• Report: #603592

Complaint Review: Volvo of Santa Monica

  • Submitted: Fri, May 14, 2010
  • Updated: Sun, May 16, 2010

  • Reported By: anonymous — Santa Monica California United States of America
Volvo of Santa Monica
1301 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, California United States of America

Volvo of Santa Monica Horrible Customer Treatment, Rip-off prices Santa Monica, California

*Consumer Comment: Few things not adding up...

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I feel very frustrated and sad of the stupid and shameful actions of Volvo of Santa Monica. While I was going home in the evening on De ember 23, 2008, my Volvo S80 engine started to emit a strange sound that I've never heard before. When i got home, the Volvo warning lights started to go off "Stop Engine" "No Oil". When I saw this I immediately shut off my engine and the next day immediately called AAA, to tow my car to Volvo of Santa Monica, where I usually go for repairs. They confirmed what the warning light said, the engine had completely run out of oil, and was in fact damaged and dead.

On October 04, 2008, I had just had maintenance done on my Volvo, and had only driven 3892miles since then. Feeling a bit frustrated at this, I asked one of the employees, Jesse, how could my car have already run out of oil? I told them that they must have made a mistake, and did not refill my engine oil enough, nor did they screw the lid on well enough. At my home there is a palm sized black stain where I usually park. Jessie responded rudely and threatened to not bring my to the factory if it included information on the oil leak. When I looked at the invoices, there was nothing about the oil leak. IN fact I suspect that to cover up their mistake, they completely took apart the entire engine, on the grounds of "inspecting what went wrong", no one can tell if they messed up on the lid now. I have a feeling they even took forged pictures for evidence if I decided to go against them. The manager Ewald replied that my Volvo is 10 years old, therefore it eats 1 quarter of oil every 800 miles when it gets this old.

I never hear f this weird rule before, and personally think that a big company like Volvo would of fixed such a design defect if it was present. The oil capacity for my Volvo is 7.3 quarts. So even if we do go by their logic of the engine eating one quart every 800 miles, it still means I should have been able to drive 5840 miles total without the engine running out of oil, while I only was able to drive 3892 with my engine running out of oil SO i still should have been able to drive 1948 miles, or 33% more even if we go by their calculations (engine oil capacity statistics taken from Volvo Manual). They had to have not put in enough oil or put the lid on wrong so the oil leaked out, and lied to cover up their mistake. My car is actually only 9 years old, and only about 116,000 miles on it. Before the Volvo S80, I had owned a Volvo 240 DL, which I drove for 14 years, and nothing like this ever occurred, which makes it seem ridiculous that the engine would burn all its oil suddenly and then die. It has to have been the fault of the Volvo company. And whoever's fault it is should pay for it.

Jesse, representing Ewald, made me an offer to "reimburse me." It probably made it seem like they wre bieng the good people, offering a "50% discount" for a final price of $15000 new engine, however when I inquired about the engine price in another auto-shop, they stated that a new engine only costs $7000. 50% discount? More like a 50% mark up! Not did the Volvo of Santa Monica lie to cover up their mistake and not reimburse me, but they tried to scam me also!

I feel Volvo of Santa Monica didn't lie about the prices just once through. When I said I would just get a used engine, because I did not have the funds to buy a new engine at the time. SO i went to negotiate with Don Marino who offered to install it for an original price of $6100, and would offer a 25% discount to bring it to $4575. Now the offer seems like they were trying to be nice and reimburse me, but when I checked with other auto repair shops, the regular price without discount was $4500. I feel like they just said they would give me a 25% discount when there wasn't one any way.

Eventually I bought a 65000 mile used engine, and the people who helped me install the engine was Viking Motors for an installation fee of $4500. After this, my Volvo has not had any engine problems at all.

After talking to Don Marino, I kept getting angry glares from Ewald, that his employee Jesse also noticed. It was probably because he didn't like the fact that I skipped ihm to talk directly to Don Marino. I felt indignant, so I tried to continue to persuade Ewald to reimburse me. When they refused, I sued them. During the trial, Ewald blamed me for whatever happened to the Volvo car, saying I didn't take care of it, and hardly go for maintenance. i believe I take the most care of my Volvo as I can, I usually don't even take it to work, and only drive it on free time. I take it for maintenance regularly also, making this statement false. They also presented what I suspected were forged pictures of the engine mentioned before (which is actually the first time I saw them) and tried to explain them. They should of showed me these pictures wen I asked for an explanation before, which is one of the reasons why I suspect they were forged. We lost the case, but the fact he had the audacity to try to blame everything on me is astounding.

