ED Magedson – Founder
Dodge Chrysler, Jeep Brand new vehicle, 17 months, 15+ repairs Detroit Michigan
To Whom It May Concern: I am writing this letter as a last hope. I am hoping that my story will go public and cause enough noise for a large corporate company to show decency and fairness toward a consumer. My name is Brianna and I am writing to you about my experience with Dodge/Chrysler over the last 17 months. In April 2012 my husband, Steven, and I purchased brand new Dodge vehicles-I purchased a 2012 Avenger and Steven purchased a 2012 Challenger. Within 2 weeks the problems began, and have not yet stopped. Currently Dodge is offering to replace my vehicle for a new one—with a catch. The catch is that I am responsible for a usage fee of$0.25 per mile up to 13,000 (which is when the first warranty claim was made on Dodge’s part) and I must get a brand new Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep for $25,000 or under.
After visiting the dealership and viewing my only 4 options for a car, I requested that Dodge buy back the vehicle and close the case—I was more than dissatisfied with my first Dodge and wanted nothing more than to never own a Dodge vehicle again. I advised the “Executive Referral Specialist”, Jill Signorello, that based on everything we had been through in the past 17 months, and based on the fact that I had made every attempt to keep the vehicle and trust that it would not have any more problems, I feel that I have given ample opportunities and time for the company to resolve all of my issues. As the issues are not resolved and the problems continue to pop up, I feel that it is my right as a consumer to be treated fairly. Not one of the issues that my vehicle has had was my fault.
The first call to the dealership was made 2 weeks after I purchased the car, when my first windshield was broken—I was advised by the dealer to call my insurance company and they would take care of it. I am now being told that since I went through my insurance company, the 2 replacement windshields in the first 30 days of ownership are not “Warranty issues,” and therefore do not count. The fact that I was told by the technician at the dealership that the “Check Engine Light” was not a big deal, and that I would be fine after he shut the light off was also not my fault. Trusting the technician in October resulted in another un-submitted warranty claim and additional miles racking up on my “Usage Fee,” and left me where I am now. I have a malfunctioning vehicle that books for $8,000 less than I owe, I am not able to trade it in to get rid of it, I do not have $3,250 to pay a usage fee that should not be charged on a malfunctioning vehicle, and Dodge has all but slammed the door in my face. All I am asking is that Dodge does the right thing. I am not asking for monetary compensation, I am not being unreasonable—I purchased a brand new car 17 months ago and deserve to get what I pay for.
Please find below my letters to Dodge. I apologize for the lengthiness of the letters, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible each time I contacted the corporate office: ________________________________________________ 12/20/2012 (Email #1) To Whom It May Concern: I am writing this letter in the hopes that it will reach the highest possible corporate officer employed by Dodge-that is how extreme my level of dissatisfaction is with your company. My name is BK, and my husband and I live in Milton Florida. I was in search of a new vehicle in April of 2012, and since a few members of my family had purchased vehicles at “Milton Dodge” in the past, I was willing to give them a shot. I decided that I was going to purchase a brand new 2012 Dodge Avenger, and my husband even decided to trade his 2008 Nissan Titan in for a brand new 2012 Dodge Challenger. Never having owned a brand new vehicle before, I was not sure what to expect. In my wildest dreams I could not have anticipated the problems that we would face over the next 8 months.
To start, I am going to let you know that my husband and I pay almost $1,300 per month for our two vehicles combined (this price is not including insurance). I cannot speak for others, but when I pay that much for something month after month, I expect it to not only live up to my expectations, but also live up to the standard for a brand new vehicle. Neither one of the brand new are vehicles that we purchased living up to our expectations, let alone their standards.
The first problem occurred less than 2 weeks after we purchased the vehicles. I came out to the parking lot after work one evening and noticed an “L” shaped crack on my front windshield of my Avenger. There were no spider cracks, no evidence of a rock hitting the glass, no explanation as to why this had happened. I had owned my previous vehicle for 3 years-I drove the same interstate, parked in the same parking lot-and the windshield that I had when I purchased the vehicle was the same windshield that I traded in to Milton Dodge. I called Milton Dodge and the salesman that we had worked with advised me to contact my insurance company and they would recommend someone to replace the glass.
