I recently got an oil change from the Walmart in Lakewood, CO located on Wadsworth Blvd. A few weeks later I was driving down I70 and heard a loud noise, all my my dash light came on, and my car's heat gague spiked. I pulled off asap and my husband checked my oil and it was empty! He noticed oil splatter on the back of my car and looked under it and discovered that my oil drain plug was missing.
The car sat for about an hour while we waited at 9pm in a dark parking lot for the tow truck. When the tow arrived there was a puddle of oil about 3' in diameter. As my car was pulled onto the flatbed a steady stream of oil came trailing out of the open drain.
I immediately called Walmart to make them aware. The night manager, Chris, told me that I would need to talk to a day manager to file the claim but would make a note for him. In the morning (Sunday) I talked to Blake (Store manager at Walmart) and he took down my information and filed the claim. I also spoke with Jeff, the Floor Supervisor for the Auto Department at that location.
First thing Monday morning I had my '06 Honda CRV towed to Planet Honda. I was contacted by Jason Mounce at Clamis Management, INC and he took my statement and gave me a case number. He said following Honda's inspection he would have an answer for me regarding the status of the claim. He said if I needed a rental car to use Enterprise since they have a contract with them and can take over the payment.
Honda notified me Tuesday that I did need a new engine. They said the only way for an oil drain plug to fall out is improper replacement and failing to follow protocol. Dan at Planet Honda told me and CMI that he has seen this happen in as little as a few hundred miles and as many as 3,000 miles following an oil change. He said that is takes time for the vibrations of a vehicle to cause the already loosened oil drain plug (from improper replacement) to work its way out leading to huge problems.
CMI is completely denying my claim stating that I can;t prove that it is Walmart's fault even though they are the last one's to service my vehicle, specifically my oil!! I have documented everything, took pictures of the huge oil spot we found in my garage, photos of the missing drin plug immediately following the incident, the oil pouring out of it... everything!
Jeff at CMI told me that they disagree with Honda and their certified mechanic's statement are an 'opinion' and that they have a different 'opinion'. Brian at CMI actually suggested that someone tampered with my oil drain plug and that "I couldn't prove otherwise" and "that in my state the burden of proof is on me". Jeff told me that there was nothing I could do, and their case was closed. He said I could go through a legal route if I really wanted to.
Honda, the internet, and others I have talked to have said this is not that uncommon, but most shops stand behind their work and value public opinion and their customers. The employees at Honda were pretty much speechless and could not believe that Walmart was screwing me over like this. Honda said "This case doesn't have any grey areas" and "they should be held liable".
Someone PLEASE help!! This giant store is bullying innocent consumers around and is getting away with it because who and I and what do I matter the them... I know I am not the only one.