Complaint Review: AAMCO
AAMCO watch out for Aamco Nationwide
Hi, You probably don't know me but my name is Ted McFarland. I live in South Carolina and I just wanted to recount an event in my life that I think every consumer who owns a motor vehicle should at least be aware of.
I was recently traveling from south Florida back to my home in South Carolina and traveling on I95 through the Titusville area when I experienced transmission problems. Not being familiar with the area, I called an Aamco franchisee to check my vehicle out for me. Long story short, my vehicle was down for 2 weeks and it cost me about $2,700.00 for what was billed as a complete transmission rebuild with a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty.
I picked up my vehicle and was not 10 miles out of town back on I95 when all the same warnings began beeping and flashing. 'ABS' brake fail light, Check transmission warning and Transmission Overheating. Since I really wanted to get back home as I had had to drive a rental back down to Titusville to pick up the vehicle after the 2 week repair job I kept going and stopped at another Aamco franchisee in Jacksonville to have the transmission checked.
Yes, the transmission had to come back out and I would probably be down at least another 3-5 days. I asked if there was any chance that it would get me back home and was told that the slower I kept the speed the overheating problem would probably not be a problem and I continued on. Since the rest of my trip was on rural roads I figured I would be able to keep it around 45mph for the rest of the trip.
I did make it home and immediately contacted Aamco corporate to have them repair my vehicle under the warranty. However, since the nearest Aamco to me was some 50 miles away I asked that they tow the vehicle to their shop because otherwise I've got to have someone follow me over to drop it off and then again to pick it up. I explained that if the problem was a warranty problem that they should stand for the tow and if it wasn't that they could just bill it to me with the repair. They refused.
Well, two weeks later I was back down in the Ft Lauderdale area and my wife and I rented a car and drove over to another Aamco franchise. That franchisee just flat refused to take my vehicle in. On the way back from that trip the transmission went out again and I took it to a local transmission shop in my town and had it repaired.
However, I did get a report from the transmission shop that did the final repair as to what was the problem and here is what he told me. There is a sleeve type bearing that goes around the shaft just before the torgue converter. That sleeve has a hole in it by which the transmission fluid circulates from the transmission to the cooling lines in the radiator. That sleeve had been installed backwards and therefore the holes didn't line up and so my transmission had been running all of this time without any way to cool the hot fluid. Hence, all the warnings were a result of the fluid temperature in the transmission being very, very hot until it ultimately burned through all the seals again. Here are some things that I learned about the Aamco brand and I imagine this also applies to the Cottman brand as they are both owned under the same umbrella company. Despite what the sign says about them being 'expert' in car care, it just isn't so. There 'nationwide warranty' isn't worth the paper that it's printed on.
Here's what happened in my case. When I stopped in Jacksonville the technician test drove the car and then went immediately to his office before talking to me and called the other franchisee who had done the work. This seems perfectly normal and I thought he was just checking to see what all had been done and if he might have any idea why there was a problem, but that isn't really the purpose of that call. If the original franchisee doesn't agree to pay the 2nd repair shop for the work they are going to have to do - they won't get paid. So, the real purpose of that call is to say, hey, I got this vehicle in here and it looks like it may need warranty repair, are you going to reimburse me for it? This was how Mike Pekula of Aamco corporate explained it to me.
So, apparently the first time I took my vehicle in for a warranty claim the original franchisee was willing to pay for the repairs, but when I went to the second he refused. Same vehicle, same problem one day they'll fix it and the next day they won't. Surely anyone can see the problems with such a 'voluntary' repayment system to handle warranty claims.
Then when you try to get the Aamco corporate office involved they pretty much wash their hands of any liability and say it's got to be handled by the original franchisee that did the work. Their words to me were, "We can't tell our franchisee's what to do." So, here I am stuck with a worthless $2,700.00 repair job that neither the franchisee nor the corporate office will offer any help for.
My recommendation is that if there is any other reasonable option for getting transmission repair work done, and remember this 'nationwide warranty' works the same on all of their repaire, get it done somewhere else. Here are some sites one might want to peruse if considering Aamco or Cottman as a repair facility.
http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/specific_search/AAMCO http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/aamco.htm http://www.complaintsboard.com/bycompany/aamco-a28402.html http://www.pissedconsumer.com/reviews-by-company/aamco.html
I'm generally a fair and responsible customer and I am 58 years old. This is not my first time having a transmission repaired but I can assure you it is the last time anyone will see these feet in an Aamco shop, unless my wife decides to bury me in one.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/22/2015 07:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/aamco/nationwide/aamco-watch-out-for-aamco-nationwide-1210935. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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