I'm writing to express my frustration and disagreement over a recent issue I had with my 2004 Mazda 3. I purchased the pre-owned vehicle on September 30, 2006 and had nothing but praise for the first year I drove it. Unfortunately, on October 31, 2007, an engine malfunction caused the car to pump all of its oil out on the highway on my way home from work. While barely giving me enough time to make my way to the shoulder, the engine died. Once the car was towed to Bommarito Mazda in St. Louis, MO, I was told it needed a complete engine replacement. Since it was 1,000 miles over warranty, I would be responsible for the full price of parts and labor which was estimated at over $7,000.
After 6 weeks of negotiating with Bommarito Mazda, the District Manager, and your Customer Assistance Center in Irvine, CA, I was told Mazda would cover 50% of parts and I would be responsible for the rest, $4,705 after taxes. I provided documents from the purchase of the vehicle and all oil changes since I took possession. Because Mazda agreed to pay 50% of the parts, I can only assume they were able to determine I was not at fault and it was the result of a defect. While I do not expect every car manufacturer to pay for every repair regardless of warranty, a complete new engine at 51,000 miles should be the manufacturer's problem, not the owner's responsibility.
My uncle works for Contact Center Strategies for Chrysler in Detroit. He was able to put me in contact with Linda Strohman, Manager Customer Assistance Center, in Irvine, CA. Throughout the process my uncle assured me, given the circumstances, that Chrysler would pay the full amount and Mazda should too. He was quite surprised when I informed him that Mazda would not budge on their offer of 50% of parts. I was also very upset that it took 6 weeks to come to the conclusion they did and another week to order the engine and install it. Due to family circumstances, I was able to drive another car during this time otherwise I would have amassed an enormous rental car bill.
St. Louis, Missouri