Hello my name i s Andre Wakefield. Around February of this year my fiance and I begin to search for a family vehicle, for us and our two daughters. After visiting several used car dealerships we decided to go with the car-max in Raleigh, since they seemed like the most trustworthy. We ended up financing a 2010 Dodge Journey SUV. The vehicle was fairly new and seemed reliable.
Well after one week of driving the check engine light came, the vehicle started shaking while braking, and was hesitating on acceleration. We took it in immediately to get looked at and were told it was an engine misfire, which is normal in used cars that have sat on a lot and haven't been driven in a while, and that could also be what was causing the shake. We took it back home and the very next day the light was back on and the car was still shaking while braking, and hesitating on acceleration. After looking at it again, a week later, we were now told it was a faulty coil pack They replaced the coil pack and once again we were told that should fix the shaking. Drove the car off the lot and the car was still shaking while braking, and the light was back on two days later.
After taking the car back to car-max, for the third time, the coil pack was replaced again, and we were now told that they cannot find the cause of the shaking. Once again, after driving the car for two days the check engine light was right back on! At this point we just wanted to return the car and be done with it. After speaking with several managers we were told it was impossible to get a refund on the car because we were already locked in to our lease. We haven't even made our first car payment yet! We were told the only thing we could do was sell car back to them. If we were to do that they probably would only give us like 10,000 for it, and we would still be responsible for the 25,000 that had to be paid back to the bank for the loan. That would be a total lost! Where is the logic in doing that! With all that said, car-max ended up sending the car off to a Chrysler-Dodge factory dealership tho get a factory coil- pack put on.
They believed the problem wast that they were putting after-market coil packs on the engine instead of the dodge brand part. The car was returned to us after a week and a half. The engine light stayed off, but the car was still shaking while braking, and hesitating while acceleration. We decided we would have to live with it since we don't have a whole lot of extra money to take it somewhere else, and its pretty much nothing else we can do. So here it is about 6 months later and the check engine light is back on, the car still shakes while braking, and it now struggles to accelerate while on the highway. Car-max wants us to now pay to replace the coil-pack since we are outside the 6 month 6,000 mile warranty window, even though we were told that they would take care of us until the problem was completely fixed no matter what the time frame.
The service technician Rodney Fuller has suddenly caught amnesia, and acts like he doesn't remember ever telling us that. A coil-pack is a crucial part in the engine that shouldn't go bad for like 100,000 miles. We have had this car for 6 months and this will be the fourth time this part needs to be replaced, an I'm sure its not the last I mean this combined with the shaking and acceleration problem in unacceptable. I actually asked the service tech "so are we supposed to just bring the car up every month when the coil pack goes bad and replace it"? His answer was yes. Who has that kind of money? Especially after I was told we would be taken care of until the problem was fixed.
My fiance and I almost have the feeling that we have been ripped off and taking advantage of. I
would expect something like this from a backyard dealership, but not a place like car-max. We are hard working people who just wanted a reliable form of transportation for our family. Since we can't afford the $100-$200 a hour consultation fees lawyers want just to talk, we area at a total lost as of what to do. So, I decided to write the local news stations. Thank you for hearing my story.