On June 9th my husband went to Auto Lab Lauderhill, Florida, for them to take a look at our vehicle because the AC stopped working. The vehicle was inspected by their mechanic and we were informed that a certain part (name I cant recall at his moment) was the cause and therefore needs replacing. Based on their diagnosis we gave them approval to order the part.
On June 25th after being previously told the part had arrived we returned to Auto Lab Lauderhill for the vehicle to be worked on. After the defective part was replaced the problem was not fixed (AC still wasnt working). Auto Labs mechanic did another diagnosis and then informed us that the AC compressor was the problem and needed to be replaced. Once again, based on their diagnosis and advice we gave approval to purchase a KIA replacement part.
On July 7th we again take the vehicle to Auto Lab for the compressor to be replaced. The vehicle was dropped off at 11:30 AM for the new KIA AC compressor to be installed. (My husband was told it would take 3 hours to replace the compressor as such, he decided to wait for the car as he didnt have a ride to come back home while the vehicle was being repaired.)
When the repair was finished we were told that the AC was now working but during the installation of the compressor a part broke and they had to replace that part. (My husband did not leave the shop until after 7PM.) After replacing the part they broke they told us our vehicle was fixed, the AC was working and as such gave us a bill for $1,034.93 which we paid for services rendered.
On July 12th, I drove vehicle to work and parked my vehicle. At approximately 9:15 AM I took my 10 minutes break and decided to go sit in the car. I turned the AC on and after 5 minutes while seated in the vehicle (vehicle still in the park position) a leaking air sound could be heard. Then something popped and a WHITE smoke, like mist/fog shoots out from what appears to be the exterior side of the vehicle and surrounded the hood, the smell of some kind of chemical was emanating from the vehicle. I opened the door in fright and the chemical sent left a terrible taste in my mouth. I called to a coworker of mine and she came to assist and to see what the problem was. She first thought it was smoke and too realizes the white fog/mist was not smoke and it smelled like chemical.
I immediately notified Auto Lab and was told to return the vehicle because maybe the Freon hose was not connected properly. They indicated that on July 7th due to the RUSH repairing the vehicle, while replacing the compressor something may have not been connected properly, which may have caused a fuse to blow.
My coworker lifted the hood of the car before he accompanied me to Auto Lab and when he popped the hood we noticed oil/water splash marks sprayed on the inside.
On July 12th, as instructed, I drove the vehicle back to Auto Lab and while on my way the vehicle started overheating. When I got there I spoke with Carlos and he opened the hood of the car and powered up the vehicle for a quick check. Carlos told me that the hose is fine because it was not soft and that there is no Freon leaking. In no time, in the parked position the vehicle starts overheating again and the thermostat went up to red. He went back to the hood and checked the
Freon and it was almost empty, yet he said there was nothing wrong with the hose.
While still at Auto Lab I was advised by Carlos that they will need to keep the vehicle and as such they will rent a car for me, starting Friday - Monday. He instructed me to pay with my credit card and Auto Lab will reimburse me via check when the rental is returned and I pick my car up.
On July 12th Carlos telephoned me and advised me that he thinks the problem is due to the AC thermostat which needs replacing. He indicated that he would change it and if it does not fix the problem there would be no charge to us. And that the part was ordered and they would have it in 2 days. He told me that if it fixes the vehicle he would charge us a discounted price. I told him that I will not be making any more payment because the job is still under warranty and what they previously did not fix the problem but apparently whatever they did affected the other parts. He told me not to worry about it and that he would take care of it and fix our vehicle.
On July 17th, five days after turning in our vehicle for correction, we received a call from Carlos advising me that the AC thermostat was replaced and the vehicle was no longer overheating, and the AC was working. However, if the AC chips out we should turn it off and back on again. He then went on further to tell me that the AC controller needs replacing and he placed an order and Auto Lab would have it in two days. He instructed me to turn the rental back in and pick my vehicle since it was not fixed. I indicated to Carlos that my family would be driving to Tampa the coming Saturday and therefore strongly hoped that the problem was resolved because it would not be possible for me to drive my toddlers in a car without the AC working. He assured me I would not have a problem.
July 17th I returned the rental and picked up my vehicle from Auto Lab. Shortly after leaving their shop (Id say 10 minutes) with my vehicle, the fixed AC stopped working and did not come on even with us turning the switch off and on as we were instructed. I did not get to take my kids to Tampa to see their Gramma and their cousins visiting from Chicago.
On July 19th I drove to the store, and of course, the AC was not working. On my way back the pressure gauge was again high and little below the red.
On July 21st, I went to the store for grocery and to my surprise when my husband opened the trunk of our vehicle we found the engine cover, our Kia thermostat, the box for the replacement STANT 14128 thermostat box purchased by Auto Lab. Also, in the vehicle in the cup holder was a screw which left us wondering which part is missing a screw?
On July 24th, Carlos called indicating the part he ordered had arrived. I informed him of the issues I have been having and that I was extremely dissatisfied with their service. He told me Auto Lab would not be charging us for the rental. The rental that I paid for and have yet to be reimbursed for. I asked Carlos about the reimbursement and was told there will not be one because Auto Lab paid for the STANT 14128 thermostat. I indicated to him that after seeing box the Thermostat came in (they left it in my car) I checked out the price and noted that it costs box in the car that cost approximately $24.00, however, Auto Lab gave an invoice for $100 plus. I immediately made him aware that it is not acceptable and I am expecting payment based on an agreement with Auto Lab. Especially since the part they installed did not fix the problem. I STILL HAVE NO AIR CONDITION IN THE VEHICLE.
On July 23rd I advised Carlos that I would be seeking an attorney, I would be filing a complaint with the relevant agencies along with BBB if they do not refund the money I spent as they did not repair my vehicle and seemed to have created more chaos. On July 24th from I received a Marcus of Auto Lab and he asked that I give them another chance to remedy the problem. I spoke with Marcus on We were asked to give Auto Lab AGAIN told to return with the vehicle for another part to be installed.
Today, July 28th my husband took the vehicle again to Auto Lab. They replaced whatever part they ordered and AGAIN they failed to fix the problem. Marcus told my husband that it seems to be an electrical problem and we should therefore take the vehicle to a KIA dealer to get it fixed.
After all the time and money spent they have failed to do their jobs and then have the nerve to tell me I wont be getting a refund because they worked on the vehicle. Yes, Marcus yes they spent a lot of time trying to figure the problem out so its not possible for me to get a refund.
I cant help but wonder if all the parts that were said to be defective and needed to be replace were actually working and Auto Lab billed us for parts we did not need to purchase? I will be contacting BBB and everywhere possible because I do believe Auto Lab should reimburse me.