP is by posting all this nonsense, smelled a wiff of smoke, panicked, pulled over and started going over the possibilities contained in their limited knowledge...
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#4 Consumer Comment

Huh?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"...the winds were causing it to backfire! We were told this by a mechanic,Thank y'all very much!"

How does wind cause a backfire?

And, what kind of mechanic told you this happens?

You also mentioned your husband always changes the plugs. I would think he'd have noticed they were the wrong ones, first when he was given them, and second when he removed the old ones.

Is HE the "mechanic" you refer to?
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#5 Consumer Comment

Huh?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"...the winds were causing it to backfire! We were told this by a mechanic,Thank y'all very much!"

How does wind cause a backfire?

And, what kind of mechanic told you this happens?

You also mentioned your husband always changes the plugs. I would think he'd have noticed they were the wrong ones, first when he was given them, and second when he removed the old ones.

Is HE the "mechanic" you refer to?
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#6 Consumer Comment

Huh?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"...the winds were causing it to backfire! We were told this by a mechanic,Thank y'all very much!"

How does wind cause a backfire?

And, what kind of mechanic told you this happens?

You also mentioned your husband always changes the plugs. I would think he'd have noticed they were the wrong ones, first when he was given them, and second when he removed the old ones.

Is HE the "mechanic" you refer to?
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Spark plugs don't cause backfiring either.

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

On most modern cars, though certainly not recommended, you can use the spark plugs that came with it for it's entire life if you want to. Yes they'll be worn down to nubs, but electronic ignitions are so powerful that it'll still run fine.

Cleraly something went wrong with your truck, which is a real drag on vacation. But trying to fix it yourself with a "shotgun" approach of new parts is even more frustration.

I have to laugh about abandoning AutoZone and going to a "real parts store"-- Pep Boys! When you install parts yourself it is your responsibility to be sure you have the right ones. That's one reason why mechanic shops mark up the price of parts-- it's a value added feature to make sure the'yre the right ones and guarantee THE WHOLE JOB if something goes wrong.

AutoZone does owe you your money back and/or a set of the correct plugs, but nothing more.
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#8 Author of original report

The sparkplugs didn't cause a fire under the hood!

AUTHOR: Jeri - (U.S.A.)

The sparkplugs did not cause a fire under the hood! WE were told that the sparkplugs were the wrong ones and the winds were causing it to backfire!! My husband has always kept our vehicle oil checked,plugs changed etc...You people are always thinking that someone is trying to scam someone...We were told this by a mechanic,Thank y'all very much!
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#9 Author of original report

The sparkplugs didn't cause a fire under the hood!

AUTHOR: Jeri - (U.S.A.)

The sparkplugs did not cause a fire under the hood! WE were told that the sparkplugs were the wrong ones and the winds were causing it to backfire!! My husband has always kept our vehicle oil checked,plugs changed etc...You people are always thinking that someone is trying to scam someone...We were told this by a mechanic,Thank y'all very much!
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#10 Author of original report

The sparkplugs didn't cause a fire under the hood!

AUTHOR: Jeri - (U.S.A.)

The sparkplugs did not cause a fire under the hood! WE were told that the sparkplugs were the wrong ones and the winds were causing it to backfire!! My husband has always kept our vehicle oil checked,plugs changed etc...You people are always thinking that someone is trying to scam someone...We were told this by a mechanic,Thank y'all very much!
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#11 Author of original report

The sparkplugs didn't cause a fire under the hood!

AUTHOR: Jeri - (U.S.A.)

The sparkplugs did not cause a fire under the hood! WE were told that the sparkplugs were the wrong ones and the winds were causing it to backfire!! My husband has always kept our vehicle oil checked,plugs changed etc...You people are always thinking that someone is trying to scam someone...We were told this by a mechanic,Thank y'all very much!
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

The problem is obvious to me.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

The OP had a mechanical problem and assumed it was the spark plugs. Too cheap to taki it into a shop, decided to self diagnose and decide on spark plugs.

When, all along, it was most likely a fuel problem in this 12-13 year old car with who knows how many miles or its overall condition.

There is absolutely NO WAY that a bad or wrong spark plug can cause an engine fire. It simply cannot happen.

Did your husband match up the new plugs to the old ones to see that they were the same length? Did he check and set the gap, or did he just jam them in the way they came out of the box?

It is very common to get the wrong parts from these type of parts stores. Very common. However, it is up to you the customer to be sure it is correct prior to installing it. If you can't determine this, you really should go to a mechanic.

Also, that part of the country is MUCH HOTTER than illinois! That heat in Havasu and surrounding area into CA is extremely hot. You would have a much better chance of a fire in this part of the country even on a newer well maintained vehicle.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

The problem is obvious to me.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

The OP had a mechanical problem and assumed it was the spark plugs. Too cheap to taki it into a shop, decided to self diagnose and decide on spark plugs.

When, all along, it was most likely a fuel problem in this 12-13 year old car with who knows how many miles or its overall condition.

There is absolutely NO WAY that a bad or wrong spark plug can cause an engine fire. It simply cannot happen.

Did your husband match up the new plugs to the old ones to see that they were the same length? Did he check and set the gap, or did he just jam them in the way they came out of the box?