Living in the state of Florida, the windshield was replaced at no cost to me by Safe Light, and by the next afternoon I had a new windshield. I assumed that all was well until 3 weeks later, when I spotted another large crack in my windshield. Starting the process all over again, Safe Light came out the following day to install windshield # 3 on the brand new vehicle that I had owned for less than 1 month. As I mentioned, I owned my previous vehicle for 3 years and never had one problem with the windshield. I had now owned this car for less than a month and had experienced 2 very inconvenient problems.
Fast forward 3 months to July. My husband and I are driving down the interstate in his Challenger on the way to a baseball game. He put his turn signal on to switch lanes and the turn signal falls off. The entire turn signal/windshield wiper switch was hanging on by a thin thread of wires, not to mention the windshield wipers being stuck in the “On” position, at full speed. Driving down the interstate with no turn signal and your wipers stuck in the “On” position on any other day would have been frustrating enough, but it just happened to be sunny and dry that day. Driving down the interstate for 15 miles without turn signals or the ability to squirt washer fluid on the dry windshield was not only frustrating, it was unacceptable. My husband tried futilely to turn the wipers off and suddenly the shifter, which had been dangling by a thread, fully detached and rolled onto the floor. After arriving at the game my husband was forced to remove the turn signal/wiper fuse, causing a dangerous driving situation on the interstate after leaving the game.
The following morning my husband called Milton Dodge in an uproar, and they were able to get the vehicle in to replace the switch within a day or so. After the first few issues, we began to get very frustrated that our brand new cars were becoming such a hassle. Little did I realize that the next few months would bring more issues. Within a month of having the switch repaired, my husband began to notice that the fabric on his driver’s seat was beginning to wear. My husband does not wear a wallet in his back pocket, he does not have a chain hanging down that would destroy the seat. He wears jeans or slacks every day, the same clothing that he wore in his previous two vehicles (one with cloth seats, one with leather seats). I have been in vehicles throughout my life where the seats have been destroyed from 10+ years of wear and tear or mishaps from children. We have no children, and at this point we had owned the vehicle for 5 months. I have owned a $10 pair of shoes for 3 times that long that show less wear than the fabric on his seat. There is absolutely no excuse for the fabric on a brand new vehicle seat to be frayed and worn after such a short period of time.
Around the same time that my husband noticed his driver’s seat, he popped the hood to show my step-father something. As soon as he popped the hood, the black rubber strip that sits between the hood and the vehicle itself pulled completely off. There was no glue holding it down, the entire strip pulled back and curled up, unable to be replaced. At this point my level of frustration was higher than I imagined possible, and my husband’s was even worse than mine! We made an appointment with Milton Dodge to have our oil changed and to have the repairs completed on the Challenger. The parts were ordered and two weeks later my husband brought his car in for yet another repair.
By now we were ready to head back to Milton Dodge and tell them to give us our old cars back (which, if I had not previously mentioned, were not made by Dodge and had not given either of us any issues close to the issues we were experiencing with these vehicles!) Driving down the interstate one afternoon in October on the way to a Doctor’s appointment, I noticed that my check engine light came on in the dashboard. I immediately called my husband to ask him what that could mean, and he advised me to call Milton Dodge. I called and spoke to the salesman who had sold us our cars, and he told me to stop in with the car and the service team would take a look at it. I brought it in, they told me that it had something to do with the fuel gauge and that they would turn the light off, and sent me on my way.
Almost as if my husband’s vehicle wanted to keep up, the next morning as we were pulling out of our driveway, every light on his dashboard came on. We stopped, turned the vehicle off and they were gone when we turned it back on. Thinking that there could not POSSIBLY be another issue since we had only owned the vehicles 6 months at this point, we told each other that if one more thing happened we were going back to the dealership! Again in November, as I was driving down the road on the way to work, my check engine light popped back on. Since I pass the dealership on the way to work, I decided to stop and have them take a look. Following the same process as before, he came out with his diagnostic tool and shut the light off. He stated that everything was good to go for now but if it happened again I would need to bring the car in for servicing.