I've driven a Volvo for 23 years in total, and 90% of the time I went back Volvo of Santa Monica to have my car serviced. However, I am astounded to find that they would lie to cover up their mistake and not reimburse me for it. I've given so much business to VOlvo of Santa Monica, and the fact that Ewald would throw all of those years of business and profits away, and even future profits to refuse to reimburse me even $2500 for a engine. in my opinion this is extremely stupid. A branch led by a manager like Ewald will hurt the entire company by driving its customer away. Also, such defects as the oil life of a Volvo decreasing by 33% over a few years should be reported to the factory, so Volvos can be improved. If such things continues I fear for the future of the Volvo brand name.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/14/2010 11:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Volvo-of-Santa-Monica/Santa-Monica-California-90403/Volvo-of-Santa-Monica-Horrible-Customer-Treatment-Rip-off-prices-Santa-Monica-Californi-603592. 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 Comment

Few things not adding up...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

I know you are upset about losing the engine and all the expense, but you need to be fair to the Volvo guys too. Now whether or not that engine actually used a quart every 800 miles is one thing, the engine is toast now so no way to verify. It does sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but older motors using about a quart every thousand miles is not too out of the ordinary. Add to that a small oil leak, and running bone dry in 3800 miles is quite possible

The thing is, why didn't you notice any warning signs well before the engine was destroyed? The purpose if the oil warning is to let you know when it is becoming low on oil..or if there is a problem with oil pressure. This way you shut it down and find out what is wrong before causing catastrophic damage to the engine. It doesn't wait until it is bone dry, then come on when the engine fails, it should indicate when the pressure drops, not wait until it is bone dry.

There have been studies that show a car can in some cases can run for quite some time without oil, but there will be signs such as noises and lights/gauges/warnings indicating no oil pressure.

Now if this vehicle did use that much oil...at about 3200 miles you would be down 4 quarts...less then half capacity. Surely at some point you would have heard the lifters tapping and see the oil warning, or some indications. The engine will suffer low oil pressure when you a getting low on oil, not just at the moment when it runs bone dry.

I don't think leaving the "lid" off would dump over 7 quarts of oil..it would just splash out a little at a time and you would have seen a ton of smoke and smelled oil burning as it leaked onto the hot exhaust manifold. It would have been an obvious mess with plenty of tell tale.

If they had left the drain plug loose (which is under the engine and used to drain the oil during a service), it is possible you could over time lose all the oil..as well if it just had a leak such as a bad oil pan gasket or fitting. These can develop at anytime. The palm size stain where you park can indicate an oil leak, but it would have to be a slow leak because if 7 quarts had leaked at once, it would have looked like a mini Valdez under the car.

Either way, it would be really tough to prove if this was negligence on the Volvo mechanics part because you claim you drove almost 4000 miles since your last maintenance so it is not likely they will except any blame. If they actually had left the drain plug too loose, you probably would have lost all the oil at one time if it came undone and the warning message would have came on giving you time to shut it down and save the engine.

If the oil was leaking slowly which seems more likely the case, there had to be some tell tale signs you were ignoring..do you recall any tapping noises or warnings, or any indicator lights come on, or was it running perfect with no signs of low oil and just all of a sudden you heard a strange sound, the warning came on and the engine failed? If the latter is the case, I would suspect there was a problem with the oil pressure sensor as well, because as stated, it should indicate when it is starting to become low on oil, not wait until there is zero pressure and the engine is destroyed.

Of course if something gave and all the oil came out at once you would have had indication, but if you drove too long without oil, it will of course destroy the engine eventually and it is hard to blame anyone else for that. If this had happened very soon after an oil change (within a day or two), then it is much easier to blame the mechanic if it was due to the oil drain bolt  or oil filter not being properly tightened.

As far as the dealer being overpriced..this is no news. I only buy my parts from the dealer if it is not available anywhere else. Dealer parts can be 3-4 times aftermarket replacement cost, and their labor rates can easily be double of an independent shop. Yes, the dealers are a rip off in that sense, but if a vehicle is out of warranty, the good news is we are not forced to use them for repairs in most cases.

A Toyota dealer charged my father over $2000.00 to replace a leaky valve cover gasket. He lives on the other coast but if I was there I could have done it in 3 hours at a total cost of under $30.00 in parts.
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