Long story, but LOTS of details and worth the read!! Hard to believe I have been put through this many loops...
I was picked up by a man, Joe, from Extreme Auto Plaza, i had no car because i was cut off on the interstate and my car was totalled, he came to my apartment and took me to look at a car i saw on their website that was for sale.I told him i was just in an accident on the interstate a few days ago and really need a car. I told him i was looking for something that would get good gas millage, last me for the next 5 years or more, and just be an overall "good little car." I test drove the car, an eclipse, and found out the front suspension was not any good. The man told me that this car probably would need a lot of work and they wouldn't be able to do all the work to it before they would sell it to me, it would cost them too much. It made me feel good to know what this employee of Extreme Auto Plaza would take time out of his day to come pick me up, and give me advice about the car i test drove.
Because the eclipse was a no go, the man told me about a nice, in great shape, 2008 little yellow chevy cobalt they got in a few days ago and is ready to be put on the floor. I looked at the car, it looked great! no dents, scratches etc... It had pretty low mileage too, 65,560 to be precise. Before buying the car i found out what i thought to be everything about the car. I was told the car was a salvaged title because, and i quote "At some point, the car had gone through some water, and could have some water damage. But as far as we have seen, and the mechanic has seen, there is no major water damage that has affected the car. This should be a really great little car for you." I have seen cars go through water before, i've seen bad and good turnouts from a car going through water. The car did seem to run good and it was very well taken care of. The only other concern i had was the Airbag light being on. When i asked about the light, this is the answer i got, and i quote, " We believe the light is on because the sensor may have some damage, a code reader could turn the light off for you. But the airbag works fine, even though the light is on." Well, it's settled then! Seemed like a pretty good car.
After all the paperwork was finished i was off in my new car. Or so i thought...
After having the car for a few days i discovered the cruise control would not set. This was a concern of mine, half of my family lives 100 miles away, and i visit often. I took it into Extreme Auto and they kept the car for 3 days and never contacted me until i called. Claudia, the woman who is in charge of some decisions, said she personally took the car out and set the cruise just fine. Starting to get a little annoyed, and annoyed that they couldn't figure out why the check engine light was on, i took the car back home. On the way home, I tried to set my cruise on the interstate. Imagine that, it still didn't work.
I took the car in a few more times about the tire pressure sensor light, check engine light, and cruise, but never got any result.
Less than 3 months, beginning of June, after buying the car at Extreme Auto Plaza, the engine started knocking and went out on the car, and i was in the middle of nowhere (out by Winterset, Iowa). Thank God i had my boyfriend driving another car in front of me. I could not believe it, why did this have to happen to me?? I called Extreme Auto Plaza and they sent a tow truck. After 2 days, i recieved a phone call from the mechanic at Extreme, telling me the the engine had blown and only a new engine would be the fix. I had no choice. I spent every penny i could after 2 weeks of leaving it at Extreme Auto Plaza for 1/2 the engine price, $950. I was thankful Extreme Auto Plaza agreed to pay for half the cost of a different engine. I felt better knowing that the troubles were probably over with a different engine with no possible water damage. I still thought wrong.
At this point, about 3.5 months after buying the car, i filed a complaint against Extreme Auto Plaza to the Better Business Bureau, basically stating that i felt completely taken advantage of, when in fact, i knew Extreme Auto Plaza was in the wrong.
I also called GM, gave them my VIN number, and found out the car i bought had actually went through a flood, and probably should have went to a junk yard.
Car ran okay for a few weeks. I took the car back to Extreme Auto Plaza about a noise i was hearing from around the transmission. The first time i took it there, the mechanic could not find a problem. I took it to Cottman Auto, and they found that it was from inside the transmission. I then took the car back to Extreme and told them what I had found out. They kept the car again for 3 days and never contacted me until i called. I was told that the transmission had gone out, and they replaced it with another, free of charge. At first i was upset they did that without asking me first, but because they took care of the cost, i didn't care as much. Before i left with my car, i was told that there really isn't much more they can do since they will be "breaking even" on the car now, which after all these problems and the fact that the car went through a FLOOD, i doubt they even paid $6,000 for the car, and sold it to me for a little over $10,000 after registration and what not.
It has now been almost a year. The car has done pretty good. (Only because of all the work and money i have put into it.) I took it into Cottman Auto for a starting problem i was having where the engine was losing power when i would start it. Cottman found the problem. When Extreme Auto Plaza changed the engine out, they didn't check anything else that connects to the engine, apparently. The compartment that protects the wires and connectors for the ignition to the engine, was full of water. Cottman cleaned it up and replaced the wires. I was furious of how much of a half job Extreme's mechanic did when they replaced the most essential part of the car, the engine.
11 Days ago, the 5th of April, I took the car to Firestone to have the engine light, airbag light, and tire pressure light checked out. The engine light and tire pressure light were not a big concern, very simple things that didn't affect the performance of the car. The airbag light however was on because there was no longer a charge in the airbag unit, and if i were to get in an accident, the airbag would not, could not deploy.
My mouth dropped.. This whole time, for over a year, I could have died in a car crash, because i bought a car i believed was safe. Extreme Auto Plaza, Salvaged title or not, sold me a car without fully disclosing all the problems with the car, the actual history of the car, and worse of all, a car that has no airbag. I never would have bought a car if i knew the airbag did not work, thats what saved me in the accident that got me into this Extreme Auto Problem.
Plain and simple, Extreme Auto Plaza lied to me about having a safe car. They stated the airbag light was nothing to worry about, and the airbag worked just fine. When in fact, because the light was on, and they failed to do any research on the airbag, they really did not know for sure that the airbag worked correctly.
What should be done:
At this point, I do not even want the car anymore. It is a hazard without a properly working airbag. I really do not know what can be done about this issue. I really feel like there are some Illegal things going on here, but haven't been able to talk with anyone who can tell me if a have a case against Extreme Auto Plaza or not.
To be completely fair, Extreme Auto Plaza should treat my "We do not usually have this many problems" situation, like they would a family member. Take back the car, which is actually worth more money now after everything i've had done to it, then when i bought it, and i'll be on my way. Then i can buy a car from a trusted source.
At the least, Extreme Auto Plaza should pay for a New, not Used, airbag to be installed professionally, not by their mechanic. Then i can at least sell the car, knowing i am not selling a death trap to someone else.
I have already put over $2,000 into the car in labor, new tires, new engine, diagnostic checks, and spent far too much stressing out, and now concerned that if i do not fork out another $600, i will not have a safe car.
On top of it all, when i bought the car, the man, Joe, who sold it to me said that we would be going to "his guy" at Veridian Credit Union. 1 week after i bought the car, the man who sold me the car no longer worked there. Seemed a bit odd to me.?
Note: This entire story, word for word, has already been submitted to the Consumer Complaint Division of the Iowa Department of Justice.