About 2 weeks ago, my husband advised me that his driver’s seat was falling apart again. It was becoming frayed and worn in the same way that the previous one had. The SECOND brand new seat was now fraying within 2 months of being replaced! We decided that since the holidays were coming up, we would wait until after the New Year before calling to have it replaced again. Up until this morning, that was the plan. While driving in to work this morning, however, my check engine light came on yet again. I have called the dealership and I am still waiting on a call back, 4 hours later. I wish that I were able to say that my experience with a Dodge vehicle thus far has been enjoyable. Had we purchased two cars and were experiencing issues with just one of them, I would chalk it up to nothing being perfect and maybe there are some manufacturing kinks that need to be worked out. Having purchased 2 brand new cars, however, and having dealt with one problem after the next, followed by yet another one, I am 100% utterly disgusted with my purchase.
My husband and I work hard to earn the money that we do, and I feel like we were sold two very expensive scraps of metal. There is absolutely no reason that we should have been back at the dealership 5 times, not to mention replacing 2 windshields, within the first 8 months of owning a vehicle. I feel taken advantage of each month when I make the payments for each of these vehicles, knowing that for this amount of money we should be driving around in pristine, 100% top of the line cars. But instead we are driving around wondering what issue will arise next and how many times we will have to visit the dealership in the next 3 months.
I do not know much about the “Lemon Law” and how is works, but I am sure that these vehicles fall somewhere in the category. At this point I wish that a vehicle could be returned and exchanged much like a broken TV or cell phone would be, just so that I would have the peace of mind knowing that we were not throwing our money away each month. I hope that this letter reaches the correct department. If this letter is sent to you in error, please pass it along to the person that you feel will be the most willing and able to assist with my situation. Our situation is well beyond being handled by the local dealership, we need a response from the highest officer we are able to reach. I anticipate hearing back from someone regarding this matter as soon as possible. Thank you, BK _______________________________________________ 01/02/2013 (Email #2) Mr. Marchionne & To Whom It May Concern: I am emailing you back to express my continued dissatisfaction with your company. I received a call from Jill Signorello on December 21st regarding the issues that my husband and I were having with our vehicles. Jill advised that she was going to offer me and my husband a 5 year, 60,000 extended service plan on our vehicles free of charge. She stated that the service plan could be added immediately and would cover anything that went wrong with our vehicles with no deductible. I advised Jill that I needed to speak with my husband first and that I would get back to her. Jill provided me her cell phone number and stated that if I needed anything at all to give her a call.
About an hour later, I tried giving Jill a call back to go over what exactly this service plan covered. I called her 12/21/2012 at 3:29 pm @ 630-596-6400. I left a voicemail for her advising that I had some questions regarding the service plan. Today is January 2nd, 2013 and I am STILL waiting for a call back. 12 days later and I have not heard one word via email or phone call. That is an absolutely unacceptable form of customer service in a typical situation, let alone an already escalated situation with a highly frustrated consumer.
The evening of 12/21, when I went to pick up my car after the repairs were completed, and since I had not yet heard back from Jill, I asked to speak with the manager at the dealership. I asked the manager about the 5 year service plan and what exactly it entailed. The manager’s exact response was “I would not recommend it; you already have the 3 year service plan on your vehicle and you do not need the additional plan.” I was taken aback at the thought that I was being offered this “amazing deal” from the company that had already given me such a headache, and it turned out that this deal was not even recommended by Dodge’s own employees! The manager continued to explain that most people don’t have their vehicles for 5 years as it was, and the extended plan covered the same things that the 3 year service plan covered. At this point I furiously left the dealership, wondering how one company could attempt to manipulate their customers this way!! When I got home and advised my husband of the “Compensation” that we were offered for all of our trouble, he was even more furious that I was! He immediately called the dealership and spoke with a manager from the sales team. My husband asked the manager some questions about the service plan, including the cost of adding it to our already existing service plan. My husband was advised that it costs roughly $1,500 per vehicle to add the 5 year 60,000 mile extended service plan. $1,500 for something that the manager of the dealership himself would not endorse!
