• Report: #1079655

Complaint Review: Americas Transmission

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  • Submitted: Tue, August 27, 2013
  • Updated: Sun, September 01, 2013

  • Reported By: Rippedoffcustomer — Houston Texas
Americas Transmission
1718 Fry Rd or 510 Mason or Cypress Katy, Select State/Province USA

Americas Transmission Thomas Automotive holding Incompetent transmission work,misleading web advertising locations,Substandard parts used Katy Texas

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DO NOT take your car to Americas Transmission in Katy, TX or anywhere else they falsely advertise to have a business.

First of all, I wish I had posted this 2 years ago but did not know how the so-called life time warranty thing would NOT work out and I apologize for the length of it but I wanted to be thorough and honest.

Avoid this scam artist - he will take your money and use substandard parts, and when you return for warranty work less than 1 year after the initial “rebuild” and a solenoid or other part is replaced and then goes out again less than one year after that, and you have already exceeded 24k miles, it will all ultimately end up costing you the same all over again – you might save $150 in labor (what a joke).  I had no choice but to end this relationship and move on before he got any more money out of me.   This is what happened in my situation beginning on June 27, 2011:

When I ran across America’s Transmission on the internet, one is led to believe that this company has multiple locations throughout the Houston area – huge misconception. [continued below]....

.....   The record driver from a towing service company who picked up my vehicle told me he was taking my car to the Galleria area but I find out later it was taken to Katy, TX.   After playing a lot of phone tag with this company, my car was ready for pick up 11 days after it had been towed, but this was also during the 4th of July weekend.

The Saturday that I paid $2400 and picked up my vehicle, as I started the car I noticed that my odometer had actually rolled over the 100k mark.  I had wanted to take a photo of it when it rolled over but come to find out, America’s Transmission had put 154 miles on it since it was towed to them.  I immediately went back inside to express my feelings for the odometer change to Jerry Knowles and an older gentleman with a name tag of Sal (Senior maybe) and was told by Sal that they had to test drive it.  Seriously, did it really take 154 miles of test driving?  Then, I later observed a toll pass charge on my EZ tag statement that was dated for a time my car was in their possession.  Anyway, I returned to my car as I was running late for work.

On my way to work and during the 30 minute drive, I realized that the Red Light for the driver’s side air bag was on, the horn did not work and neither did the radio controls or cruise control that are all located on the steering wheel.  I called Jerry’s cell phone number and left a VM and that I would contact them during the week about these issues.  Nobody every returned my call so the following Friday I called them again and was told by Jerry to bring my car in on my day off the following Monday, which I did and left my car there for 2 hours and was told they had done a computer scan and he mentioned a few codes that I did not understand but was told they would work with me on the repairs.

In the meantime, I had conducted my own internet research and came to the conclusion that they had broken the clock spring inside of my steering column under the air bag module.  Never heard from them again so I called the following Friday and was told by Jerry that he would call me back shortly but never did.  By now it was time for the 2 week checkup to maintain the so-called life time warranty so I returned to their shop once again – keep in mind that I have been driving for 2 weeks with a light indicating I have no air bag, not to mention I have no working horn (due to their negligence).  By now, the date is August 1, 2011 – Jerry was at lunch but Sal had his technicians do the check up and by the time that was finished, Jerry had returned from lunch and told me to call him “tomorrow”, which I did and was told to call him again the following Friday so that he could order the required parts to make the repairs on my next day off which was the following Monday.   On Thursday I almost got hit and needed to use my horn that I did not have so I called Jerry to remind him and there was no answer the first try and the call was dropped on the 2nd call while I was on hold, so I tried again the next morning which was Friday:  Called Jerry @9:04 AM to remind to order clock spring – told me to call him at 12:30 pm – I did and left VM and asked him to leave me a VM before 5 (I was at work), otherwise I would see him on Monday.  The following Monday was August 8, 2011 and I called the shop at 12:17 pm and left a voice mail.  My phone call was never returned so I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau the following Saturday. 

Ten days later on August 23rd I returned a call I had received from the owner Sal Ruiz who stated that he would get with Jerry so that the parts will get ordered and they would call me when they arrived and that at that time they would need to keep the car for a couple of days to make the repairs.   By September 6, 2011 I had yet to receive a call from them so I called again and Sal was once again going to talk with Jerry and call me back and that they were faxing information to Honda about a “squid cable” which my own research also called it a “clock spring”.  At 5:30 pm the same day, Sal did call and left a VM saying that the parts would arrive at their shop in a couple of days.  That Thursday I called and spoke with Sal and he said I could go by their Shop before noon the following Saturday to drop off my car key so I could drop my car off  in their parking lot that Sunday night,  which I did.  By September 13th, I had still not heard from them (no surprise by now) so I called the main number and got no answer so I tried Sal’s cell number and got VM so I called Jerry and he said call back Sal and leave a message so I did and he returned my call about 30 minutes later and was told some story about the wrong part being received and to go out there and they would rent a car for me from Don McGill Toyota.

I had a friend drop me off and Jerry drove me to the Toyota dealership and I picked up a rental.   I called Sal 2 days later for an update on the repair from them breaking the clock spring and he told me they sent my car down the street to Midas who was having issues getting the torx bolts out of the housing for the air bag to get to the clock spring and they wanted my permission to continue and that it might break the housing which would cost me more money – I granted permission and then heard from Sal the next day telling me that the air bag module was bad and that they would call me back with an estimate.  To make this long story from hell shorter, I did not hear back from Sal, Jerry or anyone else until I called them on September 21st and was told that Midas was almost finished with the clock spring replacement. 