It is very common to get the wrong parts from these type of parts stores. Very common. However, it is up to you the customer to be sure it is correct prior to installing it. If you can't determine this, you really should go to a mechanic.

Also, that part of the country is MUCH HOTTER than illinois! That heat in Havasu and surrounding area into CA is extremely hot. You would have a much better chance of a fire in this part of the country even on a newer well maintained vehicle.
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

The problem is obvious to me.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

The OP had a mechanical problem and assumed it was the spark plugs. Too cheap to taki it into a shop, decided to self diagnose and decide on spark plugs.

When, all along, it was most likely a fuel problem in this 12-13 year old car with who knows how many miles or its overall condition.

There is absolutely NO WAY that a bad or wrong spark plug can cause an engine fire. It simply cannot happen.

Did your husband match up the new plugs to the old ones to see that they were the same length? Did he check and set the gap, or did he just jam them in the way they came out of the box?

It is very common to get the wrong parts from these type of parts stores. Very common. However, it is up to you the customer to be sure it is correct prior to installing it. If you can't determine this, you really should go to a mechanic.

Also, that part of the country is MUCH HOTTER than illinois! That heat in Havasu and surrounding area into CA is extremely hot. You would have a much better chance of a fire in this part of the country even on a newer well maintained vehicle.
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

The problem is obvious to me.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

The OP had a mechanical problem and assumed it was the spark plugs. Too cheap to taki it into a shop, decided to self diagnose and decide on spark plugs.

When, all along, it was most likely a fuel problem in this 12-13 year old car with who knows how many miles or its overall condition.

There is absolutely NO WAY that a bad or wrong spark plug can cause an engine fire. It simply cannot happen.

Did your husband match up the new plugs to the old ones to see that they were the same length? Did he check and set the gap, or did he just jam them in the way they came out of the box?

It is very common to get the wrong parts from these type of parts stores. Very common. However, it is up to you the customer to be sure it is correct prior to installing it. If you can't determine this, you really should go to a mechanic.

Also, that part of the country is MUCH HOTTER than illinois! That heat in Havasu and surrounding area into CA is extremely hot. You would have a much better chance of a fire in this part of the country even on a newer well maintained vehicle.
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#16 Consumer Comment

I Agree

AUTHOR: Christine - (U.S.A.)

My husband uses Auto Zone all the time for many years. I dunno if this did or didn't cause the fire but anytime you work on a car instead of taking it to a licensed shop you take a chance. Sometimes saving money costs more in the end. If you had had this car for some period of time you could of/should of compared what you took out and to what you were putting in. My husband has made this mistake but I never thought to blame Auto Zone.. They merely sell parts it is up to the person who is installing them to make sure they are the right one. Even using their computers to locate a part number doesn't always guarantee the computer will give you the correct part # esp. in a older car.

I think you are wrong on this one.
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#17 Consumer Comment

sounds like a scam

AUTHOR: Pablo - (U.S.A.)

...by the customer. It is odd, some guy decides to change spark plugs on the road on vacation. Yep, sounds real plausible to me. Like spark plugs are so critical as to warrant immediate replacement. I've seen spark plugs worn to the ceramic core and still the engine functioned ok. Furthermore spark plugs are not going to cause damage to an engine. These people blew an engine and are trying to setup Autozone as a fall guy with a cockyeyed spark plug story.
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#18 Consumer Comment

I saw the same thing just this week. Very curious.

AUTHOR: Marc - (U.S.A.)

1993 Chevy Astrovan, Bosch spark plugs. The center of two spark plugs blown completely away, porcelein and all, to who knows where. I'd never seen this happen before, anyone got a theory? Is this a GM thing or what?
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#19 Consumer Comment

I saw the same thing just this week. Very curious.

AUTHOR: Marc - (U.S.A.)

1993 Chevy Astrovan, Bosch spark plugs. The center of two spark plugs blown completely away, porcelein and all, to who knows where. I'd never seen this happen before, anyone got a theory? Is this a GM thing or what?
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#20 Consumer Comment

I saw the same thing just this week. Very curious.

AUTHOR: Marc - (U.S.A.)

1993 Chevy Astrovan, Bosch spark plugs. The center of two spark plugs blown completely away, porcelein and all, to who knows where. I'd never seen this happen before, anyone got a theory? Is this a GM thing or what?
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#21 Consumer Comment

I saw the same thing just this week. Very curious.

AUTHOR: Marc - (U.S.A.)

1993 Chevy Astrovan, Bosch spark plugs. The center of two spark plugs blown completely away, porcelein and all, to who knows where. I'd never seen this happen before, anyone got a theory? Is this a GM thing or what?
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

Spark Plugs Cannot Cause an Engine Fire

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

Whether or not the spark plugs are wrong, the spark plugs cannot cause an engine fire.

The only thing that can cause an engine fire is a fuel leak under the hood.

You had to have a leak, saying "I think the spark plugs are at fault" will get you laughed out of court, all auto zone has to do is bring a competent mechnic to court.

Reason? There's nothing under the hood to burn, no leak, no fire.

Now bad spark plug wires can make a spark, but again no fire without some fuel leakage to burn.
Bet you broke one or more replacing the plugs, but still no leak, no fire, just a ragged running engine.

You're wrong, dead wrong here.
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