For all of the continued trouble and inconvenience that my husband and I have faced since purchasing our vehicles, the compensation of the 5 year service plan is not only unacceptable, it is insulting. We have been made out to be fools not just once or twice, but time and time again by your company. We expect a satisfactory compensation, one that will make up for the trouble that we have been caused or one that will take these 2 burdens off of our hands. At this point I have not expressed my levels of frustration or anger to anyone other than those employed at Dodge & Chrysler. I have not yet utilized the social media outlet, and that is not my goal. As long as my husband and I feel that our situation was handled in an acceptable and properly compensatory manner, we will go no further. I anticipate a quick response regarding this matter. ____________________________________________________________ 01/24/2013 (Email #3) To Whom It May Concern: This email will serve as a follow up to my first series of emails. As you may well know, my name is Brianna Keen and my husband is Steven Keen. The first letter that I wrote was about a month ago and it was regarding the numerous issues that my husband and I had experienced in the 8 months that we had owned the vehicles. While the outcome of the initial email was appreciated (we were given a 5 year extended service plan on both vehicles as well as one month of our car payments being covered), the problem itself continues.
After the first email, I took the Dodge Avenger into the dealership to be repaired. The check engine light had come on for the third time in 2 months. The first and second time this occurred, I brought my car to the dealership, the service manager came out with his diagnosis tool, and the light was shut off. Both times I was told that everything was fine.
After the second visit for the engine light, the service manager advised that if it happened again to bring the vehicle in for servicing. When I picked my vehicle up after it had been “repaired,” the check engine light was no longer on and I was told that everything was fixed. I assumed that since Milton Dodge had my vehicle all day and since they were telling me that everything was fixed, that I would have nothing to worry about and my issues were resolved. During this time I was also in communication with Jill Signerello, who advised that if anything else happened to please feel free to reach out to her directly. Just 2 short weeks after my car was fixed and I had been speaking with Jill, the check engine light in my car came back on. This occurred on Tuesday, January 15th while I was on my way home from work. I immediately called Milton Dodge to report the issue, and received a very rude attitude from the service manager. When I told him that the light came on again, his response was “Yeah, ok?” I then asked him what I should do, and he said “Well I guess you are going to bring it in again so we can take a look at it.” I expressed my concern that the vehicle was supposed to have been fixed 2 weeks prior and that this was the 4th time I was going to be coming in for the same problem, and the service manager stated that “The first two times you brought it in to us, you told us to just shut the light off and send you on your way.”
At this point the phone conversation was beginning to anger me-the service manager was now putting words in my mouth! I advised the manager that I had never once told him to just shut the light off and send me on my way, and that in fact it was he who advised me that he was just going to turn off the light and everything was fine with the car. When I brought this up, he said that “It was neither here nor there at this point” and that it didn’t matter who said what. I asked when the soonest I could get my car in would be, he said that he would not have a rental car for me until Thursday January 17th. I told him that I would be there first thing in the morning. I dropped my car off on January 17th and was told that I would receive a call during the day to let me know when my car was ready. I never received a call from Milton Dodge, so I left work early to make sure I would get to Milton Dodge before the service department closed. I arrived at Dodge and was told that there was a “Communication Error” and that they would need to keep my car overnight. I agreed and they told me that I could pick my car up Friday after work. I stressed that they call me with anything different, and was told that if anything changed I would get a call. At this point my husband decided to get involved. He called and spoke with Jill on Friday, January 18th and was told that Chrysler was flying in a technician from Headquarters to repair my car, and that I would need to keep my rental until Friday.
At this point Milton Dodge had still not called to advise me that I would not be picking up my car that night, and had Steven not called and spoken with Jill, I can’t say that they would have called me. Jill advised Steven that she was going to call him on Tuesday to follow up, once the vehicle was fixed. Almost as though irony came in to play over the weekend, as I was driving the rental car, the check engine light came on. I immediately called Milton Dodge, sure that this was a mistake and I was seeing things, but low and behold, the light was on in the Caliber. I spoke with the same service manager, and he advised me not to worry about it and to keep driving the rental until I picked up my car the next day. Tuesday came and went, and by 4:15 I had still not heard back from Dodge. Steven had also not heard back from Jill, so he called and left a voicemail for her. I called Milton Dodge and was advised that a part was ordered for my car and it would not be ready until Wednesday—6 days after it was supposed to have been ready to begin with.