I then drove the rental to “America’s Transmission” and left it in their care.  At this time, Sal wanted payment and charged me $500 for the car rental and clock spring replacement that they damaged.  I had a bit of a discussion about this and Sal barked back at me that I was getting a $2000 repair and parts for a bargain (and they broke it).  After I paid this guy just to get out of there and go get my car, I asked for a receipt and was told I would get one from the guy at the Midas place.  

Jerry drove me a few blocks to the Midas place and dropped me off.  I waited there for over an hour while some guy was still trying to drill out the bolts that hold the air bag into my steering wheel.  He then had to give up because his cordless drill’s battery went dead.  He managed to temporarily rig the air bag in there and put the cover back on so I could at least take my car for the time being until I could get it back out to him on my next day off the following Monday, September 26,  2011.

Meanwhile, I did some research and went out and purchased 2 torx bolts to replace the ones that were stripped and were drilled out and returned my car on Monday.    I gave the bolts to this tech at Midas and he finished drilling out the stripped one and installed the new ones and finished the repair.  I asked him for a receipt and he gave me the run around that I should have gotten one from Sal.  By this time I was way over it and took my car and left.

Less than one year later while driving to San Antonio for 4th of July weekend, my engine light came on so I pulled off of the interstate and after accelerating when the traffic light turned green, the transmission was hesitant into kicking in and going but it did until I could pull off and park for about an hour and let it cool off.  Once cooled, I proceeded to San Antonio and took it easy with no problems to mention.  The next day, the engine light had turned off so I proceeded to drive with caution and not “floor” it for any reason.  Once back in Houston, the following Monday I took my car to America’s transmission for the engine light and hesitation issue as well as the annual “drain and fill” as required per the “life time warranty” and their location on 510 Mason in Katy, TX was abandoned with no new address posted anywhere but when I called one of the number from the business card that Jerry had given me, Sal answered and gave me their new address on Fry road.  I went a few miles to this location and Jerry did a computer scan and informed me that it was a solenoid issue and that they would order the part and to come back in on Monday and they would replace it so after they had supposedly changed the fluid, they gave me my key and a printout I had asked for to document that I had been there for the annual requirement.

The following Monday I returned my car to America’s Transmission and within about an hour, was told my car was ready to go and that the part had been replaced.  The car seemed to drive normally until almost one more year later and once again, the check engine light came on again but there was no immediate indication of hesitation or slippage and I had AutoZone run a scan for me which indicated the solenoid issue again.  I made arrangements with Sal to take it in again the next Monday but to call him the Friday before to remind him so he could order the part which I did.

I called Monday morning to let Sal know I would be there for our agreed upon 1:00 pm appointment and he said that the part was being expedited by “hot shot” delivery from Down town and it should be there in the afternoon but that there was no way he could fit me in at his Katy, Fry Road location but that he would check with his location in NW Houston (Cypress) and to call him back.  I called Sal back and he said they could fit me in and that he had the part sent to that location.  I then drove almost 40 miles to this location and there was only one garage door on the little building that was ½ ways closed and the entrance door to the office was locked, with a paper hand written note on that they had gone to lunch and would return at a time that had already passed.  Also note that there was a printed yellow banner hanging on the front of the building that indicated it was “Americas Transmission”. 

I proceeded to the ½ way open garage door and there was a young man inside banging on the bottom of a vehicle that was on the lift. I said hello to him but there was a language barrier and he motioned that he would be right back so I waited for a couple of minutes and an older Gentleman came out and I explained to him why I was there and he said something about it would be awhile before the lift would be available and he walked back in and out of site.  So, I returned to my car and waited with the a/c on since it was about 100 degrees that day and about 15 minutes later a wrecker drive backed into the parking lot and wanted to put that crippled vehicle where I was parked, so he went inside and then came out with the older gentleman and wanted me to move but instead, he said he would move it and he then continued to unlock the office door and let me go inside and told me it was not something that could be done in a couple of hours and he disappeared through a door that led to the garage.  First of all, once inside this little room that contained 2 plastic chairs and a small table and a couple of case of water on the concrete floor, as well as a small a/c window unit, I felt like I was in a dungeon awaiting execution (I do have a photo).  Then, less than 10 minutes later, the older gentleman came in the front door, handed my car keys to me and said, “Call Sal”.  So, I call Sal and he proceeds to tell me that my car is no longer under warranty due to the mileage and that it will now cost me “$400 and some change” and that that is the way a warranty works.  Needless to say, I thanked Sal for wasting my time and I disconnected the call and drove 40 miles back home during 5:00 pm rush hour traffic.

The very next night while driving home from work, my transmission began to shift very hard and jumped into 2nd gear.  I was able to make it home safely and managed to carefully drive it to a LOCAL RELIABLE transmission shop that basically rebuilt the transmission and installed a torque converter that was not substandard as the one they had removed that apparently Americas Transmission had installed.  And no thanks to Sal for having me put an extra 80 miles on for nothing which caused even more damage. To end this portion of my nightmare, I am on the road again and have learned my lesson after I had spent $2400 on America’s transmission and about $1000 on car rentals while they held my car hostage for a ridiculous amount of time – not to mention I had to start all over with a reputable company 2 years later. 

One last note:  since I had contacted the BBB, I had also received a call from the Harris County District Attorney’s office wanting me to submit some information to them concerning my issue, which I did – apparently my situation was very minor compared to others.  It is highly recommended you do NOT use this company, as you will more than likely be taken advantage of.   Please do your research and avoid this rinky dink outfit at all costs.  You have been warned.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/27/2013 07:56 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Americas-Transmission-/Katy-Select-StateProvince-77450/Americas-Transmission-Thomas-Automotive-holding-Incompetent-transmission-workmisleading-1079655. 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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