When I went in to pick up the car on January 23rd, I was told that everything was fixed and it should not happen again. I asked what they had repaired, and I was told that there was fuel in a canister that it should not be in. When I asked how this had happened, the service manager rudely advised that it was from overfilling the gas tank and leaving the car running while I pump gas. After that accusation, I explained that since having the car I have NEVER topped off the gas tank and I have NEVER pumped gas with the car running. At this point he said that it may have just been a malfunction in the part, but the new part was fine. When I asked what I should do if it happens again, he said that we would be back to square one, but it should not happen again so I should not worry. My question to him, as to you, is that if this malfunction could occur on a brand new part and a brand new vehicle, why would I assume that it would not happen to another brand new part?
My level of distrust with Chrysler and Dodge is beyond what I have ever felt towards a company. The thing that Steven and I are most upset about is that when we brought the car in 3 weeks ago, we were assured that everything was fixed. I was told that I would not have any more problems with the issue. It turns out, there was nothing at all fixed on the vehicle! The only thing that was done is a “Software Update” to the vehicle’s computer system. We feel as though we were lied to and were made to believe that everything was resolved, when really we were being strung further and further along. The entire relationship that we have experienced with Dodge has been one thing after another, and at this point I am far beyond the point of a one month’s compensation to make up for our frustration. A 5 year service plan, while it is an added benefit, does not make up for bringing my car in for servicing over and over again. Just because I have health insurance does not mean that I want to go back to the doctor twice a month to fix the same issue that should have been fixed from the start! I am frustrated with my car, I am angry that we were lied to and I am ready to call it quits with your company. This email is a request for a permanent resolution. I no longer will accept a “band-aid” fix to appease me in the hopes that another issue will not arise. I need the peace of mind that I will not be at the dealership twice a month. I need to know that the vehicle that I am driving is dependable, and that I am not paying $600/month for absolutely no reason. While Jill was initially helpful with our situation, she has yet to return the phone call to Steven as promised. I do not want to receive a call from her stating that there is nothing further that she can do. If she is unable to do anything further for our situation than I am requesting a call from Mr. Marchionne himself with a resolution. I am anticipating a prompt response. Thank you, __________________________________________________________
Since the final letter was written, I have been in contact with Jill via phone. 2 months ago I noticed a popping & clicking noise while driving my car. Along with this, my cruise control has not worked properly since the computer was replaced in January. I called Dodge to advise of the problem and brought my car in yet again for repair. After the car was at the dealership for the day, I was notified that they were not able to find anything wrong with either the cruise control or the steering. They advised me that a few bolts had been looser than normal so they tightened them and sent me on my way. Not 24 hours later, the clicking was back and I was on the phone with the dealership again. I also called Jill Signorello to notify her of the problem, having been advised by her and Pam to let them know if anything went wrong.
My car went back to the dealership for repair and I was told that the Rack & Pinion needed to be replaced. Just 24 hours earlier I was told that everything looked fine and nothing was wrong, yet now I was being told that a part needed to be replaced. This repair added another 2 days without my vehicle and yet another problem to the list. The last issue that finally sent me over the edge was just 2 weeks ago. While on my way home from work, my 3rd windshield popped and cracked, resulting in the 4th windshield in 17 months. I have now been notified by safelight that they have not ever seen a brand new car with this many windshield replacements in such a short amount of time, and that it most likely has to do with the compression levels from the vehicle.
Although Dodge refuses to admit or accept this fact, it appears evident by the number of replacements that something is just not quite right. That brings me to where I am today. I have exhausted all efforts with Dodge, and have now been told that if I do not pay the $3,250 usage fee and select a car with an MSRP of $25,000 or less I am stuck with my vehicle. All emails and letters sent to the CEO of Dodge, Mopar and Chrysler trickle down through Jill and Pam, so I am not able to go any farther with them. I am asking that someone please assist in finally resolving this horrible experience.
As I stated before, I do not want money, I just want Dodge to own up to their mistakes and take care of their customers the way a company should. I want a car that I can rely on, and I want to purchase that car from a company other than Dodge. Please feel free to contact me for any further information relating to this issue. Thank you for your time and consideration
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/13/2013 09:47 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/dodge/michigan/dodge-chrysler-jeep-brand-new-vehicle-17-months-15-repairs-detroit-michigan-1084225. 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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